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NUC Raises Alarm Over Insecurity In Nigerian Universities

The National Universities Commission (NUC) has raised concerns over the escalating security threats facing Nigerian universities.

 Dr. Biodun Saliu, the NUC Deputy Executive Secretary, highlighted these issues while delivering the 7th Annual Registry lecture at Elizade University in Ilara-Mokin, Ondo State.

During his address on the theme “The Nigerian University System and its Many Challenges: 

The Way Forward,” Dr. Saliu emphasized that the prevailing insecurity in Nigeria poses a significant threat to the nation’s higher education system. 

He cited numerous incidents of kidnappings and abductions involving university staff and students, resulting in fatalities and missing persons. 

These security breaches have occurred in various universities across the country, particularly in the North.

“The rising insecurity in the country, which also affects our universities, is hindering teaching and research activities and undoubtedly the general well-being of the institution,” Dr. Saliu stated. 

He elaborated that these threats are disrupting the academic environment, making it difficult for institutions to fulfill their educational mandates effectively.

In addition to security issues, Dr. Saliu identified several other challenges plaguing the Nigerian university system. 

These include inadequate funding, infrastructural deficits, staffing shortages exacerbated by brain drain, poor remuneration, outdated curricula, governance and administrative inefficiencies, and weak university-industry linkages. 

He also mentioned the proliferation of illegal degree-awarding institutions, the instability of academic calendars, and undue interference by professional bodies as significant hurdles.

Dr. Saliu stressed that while these challenges are formidable, they are not insurmountable.

 He called for a multifaceted approach to address these issues, beginning with improved funding for universities. 

He advocated for increased budgetary allocations and timely releases of funds for public universities, as well as enhanced financial support for private universities by their proprietors.

“Private university owners should stop seeing their universities as profit-making ventures for at least the first 10 years of their commencement of academic activities,” Dr. Saliu advised.

 He also recommended the employment of more qualified academic staff based on institutional needs, the provision of additional infrastructural facilities, and the expansion of access to university education through ICT-enabled blended learning.

Further, Dr. Saliu called for the strengthening of the NUC’s regulatory framework through legislative measures, timely curriculum re-engineering and reviews, and the updating of quality assurance instruments.

 Strategic planning, he argued, is essential to setting priorities and ensuring the long-term viability and relevance of Nigerian universities.

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