The Committee of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities (CVCNU), on Thursday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Kuhne Foundation to integrate logistics and supply chain into Nigerian universities curriculum.
The Secretary-General of CVCNU, Prof. Yakubu Ochefu, who said this in Abuja at a meeting with the foundation, added that seven universities had been selected to pilot the programme.
He said the MoU was aimed at strengthening the local capacities in logistics and supply chain management along the different higher education levels.
He said this also include developing competitive education programmes to meet international standards.
Ochefu said the universities are the First Technical University, Ibadan; Maitama Sule University, Kano; Lagos State University (LASU), Gombe State University, Gombe, among others.
He added that these universities had indicated interest to partner the foundation in offering the course.
“The MOU represents formalisation of a relationship between the selected Nigerian universities and Kuhne foundation.
“The foundation is part of the Kuhne group which is the largest logistics and supply Chain Company of the world, a global leader in logistics and supply chain company development to the world.
“This partnership that we have signed today represent their efforts at coming into the Nigerian space like they said, they have been operating basically in East Africa.
“Now, this is their first time in West Africa and the number justifies that investment.
“Nigeria is the largest economy in Africa when you translate that into logistics and supply chain, you will understand why the biggest player in the world wants to play in Nigeria,” he said.
Ochefu said the foundation had already engaged with the National Universities Commission (NUC), in the last one year to develop a curriculum for logistics and supply chain management in universities.
He said the foundation would support Nigeria in the training of manpower that would be able to teach the courses at the undergraduate level.
“What we have had in the past is transportation and as we all know transportation is the component of logistics and supply chain management.
“So, when they work with NUC to develop the curriculum at the undergraduate level, it is possible to teach logistics and supply chain at the undergraduate level.
“What we are doing here is to help train the manpower at the postgraduate level to be able to teach at the undergraduate level.
“However, we really don’t have qualified manpower for logistics and supply chain management to teach in the Nigeria university system.
“So, part of the training programme has to build that first for this seven universities and we will take it up from there,” he said.
The Country Director of the foundation, Mr Stephen Akuti, said that Nigeria must not be left behind considering the value of logistics and supply chain management to any economy.
Akuti said that the foundation had researched into why Nigerian universities do not offer logistics and supply chain management as a course.
He said that there was need for the country to key into the programme as it was the only means that could trigger economic development.
Akuti said that the foundation was ready to scale up its support for Nigerian universities in the training of manpower at the undergraduate level.
“There are a lot of value in logistics and supply chain education in the world generally and for the Nigeria education system.
“Basically, it is the way the world works, logistics and supply management in education works and we have been working in Nigeria for five years now.
“One of the things we’ve been doing underground is to research why this programme is not available in Nigeria educational system particularly at the undergraduate level.
“We’ve seen those reasons and so we are working with NUC and other stakeholders and today, we are signing MoU with CVCNU to move that level forward to bring those value to Nigeria,” he said.
The Vice Chancellor, First Technical University, Prof. Adesola Ajayi, commended the foundation for the gesture.
He said that the universities would domesticate the teaching of logistics and supply chain management as well as replicate it in other sectors like agriculture.
Prof. Samuel Odewunmi, who represented the Vice Chancellor of LASU, Prof. Ibiyemi Olatunji-Bello, called for the inclusion of logistics and supply chain management into the school’s curriculum.
Prof. Ibrahim Umar, Vice Chancellor of Gombe State University, said though the programme may come with its challenges, the challenges would be profitable at the long-run.
He was represented by Dr Charles Zaure of the Gombe State University.
Umar pledged his institution`s participation in the programme.
The Sustainable Peace Team, set up by the Committee of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities (CVCNU) has called for an executive action by the Federal Government to propose to the National Assembly its decision on improved funding to address impasse.
The former Secretary General, CVCNU, Prof. Michael Faborode, made the call in an advisory paper tagged: ‘ Exploring Alternative Pathways to Amicably Resolving Impasse” made available to the news Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday in Abuja.
Faborode said that once the national assembly receives the necessary communication from government, is should enact legislation to ensure succeeding government’s compliance with the undertaking.
He also suggested that government, as well as ASUU, should consider and accept ‘ Blended Financing options as a medium-term solution to sustainable funding of public universities.
” As a way of sourcing and mobilising funds internally to take care of some of the current pressing needs, we propose to government to suspend the 25 per cent remittance of all user charges collected by the universities.
” This will go a long way in helping to pool funds internally to meet some of the outstanding obligations and further boost internal fund generation efforts in universities.
” For the 35% professoriate salary increase offer that was rejected by ASUU, we suggest that a middle ground will be for government to accept to make the offer, net of taxes.
” This will provide a sort of tax break that will improve the current comparatively low take-home pay of Nigerian academics.
This can be for a period to be mutually determined, taking cognisance of the deleterious galloping rate of brain drain, that must be halted,” he said.
