By Timothy Agbor, Osogbo
A former Vice-Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University, (OAU) Ile-Ife, Prof. Michael Faborode has said federal institutions need to be charging tuition fees aside some charges being paid by undergradutes.
Faborode, who is the Secretary-General, Committee of Vice Chancellors (CVC) in the country said the “token charges/levies” that students pay for accommodation, municipal and acceptance fees could no longer the economic realities that public institutions face in the country.
The don said this on Monday at the combined fourth and fifth convocation ceremony of Osun State University, Osogbo while delivering lecture on the topic: “Sustainable Tertiary Education in Post-oil Nigeria.”
He said efforts by institutions’ authorities to even increase payable charges have been met with severe protests by students saying the undergraduates should also reason along the present economic situation.
Meanwhile, Faborode has advised Nigeria to combine use of large manufacturers and MSMEs, in order to tackle unemployment and attain its vision 2020.
Describing industrial production as a compelling logical way forward for the Nigerian economy, the former VC advised federal and state governments to diversify economy.
He identified research, new knowledge/innovation and partnerships as keys to unlocking the inherent potentials of the Nigerian university system.
Faborode stressed that Nigerian higher education system and the nation itself are at cross-roads, maintaining that there is need to build an effective platform and alliance for the revitalization of the system.
He expressed worried over the persistence decline in the price of crude oil and the sluggishness in the diversification of the economy to embrace more productive sectors.
Faborode insisted that diversification of economy to sectors like manufacturing, agriculture is the inevitable way forward.
The former VC said: “Nigeria’s brand of manufacturers and MSMEs, turning our large array of natural resources into semi-manufacturers and finished products, in order to decisively tackle unemployment, youth hopelessness and mass poverty.
“If we can succeed in navigating past the seemingly difficult point of inflection, we can well be assured that Nigeria’s Vision 2020 is indeed attainable and can be surpassed.
Also speaking as the convocation’s chairman, a former governor of Osun state and the founding pioneer of UNIOSUN, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola advised the Nigerian governments to look beyond oil in order to be able to overcome the economic hardship battling the nation.