Mgt Makes Strong Case For Harmonisation Of Accreditation Bodies

In order to save cost, energy and time invested in hosting various accreditation teams to Nigerian tertiary institutions all year round as is currently the practice, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor in charge of Administration, Professor Anthony Ibe, has made a strong case for professional bodies to harmonise their teams with that of the National Universities Commission for a joint visit to the universities. “I believe that collapsing the various professional accreditation bodies with those constituted by the NUC would end the current duplication of efforts, waste of resources and dissipation of energy in the system,” Professor Ibe told the latest delegation from the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN). 
The Deputy Vice-Chancellor made the observation last Monday when he stood in for the Vice-Chancellor to receive a high-powered delegation from the PCN that was in the University to assess the state of facilities and personnel necessary to secure full accreditation for the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences.   
“My position is that rather than raising multiple teams to evaluate different programmes offered by each university, the professional bodies can harmonise their accreditation teams with that of the NUC so that university administrations would not spend the whole academic session receiving separate teams, just to secure accreditation for a single programme,” Professor Ibe told the delegation. 
“If the various professional bodies agree to embark on a joint accreditation visit with the NUC teams, each of such teams would have the same opportunity to evaluate its area of specialisation, thus, ending the dissipation of energy, time and cost to allow all stakeholders in the system to concentrate on their core mandates,” the Deputy Vice-Chancellor said.
He welcomed the delegation to the University for another phase of assessment for full accreditation of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, commending the leader of the team, Professor Yakubu Ibrahim from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and Registrar of PCN, Mr. Elijah Mohammed for the valuable observations they made towards improving the quality of the programme in the University of Port Harcourt. Professor Ibe assured them that the authorities would do everything within their powers to meet the expectations of PCN in furtherance of a culture of academic excellence for which UniPort is well known.

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor apologized to the Council for the repeated postponement of the accreditation visit, the latest of which was scheduled for last April, attributing the delays to the protest by students that disrupted academic activities and led to the closure of the University for over two months. 
In his speech, leader of the accreditation team, Professor Ibrahim, who served as a member of the Board of the National Universities Commission between 2008 and 2011, agreed with the Deputy Vice-Chancellor on the need to harmonise the various accreditation teams to Nigerian universities. He disclosed that as a Board member of the NUC, he was aware of moves to sanitise the accreditation modalities, which he agreed would be very rewarding to all stakeholders in the system.
The team leader also disclosed that the visit was aimed at ensuring quality control in the teaching of pharmaceutical sciences in the University, stating that the Council had observed noticeable progress on its previous visits and was on ground to ascertain the extent of implementation of the observations made then.
“In our profession, we witness new developments everyday; so we need to confirm that the Faculty has implemented our earlier observations and if it is complying with current developments in the profession,” Professor Ibrahim said.
Registrar of the Council, Mr. Mohammed, restated the need to produce about 85,000 Pharmacists annually to cater for the teeming populace in line with the patient-pharmacist ratio recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO). He disclosed that the PCN was determined to enforce standards in the training of graduates that are turned out from the 17 accredited institutions running pharmacy programmes in the country.
“We are not here to witch-hunt the University, but to rub minds on how we can maintain excellence in the programme. I also wish to emphasise the need for universities to retain their outstanding graduates to promote academic excellence and mentorship,” the Council Registrar added.    
Other members of the team included Professors Jones Moody, Emmanuel Ebor, Umar Pateh, Bola Aina, Dr. Ibrahim Oreagba, Mr. Anthony Idoko and Jibrin Tafida.


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