Following government approval of the reopening of schools, the National Universities Commission (NUC) has directed vice-chancellors of universities to resume academic activities on January 18.
This is in accordance with the directive of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19.
The directive was contained in a statement signed by NUC’s Deputy Executive Secretary (Administration), Chris Maiyaki, on behalf of the Executive Secretary, Professor Abubakar Rasheed.
Maiyaki urged universities to safeguard lives by strictly adhering to the extant safety protocols and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) guidelines, which have been communicated severally to the Nigerian University System through NUC’s circulars.
“I am to add that universities on resumption of academic activities, must under no circumstance violate the full cycle of the semester system, consistent with the Benchmark Minimum Academic Standards (BMAS) approved by the NUC, as well as other extant quality assurance standards and guidelines,” the statement noted.
Nigeria’s public universities have been closed since March 2020, after the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) embarked on a strike.
There was also a lockdown imposed to contain the spread of COVID-19.
ASUU suspended the strike on December 23, 2020, after the federal government met their demands, including paying the lecturers their outstanding salaries using an older payment platform, GIFMIS, different from the controversial IPPIS.
The NUC, however, advised officers on Grade Level 12 and below to remain at home for a five-week period, as earlier directed by the federal government.