Affected Universities Cry Foul Over License Withdrawal
Universities Commission (NUC), announced the suspension of the licences of seven private Universities on July 4, reactions have poured in from stakeholders of the Affected institutions.
The management of the universities, which include Madonna University, Lead City University, Tansian University, Caritas University, Joseph Ayo Babalola University, Achievers University and Obong University were vexed with the action of the commission arguing that it was shocking to them because they were not informed before hand, adding that they learnt of the suspension for the first time in the media.
NUC Executive Secretary, Professor Julius Okojie said the universities’ operational licences were suspended for unwillingness to comply with regulations, inappropriate governance structure and poor management of academic activities.
For candidates who applied to any of the Affected Universities for the 2012/2013 academic year, the NUC boss said the Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board (JAMB) has been requested to assist in distributing qualified candidates to other Universities of their choice.
“The operators of the Affected Universities know their offences because so many times, we have informed them about their failings but they did not take necessary steps to address their shortcomings. Anyway, it’s just a suspension and it will be lifted as soon as they do the correct things,” he said.
However, responding to NUC’s claims that the operators have numerously been informed about their shortcomings, Rev. Oladimeji Bayode, Dean of Student Affairs, Achievers University said in a telephone interview with Vanguard Learning that this is not true.
“The only thing we are aware of is that they said we should not operate a school of part-time studies, but ours is simply a school of distance learning and the condition is that we should be under the tutelage of another university that is doing the same thing. We have a memorandum of understanding with the University of Ibadan to that effect.”
Prof Okojie, NUC Executive Secretary
Registrar of Madonna University, Mr. TheophilusUgwoke, reacting, said: “The point is that it is a big surprise to us. The university is not being mismanaged by anybody. Our transcripts and certificates are issued promptly. Everybody knows that issuance of transcripts is based on request and that is what we have been doing. We also release our results promptly. We want to find out where we went wrong, until we clear from them, we won’t take any decision.”
However, a 300 level student of Accounting from Madonna University wrote on a social media site: “I’m so happy NUC took this d step. They should have done so months ago. This school does not deserve a licence to operate until they build good hostels, lecture halls, stop security guards from harassing students, employ qualified lecturers not illiterates that we sometimes correct in the lecture hall, give us professors, water, steady light, and stop exploiting students.
Lecturers collect as much as N3,000 to submit assignments apart from the fact that we must buy their self-authored textbooks. We, the students of Madonna and its sister college, Caritas are happy that this d step was taken.”
Also reacting to the development, ChinedumUcheoma, an alumnus of Madonna said that the suspension is a step in the right direction. His words: “The suspension of Madonna University’s licence though a painful and hurting situation to the students in session, but to some of us alumni, is a step in the right direction by NUC. At least, now some things will be put in the order it is meant to be. There is pain in every positive revolutionary trend.”
On the other hand, the Registrar, Joseph Ayo Babalola University (JABU), Ikeji-Arakeji, Osun State, Mr. Wale Aderibigbe, assured that the suspension order by the NUC would soon be reversed. “We are in Abuja already. We are on top of the situation. We hope that by tomorrow, our licence shall be restored,” he said.
Conflicting reportshave reached Vanguard Learning concerning the activities at JABU as a student told newsmen Tuesday that the management of the school announced that the suspension had been lifted. “They announced it in chapel service on Sunday that our licence was no longer suspended. If it is still suspended, how come we are going to classes and preparing for our final exams?” she asked.
However, a statement signed by the Board of Trustees of JABU in the media, also on Tuesday read: “We wish to announce that the proprietors and the management are in touch with the NUC and are taking immediate actions to carry out all the directives of the commission to facilitate immediate restoration of the operating licence of the university soonest.
For Lead City University (LCU) Ibadan, the NUC did not inform the institution of any wrongdoing. Director of Communications at the university, Dr. Ayo Owolabi said the action of the regulatory body was also in contempt of the court as an earlier judgment obtained by the institution against the NUC had ordered it not to interrupt the activities of the university.
He alleged that the action of the NUC was calculated to embarrass the university and “de-market” the institution. He accused the NUC leadership of bias against the institution. Noting that the university would make its views known to the public, he said the university had not erred in any way and would continue to carry on with its activities despite the suspension order.
LCU also stated its position on the institution’s website on Monday. The university stated the actions of the NUC as false and said that the “license to operate the university was given by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) and can only be withdrawn by FEC.”
Owolabi added that there was no justification for the suspension, as all its courses, except Biochemistry, had full accreditation. Disclosing that the university held its post-Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) last week, he urged the NUC not to disturb its academic programmes, adding that the institution believes in the rule of law and had petitioned the National Assembly Over the matter.
Stating the reason for the Withdrawal of Obong University’s licence, NUC said in an advertorial: “ObongNtak’slicence has been withdrawn because it failed to meet for renewal of the provisional License after the statutory three- year period.
The NUC further clarified the rationale behind its action, citing improper university governance structure and ethos, NUC stated, “Some of the Affected Universities have Over the years failed to properly constitute their Governing Councils and in some instances did not appoint pro-chancellors as required by their university laws and in line with university tradition and global best practices. This has brought about the overbearing presence and interference of the promoters in the day-to-day running of the universities.
“Some of the Affected Universities have engaged in the establishment of academic programmes without the requisite approval by the NUC and consideration for adequate human and material resources, to ensure quality of programmes.”
Affected Universities Cry Foul Over License Withdrawal
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