Running nation’s varsities beyond govt, says ex-UNIBEN council member Ahonaruogho

Running nation’s varsities beyond govt, says ex-UNIBEN council member Ahonaruogho

- in Featured

A former governing council member of the University of Benin, Dr Richard Ahonaruogho, has said that government alone cannot manage, and provide infrastructure and other needs of the nation’s universities.

Ahonaruogho, who was a former chairman, Conference of Alumni Association of Nigerian Universities, Uni-Ben chapter, said this on Friday while delivering a keynote address at the first quarter meeting of CAANU, held at the University of Ibadan, with the theme, ‘Rethinking University Education in Nigeria: The Role of Alumni Associations’.

According to him, the management, provision of infrastructure and other essential needs of the Nigerian university system is now beyond the ability of the government alone.

He said, “Just like in renowned universities of the world, individuals, bodies and organizations are responsible for the continuous and sustained growth and development of the universities”.

He advised that all stakeholders in the Nigerian university education system should play their roles towards achieving a highly functional and globally competitive university system.

“The Alumni Association should be in the driver’s seat to steer the process of revitalisation,” he noted, adding it would no doubt help in addressing the myriad challenges besetting the Nigerian university system.

Ahonaruogho observed that a “life without education is a waste” and therefore urged parents and stakeholders to invest heavily in education, in order to secure the future of the country.

“Nigeria as a country can only be great and become enviable among the comity of nations when the problems facing her education sector, most especially the universities, are deliberately and sincerely addressed and resolved, and the sanctity of the academic calendar restored,” he remarked.

While bemoaning the recent happenings within the academia, especially actions and inactions usually trailing the appointments of principal officers in tertiary institutions, the scholar stated, “In the recent past, there had been certain worrisome developments which had defined or derailed the appointments of Vice-Chancellors in our Federal universities, which is at complete variance with the principles of its founding fathers”.

“This relates to protestations when non-indigenes to the location emerged as Vice-Chancellors after a meritorious process set up by such universities. The purpose is to destabilise and insist that an indigene must be appointed.

“In my candid opinion, we must not encourage or allow extraneous matters of this nature to completely disorient academic excellence.

“The best among the participants in the process of appointment should be chosen, irrespective of the state of origin or local government area,” he urged.

Ahonaruogho also advised that the federal and state governments should show genuine interest to change the ugly narratives in the nation’s university system, and equally advised that the privately owned ones should kindly consider a reduction in tuition and grant more scholarships to brilliant but indigent students.

“The owners be they federal, state or private, must be ready to address the issue of funding the system adequately.

Ahonaruogho emphasised the responsibilities of the government, particularly in the area of engaging in honest and dedicated dialogue to end the strike embarked upon by the ASUU and other academic institutions yet at loggerheads with the FG, as well as striving to forestall a repertoire of the national imbroglio.

He said, ”The strikes continue to embarrass everyone, especially, the students who are eager to graduate and become responsible members of the society instead of remaining perpetual students without failing examinations”.

“The governments should honour the contractual agreements and lead the way towards revitalising the university education in the country and repositioning it to its rightful status.

“The survival of Nigerian universities is a task that must be done and be seen to be done! Let us stand and be counted on the side of prosperity.

He noted that after ASUU had suspended its 2019/2020 strike action, the CAANU wrote the National Assembly and advised that ASUU and other unions be invited to discuss their plights and ensure that the agitations were captured in the appropriation bills.

“This step is still very important to be taken by the National Assembly,” he noted, adding that, ”as the representatives of the people in charge of lawmaking, the wellbeing of the people and making necessary laws to secure the future of the people cannot be underestimated.”

“Leaders at various spheres of the nation should rise up to save the nation’s ivory towers from imminent collapse.

“It is a time every lover of this country should be concerned about the future of the country, as a country cannot develop significantly without the proper education of her citizens.

“Universities management should see the alumni association as an important partner in the development of the tertiary institutions and should therefore give it necessary support and impetus,” he concluded.


Leave a Reply

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

You may also like

Phone snatchers to face death penalty in Kano

Governor Abdullahi Ganduje has slammed the death penalty