FACT CHECK: Are education parastatals over-populated by Muslims as alleged by CAN President?


Last week, the Christian Association for Nigeria (CAN) alleged that out of all the parastatals in the ministry of education, only four are headed by Christians.

Samson Ayokunle, the CAN President, made the allegation when criticising some of the topics added to the new syllabus of Christian Religious Studies (CRS).

“To say the least, that is a misleading statement from a Minister who is not only trying to Islamise the ministry with all the appointments he has made but denying the reality of discrimination policy under his watch,” Ayokunle had said.

“A situation where 13 of their heads are Muslims while the remaining four are Christians is an ill-wind that would blow no one any good.”


Ayokunle’s statement implied that there are 17 parastatals/agencies in the ministry of education. This isn’t true.

According to the website of the ministry of education (www.education.gov.ng), there are 21 parastatals, but these include the West African Examination Council (WAEC), which is a sub-regional body and is not under the direct control of the ministry. The chairman is  Evelyn S. Kandakai, a Liberian.

So if one excludes WAEC, then there are 20 parastatals on the list.

However, the list of newly appointed heads of education parastatals, released in August 2016, featured the Nomadic Education Commission and the National Institute for Nigerian Languages, both of which were not listed as parastatals on the website of the education ministry. These two take the number of education ministry parastatals to 22.

ANSWER: No, there are at least 22 parastatals in the education ministry.



Here is a table containing the parastatals in the ministry and the religion of their heads

1 National University Commission (NUC) Abubakar A Rasheed Muslim
2 Teachers’ Registration Council of Nigeria Josiah Olusegun Ajiboye Christian
3 JAMB Ishaq Oloyede Muslim
4 National Board for Technical Education Masa’udu A. Kazaure Muslim
5 Tertiary Education Trust Fund Abdullahi B. Baffa Muslim
6 National Business and Technical Examination Board Ifeoma Isiugo-Abanihe Christian
7 National Commission for Colleges of Education Bappa Aliyu Muhammadu Muslim
8 National Examination Council Charles Uwakwe Christian
9 National Institute for Education Planning and Administration Lilian Salami – Christian
10 National Library of Nigeria Lanre Aina – Christian
11 National Mathematical Centre Stephen Ejugwu Onah – Christian
12 Universal Basic Education Hameed Bobboye Muslim
13 National Open University Adamu Uba Abdalla Muslim
14 National Teachers’ Institute Garba Dahuwa Azare Muslim
15 National Educational Research and Development Council Ismail Junaidu Muslim
16 Librarian Registration Council of Nigeria Michael Afolabi – Christian
17 Computer Professionals (Registration Council) of Nigeria Vincent Asor  Christian
18 National Commission for Mass Literacy, Adult and Non-Formal Education of Nigeria Abba Aladu Muslim
19 Nigeria Arabic Language Village Muhammad Mu’az – Muslim
20 Nigeria French Language village Rauf Adebisi – Muslim
21 National commission for nomadic education Bashir Usman – Muslim
22 National of institute of Nigerian Languages Chinyere Ohiri-Aniche – Christian

: From the the table, it is clear that the ratio of Muslims to Christians in the leadership of education parastatals is not 13: 4. Instead, it is 13:9. Therefore, CAN President Ayokunle was WRONG when he said “a situation where 13 of their heads are Muslims while the remaining four are Christians is an ill-wind that would blow no one any good”.

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