Afe Babalola Expresses Concern Over Poor Funding of Nigeria Universities …As COREN/ERM embarks on oversight visit to ABUAD Industrial Park, others, lauds founder

  • By Demola Atobaba, Ado-Ekiti
Legal luminary and founder of Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD), Aare Bamofin Afe Babalola has expressed displeasure over the current situation of higher institutions of learning and poor funding of Universities in Nigeria.
He charged both the Federal Government and the Nigerian University Commission to be more proactive and not just to give frequent approvals for the establishment of universities, but rather to ensure that all necessary rules and regulations are followed in order to avoid half-baked graduates.
His words: “My mission is to establish a university that will reform the education sector in this area and Nigeria in general and I thank God that made it possible for me because I did it in a way that it was planned.
“It now became imperative when I saw what happened and is still happening in both public and private universities in Nigeria. None of them, I say categorically, is even qualified to be described as a  university in this age and time because of infrastructural deficits, inadequate equipment and instructional materials. Even the beautiful Obafemi Awolowo University that everybody loved then is not the same thing now as what we could see in those days and unfortunately, the Nigeria University Commission (NUC) compounds the challenges by granting approval for the establishment of more new universities.
“You, Engineers should go and obtain the university rules and regulations in any established university in Nigeria and you will find out that, whoever wants to establish a university, either public or private, must first acquire a parcel of land with approved plan, good structures according to the rules and regulations.
“Before now, NUC do not approve Engineering courses within the eight years of establishment, they won’t approve Medicine course until ten years of establishment too. But today, what do you see? They are now giving licenses to every tom, dick and harry to commence university education without first making adequate preliminary investigations. All these are contributing to the poor quality of education in Nigeria. We all need to take the bull by the horns in order to reposition the lost glory in the education sector.
“But, my challenge to you is that you must begin to walk the talk where and when necessary, because things must not continue going on like this. You must be ready to move round to check, perhaps what’s on ground is in tandem with what the law stipulates in order to avert imminent building collapse both on campuses and outside. Today you hear about collapse of buildings and tomorrow it is same story. Who are to be blamed? He queried.
The legal icon further stated that; “Go and check, over fifty new universities were recently approved and see whether they are all in conformity with rules guiding establishment of universities. Before I started mine which is ABUAD University, I complied with the law; we acquired the land, we did the planning and not only that, we went further, constructed the fence plus that of the first sets of Hostels and the Colleges and others were done according to the rules and regulations of the NUC.
“Infact, those COREN team who were on facilities tour about five years ago commented that the equipments in our ABUAD Engineering Departments should  serve as a template to all Engineering institution in this country. They lamented that what I have here, no University has up to 75% of it and this is on record, that is how it should be”.
The ABUAD Chancellor also observed that the Federal Government has not done well in terms of its responsibilities to the education sector in Nigeria. “Government should provide 26% of the revenue for budget, that is what the World Bank says, but they are providing less than 5%. I’m worried and bittered because I know what it took to put up all these in ABUAD.
“I want to thank you very much for the august visit. Your presentation looked as if you have taken a whole one year to study what we are doing at ABUAD and it shows you are highly professional the way you delivered your message”, he concluded.
Earlier in his remarks while speaking with TopNewsng during the visit, the committee chairman, Engr Ebenezer Oludare Abegunde commended Aare Afe Babalola for leaving no stone unturned in ABUAD.
According to him, “We have moved round those places where various construction works are ongoing and I am glad to say to you that we were really impressed with all what we saw on ground.
“It is worthy of note and commendable that in all areas where construction works are ongoing, we found out that, there is at least a registered Engineer on ground while codes and specifications were complied with. You have done us proud for leading by example.
“This is indeed a template for all other universities to emulate and follow suit. COREN and the Governor Oyebanji-led administration are concerned about the need for quality assurance in infrastructural development in the State to ensure safety of life and property of the people. Stressing further that the committee, in the implementation of its mandate, is poised, more than ever, to collaborate with the relevant organs of the state government in the collective desire to ensure quality assurance in construction works to checkmate the challenges attributable to building collapse or structural failure across the state.
“We were at the ABUAD Industrial Park, we went round and we saw different ongoing projects including the Rice Mill Factory plus other fantastic physical development and we are saying bravo to you sir. We appreciate your community development efforts particularly in collaborating with government in facilitating good land and air transportation in Ekiti State as visible in the spot improvement of the road leading to the University and support to the Ekiti Airport project.
“Our team also visited Olympics Standard Swimming Pool that is still under construction. I make bold to say that industrialization of Ekiti State has gained a boost and wish investors and other interested Ekiti indigenes, home and in the diaspora, can key into this initiative”.
The team prayed and wished Aare Bamofin good health and more philanthropic service years to humanity.
The COREN Expatriate team was also at the ABUAD Industrial Park and were taken round the facilities which included the Administrative Building, Yam Poundo and Ogi Factory, FESTO Center, Cassava Processing Factory for Gaari, Fufu, Flour and Starch, Cafeteria (under construction), Carbonated Drinks Factory, Pepper Drying Factory, Rice Mill Factory, Herbal Factory for production of Herbal Liquid, Capsules and Tablets.
Others were the Plastic Waste Recycling Factory, Olympic Swimming Pool, Multi-System Hospital, Water Dam that can generate about 2.5 million litres per day and some of the ongoing hostels accommodation and staff quarters buildings in the campus.
Among the visiting team were the Chairman of the committee, former Permanent Secretary; Ekiti State Ministry of Agriculture; Engr Ebenezer Oludare Abegunde, Engr. ‘Bisi Olagunju; Committee Secretary / COREN Representative, Engr.(Prof.) Adeyinka Adeoye of Afe Babalola University.
Others include Engr. Daramola Gabriel of Nigeria Immigration Services (NIS); Engr Canon Samuel Ogundare of Bureau of Public Procurement and Engr. Emmanuel Abraham of the Nigerian Association of Technologists in Engineering (NATE).
Kindly share this post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *