By Chris Ochayi
ABUJA: There was serious indication in Abuja that the several years of bickering between the apex universities regulatory body, the National Universities Commission, NUC, and the Lagos State University, LASU , seems to be coming to an end with the visit of the institution’s management team to the commission.
The LASU delegation which was led by its Acting Vice Chancellor, Prof. Ibiyemi Olatunji, during the visit, held a closed door meeting with the NUC executive secretary, Prof. Julius Okojie, on how to resolve the lingering crisis.
A statement issued by the Deputy Director , Information and Public Relations of the NUC, Malam Ibrahim Usman Yakasai , quoted the Prof. Okojie as expressing delight at the change of strategy by the institution towards resolving the recurring dispute.
The NUC and LASU management have been at each other’s throats over LASU’s establishment of satellite campus, which NUC disapproved of. The statement quoted Okojie as lamenting the falling status of LASU which had been attributed to the compromising academic standards.
The statement noted, “the Executive Secretary said it was appalling that LASU, which used to be the premier State University in Nigeria was losing its glory due to compromising academic standards in the university. He noted that things would have degenerated to the current level if the management of the institution had followed the advice that they closed all illegal satellite campuses and stopped the admission of students.
He noted that for any programme to be recognized by the commission, it must have met the set criteria and warned against mounting of any illegal programmes that would naturally attract the wrath of the law. he made it clear to the management that to resolve the matter, the institution should close down all its illegal satellite campuses ace formal application and formal application to kick start the process of establishing recognized campuses if need be, review her regular programmes in order to identify and provide the minimum requirement for mounting such programmes and to embark on massive recruitment of academic staff.
Okojie frowned at a situation whereby universities drag the NUC to court over denial of accreditation, rather than taking bold steps to address identified deficiencies, noting that such action was an aberration as the commission had the mandate to regulate academic programmes in the university system.