The department of Higher education was created in November 2000, from an existing Department of Formal Education and its initial mandate was to take charge of University Education. In March 2003, all aspects of higher education were moved into the new Department. The name was changed to “Tertiary Education” in December 2006 as a result of the initiatives of the Reform. The current Director of the Department is Mrs. Hindatu Umar Abdullahi.
2.VISION & MISSION:
To advance Nigeria’s economic growth and global competitiveness through the provision of accessible, relevant, high quality education in our Tertiary Education Institutions.
To constantly attract, develop and graduate competent, knowledgeable and talented individuals from our Tertiary Education Institutions.
3. DIVISIONS & BRANCHES:
The Department of Tertiary Education has 5 Divisions and 10 Branches as listed below:
The total staff strength of the Department is 86 comprising of 59 Education Officers and 27 support staff.
It has the following functions, among others:
a)Policy designing, coordination, implementation and monitoring.
b)Establishment of new Federal Tertiary Education Institutions or take-over existing State Tertiary Institutions in collaboration with relevant Agencies.
c)Supervision of the Parastatals in the Tertiary Education sector.
d)Coordinating the performance of the Visitor’s role in Federal Tertiary Institutions.
e)Organizing and coordinating Visitation Panels to Federal Tertiary Institutions every four years in accordance with the law.
f)Organizing the drafting of the White Papers from the recommendations on Reports of Visitation Panels.
g)Placement and supervision of Ministry’s representatives on the Governing Councils of Federal Tertiary Institutions and Board of FME Parastatals.
h)Coordinating Staff and Students Union matters in the sector.
i)Licensing of private tertiary institutions including the Innovation Enterprise Institutions (IEIs) in collaboration with the Regulatory Agencies.
j)Provision of advisory and appellate services to States and Private Institutions.
k)Coordinating Matters of International Relations in Tertiary Education sector.
l)Promoting ICT penetration and utilization in Tertiary Education – data collection, bandwidths etc.
5. PARASTATALS UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF THE DEPARTMENT:
The Department supervises the following Parastatals:
a)National Universities Commission (NUC)
b)National Board for Technical Education (NBTE)
c)National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE)
d)Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB)
e)Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN)
f)Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund)
g)National Teachers Institute, Kaduna (NTI)
•National Mathematical Centre (NMC)
•Nigerian French Language Village, Badagry (NFLV)
•Nigeria Arabic Language Village, Nigeria (NALV)
•National Institute of Nigerian Language (NINLAN)
6.TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS IN NIGERIA AS AT 5/10/2015
a)Development of the National Teacher Education Policy (NTEP).
b)Creating more access to Tertiary Education.
c)Take off of 12 new Federal Universities.
d)Passage of the Tertiary Education Trust fund Bill.
e) Stabilization of the Academic calendar in the University system and other Tertiary Institutions.
f) Increased Private Sector Participation in the Tertiary Institutions.
g) Conclusion of Visitations to all the Federal Universities.
h) Release of the White Paper on Visitations of the Federal Universities and Monitoring the implementation of the White Paper by all Federal Universities.
i) Licensing of six more Private Institutions (Universities and Polytechnics).
j) Passage of the Law on new Retirement Age for all staff of Federal Universities, Colleges and Polytechnics;
k) Passage of the Law on new Tenure period for all Principal Officers in the Federal Universities.
l) Co-ordination of the appointment of Heads of Tertiary Institutions and other Principal Officers.
m) Closure of unauthorized examination bodies and outreach campuses of local and foreign Tertiary Institutions in Nigeria.
n) Impact Assessment Tour to Tertiary Institutions in each Geo-Political Zones was conducted by the HME to assess the level of completion of TETFund Projects and other ongoing projects.
o) Establishment of additional 9 Private Universities to improve access in Education sector.
p) Increase in capacity building for post graduate courses (i.e Master or PhD) under Needs Assessment.
q) Increase Infrastructural Development under the Needs Assessment.
r) The Report of the Inter-ministerial Committee set up to look into grey areas in the total estimate of 40 billion naira for the settlement of areas of CONTISS 15 to staff of Federal Polytechnic and Colleges of Education is being awaited.
s) Establishment of four new Federal Polytechnics.
t) Licensing of two Private Polytechnics.
9. NEEDS ASSESSMENT:
•NIGERIAN PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES
The Federal Government constituted a committee on Needs Assessment of Nigerian Public Universities (CNANU) to appraise specific and general needs of Nigerian Public Universities nationwide. The Report of the Committee was presented to the Government in 2012.
