By Michael Ezenwata : A former national president of the Academic staff union of universities, Dr. Dipo Fashina has advocated investment in research as a step towards ensuring universities’ economic viability.

Dr. Fashina who delivered the 8th convocation lecture of the Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University titled “Tertiary Education in Nigeria, funding and academic standard,” at its Igbariam campus stressed that investment in research yields money but needs proper funding.

To this end, he urged the Federal and state governments to increase the budgetary allocation to education to hit the United Nations standard of twenty six percent.

He regretted that most states in the federation have fallen short of the expected standard, adding that political leaders in the country are paying lip service to education.

Dr. Fashina lamented that some governments in the federation have not properly utilized the provision for capital projects in their budgets towards the development of the nation’s universities, and have allocated little or nothing to capital projects execution in the universities.

The former ASUU boss noted that the situation is mere critical in the state universities across the federation where unfit hostel accommodations, poor facilities are the other of the day.

He regretted that the autonomy of the state universities is at stake with too much political interference in its affairs, as well as many abandoned projects.

According to him, ASUU’S position is that any serious government should allocate 26% of its budgetary allocation to the education sector.

Dr. Fashina regretted that the quality of University graduates can best be described as intellectual mechanics and therefore challenged institutions and lecturers to go into research to expose students to the kind of education that will make them thinkers.

He called for the increased funding of the Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University by the Anambra state government, and the assistance of its vice chancellor professor Fidelis Okafor to internally find a way towards surmounting the myriads of challenges facing the institution.

In his opening remarks, the vice chancellor of the institution professor Okafor described convocation as a celebration and expressed delight in the choice of Dr. Fashina as the guest lecturer.

On his part, a former acting vice chancellor of the university professor Chukwuneye Anene called for increased subvention of the university and its proper funding.

Professor Anene advocated investment in research by the university and endowment of Chairs in the university by affluent well-meaning Nigerians.

Contributing, the university’s librarian, Dr. Nobert Amaechi Agbanu who called for the increased funding of the university, paid glowing tribute to the vice chancellor, Professor Okafor who is ably facing the challenges confronting the institution.

Source: Anambra State Government