The National Orientation Agency (NOA) has called on tertiary academic institutions in Nigeria to accord priority to local content with regard to academic contents and qualifications.
This is just as the Agency pledged to champion a local content orientation campaign to tertiary academic institutions in the country.
Director General of the Agency, Dr. Garba Abari made the call while receiving in his office a delegation from the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) Federal University of Technology, Minna (FUTM) Chapter, led by its Chairperson, Comrade Dr. Attahiru Ndanitsa.
Dr. Abari stressed that tertiary academic institutions are created to serve human needs and as such, their immediate environment must be their foremost concern in terms of research, development and academic recognitions.
He said preference must therefore be given to academic contributions that originate from and deal with local issues as against foreign ones, explaining that where a university is detached from its local environment and concerns, it ceases to serve the purpose of its existence.
The NOA Director General further observed that Executive Orders 4 and 5 of President Mohammadu Buhari deal with local content issues in order to build capacities and develop local competencies.
He urged Nigerian universities, polytechnics and colleges to align with the spirit of those orders and promised that NOA will be in the forefront of taking local content orientation campaign to tertiary academic institutions and other institutions nationwide.
Speaking earlier, the ASUU FUTM Chairperson, Dr. Ndanitsa decried the emphasis by universities on location, rather than content, of academic work in designating it as “international” as a standard basis of qualifying lecturers for career progression.
He said such consideration negates the principle of local and leaves lecturers’ career growth at the mercy of foreign countries who determine whether or not to give them invitation or grant them entry visas for foreign conferences.
Dr. Ndanitsa therefore appealed to NOA, as the body statutorily mandated to foster acceptable orientation and behaviour among Nigerians, to intervene with a view to changing the orientation of preference for foreign content in Nigerian tertiary universities.