By Chris Ochayi
The Federal Government yesterday lifted the ban placed on admission into the eight states universities which were stopped from admitting new set of students for the 2010/2011 and 2011/2012 academic sessions on account of protracted industrial actions that crippled academic activities in the institutions in the last seven months.
This landmark decision was taken in Abuja during a stakeholders’ meeting in the Nigeria University System, NUS, convened by the Registrar, Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB, Professor Dibu Ojerinde, to work out modalities on resolving the crisis
The meeting was attended by the parties to the crisis, including the Pro-Chancellors and Vice-Chancellors and Commissioners of Education, representing the governors of the affected states, representatives of the National Universities Commission, NUC, and former Minister of Education, Prof. Aja Nwachukwu, amongst others.
It would be recalled that some institutions, mostly state-owned universities in the South-East, were directed not to admit students for the 2011/2012 academic sessions because of their inability to conclude their academic activities for 2009/2010 and non-registration of candidates for the 2010/2011, resulting from persistent boycotts by the local Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, of the universities.
But the forum, while lifting the embargo, had amended calendar for the 2010/2011 and 2011/2012, making it possible for the affected universities to admit new students during the academic sessions.
These include the five universities from the South East, Abia State University, Uturu, Enugu State University of Science and Technology, Enugu, Evan Enwerem University, Owerri, Anambra State University, Uli and Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki.
Other states universities, which got reprieve, were the Lagos State University, Ojo, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye and the Rivers State University of Science and technology, Port Harcourt.
Addressing journalists shortly after the resolution, the Chairman, Governing Board of Joint Admission and Matriculation Board, JAMB, Professor Samson Ukpabi announced that the crisis has been resolved and the parties involved have agreed to abide by the resolution of the forum.
He said, “the timetable has been worked and I am happy to announce to you that the embargo place on admission of fresh students into the affected universities is now lifted. The universities have come on stream to join other universities to admit fresh students”.
Professor Ukpai who declared the industrial crisis as no victory, no vanquish, said the meeting was fruitful because it was a family affair.
He said the meeting was convened because the lecturers and the proprietors have agreed to end crisis by accepting to work together.
In his remark, the Deputy Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission, Professor Akinbode Agbaoye explained that the reasons the NUC placed advisements on the embargo on admission was to ginger up the Governors who are the proprietors of the institutions to act quickly.
He said the Commission is going to monitor the timetable to ensure its full implementations by the affected universities, charging the Governors to ensure funds are made available for the smooth running of the institutions.