A former National President, Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Dr Dipo Fashina, says adequate funding remains the solution to falling education standard in Nigerian universities.
Fashina stated this in a lecture entitled `Tertiary Education in Nigeria: Funding and Academic Standard’ he delivered at the 8th Convocation lecture series of Chukwuemeka Odimegwu Ojukwu University, Igbariam, Anambra State on Thursday.
He noted that the present crisis in the system started with the introduction of an “individualistic socio-philosophical idealism” which harped on the privatization of the education sector.
According to him, the World Bank’s Structural Adjustment Programme treated the education sector in Nigeria as a market.
“The promotion of private universities had led to the abandonment of hostel projects, road network, accommodation, electricity and water projects in public universities.
“The Nigerian University system is sick; many of these universities are worse than others.”
The former ASUU president noted that the problem of funding had been politicised, adding that the lack of allocation for capital development had adversely affected many public universities.
He cited Ebonyi State University, Chukwuemeka Odimegwu Ojukwu University, Igbariam and Enugu State University of Technology as examples.
“For instance, no capital allocation was released to Chukwuemeka Odimegwu Ojukwu University, Igbariam, from 2012 to 2016 and Enugu State University of Technology from 2012 to 2015.
“You do not develop a university by only paying workers but by releasing allocations for projects.
“The funding of state universities is useless and those in position to advice the politicians have failed to call them to order.”
While noting that researches in universities had dropped with emphasis on text book knowledge, Fashina said it was the task of students and lecturers to prevail on political leaders to fund research projects.
In a remark, the Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Fidelis Okafor, commended Fashina for delivering the lecture.
Okafor expressed the hope that the lecture would give advantage to university administration in the country.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the convocation proper will hold on Friday at the Igbariam campus, where Chief Jim Nwobodo, Prof. Kingsley Muoghalu and Mr Chike Onyejekwe will receive honorary degrees.