As Kogi Tertiary Institutions Attain Full Accreditation
By Nafisat Bello
Nigeria is at a crossroads at the moment as nothing seems to be working. Education is particularly at the doldrums at all levels. While poor infrastructure, poor welfare for teachers, low quality of teaching and learning at all levels, have become familiar, perennial problems, the fact that no student in any Nigerian (government-owned) university has attended class this year due to the unending industrial action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is a pointer to the fact that, that crucial sector of our national life has hit an all-time low. Indeed, it has never gone this bad before!
But we lament too much in this country because we focus too much at the centre. Despite the fact that the country is struggling generally, there are a few bright spots here and there which we can only notice if we look beyond the federal government.
One of the great things happening at sub-national levels which deserve our attention is the New Direction Administration in Kogi state and its obsession with Education. In my recently released Book titled: “Yahaya Bello: 47 Narratives on a Change Agent,” I and my colleague, Hafsat Ibrahim, wrote extensively on how the present administration is changing the face of Education in the state.
From the world class Model Science Secondary School in Adankolo, Lokoja, to the Confluence University of Science and Technology, Osara, the Prince Abubakar Audu University, Anyigba, the Kogi State Polytechnic, Lokoja, and some other institutions which the government either built from scratch or breathed new life into, it is obvious that Governor Bello fully understands the contribution of quality education to the liberation of the downtrodden.
Other milestones captured in the well-received Book are the fact that Kogi state under Governor Yahaya Bello stands alone in ensuring that all students in the state-owned higher institutions are in school, in the face of nationwide strike actions by ASUU and other unions; the 30 percent allocation to Education in the 2022 Budget; the autonomy granted to the Varsity at Anyigba among many others.
But this administration has not stopped doing great things and breaking new grounds in service delivery even as the previous investments it had made are yielding certain results now. It recently came to light that based on efforts by the Bello administration to uplift the standards of all the state higher institutions, the institutions have now achieved full accreditation for their respective courses. This means that the National University Commission (NUC) and other relevant oversight bodies have found the courses worthy of being approved.
And going by the ranking of universities in Nigeria by the NUC, the Prince Abubakar Audu University (PAAU) Anyigba, emerged one of 25 out of the 170 public and private universities in the country that have attained full accreditation of courses offered.
On our tour of Kogi state in March, we visited Anyigba, spoke with students, academic and non-academic staff members and saw the massive Infrastructural uplift the Governor has given to the Varsity. It was therefore not a surprise to me when I recently learnt that 48 programmes/courses of PAAU have been accredited by the NUC, and that is an 100 per cent performance!
Another institution of learning that had earlier received full accreditation under Governor Bello is the Kogi State College of Health Sciences and Technology, Idah. Four out of its five programmes were given accreditation in 2019 and that was the best performance in the institution’s 43 years of existence. An elated Provost of the College, Dr Nuhu Solomon Anyegwu, who received the letter for the full accreditation from the Registrar, Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria (MLSCN) disclosed the fully accredited programmes with the years as: Health Information Management Department (5 years), Community Health Department (4 years) and Medical Laboratory Department (5 years).
The Kogi State Polytechnic, Lokoja also secured full accreditation in 2021 from the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE). The Rector of the institution, Dr Salisu Ogbo Usman, disclosed this while presenting the results of the accreditation to the State Commissioner for Education, Hon Wemi Jones Ojo.
The Kogi State College of Nursing and Midwifery, Obangede, similarly received full accreditation of all programmes and was also granted biannual admission privileges by the regulators.
The newly founded Confluence University of Science and Technology (CUSTECH), Osara, is not left out as it is also getting accreditation of more and more courses on a regular basis.
Governor Bello is a visionary, though, flamboyant Chief Executive who loves gigantic and impressive structures. But unlike other public servants who stop at building physical infrastructure, the Kogi state Governor ensures he provides the content, software, personnel and other resources needed for those structures to function at world class level. It is the far-reaching reforms he has implemented in the education sector that have made the state to achieve monumental success in accreditation.
Education is indeed in safe hands under the New Direction Administration.