The University of Abuja (UniAbuja) has stated that the media reports attributed to the Registrar of the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), Engr Adisa Ademola Bello, on the status of some Engineering programmes in the school was misleading and smack of blackmail.
A statement signed by the school’s Acting Director, Information and University Relations, Dr..Habib Yakoob on Friday, stated that the report was also an attempt to undermine the integrity of the institution’s engineering programmes.
The statement explained that in 2015, having undergone a rigorous review process by the National Universities Commission (NUC) and COREN, the school 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.
“While it is true that COREN wrote 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,” their 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,” the statement said.
It noted that the school never shied away from exposing its facilities to regulatory bodies especially 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,” the statement said.
The institutions added that though it acknowledged the importance of accreditation as a means to ensuring that its engineering graduates meet the necessary professional qualifications and standards, It does not confer on COREN the right to stampede the 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,” it said.
The school therefore expressed gratitude to students, staff, alumni, parents, and the wider community for their unwavering support over the 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,” the statement said.