At the sideline of the elaborate event organised by the National Universities Commission NUC to train Universities Staff on the implementation of the Core Curriculum Minimum Academic Standards (CCMAS) was a tribute session in honour of former Executive Secretary of the Commission, Late Professor Idris Abdulkadir and Former Vice-Chancellor, University of Port-Harcourt (UNIPORT) and Chairman, FG/ ASUU 2009 Renegotiation team, Emeritus Professor Nimi Briggs.
Leading the pack in the tributes was Chairman of the (NUC STRADVCOM), Emeritus Professor Peter Okebukola, OFR, said the Late Professor Idris Abdulkadir was the first Executive Secretary to lay down the framework for quality assurance in the Nigerian University System.
He recalled with nostalgia that when he was appointed ES of the NUC, he was advised by the late Maitama Sule (Danmasanin Kano) to seek advice from the late sage and to collect his blue print to work for him to succeed during his tenure.
Professor Okebukola also described him as a man of high principle, recounting that it was the rationale behind his push for the naming of the NUC Auditorium in his honour.
The Deputy Executive Secretary, Academics, NUC, Dr. Abiodun Saliu said the late Professor Idris Abdulkadir was the one that interviewed and employed him in the NUC.
Dr. Saliu called him a man of impeccable character, who is selfless and a manager of resources and the only Chief Executive that carried out two major projects simultaneously, the Lagos Office and the NUC Auditorium.
Former Deputy Executive Secretary, NUC, Mr Bode Agbaoye, who served as the Personal Assistant to the late Executive Secretary recounted that he was the first ES to introduce the Accreditation Exercise to the Commission and demands detailed report for every assignment sent to staff.
He also remembered him for his sense of accountability and transparency and was able to acquire the Okoi-Aripko House and the NUC London Office properties from savings received from NUC subventions.
He said he was a reward and epitome of hard work devoid of tribe and religion, highlighting that it was unfortunate that he was not given a national Honor when people of questionable characters were given National Honours. He commended Professor Okebukola for naming the NUC Auditorium after him.
Another Former DES, Mallam Ibrahim Dan’Iya in his tribute eulogized the late sage as a very committed and dedicated person, noting that one of his greatest contributions was ensuring that NUC did not end as a Toothless Bulldog.
He stated that Late Abdulkadir implemented the core mandate of the NUC.
He also extolled his virtues as a perfect gentle man and someone of good work ethics as well as one of the brightest stars in Veterinary Medicine in the country.
The son of the late ES, Yusuf Abdulkadir said NUC had done tremendously well in keeping in touch with the family despite the many years after the end of his service in the Commission and raised a question as to how many Parastatal had kept such faith with their CEO three Decades after leaving office like the NUC.
He thanked every staff of the NUC for the love and affection shown to the family.
He also extended his deep condolences to the family of Late Emeritus Professor Nimi Briggs.
Tributes were also poured to the life and time of Professor Emeritus Nimi Briggs, one time Vice-Chancellor of the University of Port-Harcourt (UNIPORT), who many described as a consummate administrator, a dependable ally and one of Nigeria’s finest Professor of Medicine, who God had used to save several lines in the course of his medical practice in Nigeria. He was credited by many eminent scholars including the Minister of Education, Professors Rasheed and Okebukola, former Vice-Chancellors and other members of the academia as one of the brains behind the success of the unveiling of the CCMAS.
Until his demise, Emeritus Professor Nimi Briggs also served as the Chairman Committee of Pro-Chancellors of Federal Universities, NUC STRADVCOM and was the last Chair of the FG/ASUU 2009 Renegotiation team.