By Gabriel Enogholase, Benin-City
Vice-Chancellor of the Universiity of Benin, Prof. Lilian Salami has identified inadequate budgetary allocation for the Education sector by the government as well as poor funding of public universities as the bane of the education sector in the country.
Prof. Salami who feilded questions from journalists in Benin yesterday ahead of the University’s 50th Founders Day Anniversary, said the educational system in the country could be as competitive as foreign universities if adequately funded.
She added that the University of Benin in its 50 years of existence has trained and graduated over 350,000 men and women of integrity, who have excelled in their various fields/ discipline home and abroad and can compete with foreign universities graduates across the globe.
She said, “Sometimes, we are very quick at looking at other countries and using them as our yardstick. Alot of those foreign countries that we use as yardstick actually went through the same process we are faced with in the country today.
“If you were in my own generation, and you look back, you would agree with me that we have done alot since then. What is the view of most of persons, is that most foreign Universities have actually done better, but we are not doing badly in the country.
“But at the same time, Nigerian universities can do much more better. Part of the problem that has brought us to where we are in Nigeria is the fact that funding has continued to be a problem.
“Otherwise, Nigeria’s educational system would be comparable to what you have in other parts of the developed world. I can say that whatever you put in interms of demanding quality, the input must also be commensurate to that to get the best.
“For us at UNIBEN, I made bold to say our Professors, lecturers can measure up anywhere in the world. But sometimes, the equipment and tools to make them work efficiently maybe lacking, and I think that’s where our issues are.
‘Once our Universities are adequately provided for, I think we should be able to get to where others that we envy today are. I am sure in the very near future, we should be able to get there.” She said.
“Our University has produced over 350,000 graduands. These individuals, incidentally, are well placed. A lot of them are CEOs of big establishments, trail blazers. We have had ministers, Governors, and others.
Recall that the University of Benin was estblished as MidWest Indtitute of Technology in 1970 and it became a full – fledged University in 1972 and was taken over by the Federal government in 1973.