The National Universities Commission in Abuja on Tuesday said preparations were in top gear to reopen the nation’s universities after the forced closure due to COVID – 19 pandemic.
The commission said it was collating data on assessment of the level of preparedness by the various universities through their vice chancellors to determine if the universities were safe for resumption to both academic and non-academic activities.
The Deputy Executive Secretary of the NUC (Academics), Dr Suleiman Ramon Yusuf, stated these during a briefing to showcase the contributions of Nigerian universities to national response to COVID-19.
According to him, a total of 32 universities in the country were carrying out researches on solution to the dreaded coronavirus in the country.
Yusuf said that so far, a reasonable number of VCs had submitted their reports on the level of their readiness, saying once the process was concluded, it would make a statement either to direct universities to resume or otherwise.
He however regretted the expected resumption may be marred by strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities in public varsities.
Yusf said, “However efforts are on to look for a permanent solution to the incessant industrial action in universities.”
He noted that the pandemic had challenged knowledge system, which had proved inadequate and insufficiently robust enough to respond to the challenges.
He said, “Only few institutions have been able to utilize open and distance learning system to keep students engaged while the pandemic lasted and only few laboratories continued with research and development activities.
“Nonetheless, the few who engaged in research and innovation work have demonstrated the need for a well-funded and robustly organized national research and innovation system to catalyse the national response.”