The Chairman, Governing Council of University of Lagos, Dr. Wale Babalakin (SAN), has called on Nigerians to stop establishing universities and other tertiary institutions that they cannot provide with adequate funding.
Babalakin made this call in a keynote address he delivered in Ede, Osun State, on Monday at the opening of a retreat organised by the Osun State University for members of the Governing Council and management.
Speaking on the theme, University governance in the 21st century and beyond, the Senior Advocate of Nigeria stated that there was an urgent need to stop establishing public or private universities that the proprietors neither had the capacity nor will to fund properly because of the negative impact on competitiveness.
He said it was unfortunate that no Nigerian university, was favourably rated by any of the rating agencies.
Babalakin said it was a shame that the most outstanding university in the country was rated number 800 in the world, while none was ranked among the best 20 in Africa.
He also noted that a former Vice Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof. Olu Akinkugbe, had mentioned, during a recent television programme, that the University College Hospital, Ibadan, was once rated as the fourth in ranking among medical institutions in the Commonwealth, in a list that comprised the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia among other big developed nations.
However, he expressed the opinion that Nigerian universities and other tertiary institutions could attain such height with proper planning, adequate funding and dedication, stressing that the emancipation of Nigeria would be led by the reformation of its education sector. He said, “A plethora of universities have sprung up in recent times. The Federal Government has created a number of universities. Almost all the states in Nigeria have their own universities. Many private concerns have also established universities.
In setting up these universities, I hope that these various bodies have a fair idea of the cost of running them. According to the Academic Staff Union of Universities quoting a National University Council source, the average cost of achieving full accreditation for universities programmes in Nigeria is $3,000, which is above N1m today. In effect, a University with a student population of, for example 5000 students, should have N1m x 5000, that is N5bn, as its resource base for running he university.