By G9ija

The founder of Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti(ABUAD), Chief Afe Babalola(SAN), has decried the poor funding of public universities, saying this  accounts for the despicable condition of university education in the country.

Babalola said  the Federal Government has consistently underfunded  the education sector, with government allocating only seven percent of the national budget to education.

He spoke at  ABUAD yesterday during a ceremony marking the 9th anniversary of the commencement of academic activities in the university, where the management members , led by the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Michael Ajisafe,  were present.

He said: “it is worrisome that the FG could earmark seven  percent budgetary allocation to fund education, when the United Nations Educational and Socio Cultural Organisation(UNESCO) recommended 26 per cent.

“I have been Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council, University of Lagos(UNILAG) and I knew that the universities lack facilities and equipment to be of high standard.

“In our universities, students are not resident in schools, some stay outside the lecture theatres to receive lectures, some even use forest as toilets , Lecturers are not paid as and when due, all these are intolerable.

“FG must look for funds to make our universities be of high standard.UNESCO recommended 26 percent, but FG still allots as  low as seven percent to education. FG must increase allocations to universities and monitor how the monies are appropriated, because accountability has always been our problem.”

He said   that  the Academic Staff Union of Universities(ASUU) was justified in its ongoing nationwide strike and agitations on proper funding of the universities among other demands made by the union.

“ASUU’s case is strong this time and I support them in spite of the fact that I have been criticizing them in recent past, but I stand with them this time.

“ASUU alleged that over 70 percent of the projects in our universities are uncompleted for lack of funds and corruption, this is wrong.

“In ABUAD, we complete our projects in time. We built our planetorium within six months, some federal universities started theirs  10  years ago and they have not completed it”, he said.

Babalola explained that ABUAD has attained enviable height and become one of the best universities in Nigeria within nine years of its operation because the management works extra hard to make its vision a reality

“In the law school examinations conducted in 2018, 12 ABUAD students got first class with one emerging overall best. They presented 36 prizes and our students carted away 24 of them. This shows that ABUAD is an haven where sharpening of intellectual mind is our priority.

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