The Federal Government has threatened to withdraw licences of universities, polytechnics, colleges of education and other tertiary institutions operating below standards prescribed by law.
This came as the Senior Staff Union in Colleges of Education, Nigeria (SSUCOEN) called on the government to ensure the immediate release of the N15 billion revitalisation fund approved for colleges arising from the need assessment exercise.
Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, handed the threat in Abuja, over the weekend, when he met with a delegation from SSUCOEN over lingering and “disturbing” issues affecting the colleges of education sector.
Responding to the President of SSUCOEN, Danladi Msheliza, who led the delegation, on the poor state of some state-owned colleges across the country, the minister vowed to withdraw licences of the tertiary institutions that were substandard and found to have deviated from the mandates for which licences were issued to them.
He said: “I have already discussed this with the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC) and I know that this would have gone to the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) and National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE).
“I want to make sure that before I leave this place, licences of some of these institutions are withdrawn.”
Adamu promised that necessary steps would be taken to ensure the release of the revitalisation fund to colleges, just as he disagreed with the SSUCOEN President on the assertion that colleges of education were being segregated.
On the banning of Staff Demonstration Schools, Adamu said the government would look into it, based on the explanation that the Colleges of Education Staff Demonstration Schools were a requirement for graduating students.
He pledged that all the issues raised would be given due consideration and expeditious response.
The SSUCOEN President had earlier accused the Federal Government of segregating against colleges of education, while noting that the government had commenced renegotiation of agreements reached with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), leaving out colleges of education.
Msheliza called on the minister to intervene in ensuring the restoration and mainstreaming of the staff of Demonstration Schools in Colleges of Education, saying the Federal Government had erroneously stopped funding the schools because they were referred to as private schools.