(By NAN)

The National Universities Commission (NUC) on Tuesday announced the accreditation of Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, and Agriculture. The commission also announced the approval for Engineering courses for the University of Abuja.

The Chairman of the Task Team on the accreditation of the College of Medicine and Visiting Professor to NUC, Eugene Okpere, made this known when the team for the accreditation of the four courses that were suspended did a tour of facilities at the university.

Mr. Okpere said that with the full accreditation for medical and agricultural courses and interim accreditation for veterinary medicine, all was now set for the take-off of the programme.

Explaining the status of engineering, the don said even though the programme had been in existence for several years, it had only just been approved by the NUC and should now start the process of gaining accreditation.

He said NUC was now convinced that the university had the capacity to run the courses.

“We are happy to say that University of Abuja is more than ready to run these courses and the facilities we see here are even superior to those in other teaching hospitals,” he said.

The Minister of Education, Professor Ruqayyatu Rufa’i, had in April 2012 announced the suspension of the four courses after the Needs Assessment (the panel set up to assess needs of universities) visited the university.

Students of the university, led by the Engineering students, had protested the non-accreditation of courses in the university leading to violence and closure of the institution for several months. When the school was eventually re-opened, the Engineering students were transferred to other nearby public universities.

The vice chancellor of the university, Prof. James Adelabu, said management had to put in place all the necessary facilities for accreditation with the full cooperation of NUC because it became a subject of national importance.

Mr. Adelabu said that aside gaining accreditation, the university was also working with professional bodies, adding that the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria had visited the university for verification, and expressed satisfaction with what was on ground.

Explaining the fate of engineering students transferred to other universities, Mr. Adelabu said some of them had yet to resume academic work due to time difference in sessions.

“Those that have not been accepted in those universities will come back to University of Abuja and we will see what courses they can fit into.

“The journey to get to where we are today has not been easy, but we thank God that all is now over,” the VC said.

Also speaking after the inspection of facilities at the University Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada, the Chief Medical Director, Peter Alabi, said there were currently more than 120 consultants ready for academic activities at the Medical College.