Kuni Tyessi in Abuja
The Vice-Chancellor of Veritas University, Prof. Michael Kwanashie, has emphasised that in order to make the academia more attractive, government, especially at the federal and state levels will need to increase funding for capacity building.
He stated this recently during the 10th anniversary and sixth convocation lecture of the institution in Abuja, where 103 students graduated from different disciplines and 11 distinguished themselves with first class.
While describing education as an expensive venture, he said the sector in Nigeria has been facing some challenges especially in the area of funding and in order to equip institutions and make them reach global standards, enormous sums of money must be invested.
“It is general knowledge that over the years, the education system in Nigeria has been facing some challenges, both public and private, even though the nature seems to differ. University system today complains about lack of funds. You have TETFund in the public institutions setting up buildings, pouring in money for research and staff development, and yet public institutions keep lamenting that government is not giving enough in public universities. Education is a very expensive business and government knows that.
“To equip all the institutions and make them reach global standards, enormous sums of money to be invested is required. So the argument of most universities, and I am now speaking for the public universities, is that government is not putting in enough money.
“Government is not rapidly increasing capacity building in the system. You have to build capacity in the system and it is the duty of the government to build capacity in the system to encourage young men and women to venture into academics and to encourage them to get the best and transfer that knowledge to others.
“If universities are underfunded and under-staffed, the quality of graduates will also be low. At the basic level, it is the same story, except in some few elite private schools and that is because the government is not investing enough.”
He said all the graduands will fit properly into the Nigerian economy because they have been equipped with skills that will make them competitive and also entrepreneurial skills that will make them start up their businesses without waiting for the government.