The National Universities Commission (NUC) has directed vice-chancellors of universities to commence academic activities on January 18, 2021, in accordance with the directive of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19.
Universities in Nigeria had been shut since March last year, following an industrial action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), as well as the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in the country.
ASUU suspended its nine months strike on December 23, 2020, after the Federal Government met their demands, which included paying the lecturers their outstanding salaries and using the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS), an older payment platform, as against the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS).
The NUC’s directive was contained in a statement signed by its Deputy Executive Secretary, Administration, Chris Maiyaki, on Friday.
The commission said universities can now resume academic activities, following the approval by the PTF on COVID-19.
However, Maiyaki directed that officers on Grade Level 12 and below should remain at home for a period of five weeks as earlier directed by the federal government.
He urged university authorities to safeguard lives by strictly adhering to the extant safety protocols and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) guidelines, which have been communicated severally to the Nigerian university system through circulars by the NUC.
“I am to add that universities on resumption of academic activities, must under no circumstance violate the full cycle of the semester system, consistent with the Benchmark Minimum Academic Standards (BMAS) approved by the NUC, as well as other extant quality assurance standards and guidelines,” the statement added.