The National Universities Commission (NUC) has directed universities to commence academic activities from January 18, 2021 in strict compliance with COVID-19 safety protocols.
The commission’s Deputy Executive Secretary (Administration), Chris Maiyak, said in a statement on Friday, January 8 that administrators must safeguard lives of staff and students by putting necessary safety measures in place.
The NUC also stressed that universities must ensure compliance with the full cycle of the semester system, consistent with the approved Benchmark Minimum Academic Standards (BMAS), and other quality assurance standards and guidelines.
Officers on Grade Level 12 and below are also to remain at home until further notice, in accordance with the directive of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.
Students of public universities will be returning to classrooms for the first time in 10 months following a strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
The union’s strike started in March 2020 right before Nigeria went into lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The March strike was hinged on the failure to implement previous agreements between the union and the government in 2009, 2013, 2017, and 2019.
The union called off the strike in December after reaching an agreement with the government on major issues including revitalisation of public universities, salary shortfall, neglect and poor funding of state universities, absence of visitation panels, and withheld salaries and non-remittance of dues.
An implementation monitoring committee will work diligently to ensure government action, and status of implementation will be reviewed in February.