Dr. Wale Babalakin, The Pro-Chancellor of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), has stated that universities cannot continue to survive on government benevolence, adding that universities must learn to invest and improve on revenue generation.
Speaking during the conferment of postgraduate and honorary degrees at UNILAG’s 50th Convocation Ceremony, The Pro Chancellor said Nigerians universities cannot continue to survive as” government departments expecting generosities from the goverment ”.
Babalakin said while there had been a debate on whether education should be funded by government alone or it should be funded by government and all stakeholders.
His words: “It is a must that we all have to be properly educated, so if government can afford to do it all on its own, so be it. But if government cannot afford it, then we all must join forces to do it. If the choice is between quality education and free education, I choose the former.”
“Our universities cannot continue to survive as government departments expecting government largesse. We have to take advantage of what we’ve got. There are no less that 50 Nigerians today, who can rebuild UNILAG, but they have to know that their contributions would be used appropriately and they would be able to measure performance and monitor their money.
“If you can assure them of these, then you will be on the road to rebuilding the university system in a manner that it can compete all over the world. There is nothing such as Nigerian education or Nigerian standard. The standard must be universal and worldwide.” Babalakin thanked President Muhammadu Buhari, for his “very keen interest and determination to reposition education in Nigeria”.
He urged the PhD graduates to see their degree as a pedestal for greater achievements. Babalakin advised them to participate actively in activities of UNILAG’s Alumni Association, noting that “the greatest universities in the world have gotten to their peak largely because of great support from their alumni”. Honorary doctorate degrees were bestowed upon Alhaji Femi Okunnu (SAN); the General Overseer of Mountain & Fires Ministries, Pastor Daniel Olukoya; and Zenith bank Chairman Mr Jim Ovia.
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