Following the voluntary resignation of Prof. Abubakar Rasheed as Executive Secretary of the National University Commission (NUC), Mr. Chris Maiyaki has stepped in as the Acting Executive Secretary (ES) of the Commission.
Maiyaki took over the affairs of the NUC after a brief handing-over ceremony in Abuja on Friday, June 30, 2023.
Until his elevation, he was the Deputy Executive Secretary (DES), Administration of the NUC.
Speaking on the achievements of his predecessor, he described Rasheed as a progressive change-maker and a scholar par excellence who brought many reforms to the Commission.
The visibly elated Maiyaki commended the outgoing ES for taking the image of the Nigerian University system to the global stage, therefore, urged the staff of the Commission to sustain the momentum.
Professor Abubakar Rasheed, who spent seven years as the Executive Secretary of the NUC, disclosed that he resigned to continue lecturing at the Bayero University Kano (BUK).
Speaking on why the NUC witnessed increased licensing of universities under his administration, he said, it was imperative, considering the teeming youth population:
“It is not wrong if the number of universities in Nigeria reaches 500.
“We believe that access should be widened for university to give opportunity for everyone who wants to study. It is ignorance or mischief that makes someone think that the establishment of more universities is a bad idea.
“In a country of 220 million people, with only 2.2 million enrollment, in the entire University system, 1% of the country’s population is currently in Nigerian Universities and bearing in mind the demographics.
“If it were a European country like Germany or UK where you say 1%, you can say, ‘well at least over 70% of the population are adults above the age of 25 or 30, then population of below 25 will be less than 30%’. But in Nigeria, 62% of our population is below the age of 25. 70% are below the age of 30, yet only 2 million, including all the students in the Private Universities, put together are going to University”.