The out-gone Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), Professor Abubakar Adamu Rasheed, mni, MFR, FNAL, handed over the baton of leadership of the Commission to the Deputy Executive Secretary (DES), Administration,  Mr. Chris Jibreel Maiyaki, as the Acting Executive Secretary, being the most senior officer in the system.

He carried out this symbolic ceremony last Friday, in line with extant provisions of Public Service Rules (PSR), during his last chat with the Education Correspondents Association of Nigeria (ECAN).

Mr. Maiyaki’s new position as the Acting Executive Secretary followed the earlier approval of the President of the disengagement of Professor Rasheed, as the substantive Executive Secretary, through a conveyance letter from the Honourable Minister of Education dated  June 1, 2023, which became effective on Friday 30 June, 2023.

Professor Rasheed had decided on  a personal ground to step down despite having a little above three years of service in his second and final tenure as the Executive Secretary of NUC in order to resume his teaching Profession at the Bayero University, Kano (BUK). 

Before this Acting position, Mr. Maiyaki had been the Deputy Executive Secretary, Administration (NUC), since 1st October, 2020. He stepped into the new shoes effective from 1st July, 2023.

While receiving the Hand Over Brief, the Acting Executive Secretary, Mr. Maiyaki promised to continue to pilot the affairs of NUC in line with the standards already set by the out-gone Executive Secretary, Professor Rasheed.

In his capacity as the Deputy Executive Secretary over the years, he had helped the Executive Secretary to pilot the affairs of the NUC. Among the recent assignment he carried out was as the Chair of the NUC@60 Anniversary Celebrations and  NUC Legacy Documents Committee, among others.

The new Acting Executive Secretary graduated, with a B.Sc (Hons) degree in International Relations from the famous Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, Kaduna State, Master of Arts (M.A degree) in International Law and Diplomacy from the University of Jos, Plateau State and has received several trainings (within and outside Nigeria) which pertained to International Affairs and Educational Planning, Accreditation and Quality Assurance, Partnerships and Collaboration, Procurement & project Management, Computer Application in Human Resource Management, all tailored around the specifics of Higher Education Management, Regulation and Knowledge diplomacy, among others.

Mr. Maiyaki began his public service career spanning well over 30 years ago, as a young Administrative Officer, precisely in 1990 with the Policy &Administrative arm of the Cabinet office located in the Governor’s office in Jos, Plateau State.

He, however, moved to the National Universities Commission on inter-service transfer in 1993, as Personnel/ Administrative Officer I, in 1993, where on assumption of duty was appointed the Administrative Secretary for the World Bank Project Implementation Unit based in the NUC, which oversaw the execution of the USD120m Credit facility for twenty participating federal universities.

At the expiration of the project which was adjudged to be one of the best administered in the World Bank Education portfolio in Nigeria, Mr. Maiyaki was redeployed from 1996, to work in various arms of the Commission where he has fulfilled various secondary and primary leadership function positions.

He then became Deputy Director Special Duties & Protocol and Chief of Staff to the Executive Secretary between November 2009 to October 2014, culminating to his promotion in October 2014, to the rank of a Substantive Director.

His entire work in NUC also covered participation in various Adhoc committee and panels set up to address specific problems/ challenges in the Nigerian University System pursuant to NUC’s over-arching mandate in policy formulation & implementation, general coordination &regulation of university education in Nigeria.

He has also participated actively, in recent internationalization efforts and the promotion of bilateral cooperation between the NUC, Development Partners and diplomatic missions located in Nigeria and beyond. 

Following his resourcefulness, Mr. Maiyaki coordinated the Secretariat which superintended the linkages with Experts and Academics in the Diaspora Scheme (LEADS), under which auspices, Experts and Academics of Nigerian extraction based overseas, were engaged back home in Teaching, Research and Community Action. He has also till date, continued to play an important role in the Secretariat for the implementation of the NYSC Presidential Honours Scholarship Scheme as well as the Presidential Special Scholarship Scheme for Innovation and Development PRESSID).

Between 2000 and 2001, Mr. Maiyaki also served on the Secretariat of the Government Negotiating Team set up to negotiate thorny issues with the staff unions associated with the universities.

Just recently, he was part of the Adhoc Committee that developed the blueprint for open and distance learning, The Committee on A Unified Audit Manual for Universities, NUC at 51, The National Steering Committee on Open Educational Resources (OER), The Strategy Advisory Committee on the Revitalisation of University Education, The FME/NUC National Education Summit.

Other notable engagements include most of the Preparatory Activities towards UNESCO and UN General Conferences/ Assembly, International Bureau for Education, respectively and the administration of various UNESCO fellowships and regular calls for nominations by prospective scholars.

Mr. Maiyaki has developed solid organizational, managerial, negotiation and administrative skills at the NUC, where he at some point, served as the Special Assistant to the erstwhile Executive Secretary, Professor Peter Okebukola, OFR, Senior Special Assistant and subsequently Chief of Staff to the immediate past Executive Secretary, Professor Julius A Okojie, OON.

In the course of duty, he was named the Executive Secretary’s/Secretariat Best Worker of the year 2003, among several other commendation letters from NUC’s Development Partners and key stakeholders across the board.

In addition, he has over the past 15 years, successfully anchored in liaison with the Public Affairs Section of the American Embassy, the International Visitor Leadership Programme for newly-appointed Vice-Chancellors who at each stage, undertook  on the spot assessment of the challenges of Higher Education, in the United States of America, given that country’s large system.

He has also facilitated several study visits, meetings and conferences, aimed at improving the executive capacities of university managers in conjunction with the British Council, UNESCO, African Union, ECOWAS, Association of Commonwealth Universities, and European Union Delegation to Nigeria, Quality Assurances Agency, Oxford Academy of Education and Development as well as the Turkish Higher Education Community, among others.

Mr. Maiyaki as Chair of the Management Adhoc Committee on Legacy Document was  saddled with the task to Identify and digitise Legacy Documents from the inception of the NUC.

The new Acting Executive Secretary, is married with three children, widely travelled and speaks several international languages.