According to Faborode, this will represent a significant shift by ASUU as it falls far short of what was dedicatedly and painstakingly negotiated.
He said that the team also propose an agreed percentage increase in the quantum of user charges to help bridge funding gaps which he said could be used to fund staff (earned) allowances as currently being done by some state universities.
” We are aware that the Audit Report commissioned by the federal government to review the payment of earned allowances, established that the allowances had no clear-cut basis of disbursement.
” And in many cases, the administrative heads played a secondary role in its disbursement.
” We say time and again that given the unique system that operates in universities, the time lost to a strike can, to an extent, be recovered through extra work and sacrifices (such as utilisation of breaks, periods outside official hours and leaves to make up) on the part of the staff.
He, therefore, called on the government on the needs to allow some creative funding options, while appealing to the government to reconsider its position on this matter.
Faborode said that the team recognised that the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) had become, by default, a major financier of higher education.
He, however, said that the current template for funds allocation and distribution was long overdue for review.
He advised that TETFund, NUC, , ASUU and the ministry of education to convene a policy meeting to consider a new template that would meet the current demands of beneficiary institutions and block fund leakages.
” We also agree with the suggestion that government should increase the current funding source to at least 3% of profit after tax of all companies doing business in Nigeria.
” As we noted in our previous communication, ultimately, the government must align itself politically and legally with the laws establishing its universities.
The autonomy of public universities cannot be by half measures.
“The University is a universal entity and we cannot localise ours out of the global community of institutions of higher learning and expect them to compete favourably with their global peers,” he said.
He added that having established and appointed the Governing Councils, with people of high integrity and proven records of service, they should be allowed to administer the universities as prescribed by the law and in tune with their individual contexts.
According to him, for our universities to transform to the highly desired world class status, they require favourable governance tenets that encourage strategic vision, innovation, and flexibility.
He said this would enable them to make critical transformative decisions and manage resources without being encumbered by bureaucracy.
He, therefore, called on the government to speedily facilitate the reopening of the universities now that campaigns were about to start as this would help insulate the bulk of the students from overt politicisation of their plight.
He, however, commended the Committee of Pro- Chancellors (CPC), Committee of Vice Chancellors (CVC) and ASUU for agreeing to its earlier suggestion that a meeting of Pro-Chancellors, Vice-Chancellors and ASUU should be convened.
“We are informed that the meeting will hold on Wednesday, Sept.14. We plead that the meeting should consider the fate of the Nigerian university system and for the ASUU leadership to be more pragmatic and reflective of history.
‘We earlier noted that 2023 would represent 50 years of strikes by the academic staff.
There is no gainsaying that members of the university community at their various levels have made huge personal sacrifices for the system.
“We will continue to do so and hope that external actors like government, its agencies and the national assembly, as well as stakeholders will understand and appreciate that the insistence on adequate funding to create better teaching, learning and research environments is not personal, nor trivial but fundamental to the nation’s progress,” he said.
The Committee of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities (CVCNU) has set up a sustainable peace team to resolve the lingering impasse between the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
The former Secretary General of CVCNU, Prof. Michael Faborode, and the Co-coordinator of the team, confirmed this to the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Tuesday, through ‘The Sustainable Peace Team Working Paper’.
He said that the desire of the team was not to allow the current deadlock in the ASUU strike negotiations to take hold, as the toll of the strike on all stakeholders and the nation had been colossal.
According to him, to arrive at the final list, no serving vice chancellor or pro-chancellor is included and membership was based on record of service as recorded by the CVCNU.
He said that the team comprised of Prof. Jibril Aminu, former Vice Chancellor, University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID); Emeritus Prof. Olufemi Bamiro, former Vice Chancellor, University of Ibadan (UI); Prof. Ekanem Braide, President, Academy of Science; and Dr Nkechi Nwagogu, former Pro-Chancellor, University of Calabar (UNICAL).
Other members of the team are Prof. Joe Ahaneku, former Vice Chancellor, Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UNIZIK); Prof. Fatima Mukhtar, former Vice Chancellor, Federal University, Dutse; and Prof. Akpan Ekpo, former Vice Chancellor of University of Uyo (UNIUYO).
Also in the team are Prof. Yakubu Ochefu, Secretary General, Committee of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities (CVCNU), and Prof. Michael Faborode, former Secretary General, CVCNU and former Vice Chancellor, OAU.
“We should not fold our hands and watch our ‘house’ collapse on us as elders.
So, we should speak or act now.
“We do not have any other industry other than the university system.
“Whatever can be done to bring all the actors to reason and broker peace using the Prof. Nimi Briggs committee recommendations as the fulcrum, will be worth the effort.
“A lot had been done already and such patriotic efforts should not be wasted nor despised,” he said.
Faborode said that the “Peace Team of Elders” would operate under the auspices of the .
