Following allegations of imbalance and fraudulent practices against the National Universities Commission (NUC), in the process of accreditation of courses in Nigeria, the House of Representatives has ordered an investigation into the allegation of bribery by universities.
While the committee’s investigation is to determine whether the condition of physical facilities, teaching staff and so on meet the minimum benchmark of academic standards and other accreditation guidelines, it is also to determine whether procedure for regulating Nigerian universities should be reviewed to meet international standards with a view to curtailing capital flight occasioned by patronage of foreign universities by Nigerians.
The House in another development yesterday announced the suspension of its regular plenary until March 11, 2014 to allow its relevant standing committees attend to government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) in defence of their revenues and expenditure projections in the Appropriation Bill.
A member of the House, Abayomi Abdul Kabir in a motion on the floor drew attention of the House to alleged imbalance and fraudulent practices at the NUC in the process of accrediting courses and programmes for universities.
According to him, in spite of huge allocations to the universities in recent years, there has been no commensurate improvement in infrastructure in the institutions, adding that “the procedure for selecting accreditation officials lacks credibility and is biased in favour of only members of the academia capable of doing the bidding of the leadership of the NUC.”
While expressing fears that if the alleged acts of corruption were not checked, the imbalances in the regulation of universities would persist, the lawmaker argued that the process of accreditation ought to provide a means of recognizing some levels of performance, quality and integrity, which in turn would engender confidence from the public and the education community.
Confirming the suspension of regular plenary of the House of Representatives, Chairman of the Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Mr Zakari Mohammed while fielding questions at a media briefing said the House objected to the suspension of CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi because actions of such nature may send wrong signals to intending foreign investors.