By Billy Graham Abel, Yola
The Vice Chancellor of Federal University, Kashere, Prof Umar Pate, has praised the resilience of the Nigerian university system as the best-performing sector of all time compared to other sectors in the country, that have crumbled under the heavy weight of lack of investment and development in the country.
Prof Pate said most of Nigeria’s universities have long outgrown their carrying capacity yet they have continued to maintain standards and produce quality graduates that compete globally in various fields of endeavour.
Umar Pate made this known while delivering the keynote lecture at the 20th anniversary of the Adamawa State University in Mubi, Adamawa State.
Pate said, there are over 2.1 million Nigerian students, spread across over 150 universities in the country, struggling to gain world-class education with inadequate facilities, yet education continues to thrive reasonably well against the decades of little investment and commitment to the development of education.
Prof Pate said “ADSU’s progress must be viewed in the light of the progress it made in the development of its academic endeavour at both graduate and post-graduate studies, how much partnership it has been able to forge with industries, professional bodies, governments, and how much research grants it has been able to attract.”
He pointed out that, “The capacity of the Nigerian universities to cope with the huge numbers of students in its campuses, the demand for admission into universities which are far beyond the carrying capacities of universities in the country are issues bedevilling university education in the country.
Pate challenges that, “The fact that Nigerians go to the university without getting a job, impinges on the validity and credibility of the university system to better their life.”
Speaking on key areas that must be addressed in order to sustain standards in Nigerian universities, Pate said, “Academic and physical development of schools must be looked into, maintenance of quality and standard of teaching must be upheld, universities must be structured to add values to its host communities, students and staff welfare must be given priority, staff and students must have access to the use of ICTs in view of contemporary education challenge and institutions of learning must source funds outside conventional sources and utilisation them to further their academic ends.”
The Visitor of the University and Adamawa state Governor, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri speaking at the occasion said the history of the university is a study of resilience, unparalleled optimism, doggedness and the natural resolve to swim unperturbed against the wind in the unquenchable spirit of stoic Adamawa.
Gov Fintiri who was represented by the Secretary to the Adamawa State Government, Bashir Ahmed said, “An ideal university must be, by necessity, be productively functional with the capability to contribute significantly to the growth index of growth. This is the path we must continue to chart for Adamawa State University. It is a path that we must will continue sly create an intellectual bank capable of providing solutions to the myriads of developmental challenges through virile scholarship.
“I challenge you to engage in profitable and socially relevant consultancies and be prudent in your resource management.”
The Vice Chancellor of the Adamawa State University, Kaletapwa Farauta, speaking at the occasion, commended the visionary step of the founder of the university, the former governor of Adamawa state, Boni Haruna and commended the Adamawa State Governor, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, for supporting the vision of the university to succeed as an academic institution.
Kaletapwa said that in spite of the numerous challenges encountered by the university, the institution is still committed to pursuing its lofty ideals of bringing tertiary education closer to the people and building a workforce to support developmental courses in the state and beyond.
Kaletapwa said the university has grown from a three-faculty to a seven-faculty institution running about 41 programmes.
Outlining the successes of the university she said taking over the leadership of the university in 2017, the university inherited numerous challenges bedevilling the institution including, the backlog of promotion, non-payment of Academic Earned Allowance, non-access to projects and staff training by TETFUND, among other issues which the university was grappling with.
The Vice-Chancellor called on the state government to strengthen the progress of the institution by supporting the positive growth of the institution in recent years.