The University of Abuja has described remarks by the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria, COREN, saying its engineering programmes are being run on expired accreditation, as “misleading and an attempt to undermine the integrity of its engineering programmes.”
The university, in a strong-worded statement issued by its Acting Director, Information and University Relations, Dr Habib Yakoob, on Friday, rebuffed COREN’s claims as blackmail and an attempt to de-legitimise its engineering breakthroughs.
Recall that the Registrar of COREN, Engr Ademola Adisa, had at press conference in Abuja, said the university’s chemical engineering and civil engineering accreditation expired on March 26, 2020, while electronic engineering and mechanical engineering accreditation expired since April 20, 2022.
Adisa had also said “at the University of Abuja, the accreditation of courses such as chemical engineering, civil engineering, electronics engineering, and mechanical engineering expired two years ago and no effort has been made to renew its licenses.”
He also stated that engineering programmes in Modibbo Adama University, Yola, and Ambrose Alli University, Edo State were unaccredited and the institutions unfit to produce engineering graduates, adding that the University of Calabar and Technical University Ibadan were running illegal engineering programmes that were not accredited by COREN.
But the University of Abuja, on Friday said “The management finds this statement misleading, and an attempt to undermine the integrity of our engineering programmes.
“It is important to note that in 2015, having undergone rigorous review process by the National Universities Commission (NUC) and COREN, the University of Abuja received full accreditation of its Chemical Engineering and Civil Engineering programmes as well as interim accreditation of its Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering programmes.
“Since then, the University has successfully graduated numerous cohorts of students, many of whom have gone on to make significant contributions in their respective fields to national development. To attempt to illegitimise such a breakthrough via a press conference by the COREN Registrar, who, until recently, doubled as the external examiner for one of the engineering programmes in our University, smacks of blackmail.”
The university acknowledged that COREN wrote a couple of times requesting to visit it for the purpose of “Outcome Based Education (OBE) accreditation of Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering.”
It however noted that “their inconsideration for the challenges faced by the University of Abuja for several months occasioned by strike actions and the outbreak of COVID-19 is to say the least upsetting.”
The university said it has never shied away from exposing its facilities to regulatory bodies, more so when a lot of rapid infrastructural and academic developments have been taking place in the university for some time now.
“Just a couple of days ago, the University received good news from the National Universities Commission (NUC) approving three of its engineering programmes, B Eng Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering, B Eng Architecture, and BEng Agricultural Engineering.
“The programmes were approved, along with 23 others presented by the University during resource verification exercise of the NUC. This, indeed, is no mean feat.
“That the University of Abuja acknowledges the importance of accreditation as a means to ensuring that our engineering graduates meet the necessary professional qualifications and standards, does not confer on COREN the right to stampede our institution through a needless press conference.
“We believe that as a professional body, COREN should develop a better mechanism of relating with universities, instead of its current ‘headmaster approach’ to issues that demand cordiality,” the statement said.
The university thanked “students, staff, alumni, parents, and the wider community for their unwavering supports over the unfortunate comments by COREN about the status of the engineering programmes and its threat to blacklist the University.