Nigeria: Ex-Heads of Education Agencies Lobby for Reappointment

5 August 2021

As the tenures of the Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of 14 education agencies and parastatals appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari on August 1, 2016, ended on August 1, 2021, they handed over the affairs of the agencies to respective most senior officers and bowed out at the weekend.

However, there is intense lobbying going on for the reappointment of some of the former CEOs, as individuals and stakeholders have thrown their weights behind their candidates.

It was gathered that the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof Abubakar Rasheed, handed over to his Deputy, Ramon Yussuf; while the Registrar of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Prof Ishaq Oloyede, handed over to the most senior management staff of the board who is the Director of Information Technology Services, Dr Fabian O. Okoro.

Also, the Director/Chief Executive of the National Mathematical Centre (NMC), Prof Stephen Onah, handed over to Prof Funmilayo WO Saporu in acting capacity.

Other chief executives of education parastatals and agencies whose tenures have expired include the Executive Secretary, Universal Basic Education Board (UBEB), Dr Hameed Boboyi; the Registrar, National Business and Technical Examination Board (NABTEB), Prof Ifeoma Isiugo-Abanihe; and the Registrar, Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN), Prof Sunday Ajiboye.

Others are Afolabi Aderinto of the Computer Registration Council of Nigeria (CRCN); Prof Garba Dahuwa Azare of the National Teachers Institute (NTI); Prof Michael Afolabi of the Librarians Registration Council of Nigeria (LRCN); and Prof Chinyere Ohiri-Aniche of the National Institute of Nigerian Languages (NINL).

Prof Lillian Salami of the Nigerian Institute for Educational Planning and Administration (NIEPA); Prof Lanre Aina of the National Library of Nigeria (NLN); Prof Abba Haladu of the National Commission for Mass Literacy, Adult and Non-Formal Education (NMEC); and Prof Bashir Usman of the Nomadic Education Commission (NEC) make up the rest.

While some of the agencies have been active, others have been operating with little visibility.

Follwing the end of the tenures of the education agencies chief executives, a former Executive Secretary of NUC, Prof Peter Okebukola, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to consider reappointing Prof Abubakar Adamu Rasheed (NUC) and Prof Is-haq Oloyede (JAMB).

In a statement issued on Monday in Abuja, Prof Okebukola described the duo as pillars of higher education in Nigeria that should keep leading the Nigerian university system.

He said the duo's tenures had been marked by unprecedented successes, noting that, Prof Rasheed was recently ranked by a global assessment agency as the best Executive Secretary in the history of NUC, while Prof Oloyede is equally globally acclaimed as the most dynamic, innovative and most prudent registrar JAMB has ever had."

While some of the outgone executives have received accolades for their performance, others have been scored very low.

Daily Trust gathered that the absence of the president is the likely reason why new appointments have not yet been announced.

According to our source, "I am sure the list has been sent to the president and soon he may attest to it."

When contacted, the Director of Press in the Federal Ministry of Education, Ben Ben Goong, said lobbying was natural.

Mr Goong said, "When you are heading an organisation and told that your tenure can be renewed subject to your performance, won't you ask for reappointment? It is not out of place for anybody to lobby."

Goong added that the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, would make a statement on the appointments in the coming days.

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