The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), on Wednesday, warned the Federal Government against giving approvals for the creation of new universities.
The immediate past President and ex-officio of the union, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, who gave the warning, said Nigeria does not by any reason need new universities.
He maintained that the best thing for the government to do is to focus on rehabilitation of the existing ones in order to deliver quality education to the people.
Ogunyemi stated this in Abuja during a national symposium and retirement felicitation to celebrate a former President of the Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU), Comrade Sam Akindele.
The University’s lecturers’ rejection of the new university came barely one month after their counterparts in the Polytechnics described creation of new tertiary institutions as mere constituency projects.
Speaking during the panel discussion at the symposium, the don lamented the decay in the country’s education sector.
He said, “Nigeria doesn’t need new universities. The structures we are operating, how well are they positioned to deliver? We are talking of establishing more institutions whereas they are not catering for the existing ones. Who is deceiving who?
“Go to the National Assembly now, you can be sure they have nothing less than 30 bills proposing new Colleges of Education; not less than 50 bills proposing new Universities, Polytechnics and so on. Is that what we need?
“How well are the existing institutions delivering? It means those who are there are not connected with the system. In 2012, we advocated for the NEEDS Assessment of public universities in Nigeria. What we came up with in the report was scandalous.
“The N1.3trn that we proposed to fix our universities in six years is real. I visited first generation universities where we saw them using kerosene stoves in place of fossil burners and fetching water in buckets in a 24 century laboratory. What quality education are we proposing?”
On his part, the celebrant, Akindele called for improved package for teachers in the country to attract the best brains to the profession.