Peter Dada, Akure
The Vice-Chancellor of the Osun State University, Prof. Labo Popoola, has said that the current five-year strategic plan for Nigerian universities is not sufficient to reposition them to address emerging development demands.
Speaking during the Second Foundation Lecture of the Federal Polytechnic, Ile-Oluji, Ondo State, Popoola noted that although great universities were supposed to be products of proper planning, investment of time and other resources, many Nigerian universities did not go through a rigorous planning process.
He said, “Some contemporary Nigerian universities are opportunistic. The moment something goes wrong with the source of that opportunity such institutions collapse.
“It is becoming clear that the current five-year strategic plan by most universities is no longer sufficient to reposition them to address emerging development demands. Indeed the United Nations agenda 2030 (the Sustainable Development Goals) is a testimony to this.”
Describing corruption as Nigeria’s number one problem, the vice-chancellor said that the challenges facing the education sector could be traced to corruption and the desperation “to go back to do business as usual.”
He regretted that the academia, which used to be noted for its rigour and integrity, had been experiencing “a tumble down the hill slope”.
Popoola also lamented that tertiary education in the country had become an ‘allcomers’ affair and tertiary institutions had become places where intellectualism and academic culture had ceased to exist.
He said,”They have become places where godfatherism and nepotism are demonstrated. It is no more news that cronyism has taken over the process of our academic space.
“The situation is so bad that the gown no more sets the pace and standard for the society. Instead, the gown has bought hook, line and sinker into every thinkable and unthinkable vice for the Nigerian society.
“However, the academia remains the hope to rediscovering the values of the people. To be able to do this, it must first rid itself of the pervasive vices that are gradually becoming the norms units constituency and therefore reposition itself to help the society.”
Popoola said the academia would need to help the larger society through objective situation analyses, education and raising public awareness on the evil of corruption.
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