by Tutu Akinlabi
Perhaps in a bid to assert the relevance of the National Universities Commission (NUC) after it was pegged as irrelevant by the management of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), the Executive Secretary of the NUC, Prof. Julius Okojie, has said that he is optimistic that the strike will end soon.
Professor Okojie revealed this yesterday to journalists in Abuja during a media parley.
Okojie reportedly said that the commission was doing everything within its power to ensure a speedy resolution of the issues raised by ASUU so that students could return school.
“We are part of the system and we understand the issues, we are meeting with members of the union all the time and the issues are being tackled.
“So, we are optimistic the strike will soon be called off and our children can go back to school in the shortest possible time.’’
He also reacted to the call by ASUU for NUC to be scrapped, saying “the call is not in good faith as the commission has not gone to sleep over its duties”.
Also speaking on the recurrent disagreements between the commission and some professional bodies over accreditation and running of certain courses by some universities, Okojie acknowledged that there were issues that needed to be resolved between both parties.
“There is no country in the world where regulatory bodies and professional bodies go to regulate at the same time.
“So, it is true we are having problems with professional bodies in carrying out our mandate, but the issues too will soon be resolved and we can move on.”
The executive secretary, who said that the commission had closed many faculties not fit to run courses in certain universities, admitted that; “it is not easy to be a regulator’’.
According to him, the commission was “silently regulating the system’’ having to also pay professional fees and encourage professors to do accreditation.