Mr. Okojie said NUC has made a lot of progress in expanding access with the establishment of the universities.
The National Universities Commission, NUC, said it established and licensed about 70 additional universities from 2002 to date across the country.
The NUC Executive Secretary, Julius Okojie, said this when Marcelo Cima, the Ambassador of the Republic of Argentina, visited him to explore areas of collaboration in Abuja on Tuesday.
Mr. Okojie said the commission had made a lot of progress in expanding access with the establishment of the universities. He also said that the quality had improved, through several quality mechanisms, such as programme accreditation and the recently introduced institutional accreditation, which was a more holistic exercise.
Mr. Okojie said the NUC had recently commenced Entrepreneurial Studies, in line with a presidential directive, to make Nigerian graduates `job creators rather than job seekers’. He said government was addressing the major challenges in the tertiary education subsector with the injection of additional funds into the system, through increased budgetary allocations.
The executive secretary said that one of the challenges of the National University System, NUS, was identifying areas of research that would interest manufacturers. For this purpose, he said, the NUC established the Labour Market Observatory Project (LMOP).
Mr. Okojie said government had built specialised universities to promote agriculture which was once the mainstay of the nation’s economy.
He reiterated government’s commitment toward addressing the menace of illegal degree-awarding institutions. He said that the commission was collaborating with the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to rid the system of degree mills.
The NUC scribe observed that with the entire world moving toward the direction of large scale economic diversification, no country could be an island, as there were mutual benefits and experiences to gain.
He proposed a staff and student exchange programme for both countries to enable them to share ideas and glean best practices.
Responding, Mr. Cima said Argentina would like to partner with Nigeria in the areas of food production.
He said that Argentina was famous for food production and had expressed interest in replicating same in other parts of Africa. He said the Argentine Ministry of Trade would be visiting Nigeria in July to further promote the trade relationships of both countries and foster economic understanding.
He also said Argentina had entered into a partnership with the Sokoto State Government on Genetic Engineering.