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Only 25 varsities have full accreditation, says NUC

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Only 25 varsities have their courses fully accredited, the National Universities Commission (NUC) has affirmed in its 2021 universities ranking.

The commission added that less than 70 per cent of courses offered by the other ivory towers are accredited.

Eight out of the 113 universities that the NUC focused on, including the Nigeria Army University, Biu, in Borno State and Air Force Institute of Technology, have none of their courses accredited by the NUC the document showed. Nigeria has 170 public and private universities.

According to the commission, none of the 113 universities has a full complement of professors.

In its “2021 Nigeria University system rankings” dated December 11, 2021, the NUC also rated the University of Ibadan (UI) as the country’s best with 454.56 points.

The premier university is trailed by Redeemers University (RUN) with 384.96 points; Covenant University (368.11 points); Ladoke Akintoka University, Ogbomoso (315.23 points) and Federal University of Technology Akure (264.14 points).

Surprisingly, none of the best-ranked varsities was listed among the 25 institution that have their courses 100 per cent accredited.

The 25 are: Adeleke University, Osun State;  Al-Qalam University, Katsina State;  Caleb University, Lagos State;  Chrisland University, Lagos State;  Crescent University, Ogun State; Federal University, Lokoja, Federal University, Wukari, Federal University, Kashere.

Also on the list are   Hallmark University, Ogun State; Hezekiah University, Imo State;  Ibrahim Babangida University, Niger State;    Igbenedion University, Edo State;  Kano University of Science and Technology, Kano;  Kebbi State University of Science and Technology,  Kogi State University and  Maitama Sule University, Kano State.

The others are McPherson University, Ogun State; Mountain Top University, Ogun State;  Niger Delta University, Delta State; Nigeria Defence Academy;  PAMO University of Medical Science, River State;  Rivers State University; Samuel Adegboyega University, Edo State;  Summit University, Kwara State; Umaru Musa Yar’Ardua University, Katsina State.

NUC explained in the 146-page report by its Executive Secretary, Abubakar Rasheed, that the ranking was coordinated by a team of experts drawn from the academic planning units of 91 universities.

A former NUC Executive Secretary, Prof. Peter Okebukola headed the team.

According to the document, 31 universities have over 90 per cent of their courses accredited. Twenty have over 80 percent accredited; 11 have above 70 per cent and 11 with between zero and 50 per cent accredited courses.

Apart from the Nigeria Army University and Air Force Institute of Technology, the other six universities without a single accreditation are Admiralty University, Bayelsa Medical University, Dominion University, Skyline University, Spiritas University, and The Technical University.

Ambrose Ali University, Ekpoma, Taraba State University, Bukar Abba University (Yobe State university),  Ogun State University, Ago-Iwoye, Novena University, Federal University of Petroleum Studies, Maritime University among those missing from the ranking.

Others include Moddibo Adama University of Technology, Yola; Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndife-Alike;  Veritas University, Abuja, , Federal University, Dutsin-Ma, Katsina State, Federal University, Gashua, Federal University, Gusau, Federal University Kebbi

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Google set to invest $9.5bn in US

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Google has announced plans to invest $9.5bn in its US offices and data centers around the country in 2022, up from more than the $7bn it spent in 2021.

According to CNN, the big bet on office space was coming at a point Google was embracing a hybrid work model. The Alphabet-owned company has called for many of its employees to work in an office three days a week after two years of being fully remote.

The Chief Executive Officer of Alphabet and Google, Sundar Pichai, said, “It might seem counterintuitive to step up our investment in physical offices even as we embrace more flexibility in how we work.

“Yet we believe it’s more important than ever to invest in our campuses and that doing so will make for better products, a greater quality of life for our employees, and stronger communities.”
Google said it would open an office in Atlanta this year and continue to develop and expand office space in Austin and New York. It added that it planned to continue investing in data centers in Iowa, Nebraska, and Tennessee, among other states.

As part of the announcement, Google said it expected to create at least 12,000 new full-time jobs at the company this year.

