By Usman Muhammad and Muhammad M. Isa
Mr. Christopher Jibreel Maiyaki has been Eleveted, by way of merit promotion, to the rank of Deputy Executive Secretary (Administration) of the National Universities Commission (NUC)

The promotion, which was contained in a letter no. NUCP/2390/S dated 29th September, 2020, and signed by the Executive Secretary of the Commission, Professor Abubakar, said, “the appointment was in recognition of his performance, loyalty, commitment to duty and high sense of responsibility”.

The letter read, “I am pleased to inform you that the NUC Board, during its 92nd Statutory Meeting on Tuesday, 29th September, 2020, has further to the recommendations adduced from the meeting of the Appointments, Promotions and Discipline Committee (AP&DC) which held on 22nd September, 2020, graciously approved your appointment as Deputy Executive Secretary (Administration) with effect from 1st October, 2020.

“While congratulating you on the appointment, I look forward to your continued, efficient and dedicated service in the collective effort at moving the Nigerian University System, forward”, the letter further read.

Maiyaki holds a B.Sc. (Hons) degree in International Relations from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria; Master of Arts (M.A.) degree in International Law and Diplomacy from the University of Jos.

He started his public service career about three decades ago, as a young Administrative Officer with the Policy & Administrative arm of the Cabinet Office located in the Governor’s Office in Jos, Plateau State. He joined the services of the National Universities Commission on inter-service transfer, where upon the good recommendation of his Interview Panel, was penciled down for deployment to either of the Nigerian Universities Offices abroad, but who was to be later appointed as Administrative Secretary for the World Bank Project Implementation Unit based in the National Universities Commission, which oversaw the execution of the $120m Credit facility for twenty participating federal Universities.

At the expiration of that project which was adjudged to be one of the best administered in the World Bank Education portfolio in Nigeria, Mr. Maiyaki was redeployed from 1996, to work in various arms of the National Universities Commission, where he fulfilled various secondary and primary leadership function positions, culminating to his promotion in October 2014, to the rank of a Substantive Director.

In his three decades sojourn in Public Service, Maiyaki attended several training programmes (within and outside the country), which appertain to International Affairs and Educational Planning, Accreditation and Quality Assurance, Partnerships and Collaboration, Procurement & project Management, Computer Application in Human Resource Management, all tailored around the specifics of Higher Education Management, Regulation and knowledge diplomacy, etc.

This engine room of NUC was part of and participate in various Ad Hoc committees and panels set up to address specific problems/challenges in the Nigerian Educational System pursuant to NUC’s over arching mandate in policy formulation & implementation, general coordination & regulation of university education in Nigeria; and has always participated actively, in NUC’s internationalization efforts and the promotion of bilateral cooperation between the Nigerian University System, Development Partners and diplomatic missions located in Nigeria and beyond. He has been NUC’s contact point and Desk Officer for UNESCO, Association of Commonwealth Universities, British Council, and Council for Higher Education Accreditation, Quality Assurance Agency, Campus France including a myriad of Higher Education Institutions and Sister Regulatory Agencies, based overseas.

The ardent lover of international & current affairs, has in recent times, coordinated the Secretariat which superintended the Linkages With Experts and Academics in the Diaspora Scheme (LEADS), under which auspices, Experts and Academics of Nigerian extraction based overseas, were engaged back home in Teaching, Research and Community Action.

He also represented the Nigerian University System on the FME Steering Task team on COVID-19 In the Education Sector and served on various TETFund Committees including the Technical Advisory Group (TAG), Standing Committee on Research & Development as well as the Committee on the Review of Overseas Training/Scholarships for Tertiary Education Staff.

This man of developed solid organisational, managerial, negotiation and administrative skills at the National Universities Commission, was at some point, served as the Special Assistant to the erstwhile Executive Secretary, Professor Peter Okebukola, OFR, Senior Special Assistant and subsequently, Chief of Staff to the former Executive Secretary, Professor Julius A. Okojie,OON.

He was recently found worthy of consideration, by the current Executive Secretary, Professor Abubakar Adamu Rasheed, mni,MFR,FNAL, who redeployed him in 2017, as the Coordinating Director, responsible for the Directorate of the Executive Secretary’s Office where he continues to be a bulwark in the effective running of that immediate Office of the Executive Secretary as well as the NUC Board Secretariat, which is an important and highest policy making arm for the Commission.

In his exceptional leadership ingenuity, he has over the past 15 years, successfully anchored in liaison with the Public Affairs Section of the American Embassy, the International Visitor Leadership Programme for newly-appointed Vice-Chancellors who at each stage, undertook on the spot assessment of the challenges of Higher Education, in the United States of America, given that country’s large system.

He has also facilitated several study visits, meetings and conferences to improve the executive capacities of university managers in conjunction with the British Council, UNESCO, African Union, ECOWAS, Association of Commonwealth Universities, European Union Delegation to Nigeria, Quality Assurances Agency, Oxford Academy of Education & Development as well as the Turkish Higher Education Community etc.

Mr. Maiyaki currently chairs two important Management Adhoc Committees which have been commissioned to Identify and digitise Legacy Documents from the inception of the NUC as well as to review the Staff Conditions of Service.

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