The Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), Professor Abubakar Adamu Rasheed, mni, FNAL, MFR, last
Tuesday led members of the Commission’s Management on a return courtesy visit on the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), Mal. Ibrahim Mustapha Magu in his office at the Headquarter’s of the EFCC in Wuse II.
In his address, Prof. Rasheed commended the Acting Chairman for his doggedness in fighting corruption which he said had reduced the level of fraud in the country.
He said Mr. Magu had been changing the narrative of corruption issues in Nigeria by giving hope to Nigeria and Nigerians that corruption and corrupt practices could be tamed and acknowledged the acting chairman’s efforts in championing collaborations with relevant bodies like the NUC which he said was now superintending over 41 federal, 47 state and 74 private, totaling 172 universities in Nigeria.
He said that as a credible quality assurance agency, NUC could assist the EFCC in the anti-corruption campaign, adding that a meaningful partnership and dialogue between the two commissions would minimize and arrest incidences of financial misappropriation and crimes in Nigerian universities.
Professor Rasheed said the collaboration would help institutions to be better and enable them to institutionalize honesty, discipline and transparency in the administration of public funds.
In addressing the issues raised at the visit by EFCC to the NUC a couple of months ago, the NUC scribe mentioned that “NUC is reviewing some programmes and reengineering others as well as reinventing more to infuse some courses on anti-curruption and to tackle some skills gap and entrepreneurship’’.
Professor Rasheed stated that a number of key corruption courses and concerns would be embedded in Social Sciences, Education and Humanities and explained that some courses and modules would be remodeled, rebranded and new programmes invented to achieve the desired objective.
The Executive Secretary appreciated the acting chairman for his commitment to sponsor at least 20 PhDs in courses related to anti- corruption for a minimum period of ten years which would produce 200 PhDs in the area of anti-corruption.
He informed his host that already a draft curriculum on Cyber Security and Forensic Science were developed and presented copies to him for input by the EFCC.
He further informed the EFCC that a small committee of two directors the deputy executive secretary was formed to work with EFCC on the partnership to stem proliferation of illegal degree mills mushrooming around the country.
The NUC scribe also re-echoed the collaboration with EFCC to make Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) especially universities better, saying the partnership could address issue of some unscrupulous individuals parading as NUC officials going around to defraud some principals officers of universities.
Professor Rasheed stated that Nigeria must be able to move from resource based economy to knowledge based economy which would enhance production of quality education towards creating a knowledge society.
Professor Rasheed extended an invitation to the acting chairman to present a paper on menace of corruption at a retreat NUC was organising for Pro-Chancellors and Principal Officers of 41 federal universities in May in Abuja.
In his response, the acting chairman thanked the executive secretary for his kind words and said that NUC’s visit was a clear testimony that EFCC’s fight against corruption was gaining positive acclaim.
He said the fight against corruption was about Nigeria which must be a collective responsibility to ensure the security of the nation.
The anti-graft czar pledged to redeem his commitment on the scholarship to sponsor 20 PhDs saying that an MoU would soon be ready for signing by the two commissions.
According to him, the aim was to encourage more research on corruption and mobilize the general public to menace of crime and financial infractions.
He stated that universities were considered a fertile environment to fight corruption since majority of Nigerian youth who constitute the bulk of future generation receive training and instruction there.
The acting chairman promised to support NUC in fighting illegal degree mills including mushrooms NYSC camps.
The EFCC boss accepted the invitation to address the Retreat of Pro-Chancellors, Vice Chancellors, Registrars, Bursars of 41 federal universities as requested by the NUC.
Mr. Magu said he was elated to receive the draft copies of the Cyber Security and Forensic Sciences curricula and said that his Commission had one of the best trained Cyber Security experts and the copies would be forwarded to that section for their comments and inputs.
The chairman also solicited for understanding and support to work with NUC to bring probity in the administration of university funds and reduce corruption to its minimum in the Nigerian University System.
Some directors made contributions and congratulated the two chief executives for this collaboration and emphasized the need to work together to prosecute several illegalities in the system.
EFCC officials in the meeting were: Director, Operations, Muhammed Umar; Dr. Habib Numman; Olusina Ogundimu, Deputy Director Portocol; Ishaq Salihu, Head of Operations, Abuja; Ahmed Pate, Head of Internal Audit; Femi Gbaratu, Head of Human Resources; Wilson Uwujaren, Head of Media & Publicity; and Isah Jibrin, Head of Information Communication Technology.
On the NUC part, Deputy Executive Secretary, Prof. Chiedu Mafiana; Directors of Corporate Communications, Alh. Ibrahim Usman Yakasai; Open and Distance Education, Dr Olamide Adesina; Inspection and Monitoring, Mrs Essien Otu Osendiah; Management Support Services, Barrister U. V Onuoha; International Cooperation and Liaison Services, Mrs Constance Goddy-Nnadi; Establishment of Private Universities, Alh. Abdullahi Hamza; Finance and Accounts, Mr. Sam Onazi; Academic Planning, DrGidado Bello Kumo; Accreditation, Dr. Noel Saliu; Acting Director, Student Support Services, Dr. Maryam Sali as well as Deputy Directors: Legal, Mr. Moses Awe; Servicom Mrs and Information, Mr. Haruna Lawal Ajo were in attendance.