In 2013, the Federal Government in realizing the recommendations of the CNANU report set up the Implementation Monitoring Committee (IMC) chaired by the Honourable Minister of Education with membership from Office of the Secretary to the Government Federation (OSGF), Federal Ministry of Education (FME), National Universities Commission (NUC), Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), Committee of Pro-Chancellors (CPC), Committee of Vice-Chancellor (CVC) and Universities’ Based Unions (Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU),Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities (NASU) and National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT). Government has approved the total sum of N1.3 Trillion within six years. The formula for the disbursement of the revitalization fund of the Nigerian Universities agreed with ASUU is as follows:
So far out of the N200 Billion for 2013, the sum of N98,895,060,481.49 has been released to the Universities as the first Tranche.
The IMC has met severally and all the benefiting Universities have received 50% of the total amount allocated to them for 2013.
The benefiting Universities projects and programmes on Needs Assessment are various levels of implementation as approved by IMC. All the Universities have submitted progress report on the on-going projects. Monitoring of the level of implementation of the Needs Assessment Intervention in the benefiting Universities commenced from 5th-30th October, 2015.
•PUBLIC POLYTECHNICS AND COLLEGES OF EDUCATION
The Reports of the Needs Assessment of Public Polytechnics and Colleges of Education have been submitted to SGF for the consideration of Mr. President since May, 2015.
10. WHITE PAPER ON 2012 VISITATION REPORT TO FEDERAL POLYTECHNICS AND COLLEGES OF EDUCATION AND SPECIAL VISITATION TO UNIVERSITY OF ABUJA:
The White Paper on the Report of the Visitation Panels to 20 Polytechnics and 21 Colleges of Education forwarded to Mr. President through the SGF in April 2013 is being awaited. While the White Paper on the Special Visitation to University of Abuja has been reviewed and forwarded to Mr. President.
The last visitation exercise to Federal Universities was carried out in in 2011, in accordance with the policy of conducting visitation to Universities every 5 years. The next exercise is due in 2016.
11. GOVERNING COUNCILS OF PARASTATALS AND FEDERAL TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS:
The Governing Councils are by statute the body charged with the general control of the policy, finances and property of Federal Agencies and Institutions. The tenure of the University Councils is for a period of four years while that of Polytechnics and Colleges of Education is for three years.
The present University Councils were reconstituted in January2013 while some of the Agencies/Polytechnics and Colleges of Education were constituted in May, 2013.
The laws establishing the Governing Councils made provision for a representative of the Ministry on each Council. The Tertiary Education Department is saddled with the responsibility of appointing officers as representatives of the Ministry on these Councils.
However, following dissolution of Boards of Federal Government Parastatals, Agencies, Institutions and Government owned companies on 16th July, 2015, all Governing Councils remained dissolved until those of Federal Universities were exempted vide circular No. SGF/19/S.81/XIX/978 dated 31st July, 2015.
12. OUTSTANDING STAFF UNIONS’ ISSUES
Below is a status of labour issues arising from the implementation of the FG/staff Unions 2009/2010 Agreements in the three tiered Federal tertiary institutions:
Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU)
Most issues of the2009 Agreement between FG and ASUU have been resolved. The promise of N100 Billion to the Universities has been fulfilled and Stakeholders Town Hall Meetings with the Supervising Minister have held in North Central, South-South, South-East and South-west Zones between 4th and 13th March, 2014.
a.Earned Allowances: N92, 823, 209,349 was recommended and adopted for implementation. FG had since released N30 billion to the Universities and this disbursed. However, Chairman IMC has requested Government to pay the outstanding balance of N62 Billion to be released for payment to the Universities. However, as agreed detailed returns to FG on expenditure is expected before another release of N10 Billion is made.
Chairman IMC had since written to complain of the failure to fulfill Mr. President’s condition of a detailed retirement of the funds released whilst noting that many Universities sent in fraudulent returns, he then called for a forensic audit of the Earned Allowance and advised the Unions to give their members the true picture of the situation on ground.
b.Revitalization of Nigerian Public Universities: (i.e with the exclusion of Private Universities) the commitment by the Federal Government of Nigeria injecting the sum of N1.3 trillion within six years.
