National Universities Commission

The National Universities Commission (NUC) is a government commission for promoting quality higher education in Nigeria. Situated in Abuja, it was established in 1962 as an advisory agency in the cabinet office.[1] In 1974, it became a statutory body and its first executive secretary was professor Jibril Aminu.[1] NUC is currently part of the Federal Ministry of Education and is a parastatal (government-owned corporation).[2]

The commission has a governing council, currently headed by professor Shehu Galadanchi and its executive secretary is prof. Abubakar Rasheed, who assumed office on 3 August 2016.[1] Since its establishment, the commission has transformed from a small office in the cabinet office to an important arm of government in the area of development and management of university education in Nigeria.[3]


The National Universities Commission or NUC as it is sometimes called in Nigeria began operations in 1962.[4] It came into being as one of the recommendations of the Ashby Commission which also recommended the creation of new federal universities.[5] NUC initially operated as a supervisory body in the development of university education in Nigeria. At inception, NUC was created by executive action and was initially placed under the Cabinet's Office.[4] The pioneer chairman was the Emir of Yauri, Alhaji Tukur who was succeeded by Rotimi Williams.[6][7] During the early period of operation, performing the objectives of the organization was hampered by the legal structure of its foundation, as NUC was a non-statutory body within the Cabinet's Office while university education during the First Republic was within the concurrent list.[4] After the military came to power in 1966, NUC was empowered to conduct coordination activities within the federal university system. In 1974, a new legislation restructured NUC to become fully a statutory body headed by an Executive Secretary.[4]

Under Jubril Aminu as secretary, NUC established an overseas office to coordinate recruitment of staff for newly established universities.[8] Between 1975 and 1998, NUC's involvement in the administration of universities gradually grew, it became influential in the appointment of Vice-Chancellors, members of university governing councils and managed the establishment of new faculties and course offerings. In 1985, it was saddled with additional responsibilities to set minimum academic standards and inspect and vet course offerings in universities.[9] In 1999, a new democratic government granted some autonomy to universities governing councils.[10]

Key objectivesEdit

  • Advice executive on the financial needs of universities.
  • Coordinate the development of universities in Nigeria.
  • Allocate and disburse federal grants and external aids to universities.
  • Research and advice executive on topics relating to higher education development in Nigeria.
  • Advice executive on the creation of degree-granting institutions.
  • Advice government on the creation of faculties within Nigerian universities[4]


Executive secretaries[11]
Name Tenure
Okoi Arikpo 1962 - 1969
Jubril Aminu 1975 1979
Abel Guobadia (acting) 1979 - 1981
Yahaya Aliyu 1981 - 1986
Idris Abdulkadir 1986 - 1996
Munzali Jibril 1996 - 1999
Peter Okebukola 1999 - 2006
Julius Okojie 2006 - 2016
Abubakar Rasheed 2016 -


In 2002, NUC conducted an accreditation and quality survey and ranking of state and federal universities. The organization has established an electronic network to link research activities within universities to one another.[12]

On 3 February 2021[13] the Nigerian Universities Commission approved additional 20 Private Universities which has now made 99 approved Private Universities in Nigeria, which also included Mewar International University promoted by Adhyay International making it first Indian University to expand its campus to Nigeria in the Nasarawa State


  • Granting approval for all academic programmes run in Nigerian universities;[14]
  • Granting approval for the establishment of all higher educational institutions offering degree programmes in Nigerian universities;
  • Ensure quality assurance of all academic programmes offered in Nigerian universities;[15] and
  • Channel for all external support to the Nigerian universities.[1]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d "About Us". National Universities Commission. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
  2. ^ Abubakar, Bappah (1 January 2011). "Academic Libraries in Nigeria in the 21st Century". Library Philosophy and Practice (e-journal).
  3. ^ "NUC − Nigeria Education Verification System". Retrieved 24 May 2022.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Supplement on NUC". The Nigerian Economist. 1: I–XI. March 1987. eISSN 0794-9693.
  5. ^ Obasi, Isaac Nnamdi (2008). Private Higher Education and Public Policy in Africa: A Contrasting Case of Nigeria and Botswana. Cuvillier Verlag. ISBN 978-3-86727-821-8.
  6. ^ "Saturday 3rd December 2016". Issuu. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
  7. ^ David, Folami (23 November 2019). "Future Of Nigeria's Education Lies On Private Universities – Prof Julius Okojie". InfoStride News. Retrieved 5 July 2021.
  8. ^ Kolinsky, Martin (1 March 1987). "Universities and the British aid programme: the case of Nigeria during the 1970s". Higher Education. 16 (2): 199–219. doi:10.1007/BF00139043. ISSN 1573-174X.
  9. ^ Ibijola; Yinka, Elizabeth (2014). "Accreditation Role of the National Universities Commission and the Quality of the Educational Inputs into Nigerian University System". Universal Journal of Educational Research. 2 (9): 648–654. ISSN 2332-3205.
  10. ^ Capano, Giliberto (December 2011). "GOVERNMENT CONTINUES TO DO ITS JOB. A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF GOVERNANCE SHIFTS IN THE HIGHER EDUCATION SECTOR". Public Administration. 89 (4): 1622–1642. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9299.2011.01936.x.
  11. ^ O., Egwaikhide, Festus (2009). Federal presence in Nigeria : the 'sung' and 'unsung' basis for ethnic grievance. Isumonah, Victor A., Ayodele, Olumide S. Dakar, Senegal: Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa. p. 59. ISBN 9782869783966. OCLC 646835837.
  12. ^ Strassner, Erich; Hartnett, Teresa A.; Saint, William (1 September 2003). "Higher Education in Nigeria: A Status Report". Higher Education Policy. 16 (3): 259–281. CiteSeerX doi:10.1057/palgrave.hep.8300021. ISSN 1740-3863.
  13. ^ "FEC approves 20 new private universities (FULL LIST)". Premium Times. 3 February 2021. Retrieved 7 February 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  14. ^ "Creation of new tertiary institutions despite confessed inability to fund revival of educational system: APPROVAL BY NUC A DESIDERATUM (3)". Vanguard News. 18 July 2021. Retrieved 24 May 2022.
  15. ^ "Google Scholar". Retrieved 24 May 2022.

External linksEdit