Written by Godfrey AKON

UniAbuja shuts down illegal pre-degree programme

Authorities of the University of Abuja, UniAbuja, have shut down an illegal pre-degree programme in the campus and vowed to hand over operators of the illicit programme to anti-graft agencies.

The fake programme, which was purportedly run by a consultant and some staff accomplices under a fake Joint Universities Preliminary Examinations Board, JUPEB, arrangement, had scandalously ripped off unsuspecting parents and students.

Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof Abdul-Rasheed Na’Allah, who disclosed this while interacting with the Education Correspondents Association of Nigeria, ECAN, in Abuja, vowed that the perpetrators will not get away with any act of indiscipline.

Na’Allah said he would work with anti-graft agencies such as the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, the police and DSS to fish out perpetrators of the scam.

“I want to be very thorough; nobody will get away with acts of indiscipline. And I am going to work with any organisation, including ICPC, the police and DSS to root them out whoever they are and wherever they may be. Anybody who wants to damage the image of our nation and this university, we can never allow that to happen.

“We will make sure that nothing is swept under the carpet. Anybody who has done wrong, would be handed over to the police, DSS and we will pursue them to the end. We must protect this university from all those corrupt criminals,” he said.

He described the exploitation of young Nigerians and their parents who are determined to ensure they get university education as unfortunate, stating that it does not make sense for anyone outside the university to claim to be running a programme for the institution.

According to Na’allah, he became aware of the illegal programme which promised admission into UniAbuja only when he resumed office and received complaints from parents and students who had been scammed.

He also disclosed that the institution will soon make study of foreign languages mandatory for all students of the university, adding that the move was part of a larger plan to ensure that UniAbuja’s students are globally competitive.

“We want to empower this young people to become global citizen. We are introducing foreign languages and we are making this compulsory for our students. We will soon start it so that you cannot graduate from the university if you have not passed one foreign language. Alongside that, is the strategy for our students to study abroad and anywhere; Japan, India, among others, to see what the world looks like,” he said.

Na’Allah revealed that 49 out of the 50 programmes being run by UniAbuja have been accredited by the National Universities Commission, NUC, and other relevant bodies.

“We have 12 faculties in the University and 50 programmes. 49 of the programmes have been accredited by NUC and other bodies,” he said, adding that the only programme yet to record the accreditation feat, Library and Information Science, was started in 2016 and is expected to pass the hurdle in December 2019.

Speaking further, the Vice Chancellor revealed that the University has entered into an agreement with a Chinese company to begin a programme in Railway Engineering.

“We are going to begin a programme on Railway Technology, not the colonial locomotive railway. We are partnering with a Chinese company. We are going to work with NUC in the design of the syllabus,” he said.

Earlier, the Director of School of Advanced Basic and Remedial Studies, UniAbuja, Prof Abdul Buba, further clarified that the illegal programme did not receive approval from the university senate despite attempts by its operators to do so.

Buba said the consultant and the unit however defied the decision of the senate and went ahead to registered students under the school of basic and remedial studies, collecting huge amount of money from parents and students which was not disclosed to the university.

He said JUPEB did not also approve of the programme, stating that the JUPEB programme was ran only within affiliate institutions, stating that the university has set up a committee that was investigating the issue to ensure that the perpetrators were brought to book.

Buba however said the senate of the university in May, now approved the school of advanced basic and remedial studies, adding that the programme also received approval from JUPEB to legally run the programme from 2019/2020 academic session.

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