By Ayodele Afolabi, Ado-Ekiti
Founder and Chancellor of Afe Babalola University Ado Ekiti (ABUAD), Chief Afe Babalola (SAN), yesterday, stressed that for the nation’s education sector to overcome its current challenges, rich Nigerians and philanthropists must be ready to make financial contributions.
He made the submission yesterday in Ado-Ekiti, at the signing ceremony of a tripartite medical training agreement among John Hopkins Hospital, USA, Little-By-Little Foundation and ABUAD, observing that the major problem of education in Nigeria remains funding, the reason for the continuous strikes by the Academic Staff Union of University (ASUU).
The chancellor said: “Have you ever heard of any strike action in the universities like Stanford, Harvard, Yale, Cambridge, University of London, Oxford and other leading universities in the world? The reason is because they are getting financial contributions from philanthropists by way of endorsement.”
The legal icon faulted the National Assembly for passing into law Nigerian Education Bank for Students Loans, wondering whether it was the right time to do so and also questioning what has become of the one put in place in 1993.
He went on: “It failed because students did not repay the loan.
“It is a good idea to have a loan scheme for students which they will repay upon graduation, but where are jobs? Today’s unemployment rate is very high with many graduates as Okada riders.
“Government should stop those who are milking Nigerians to accumulate wealth, prosecute such illegal wealth accumulators and recover the money they have wrongfully accumulated so that we can come back to the status quo before introducing these measures.
It is a well-known fact that we are deep in debt and we are unable to pay the interest. ASUU was on strike for eight months last year, salaries are not paid and no investor wants to come to Nigeria.”
The ABUAD founder urged beneficiaries of the training to always remember that when they make it in life, they should they should never forget giving back to their alma mater like their peers in America and Europe.
“It is a well-known fact all over the world that giving back to one’s alma mater will substantially reduce the financial problems of other students,” he stated.
In her remarks, Vice Chancellor of ABUAD, Prof. Smaranda Olarinde, said the tripartite exchange programme could ultimately usher the students to the front seat of medical profession within the shortest possible time.
“We move steadily with a mindset to perch on global reckoning. We are indeed a global brand. The varied and comprehensive ranking has since validated us as an institution that lives up to its mission statement to change the world through quality and impactful education,” she submitted.
Source: The Guardian