The National Universities Commission (NUC) Tuesday 5th and Wednesday 6th December,
2022, rolled out its drums to celebrate its 60 years of existence as the sole regulatory agency of
the Universities and other degree-awarding institutions in Nigeria, with the unveiling of a new
curriculum- Core Curriculum Minimum Academic Standards (CCMAS) for universities in
The celebration witnessed a mammoth crowd from all walks of life, top government
functionaries, members of the diploma corps, including former Executive Secretaries of the
Commission, former Chairmen of NUC Board, Vice-Chancellors, among others.
The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, GCON, who unveiled the new curriculum on
Monday in Abuja, said the introduction of the Core Curriculum Minimum Academic Standards
(CCMAS) to university education addresses local issues, meet international standards and
uplifted scholarship in the nations universities.
Represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, Prof.
Osinbajo commended the NUC in the unbundling of such disciplines as Agriculture and
emergence of three new disciplines namely Allied Health Sciences, Architecture as well as
Communication and media studies in Nigerian Universities.
“This document has truly taken cognisance of the need to provide greater academic autonomy to
universities with regards to development of some percentage of course content.
“I commend the Commission for this decision to share the minimum credit unit required for
graduation in the Nigerian university in the ratio of 70 to 30 per cent. This will further create
institutional peculiarity,” he said.
The Vice President further applauded the foresight of the four new disciplines mentioned.
He said that NUC had been an outstanding regulatory agency that had been up to its daunting
task of the orderly development of the Nigerian University System (NUS) through many
functional and efficient instruments throughout the journey spanning six decades.
Prof. Osinbajo lauded the NUC for attaining the enviable fit, coming from a very humble
beginning as an advisory unit in the cabinet secretariat to a full-fledged regulatory agency for
orderly development of all universities in Nigeria.
He stated that the Administration of President Muhammadu Buhari placed emphasis on
expansion of access to the University which it had examplified by establishing more universities
to ensure that the teeming youth aspiring to get admission into the university have the
opportunity to do so.
The Vice President observed that one of the major issues bedevilling university education in
Nigeria was the incessant strikes by various university-based unions in the public universities.
He noted that all the issues over the years had remained the same, primarily on funding,
university autonomy, infrastructure, among others, stressing that there must be honest
conversation and negotiation on how to end the menace in the nation’s university system.
He also called for a change of method and a better approach through which the University-based
unions should press for their demand from the government in the best interest of the NUS and
the country at large.
Prof. Osinbajo reiterated that government alone could not adequately fund education in Nigeria,
saying that it was therefore imperative to develop sustainable model of funding mechanism
taking into consideration the socioeconomic challenges in the country.
He suggested that such a model should take cognisance of the socio-economic diversity and
competing expectations of the Nigerian populace and workforce.
The Vice President lamented that the Nigerian University System (NUS) had cumulatively lost
over 50 months from 1999 till date as a result of strike actions by the Academic Staff Union of
Universities (ASUU), bemoaning that the country had lost such amount of time to strike in its
university system.
He further stressed that access and quality had been the key concerns in the delivery of university
education in Nigeria, saying that the federal government had been supporting and would
continue to support the NUS.
He directed the Honourable Minister of Education, Mal. Adamu Adamu to trim the powers of
NUC with those of professional bodies trying to compete with the Commission in the area of
Mr. Vice President also said that the federal government was aware of the challenges the NUC is
facing in respect of overlapping of some professional bodies, the reason, according to him, he
made the clarification and gave directive to the Minister of Education to make the professional
bodies to limit their powers when it comes to approval and accreditation of programmes.
In his address, the Honourable Minister of Education, represented by the Registrar, Joint
Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, congratulated the Executive
Secretary, Prof. Abubakar Adamu Rasheed, mni, MFR, FNAL, for attaining 60 and for
celebration of the Anniversary of its existence as a regulatory body in Nigeria.
He further commended the Executive Secretary for championing the cause of revitalisation of the
Nigerian University System (NUS).
The Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed,
mni, MFR, FNAL, while making his presentation at the occasion expressed delight and
welcomed all the esteemed guests especially Prof. Sir Steve Smith, who had to spend more than
36 hours on air to fly to Nigeria from his other engagement elsewhere in keeping faith with
Nigeria’s mandate of making university education in the Country more responsive to the needs
of the society.
According to him, the National Universities Commission commenced the journey to restructure
the Benchmark Minimum Academic Standards BMAS in 2018, introducing it in its place, the
Core Curriculum and Minimum Academic Standards (CCMAS), with the aim to re-examine
existing and introduce new disciplines and programmes in the Nigerian University System.
