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OKEBUKOLA SEEKS N2B ANNUAL GRANT FOR FEDERAL VARSITIES

By NBF News
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• University graduates

Former Executive Secretary of National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof Peter Okebukola, has said that the proposed establishment of six new federal universities was a welcome development. He expressed this view at the 2010 graduation of the Crawford University, Igbesa, Ogun State.

Okebukola, who is the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council of Crawford University, however, argued that while the new universities are being established to provide the desired boost to university education in the country, the existing ones should be strengthened.

He was of the opinion that by way of strengthening existing federal universities, 'an annual grant of N2 billion should be made to each of the universities for facilities enhancement, to expand their carrying capacity. This money should be spent on new academic buildings, hostels and other infrastructure to accommodate an enrolment expansion of a minimum of 2,000 students for every year for the next 10 years'.

The pro-chancellor suggested that in setting up the new federal universities, the laws setting up the universities should be different from existing laws to take care of all identified weaknesses especially in the area of governance and financial management. The programmes to be offered he averred, should respond to 21st century challenges and slanted to address national, regional and global problems and not the run-off-the-mill courses currently offered in our universities.

According to him, the use of technology in teaching, learning and research should be accorded priority and staff that has no competency in the use of such technology should have no employment in the university.

'Transparency, accountability and efficiency should be the hallmark of administration of such universities. They should be universities where learning environment is friendly, attracting international students and staff from all regions of the world. And, in the next 10 years, some of these new universities should be ranked among the top 10 in Africa in teaching, learning, and research and community service'.

Earlier in his address, Chairman Board of Trustees (BoT), Reverend Gabriel Kayode Ajayi congratulated the graduating students and warned them to be mindful of the steps they take as they plunge into the larger society.

The Chancellor, Chief Oludolapo Ibukun Akinkugbe attributed the problems being faced by existing universities to upsurge in student population with fewer facilities to cater for the growth.

Also speaking, the Vice Chancellor, Professor Samson Ademola Ayanlaja said that to attain, maintain and retain global recognition, as a world-class university, the management of the institution is concentrating effort on the area of upholding high academic and moral standards in its admission process tagged 'excellence-driven admission process'.

He also noted that the university would continue to 'attract outstanding world acclaimed scholars and professors, while motivating its college staff to attain and maintain global relevance in the chosen academic fields of endeavour. This we tagged 'searches them out approach.'

The ceremony, which witnessed the installation of Chief Oludolapo Ibukun Akinkugbe as the new Chancellor also, produced a total of 11 First Class graduates. Eminowa Mary Oluwaseu from the College of Business and social Sciences emerged the best overall graduating student with a CGPA of 4.76. Eminowa among other awards carted away the best behaved graduating student.