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By NBF News
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The Vice Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede has called on Nigerian universities to stop unnecessary competition among themselves and institute better collaboration to promote healthy rivalry .

Prof. Oloyede made the call while delivering the keynote address at the Committee of Directors of Academic Planning of Nigerian Universities annual workshop and general meeting, held at the university.

The VC, who was a Director, Academic Planning in the institution, noted that the quality of knowledge acquired by students will improve and benefit Nigeria in her strive towards development, if students take some courses in other universities outside their University and if academics introduce more quality into their research by collaborating with other scholars in conducting their researches.

According to him, research it is which leads to development and quoting Inyalullah, he defined development as 'the ability of an individual to have greater control over his environment and increased realisation of the values of the society, its political destiny and self discipline.'

Prof. Oloyede who is the President of the Association of African Universities, (AAU) agrees with seers who noted that determining whether a country is truly developing or not is contingent upon questions on what is happening to poverty, unemployment and inequality.  The answers to these in the context of Nigeria reveals that 'poverty rate has worsened from about 45 per cent in 1970 to nearly 70 per cent in 2007.  This shows that nearly 70 per cent of our people live below $1 a day.'

Also quoting the 2010 Global Monitoring Report of the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESC), Oloyede submitted that 'about 92 per cent of Nigerians survive on less than $2 dollars daily while about 71 per cent survive on less than $1 a day.  This means that two Nigerians' income is equivalent of the daily feeding of a cow in Europe.'

In his comment on how to harmonise the needs of Nigerians and the numerous universities. Prof. Oloyede said that research in the universities needs to be driven by the needs of Nigerians.

Quoting Igwe and Okigbo in his keynote address, the VC who was also the chief host at the workshop noted that only a limited amount of university research in Nigeria reaches the commercial stage and despite claims of breakthroughs and inventions basic and applied research of Nigerian universities operate between 6 per cent and 24 per cent of national capacity even when the nation was considered to be well in 1985.

In his address at the occasion, the Director of Academic Planning, UNILORIN , Prof. A.G.A.S. Oladosu, observed that the hosting of the Committee of Directors of Academic Planning of Nigerian Universities is one of the global best practices which characterize the university.

Prof. Oladosu disclosed that a total of 233 academic staff of the university were sponsored to learned conferences across the country while 141 staff attended learned conferences outside Nigeria.

Other giant stride of the university which was highlighted by the Director includes the fact that 'the institution is spearheading the inaugural meeting of the Association of West African Universities.'  He added that 'all these and similar activities, have brought UNILORIN to the limelight, made it the first choice of prospective university students, added to its fame and reputation, conferred on it the status of a world-class institution, and the appellation of the university that is better by far.'