He said the new CCMAS, was a product of sustained stakeholder interactions over two years
while the composition of each panel took into consideration, the triple helix model, as a unique
feature. This, he said, involved a blend of academic experts, academics, government (represented
by NUC), and professional bodies and of course, the private sector represented by the Nigerian
Economic Summit Group (NESG).
In order to enrich the draft documents, copies of each discipline were forwarded to all critical
stakeholders including the relevant academic units in Nigerian Universities, the private sector,
professional bodies and the academia for their comments and input.
These inputs along with the curriculum of programmes obtained from some foreign and
renowned universities served as major working materials for the various panels constituted for
that purpose,’’ he stated.
While making inference to the curriculum, he said, ‘‘the new curriculum unbundled the Bachelor
of Agriculture, Bachelor of Science in Mass Communication and the Bachelor of Architecture
Programmes. It also established some emerging specializations in these fields as obtained
He continued; “This is in furtherance of the goal of producing fit for purpose graduates. The
Allied Health Sciences was also carved out as a new Discipline from the existing Basic Medical
Sciences discipline’’.
Prof. Rasheed further explained that the CCMAS documents are uniquely structured to provide
for 70% of core courses for each programme, while allowing universities to utilise the remaining
30% for other innovative courses in their peculiar areas of focus.
In addition to the overall Learning Outcomes for each discipline, there are also Learning
Outcomes for each programme and course. In general, programmes are typically structured such
that a student does not carry less than 30 credit units or more than 48 credit units per session, he
Giving some specifics on the new curriculum, the Executive Secretary stated that Mass
Communication was unbundled to Advertising, Broadcasting, Development Communication
Studies, Film and Multimedia, Information and Media Studies, Journalism and Media Studies.
Prof. Rasheed added that Agriculture was unbundled into programmes in its components of BSc.
Agricultural Economics, BSc. Animal Science, BSc. Crop Science as well as BSc. Soil Science,
noting that the curriculum also covered the unbundling of Architecture and Introduction of
Architecture as a new discipline with programmes like Architecture, Landscape Architecture,
Architectural Technology, Interior Architecture Design, and Naval Architecture, among others.
The Celebration of the NUC @ 60 besides witnessing the unveiling of a new Core Curriculum
Minimum Academic Standards (CCMAS) with 17 disciplines and 238 academic programmes to
replace the Benchmark Minimum Academic Standards (BMAS) currently being used in the
NUS, also featured the inauguration of the National Steering Committee on Transnational
Education (TNE).
Speaking on the journey of the CCMAS, the former Executive Secretary, NUC, Prof. Emeritus
Peter Okebukola, OFR, reiterated that the new curriculum addressed the knowledge and skills
gap in the existing curriculum, adding that the CMAS provided 70 per cent of core curriculum as
minimum for all Nigerian universities and allowed Universities to customise the curriculum by
adding 30 per cent of courses to reflect their uniqueness, missions and peculiarities.
Prof. Okebukola said that the new curriculum was to stimulate greater learning in its delivery and
strategically configured to produce future fit and best graduates. It also provided essential
foundation for lifelong learning, nature’s deep thinkers and problem solvers and graduates highly
skilled in their professions and disciplines and also encouraged interdependencies of
Goodwill messages were delivered by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Tertiary Institutions
and TETFund; Chairman, House Committee on Education and Services; Chairman, Committee
of Pro-Chancellors of Federal Universities; as well as the Chairman, Association of Vice-
Chancellors of Nigerian Universities.
Goodwill messages were also delivered by: former Chairmen of the NUC Board; former
Executive Secretaries of NUC; the Executive Secretaries of TETFund, National Board for
Technical Education (NBTE) and the National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE);
the Acting Director-General of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC); and the Registrar of
the Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board (JAMB).
In a vote of thanks, the Chairman, Local Organising Committee (LOC) and the Deputy
Executive Secretary (DES), Administration, Mr. Chris Maiyaki stated that the event was a new
dawn and a milestone in the history of the NUC and the NUS as a whole.
He commended the unalloyed efforts and sacrifices of the past Executive Secretaries of the
Commission, which, according to him, had culminated in the celebration of the golden jubilee of
the NUC.
While appreciating all and sundry for their unwavering supports to the Commission, he
applauded the government and all NUC stakeholders for keeping faith with the sole University
regulatory agency in Nigeria.
The celebrations also featured symposia, recognitions and a dinner, where the dignitaries had
opportunity to un-wine after the rigorous days of celebration.
At the Dinner, stakeholders and NUC family members posthumously and the living were