According to him, both the Federal Government and ASUU are being reached to accept the intervention of the independent team of elders.
“The Team will liaise with the Prof. Nimi Briggs committee to understand the basis of the elements of their proposals, and check with both the federal government and ASUU to identify the areas of concern and objection.
“Afterwards the team will brainstorm on how to mitigate the thorny areas and work with all the parties to bring the imbroglio to an amicable end in the interest of all concerned and the nation.
“The meetings and consultations will be mainly online by Zoom and perhaps finally face-to-face to safe costs once we make progress.
This is however subject to review as we proceed,” he explained.
Faborode said that the team had itemised some preliminary considerations that could shape parties understanding and way forward.
He said that this was because the deadlock in the crisis seemed to be getting more disturbing with the federal government maintaining a strong stance of “no-work, no-pay” and ordering ASUU to go back to work.
He said this had also made ASUU to firmly prolong the strike to become indefinite as both sides were unwilling to proceed with further negotiation or discussions.
“How do we engage with the Nimi Briggs committee?
I am personally in touch with the chairman, and he feels the outstanding issues are not insurmountable.
“These include federal government raising its offer of salary increase from 23% to may be 50% that will ensure a Professor receives up to N800,000 monthly as opposed to the negotiated N1.2 million.
“Also, the review of the decision on salaries during strike to a mid-position, not 0% nor 100% as ASUU wants.
How can we further this admonition to both sides?
“Fundamentally, the following facts should be noted: the subsisting condition of Nigerian higher education is unacceptable and inconsistent with the economic development roles envisaged for them.
“Things have been allowed to deteriorate for too long, This, must be halted by all as we embark on an integrated revitalisation agenda in the education sector, in the interest of our economic development,” Faborode said.
He, therefore, called on the National Assembly to play its role in providing a sustainable solution of raising for the effective running of the universities.
The Committee of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities (CVCNU) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with universities in the U.K on exchange programmes that would benefit both countries.Prof. Samuel Edoumiekumo, Chairman, CVCNU, who made this known in Abuja on Tuesday at a news conference, said that the Nigerian University System (NUS) would be willing to explore the beneficial relationships.According to him, NUS has similar structure to that of British University System, hence CVCNU is seeking relationship with the Universities in U.K.The News Agency of Nigeria reports that a High Powered UK University International Team (UUKI) had previously visited the National Universities Commission (NUC) and TETFund to sign an MoU to deepen relationship on digital education.Edoumiekumo said that the coming of the organisation would further deepen relationship on exchange programmes that would boost the country’s transnational education.“NUS will greatly benefit from the partnership as the issue of cost to study abroad will be taken care of.“With this relationship, you can be in Nigeria and receive the kind of quality education you will want to get when you travel to the U.K.“As a country, we also want to have joint degree programmes with universities in the U.K. This will help boost the quality of education in the country,” he said.He gave assurance that the NUS would implement the MoU to the latter that would translate to development in every sector of the country’s economy.He added that the general assembly of the committee had planned to train 500 Bachelors of Science (B.Sc) and Masters of Science (M.Sc) students that would drive research for the country.He also emphasised on the need to collaborate on training women and having them in the decision making process of the university system.“NUS is 74 years old and has similar structure to that of British University System. CVCNU is seeking relationship with the Universities in U.K.“Since inception of the NUS, we have been able to produce 760 Vice Chancellors out of which 37 are women.“And currently, we have 16 of them out of the 218 universities in the country comprising the Federal, states and private universities approved by the NUC,” he said.Edoumiekumo said that the committee had supported the universities by providing platforms for sharing experiences saying that one of the platforms was the development of a home-grown plagiarism software called the eagle scan.He, therefore, welcomed the collaboration, saying that it would facilitate the exchange of staff and learning support.Also, the University U.K International Team Leader, Prof. Steve Smith, said the team was overwhelmed by the positive attitude of the Nigerian government in embracing the collaboration.“Nigeria is one of the five countries the U.K has asked to focus on. We want to form a long lasting sustainable partnership.“We want to look at a way we can work with universities in Nigeria and partner on transnational education without having to pay to the U.K.“So, to be successful in the system, you have to be internationally inclined in research, which is what we will do in our exchange programmes,” he said.Similarly, the Director, UUKI, Mrs Vivienne Stern, said that the MoU would serve as a deeper structure on how to explore the discussion on challenges of the NUS in the area of teaching staff and training of students that would be of benefit to the two countries.Stern added that COVID-19 pandemic had posed a great a challenge to countries around the world, adding that with the collaboration, there would be transformation in the area of teaching, which would be achieved through systematic engagement with university leaders.Also speaking, the Vice Chancellor, University of Abuja, Prof. Abdulrasheed Na’Allah, said that the university leaders were well prepared to key into the initiative which the collaboration would bring.