As the Academic Staff Union of Universities’ strike lingers, ex-Vice President Namadi Sambo has lamented that Nigerian university education has been crippled by spate of challenges.
He called on stakeholders to save the system from total collapse.
Speaking as Chairman of the 2020 4th quarter delegate conference and presentation of awards of excellence by Conference of Alumni Association of Nigerian Universities (CAANU) in Kaduna on Saturday, Sambo said government, alumnus and other stakeholders all have key roles to play in reviving university education and making it less attractive for Nigerians to seek same abroad.
According to the former visitor to Kaduna State University (KASU), “This event is holding at this crucial period when our university education system is undergoing some critical challenges. The numerous challenges facing our university system in the country has no doubt affected teaching and learning in our ivory towers.
“These challenges had crippled the system that it’s gradually losing its heroic pasts. University Education is key to the development of any country. It is indeed very worrisome to note with great concern, the exponential rise in travel for education abroad.
“It is very pertinent to identify with the Nigerian students as the nation is going through another strike action as embarked upon by the Academic Staff Unions of Universities (ASUU), which had paralyzed academic activities in the system for almost eight months.
“It is gratifying to note the offer made by the Federal Government to members of ASUU, though not exhaustively meeting the demands of the union but certainly it is a bold step towards resolving the lingering crises in our university education.
“The Conference should consider the establishment of an endowment fund in our respective institutions to augment funding for research and critical infrastructure in our universities. Expectedly, Alumni of each institution will drive the process of mobilizing the private sector and philanthropists to generate resources and support for the endowment fund to pursue a cause that would fast track the country’s transition to a knowledge-based soclety,” the former VP said.
Governor Nasir el-Rufai, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary Kaduna state Ministry of Education, Mrs Phoebe Yayi, urged the delegates to come up with a resolution at the end of the conference to see how Kaduna state would key in.
“Without our alumni association, most of our universities would not have witnessed the development they are seeing.
“Alumni associations have contributed greatly to the development of this country one way or the other. Alumni associations are doing greatly in creating employment in the country seeing as role models to younger ones coming behind. Education has found its best position in Kaduna state among other sectors,” he said.
National Chairman of CAANU, Prof. Ahmed Mora, said since the conference was reactivated in 2016, it has been busy with various activities.
He said CAANU carried out investiture of Emir of Lafia, Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa state and Emir of Zazzau, Amb. Ahmed Nuhu Bamalli within the week.
Prof. Ahmed said CAANU capped off a busy week with the presentation of award of excellence to ex-Vice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo, Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna state, Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Pauline Tallen, the Director General of National Youth Service Corps, Brig. Gen. Shaibu Ibrahim and the Executive Secretary of National University Commission, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed.