How we can help Nigerian Varsities resolve crises ─Experts

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

As perennial crises have continued to beset the nation’s University system for decades, the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators in Nigeria (ICSAN) has offered to assist the National Universities Commission (NUC) to address operational challenges in the ivory towers.

Mr. Bode Ayeku, President of ICSAN, said it was high time the NUC extended its hand to stakeholders in private sector in the training of its personnel on corporate governance to minimise disputes and industrial crisis that have become a norm in the universities, The Nation report has stated.

As an institute pushing the frontiers of global best practices, Mr. Ayeku said ICSAN could help NUC to design a template peculiar to university administration alone and in line with how things are done globally.

The ICSAN President, at the Institute’s Head Office in Ikeja, Lagos State capital, said once a template is set up, it would be followed by a monitoring committee whose reports would be published regularly as a means of putting the nation’s universities on their toes in terms of performance.

“We are open to any training initiatives to any sector both private and public.

“I know last year, there was this initiative to have code of best practices in the universities. It was being initiated by NUC.

“We have made known our interest to partner with them in terms of structures that we expect to deliver as regards corporate governance in the university syste

“We are also in a position to train our future leaders in what they are expected to do.

“It’s a work in progress, and I think what will be required in terms of our education system is to have a more robust check on best practices that should be imbibed by universities.

“There have been issues bordering on which section in the university has the power to do what?” He stated.

I think it’s just that that particular process should be put in place and the regulatory agencies will be in a better position to do that.

Ayeku further said, “for example, why do we have sanity in banks? It’s because the regulatory agency has put in a code to guide every activity in banks.

“The NUC should continue with that initiative, but should be made broader in terms of involvement with relevant stakeholders to actually come up with the code of best practices in our university, which will be uniformly applied across private and public universities.

“We expect NUC to be carrying out monthly evaluation and have a monitoring committee that should not be made up of only NUC members, but attract other relevant stakeholders ─people from the private sector and other countries.

“I believe one of the ways by which we can solve our problems (in universities) is to compare what is happening in other climes to that of Nigeria.

“Most importantly, the findings of this committee should be made public. The advantage of this is that all institutions will be afraid of scandal, and therefore, learn to do things right.

“Let’s assume after the evaluation report, NUC publishes the scandal in certain universities, parents would be well-educated as regards to which university they should send their children.

“That alone is sufficient reward for the poor standard of such a university because lots of parents would gradually shift their attention away from that university.

“Patronage would improve or decrease because Nigerians would have a better perception of universities that are faring well in terms of global best practice.”

He said the institute under his watch is currently strategising to reach out to various NYSC camps nationwide so as to increase its membership base.

Besides, he said that ICSAN would also extend its various linkage programmes to other universities in and outside Nigeria so more students could participate in its qualifying examinations.

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