The Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Abubakar Adamu Rasheed, yesterday, said the commission would soon clamp down on identified 67 illegal universities across Nigeria.
Besides, he cautioned professional bodies allegedly distorting NUC regulatory etiquette for accreditation to refrain, as the commission would henceforth, begin to bite with its legal teeth.
Rasheed, at the 11th Convocation ceremony of Al-Hikmah University, Ilorin, said the task of nation-building and churning out patriotic Nigerians in an envisaged “new Nigeria” should begin at the Ivory Towers.
A total of 1,079 graduands, out of which 28 that bagged First Class, were conferred with varying degrees across different disciplines.
Rasheed said: “The issue now is the menace of illegal universities, satellite campuses and centres, which at the last count, stood at 67 in number. To worsen the matter, they all award certificates.
“The commission is taking steps through inter agencies collaboration to tackle the untoward development headlong, especially by mass sensitisation of unsuspecting patrons through the periodic publication of a list of such degree mills.
The New Nigeria project is a task that must be accomplished by all.
“Despite notable successes being recorded by the commission, it still faces some challenges. These include the intervention of professional bodies with respect to the requirements for the Benchmark Minimum Academic Standard.
“At times, their specifications, rules and regulations distort, contradict or outrightly violate extant academic procedures as stipulated by the NUC.”
The Kwara State Governor represented by the state’s Commissioner for Tertiary Education, Mr. Ibrahim Suleiman, said his government would continue to invest in education identified as the ‘bedrock’ of any nation.
The Vice-Chancellor of the faith-based university, Prof. Noah Yusuf, said the university would continue to uphold its non-discriminatory academic standards, as its contributions to good academic rankings in Nigeria could not be over-emphasised.
He urged the Federal Government to embark on-farm settlements as a solution to incessant clashes between herdsmen and farmers in the country.
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