The number of Universities in Nigeria are not enough to take care for the growing population in the country, the Executive Director (Networks), Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) Limited, Ifeoluwa Oyedele, has said.
He was reacting to thoughts that the National Universities Commission (NUC) has been compromised in granting licenses for the establishment of private Universities in Nigeria.
Oyedele stated these in an his speech delivered after the conferment on him with Honorary Doctorate Degree in Engineering (D.Eng) by the management of Achievers University, Owo, Ondo State, obtained by journalists in Abuja on Wednesday.
“While I agree that NUC appears to be granting too many licenses for the establishment of private universities, I am not sure it can be attributed to compromise.
“Nigeria with its population needs more institutions. However, there must be corresponding number of lecturers and top rate facilities.
“The truth is that Nigerians are good at presenting documents that can persuade any organisation to issue approval. What NUC needs to do is that it must graduate its approval process so that when an applicant meets the conditions in one stage it can proceed to the next stage until final approval is given to commence the programs. Innocent students should not be used as guinea pigs for running a University”, he said.
Oyedele also made recommendations on how to end the face-off between the Federal Government and Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
He said, “The government and ASUU need to be sincere with each other to end incessant strikes. While government should be open on all the issues, ASUU must show understanding of the financial position of government. Both parties must come to the painful realization that the present model of funding University education is not sustainable and therefore there must be a new thinking outside the box.
“The issue of autonomy should be re-visited so that Universities can use their talents to generate more funds. The failure of government to implement agreements freely entered into with ASUU is unacceptable.
“Government must take steps to implement such agreement and where it cannot, it must quickly seek renegotiation and not wait until ASUU declares another strike before revealing the reasons why it is unable to implement agreed terms.”
Oyedele also said that he does not agree that ASUU is using strikes as a tool to blackmail government but only reacting to bureaucratic delays that makes government not to be responsive to its demands.