Left: Vice Chancellor University of Maiduguri Professor Aliyu Shugaba presenting a souvenir to the Convocation Lecturer Professor Muhammadu Habu held at Muhammadu Buhari International Conference centre.
By Dauda Iliya
The former Chairman Independent National Electoral Commission INEC, Professor Attahiru Jega has advocated for the banning of public officials from sending their wards to any public schools in county and abroad for the next twenty years.
Professor Jega says the measure is to incentivise public officials to pay attention to improving educational institutions.
He stated this at the twenty fourth combined convocation lecture of University of Maiduguri held at the Muhammadu Buhari International Conference centre.
The former INEC Chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega described tertiary education globally as a catalyst for economic growth and development, through the conduct of cotton-age research, innovation and technology development.
He however lamented that most Nigerian tertiary institutions failed to meet the objectives for which they have been established.
The Convocation lecturer who was represented by the Director Aminu Kano Centre for Democratic studies, Professor Mohammadu Habu, Jega identified some of the major reasons for fallen standard of tertiary education in the county to include inadequate funding, lack of adequate planning and effective regulation, exponential increase of universities among others.
According to him, the number of Nigerian Universities as at November 2023 stood at 270 based on figures from the Nigerian Universities Commission, consisting of 61 federal, 63 state and 146 private universities.
He stressed the need to strengthen the already existing institutions instead of creating new ones.
The former INEC Chairman recommended improved funding framework to twenty six percent annual budgetary allocation for education sector, enact whistle-blower policy to fight corruption in the system and impose a ten- year moratorium on the creation of new public universities at state and federal level.
“the condition of most tertiary education institutions in Nigeria in terms of facilities and the right calibre of lecturers is pitiable. Most of these institutions lack adequate quantity and quality of academic staff. As a consequence of the poor condition of our tertiary education, they have not been able to make the desired impact in the society. In most cases, state and private tertiary institutions relied on poaching of academic staff to boost their profile during accreditation ” Jega said.
Vice Chancellor University of Maiduguri Professor Aliyu Shugaba said management of tertiary institutions is becoming a herculean task due to dwindling budgetary allocation.
He observed that imposing tax on internally generated revenue of universities will greatly affect staff welfare, teaching, research and learning.
The Convocation lecture was attended by many dignitaries including the Chancellor and Emir of Lafia, Justice Mohammad Sidi Bage the first.
Correspondent Dauda Iliya reports that the theme of the lecture is prospects and challenges of tertiary education in contemporary Nigeria.