President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday, in a full swoop, terminated the appointments of 17 chief executives of agencies, parastatals and departments in the Federal Ministry of Education.
The president immediately appointed 17 new heads to oversee the affairs of the affected agencies.
In a statement by the Ministry of Education Deputy Director on Press, Benjamin Goong, the ministry said: “The President, Commander in Chief of the armed forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of 17 new chief executives of parastatals and agencies under the Federal Ministry of Education with effect from Monday, August 1, 2016.
“The agencies and parastatals together with their approved new chief executives are: National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Abubakar Adamu Rasheed; Nigerian Institute For Educational Planning and Administration (NIEPA), Prof. Mrs. Lilian Salami; Universal Basic Education Board (UBEC), Dr. Hameed Bobboyi; National Library of Nigeria (NLN), Prof. Lanre O. Aina; National Examinations Council (NECO), Prof. Charles Uwakwe; National Commission for Mass Literacy, Adult And Non-Formal Education (NCMLA&NE), Prof. Abba Haladu; Nomadic Education Commission (NEC), Prof. Bashir H. Usman; and National Business and Technical Examination Board (NABTEB) Prof. Ifeoma Isiugo-Abanihe.”
Others include the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN), Prof. Sunday Josiah Ajiboye; Computer Registration Council of Nigeria (CPN), Afolabi N. Aderinto; National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE), Prof. Bappah Aliyu; Tertiary Education Tax Fund (TETFund), Dr. Abdullahi Bichi Baffa; National Teachers Institute (NTI), Prof. Garba Dahuwa Azare; Librarian Registration Council of Nigeria (LRCN), Prof. Michael Afolabi; National Mathematical Centre, Sheda (NMC), Prof. Steven Ejugwu Onah; Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Prof. Ishaq Olarenwaju Oloyode; and National Institute of Nigerian Languages (NINLAN), Prof. Chinyere Ohiri-Aniche.
The ministry added that “Mr. President has also approved that the following four chief executives to be retained in their respective agencies, Prof. Samaila Junaidu, Nigeria Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC); Prof. Raauf Adebisi, Nigerian French Language Village Badagry (NFLV); Dr Mas’ud A. Kazaure, National Board for Technical Education (NBTE); and Prof Muhammad Mu’az of the National Arabic Language Village, Maiduguri, Borno State (NALV).”
The statement also directed that “the 17 new chief executives are invited to the office of the Minister of Education on August 02, 2016 by 12:00 noon.”
Meanwhile, the outgoing Executive Secretary of the NUC, Prof. Julius Okojie, yesterday handed over to his deputy, Prof. Chiedu Mafiana as the acting Executive Secretary of the commission pending when the president would appoint a substantive head of the commission.
Mafiana who is also the most senior director in the commission, at a handing over ceremony in Abuja, commended Okojie for the various achievements recorded during his tenure as the Executive Secretary.
He stated that Okojie’s achievements had gone a long way in improving the quality of the Nigerian university system, where high value is now attached to tertiary educational institutions in the country.
“We will continue to regulate the university system with courage and I count on the management to give me adequate support as it was given to Prof. Okojie,” Mafiana said.
Okojie said NUC over the years has evolved to a reputable regulatory institution, setting pace in different strata of the university system, adding that ‘the law is there at the beginning and we applied the law to achieve the feat in the commission.’
Okojie, who told journalists that would return to the university system, noted that two principles of fear of God and the love for neighbour saw him through in his 10 years as the executive secretary of the commission.
He added that “courageous and strong decisions were taken to improve the system irrespective of the fact that it will not go well with some people.
“The commission quest to achieve quality and access in Nigeria tertiary education system became realistic when curriculums were reviewed, postgraduate studies were regulated and numbers of institutions were increased to address the challenges of access and affordability,” Okojie said.
Also, Prof Mafiana, the most senior staff in the commission, joined as a visiting professor in 2003 to 2005. He returned as a director and was the director of quality assurance before he became the deputy executive secretary.