•The formula for the revitalization of the Nigerian Universities agreed with ASUU is as follows: N200 Billion in 2013 and N220 Billion yearly from 2014 for 5years. So far out of the N200 Billion for 2013 the sum of N98, 895,060,481:49 (as at 25th March 2015 as been released and this represents approximately 50%).
c.Consultancy Services: Government is expected to engage the services of Universities in special consultancy services such as geological /solid minerals survey, biotechnology, environmental impact assessment, shelter belt and minerals mapping amongst others to boost IGR base;
d.Nigerian University Pension Management Company (NUPEMCO): All conditions had been fulfilled and IMC only awaits PENCOM’s approval.
e.Renegotiation of the 2009: Agreement was expected to commence in the first quarter of 2014. FG yet to make a statement on the exercise.
Joint Action Committee (JAC) Of Non- Academic Staff Unions: Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SAANU), National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) and Non- Academic Staff Union of Educational & Associated Institutions (NASU)
a.Elongation of Career Structure for NAAT: The agreement is yet to be implemented as agreed in 2009 as it is still before the Head of Service.
b.Staff Primary Schools: JAC decries the continued implementation of the NSIWC Circular endorsed by the NUC, the implementation resulted in the sacking of teachers and non- payment of salaries to such teachers from 2015 in Abia State. JAC is demanding for a withdrawal of the Circular whilst insisting that the schools should not be classified as Private Schools. The Ministry however, continues to reiterate Government position that the Schools cannot be funded by FG.
c.Nigerian University Pension Management Company (NUPEMCO): Same as ‘d’ in ASUU.
Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP)
The Union had in various correspondences tendered 13 items, however it was noted that most of the items agreed upon between FG and the Union had been implemented with the following exceptions:
a.Establishment of a National Polytechnics Commission which is not feasible due to FG’s drive at pruning existing MDAs;
b.Release of Government White Paper on the Visitation to Federal Polytechnics: The Ministry awaits release from the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation;
c.Degree awarding status of Kaduna Polytechnic and Yaba College of Technology is yet to be implemented: However there are calls for conversion to Dual mode of some Polytechnics. A Committee headed by the Permanent secretary had concluded its assignment and its Report submitted to FG. The Ministry awaits a response on the matter;
d.HND/B.Sc Dichotomy: Same as ‘C’;
e.IPPIS: The Office of the Accountant General had interfaced with the Unions and it appears the Unions fears have been allayed, but since this is Government Policy, the unions would have to embrace it;
f.CONTISS 15: Arrears for Migration of lower cadres (CONTISS 11 and below): In view of the colossal amount (N20 Billion) required to offset the arrears from 2009, the National Salaries, Incomes & Wages Commission made its observation on the faulty implementation. An Inter – Ministerial Committee headed by the Honourable Minister of Education was constituted to address this. The Committee’s Technical Committee will embark on a verification exercise to ascertain those who are deserving of the migration and arrears.
Senior Staff Association in Nigerian Polytechnics (SSANIP) & Non- Academic Staff Union of Educational & Associated Institutions (NASU)
Issues are similar to that of ASUP with the most contentious being Release of Arrears for Migration of Lower Cadres (CONTISS 11 and below).
SSANIP however, resumed industrial action on Tuesday March 26th, 2015 over some recommendations and proposed Verification exercise yet to be embarked upon fearing that this would have adverse effects on its members.
•COLLEGES OF EDUCATION
Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU), Senior Staff Union Colleges of Education, Nigeria (SSUCOEN), & Non- Academic Staff Union of Educational & Associated Institutions (NASU)
It is observed that the issues in the Colleges are cross cutting and presented as follows:
a.Migration of lower cadres effective since July 2013 in the Polytechnics: Status is same as with the Polytechnics;
b.Non-funding and Non- Accreditation of Programmes: It is observed that this has had a crippling effect on the equality of the operations and products of the Colleges. It is recommended that this be treated as high priority;
c.Staff Demonstration Schools: Same as with the Universities;
d.Non- release of Government White Paper: Same as with the Polytechnics;
e.Out- sourced Services (security &labour): The locations of some of the colleges are prone to encroachment and external invasion. Heightened by underfunding in overheads and the general insecurity in the country the Staff Unions have constantly called for a review of Federal Government’s policy on these out – sourced services to safe guard lives and property;
f.IPPIS: Same as with Universities &Polytechnics;
g.Autonomous Degree Award: Same as ‘c’ in Polytechnics (ASUP).
Outstanding Cross – cutting Unions’ issues
Renegotiation of the 2009 /2010 agreements between Government and the Staff Unions in the three tier Federal Institutions. With Government’s commitment to sustaining industrial harmony, it is necessary for Government to make a statement on the way forward.