As part of efforts to accelerate the adoption of the Transnational Education (TNE) policy in the
Higher Nigerian Education System, a high-powered UK-Nigeria Steering Committee on
Transnational Education (TNE) was inaugurated by the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof.
The inauguration, which took place on Tuesday, 6th December, 2022 was one of the major
highpoint of the NUC @ 60 Anniversary celebrations.
The Steering group was constituted to follow up on action points from meetings held in May
2022, with a variety of critical stakeholders from a cross section of organisations.
The steering Committee was charged with the responsibilities of reviewing agreed actions from
the May visit and provided an opportunity to agree on future actions and activities that will
contribute to the group’s overall objective.
While inaugurating the Committee, Prof. Gambari noted that the original concept of a university
was to be a citadel of learning without borders which the TNE represented vividly.
He said that the proposed outcomes in adopting TNE included for improved knowledge and
understanding about operational requirement needed for the development of TNE partnerships in
the country as well as improved understanding of opportunities for partnership in the entire
Nigerian education sector.
At the inauguration, he reminded them that the proposed output was to enable them agree on
action points and activities to be delivered within the first quarter of next calendar year leading
up to the launch of the TNE guidelines.
The Chief of Staff expressed optimism that available information would be detailed into an
action plan which would help guide future engagement and discussions.
He also charged them to agree on deadline for the launch of the guidelines and identify and agree
other areas and opportunities for potential collaboration and partnership.
Prof. Gambari also told them to agree on the modalities for the operation of the Steering
Committee and encouraged them to look at other areas of mutual benefit that would strengthen
the collaboration for maximum and enviable outcome.
Earlier, in his welcome remarks, the Executive Secretary thanked the Chief of Staff to the
President, who had to recuse himself from a high-level series of meeting with Mr. President to
come personally to inaugurate the Committee because he was a product of the system who
understood what knowledge meant.
He recalled that Prof Gambari was a proud example of Transnational Education (TNE) as he
took his first degree from London School of Economics and his Masters and PhD from the
Colombian University and taught briefly in a New York University before coming back to
Nigeria where he was engaged by Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria and became a
Professor at a young age.
He said one of his greatest achievements in the political arena was heading a think-tank team as
a Director that formulated the Foreign Policy of Nigeria and served briefly as Nigeria’s Director
at the Nigerian Institute for International Affairs (NIIA) and later appointed Minister of Foreign
Affairs way back in 1984.
He said Prof. Gambari resumed his teachings at ABU after a brief stint as Minister and was later
appointed Nigeria’s Ambassador to the United Nations as Professor of International Affairs.
He recounted also that when he returned from his foreign mission he got another appointment as
the Chairman of the Governing Council of Bayero University, Kano (BUK), which he
voluntarily gave up a year later after being appointed as Chief of Staff to Mr. President, in order
to concentrate on the new job.
The Executive Secretary also mentioned that Prof. Haroun Adamu, who also attended the
inauguration, was another model of TNE, who had his secondary education in the United States
of America (USA), and his University Degrees from Yale University, USA, before returning to
Nigeria to teach at ABU.
Prof. Haroun Adamu later became the Managing Director of a Newspaper, the Punch in Lagos
and also was a great Columnist of the global magazine, The Economist, among other
On the reason for the inauguration, Prof. Rasheed said the idea was for Nigerian universities to
key into the global vision of partnership and collaboration which had become synonymous with
university education. He said the idea was also to ensure that the root of TNE took off properly
in Nigeria, with the guidance of the UK based on the country’s TNE plans and model.
He, therefore, reiterated that the choice of Prof. Gambari for the inauguration of the Committee
was because he was a true reflection of the essence of TNE in the country and the derivable
benefits inherent in it.
Meanwhile, the Steering Committee as designed would be a hybrid meeting, which will give in-
country and UK participants the opportunity to join both online and in person.
In the membership of the Nigerian Team included: Chief Economic Adviser to the President,
Prof. Doyin Salami ably represented by a member of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group
(NESG), Mr. Tope Toogun; the Executive Secretary, NUC, Prof. Abubakar Adamu Rasheed;
Registrar and Chief Executive Officer of Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB),
Prof Ishaq O. Oloyede; Chairman, Committee of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities
(CVC), Prof. Samuel G. Edoumiekumo; Director, University Education, Federal Ministry of
Education (FME), Mrs. Rakiya Ilyasu and Acting Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign
Affairs, Ambassador Janet Olisa.
From the NUC, the inauguration was attended by the Deputy Executive Secretary,
Administration, Mr. Chris Maiyaki; Director, Academic Planning and Head of Secretariat, Dr.
Noel B. Saliu; Director, Open, Distance and E-Learning, Engr. Kayode Odedina. Others were the
Ag. Directors of: Public Affairs, Alh. Haruna Lawal Ajo; Skills Development and
Entrepreneurship (DSDE), Mal. Ashafa Ladan; Chief, Open Distance and e-Learning Officer,
NUC, Mr. Tukur Ladan and Assistant Chief Personnel Officer, Mrs. Nkechinyere U. Nwaegbe.
Prof. Sir Smith is the co-Chair of the Committee.
At the inauguration included: some Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian universities as well as the
Registrar of JAMB, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede.