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We'll end interruption of academic activities in Nigeria - NASS

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National Assembly

By Femi Ogunshola

The National Assembly has promised to end the incessant interruption of academic activities in Nigeria’s tertiary institutions.

The Joint Senate and House of Representatives Committee on Education made the pledge when Vice Chancellors (VCs) of federal universities and Prof. Chris Maiyaki, Acting Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), appeared before it on Wednesday to defend their 2024 Budget.

The Joint Committee, co-chaired by Sen. Dandutse Muntari and Rep. Abubakar Fulata, also promised to wade into the complaints arising from the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), and recruitment challenges by the universities.

Muntari, who emphasised that education was key to the development of the country, said that the lawmakers were determined to look into the plight of the universities.

He said the committee would seek further solutions to the challenges, stressing that Nigerians had enough raw material resources to achieve the best in education.

Fulata, on the other hand, said the lawmakers were determined to ensure that Nigerian universities were sought and valued internationally.

On complaints that IPPS and the recruitment process had made the work cumbersome and discouraging in Nigerian universities, Fulata also promised that the committee would look into the nitty-gritty of the whole issue and find a way forward.

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On his part, Maiyaki identified inadequate funding, inability to raise resources from other sources, and IPPS, as some of the major challenges bedeviling the universities.

The NUC helmsman, however, said with the support of the National Assembly, he was optimistic that the various challenges facing Nigerian university education would be addressed.

Speaking on behalf of the VCs, Prof. Sagir Abbas, of Bayero University Kano, commended the lawmakers for their commitment to addressing the challenges of the Nigerian university education system.

According to Sagir, as it stands today, it takes the approval of about seven MDAs before any V-C can secure approval to employ even a cleaner, a situation he described as cumbersome and worrisome.
He also noted that addressing the challenges of IPPS would go a long way towards solving some of their problems.

The V-C also decried the epileptic power supply in the universities, saying that more that N50 million was being expended by almost all the universities monthly on operations due to lack or inadequate electricity.

The lawmakers in their response to that however, challenged the universities to come up with research on how to have stable power supply at reduced cost.

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