Google and other tech companies were among the first businesses to shift to remote work when the pandemic hit in early 2020. But that shift always appeared to be temporary. Like others in Silicon Valley, Google had previously invested billions in expansive campuses and lavish office benefits for workers.

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European markets pull back amid doubts over latest Russian pledges over Ukraine

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European stocks retreated on Wednesday following the latest round of talks between Russia and Ukraine, aimed at finding a solution to the conflict.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 fell 0.8% in early trade, with autos shedding 1.9% to lead losses, while oil and gas stocks gained 1.7%.

In terms of individual share price movement, Finland’s Nokian Tyres fell 6.6%, while Sweden’s Lundin Energy added 4.7%.

Investor sentiment was boosted on Tuesday following negotiations between Russian and Ukrainian officials in Turkey, at which Russia’s deputy defense minister claimed Moscow had decided to “drastically” cut back its military activity near Ukraine’s capital.

Alexander Fomin, who spoke following the talks in Istanbul, said Russia would slow its military operations near Kyiv and Chernihiv in order for peace talks to progress. Russia previously claimed that it would reduce military operations in other parts of Ukraine but then continued its advance.

Growing hope for a cease-fire appeared to boost investor sentiment Tuesday, as Dow Jones Industrial Average futures rose 200 points, or 0.6%. S&P 500 futures also climbed 0.6%, while Nasdaq 100 futures climbed 0.7%. Meanwhile, the price of U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude oil, which spiked on the heels of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, fell more than 4% to $100 per barrel.

Doubts have set in over the pledge, however, and while the Russian military has begun moving some of its troops in Ukraine away from areas around Kyiv to positions elsewhere in Ukraine, Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby warned the troop movements do not amount to a retreat.

Shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed in Wednesday trade as investors watch for developments surrounding the war in Ukraine. Stateside, traders are keeping tabs on a slew of key economic reports, while also monitoring the Federal Reserve’s planned interest rate hikes.

The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey on Tuesday showed 11.3 million job openings, higher than the 11.1 million expected. The ADP will also release its private payrolls data ahead of the closely watched monthly jobs report, on Friday.

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Lagos Assembly kicks against harassment of residents by police

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Lagos State House of Assembly Speaker, Mudashiru Obasa, yesterday, cautioned police in the state against harassment, intimidation and extortion of residents.

Obasa said this on the floor of the House when lawmakers honoured outgoing Commissioner of Police, Mr. Hakeem Odumosu, who has been promoted to Assistant Inspector-General, and is due to retire in January 2022.

Obasa said Odumosu was honoured as the first Commissioner of Police in the state to stand before the lawmakers and address Lagosians on his experience policing the state.

The Speaker thanked Odumosu for his openness and responsiveness to issues affecting the peace of the state.

“It is important to call on those behind you to know that the relationship between the police and the people need to be constantly improved upon,” Obasa said, adding that men of the Nigeria Police Force need to build more trust among the people.

“Everybody must be treated with respect, dignity and honour. And that is how we can earn respect. Policing should not be about harassment and extortion but building trust among the people and making them comfortable,” Obasa said.

The Commissioner of Police, who led a team of officers to the House, thanked the lawmakers for their support. According to him, nothing could have been achieved in terms of security and peace in the state without assistance of the House.

He said he would remain grateful to Lagosians for making it possible for him and his team to effectively manage the security of the state.

Odumosu, who described Lagos as ‘mini-Nigeria’, said proactivity of the Assembly led to the creation of laws that helped the police remain successful in the state.

He said the Cultism Prohibition Law also helped to reduce illegal associations in tertiary institutions in the state and enlightened property owners and residents.

“We promise to continue to excel in providing watertight security for people of the state,” he told the lawmakers. He also promised he would encourage his successor to sustain the relationship between the police and the House, while urging the lawmakers to extend their support to his successor.

“Policing Lagos is not a tea party. Without the laws in Lagos, it would have been difficult to police the state. Don’t get tired, don’t relent in making laws that would make Lagos maintain its place as the most peaceful state in Nigeria,” he said.

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