James Sowole in Akure
The National Universities Commission (NUC) has developed a Code of Corporate Governance for private universities in the country.
The NUC Executive Secretary, Professor Abubakar Rasheed disclosed the production of the document in his address at the third convocation ceremony of the Elizade University, Ilara Mokin, Ondo State.
Elizade University, a private institution founded by Chief Michael Ade Ojo, turned out a total of 131 graduands at its third graduation ceremony, out of which 18 bagged first class.
Rasheed, who was represented by the Director, Quality Assurance in the commission, Dr. Noel Saliu, said the document was produced to guide the proprietors, the board of trustees, governing council and university management in the governance of institutions.
Specifically, he said the code was produced to tackle challenges of governance in private universities.
According to him, the federal government would continue to be grateful to the private sector for their involvement in the delivery of quality university education in Nigeria.
“The participation of the private sector has, to a very large extent, expanded accessibility of education to many Nigerians, even though the carrying capacity of all the private universities put together is less than the public universities.”
He reiterated that the government is not just interested in increasing access, but achieving expanded assess without compromising quality.
While commending the Elizade University for the feat achieved since its establishment, Rasheed said the commission is impressed by its achievement despite being a young institution.
The NUC executive secretary also stated that the commission has developed the blue print for the rapid revitalisation of university education in Nigeria for the year 2019-2023.
He said the development of the blueprint was thought on an extensive multi-stakeholder base and that input were sought from students, parents, teaching and non-teaching, vice-chancellors and other stakeholders in the education sector.
According Rasheed, data were gathered to determine Nigeria’s rank and challenges faced in the system at currently, as well as to seek practicable and sustainable solutions to the challenges and the cost implication for the solution.
He said the document clearly delineates the role of each level of governance structure of a university to improve university governance in the country.
He therefore solicited the cooperation of the government, the academia, the industries and all well-meaning Nigerians to achieve the strategic objectives of the blueprint so that the document will not go the way of past strategic documents that were not implemented.
He said since universities are quality assurance institutions by design, they must be seen to reflect quality in all their operations, be it academic or non-academic in order to ensure that graduates of Nigerian universities will be both nationally relevant and globally competitive.