The management of the University of Abuja has accused the Registrar of the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), Engineer Adisa Ademola Bello, of blackmail over its engineering programmes.
Reacting to what it called “recent media reports” attributed to the registrar, the Acting Director of Information and University Relations, Dr. Habib Yakoob, in a statement today, September 22, said that the management of the University found the registrar’s statement misleading, “and an attempt to undermine the integrity of our engineering programmes.”
Dr. Habib drew the attention of the registrar to 2015 when having undergone rigorous review process by the National Universities Commission (NUC) and COREN, the University of Abuja received full accreditation of its Chemical Engineering and Civil Engineering programmes as well as interim accreditation of its Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering programmes.
“Since then, the University has successfully graduated numerous cohorts of students, many of whom have gone on to make significant contributions in their respective fields to national development.
“To attempt to illegitimise such a breakthrough via a press conference by the COREN Registrar, who, until recently, doubled as the external examiner for one of the engineering programmes in our University, smacks of blackmail.”
The university’s spokesman said that while it is true that COREN wrote letters a couple of times, requesting to visit the University for the purpose of “Outcome Based Education (OBE) accreditation of Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering,” his inconsideration for the challenges faced by the University of Abuja for several months, occasioned by strike actions and the outbreak of COVID-19 “is to say the least, upsetting.
“Let it be known that the University of Abuja has never shied away from exposing its facilities to regulatory bodies, more so when a lot of rapid infrastructural and academic developments have been taking place in the University for some time now.
“Just a couple of days ago, the University received good news from the National Universities Commission (NUC) approving three of its engineering programmes, B. Eng Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering, B. Eng Architecture, and B. Eng Agricultural Engineering.
“The programmes were approved, along with 23 others presented by the University during resource verification exercise of the NUC. “This, indeed, is no mean feat.
“That the University of Abuja acknowledges the importance of accreditation as a means to ensuring that our engineering graduates meet the necessary professional qualifications and standards, does not confer on COREN the right to stampede our institution through a needless press conference.
“We believe that as a professional body, COREN should develop a better mechanism of relating with universities, instead of its current ‘headmaster approach’ to issues that demand cordiality.
“The management expresses sincere gratitude to students, staff, alumni, parents, and the wider community for their unwavering supports over the unfortunate comments by COREN about the status of the engineering programmes and its threat to blacklist the University.
“As we continue to provide high-quality education, comprehensive support services, and opportunities for personal and professional growth in all our programmes, we appeal to everyone to remain calm and reinforce their belief in the integrity, professionalism and standards that the University of Abuja has maintained for some years now.”