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Legislators and university education in Nigeria

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Youths. PHOTO: un.org

Sir: This article is motivated by the report that,, “the House of Representatives has called on the Ministry of Education to reduce the cost of purchasing the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) form,” and that “The Cable reports that this was sequel to a motion introduced during plenary the other day by James Faleke, a lawmaker from Lagos.” The story has it that “The form is being sold for Seven thousand, five hundred naira (N7, 500),” and Faleke expressed disgust that “the University Tertiary Matriculation Examination has become a revenue generating agency,” noting how “N7.8 billion was remitted to the federal government from proceeds of form sales.” If the legislators, including the Senators, want to pity Nigerians, they should outlaw the Universal Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) for which many applicants have to travel and book hotel rooms when qualifying exams should be limited to secondary school leaving certificate, coupled with test and screening of certificates done by the admitting institutions, for which applicants also have to travel. Where is the place and relevance of UTME other than revenue generation? But everything boils and settles in Nigeria; we hear of barking without biting.

Another report has it that “The National Universities Commission (NUC) has released the list of 58 illegal universities in Nigeria,” and that “the listed universities are yet to be licensed by the federal government and have been shut down for violating the national minimum standard for education.” The universities have been shut for not obtaining licenses, meaning also a form of income generation for government. But to what extent is the NUC concerned about improprieties in licensed universities, multiplying departments without building classrooms and adequate offices for the teachers? The academic staffers have been caged by the administration in some universities where a form of cabal holds sway. In such universities, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has been hijacked by such cabals supported by the universities’ administrations. Everything, including Earned Academic Allowance (EAA), is compromised against the staffers. How will such universities not produce slavers, and be endangering Nigeria, present and future?
Professor Oyeniran Abioje, wrote, University of Ilorin.


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