The National Universities Commission (NUC) has warned tertiary institutions engaging in illegalities during accreditation to desist or risk their accreditation by the commission.

The Acting Executive Secretary of the commission, Chris Maiyaki, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.

Maiyaki explained that the commission was saddled with the responsibility to lay down minimum academic standards as well as conduct resource assessment which must be followed strictly by the institutions.

He said that institutions that fell short of the threshold of the minimum academic standards and failed to meet the resource assessment were usually denied accreditation.

“If a university is approved and the university wants to mount a programme, they would write to the NUC to come and undertake resource assessment which is the beginning.

” We would come with our curriculum which is the minimum standards and we put together a team of subject experts and NUC staff and evaluate the capability statement and we look at the quantity and quality of resources available to the institutions.

“We look at the personnel both in teaching and non-teaching categories, the learning resources available to them, library- both in hard and  e-learning configurations.

“Do they have the teaching aids, classrooms, ICT penetration and we check the learning process from the beginning to the end and when we finish that we issue an outcome statement which is very important.

“This outcome statement forms the basis for us to communicate with JAMB, NYSC and TETFund for public institutions.

“We send to NYSC so that when the students finally are to graduate, there will be nothing like whether they are illegal or not then we give a symbol of authority and that is the major quality assurance measure to be or not to be.

“When we find you falling short of threshold,  you cannot proceed next us when the approval matures we then undertake accreditation and accreditation is the major function and core mandate of the NUC,” he said.

The acting executive added that after the programme matured, the commission in conformity with the extant regulatory provision, would again meet with subject experts to determine the teacher:students ratio.

He said that the right quality, fulfillment of the mandate of the philosophy of course content as well as the entire eco-system would also be determined before it issued a definite statement for accreditation.

” After we issue the definite statement for accreditation and you are found to be consistent with non performance, we will give you denied accreditation.

“If you are short of certain threshold we give you interim accreditation but then if we are to enable you to remedy the deficiencies and we come back after two years and you get interim again back to back then you are considered to be denied accreditation.

“But if you have full accreditation then you continue with the programme.

“We have suspended licences, we have suspended operations of some private universities and even stop some federal universities programmes to enable them go back to the drawing board to correct and right the wrongs because we cannot fold our arms and entertain illegalities,” he added.

Maiyaki said the commission would continue in its mandate and strategic responsibilities for the orderly development of university education in the country.

“We came into being in 1962 as a small administrative and advisory unit in the cabinet office of the prime minister. At that time, there were just probably five universities.

“And between the advent of the university of Ibadan in 1958 till date, we have 270 universities; 61 federal public universities funded, 63 State owned public funded, and 146 universities are private.

“Like I said, the rest is history now. Two of these evolution of what we now have as contemporary Nigerian University System (NUS), the NUC has paid a very pivotal role in the evolution, in the emergence of the system.

“How do we go about it? what is our business with the university evolution?, we are empowered by the laws of the NUC to lay down minimum academic standards.

“We are the regulatory, coordinating and quality assurance agency for university education,” he said. (NAN)

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