Private Universities Registers Concerns as FG Okays Nationwide Reopening of Schools

The Federal government of the Federal republic of Nigeria, ably led by his Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR) has approved the reopening of Schools Nationwide.

State government and private school administrators are advised to start making plans to reopen full academic activities in their various institutions. This was announced by the spoke person of the Presidential taskforce on Covid-19, Sani Aliyu, during their daily briefing in Abuja few days ago.

This announcement has triggered reactions from private university owners, as they want the government to be specific on resumption date. Most of the university owners while speaking to BBC pidgin last Friday, asked the federal government to give them an exact date as majority of them are fully ready to resume.

Recall that over 75 private Universities, state and federal government owned tertiary institutions were shutdown sometimes in March 2020, in other to control the outbreak of covid-19.

However, most of them following the  announcement by the PTF spokesperson have expressed their readiness to go back to full academic activities, that all they require is for the government to issue an official memo directing them to reopen.

According to the spokesperson of Lead University, Dr Ayobami Owolabi, during a discussion session with BBC, said that the pressure from private universities triggered the announcement by the Federal government, we do not know the reason for the delay he added. The announcement to prepare is not enough, as we have been hearing prepare to reopen for a while now, they should follow due process and give us directives. We did not close the schools ourselves; there was a memo from the National Universities Commissions, stating that schools should shutdown activities until further notice. Since there was a memo to shutdown activities there should also be a memo to resume activities from the same source he said. They asked us to close so they have to ask us to reopen too.

Babcock University also spoke to BBC pidgin through its spokesperson Joshua Suleiman, stating that they are ready to resume, but they are waiting for the Federal government to announce a specific date. “we are waiting for further pronouncement from the government” he said. He also added that the school has put in measures and facilities to ensure it staff and student community comply fully to all the regulations from both National and International health authorities against Covid-19.

The Management of Covenant University are meeting on Friday, 4th of September 2020, to decide when to reopen academic activities, the outcome of the meeting will be made public as soon as possible. We are fully ready to resume, their spoke person added.

An administrative staff of Afe Babalola University, Afeez Olaniyi, said they are fully ready to reopen activities, they are only waiting for specific pronouncement from the Federal government through the National Universities Commission.

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