The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has blamed the rot in the Nigerian university system on the Executive Secretary of the National University Commission, Julius Okojie, saying his failure to insist on quality has bastardised Nigerian universities.
The lecturers also vowed to continue their strike unless the federal government honours the 2009 agreement it had with the union.
In a statement signed by its University of Ibadan branch chairman, Olusegun Ajiboye, ASUU renewed its call for the scraping or a total overhaul of the regulatory institution if the nation wishes to get it right in university education management.
While calling on the National Assembly to beam its searchlight on the activities of the NUC, Mr. Ajiboye said the recent NEEDS assessment report on universities reflects how much the commission has failed in its duties as a regulator.
According to him, the report undertaken by genuine academics contradicts NUC’s accreditation exercises which gave ‘controversial’ clean bill of health to most universities through “magomago accreditation.”
The union contended that only in a society like Nigeria would Mr. Okojie still remain in office after being heavily indicted in the report, saying “in sane climes, the NUC boss ought to have resigned through the revelations made in the NEEDS assessment report.”
Mr. Okojie had, last week, absorbed his commission of any wrongdoing in the rot plaguing public universities in the country, particularly as regards undeserved accreditation, blaming members of the ASUU instead.
Mr. Ajiboye, who described the statement credited to the NUC boss as ‘careless’, accused Mr. Okojie of using his cronies who can do his biddings to embark on accreditation.
He said the success of the 2011 elections was based on the patriotic zeal and contributions of genuine and patriotic ASUU members nationwide saying that was why the election was free of hanky-panky recorded in past elections.
The ASUU statement titled ‘Where Okojie Got It Wrong,’ insisted that the NUC boss is fond of using his ‘yes sir’ boys to do hatchet jobs during accreditations, thereby compromising quality most of the time.
The union said its almost three-month-old strike is fully on, adding that the it would not allow itself to be fooled again with ‘promisory notes’ of the federal government which had never worked in the past.
“ASUU cannot be blamed for NUC ‘magomago’ accreditations. Rather than blaming the Union, Okojie should take full responsibility for all the fraudulent deeds in the NUC, including the work and eat accreditations.
“The NUC knows the kind of academics they select for their ignoble exercises. These are cronnies of the big man in the NUC. They can never say no to his biddings. Nigerians should be proud of ASUU in it’s efforts at repositioning public universities in the country. One of these major efforts is the NEEDS Assessment Document.
“This was a product of a rigorous academic exercise carried out by dependable and credible members of our Union. Unlike the numerous faulty accreditation reports which had given these universities clean bill of health, the NEEDS Assessment Report stands out as a classical document of reference detailing the rot and decay in public universities in Nigeria. All well meaning Nigerians can see the contrast between okojie’s ‘packaged accreditation reports’ and a credible job done by ASUU.
“It has become very clear from the Needs Assessment that Okojie and his cohort of accreditors have fooled this country for too long. Enough they say is enough. Time is now for the Government to beam a searchlight on the activities of the NUC.
“The Education Committees in both the Senate and House of Representatives have an arduous task to do here. Nigerians are calling for dismantling of an omnibus body that has done the country more harm than good. NUC must go.
“Professor Julius Okojie cannot absolve himself from the rot in the university system by regulating quantity instead of ensuring quality delivery,” ASUU said.