Prof. Julius Okojie
Prof. Julius Okojie

The immediate past Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission, Prof. Julius Okojie has justified the cancelation of Post-Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination.

Okojie who returned to the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, FUNNAB where he left 15 years ago said the decision was in the best interest of Nigerian students.

The varsity Don expressed this support yesterday during a welcome reception held in his honour by the university.

A special Senate meeting was also held for him, to welcome him back to the institution.

Okojie, who was a former Vice Chancellor of the Institution said each university’s Senate should be free to exercise their autonomy on procedure for admission.

He said, “The post-UTME has come in different manners. It can be interview, it can be screening, but in all, Senate reserves the authority, the autonomy of the Senate is always there. They can decide when to admit, how to admit and who to admit.

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“What government is saying is that there shouldn’t be too much divergent to the extent that we are stressing the students, ordinarily we should leave the universities to handle their issues.”

Okojie recalled that one of the major challenges he faced at NUC was the appointment of VC for Obafemi Awolowo University.

He said the OAU crisis put his wisdom to task adding that the Senate of the institution had to wade in before the issue was resolved.

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He said, “One of the major challenges I faced at the NUC was the appointment of the Vice-Chancellor of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife. When it came though, I had to use my God-given wisdom and the knowledge of the system to resolve the issue.

“The autonomy of the NUC was on trial and we needed the Senate (of the institution) to regulate the steps of appointment.

“Yes, they make laws but they also regulate the law and they can always change what the laws they had made, so we got the Senate to act on this occasion to choose an acting Vice Chancellor.

“But there were issues on that, some people were asking what was the essence of the NUC’s autonomy? Why are we asking the President to direct the Senate? But there was an aspect of the law that gives the Senate the autonomy to decide on that and that is what we did.”

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Earlier while inspecting some of the farm produce of the Directorate of the university farm, Okojie said the time had come for the Federal government to urgently diversify the economy of the country to agriculture.

He noted that the country has been sitting on a goldmine and was yet to exploit agriculture to its maximum advantage to generate huge revenue for the country.