Obasanjo laments low ranking of Nigerian varsities
• Urges govt, institutions to reverse trend
Obasanjo, who spoke in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital when the management of the Federal University of Petroleum, Effurum, Delta State visited him, reasoned that for a university to be ranked among the best, it should be able to boast of quality staff, robust research, adequate facilities and laboratory equipment as well as adequate funding. “It is only then they (universities) can produce high standard graduates.”
The Vice- Chancellor of the University, Prof. Akii Ibhadode Fas, said their visit was to appreciate Obasanjo for approving the establishment of the university during his tenure as Nigeria’s president and also present to him a special award.
The institution, which was established in 2007, is the first petroleum university in Africa and sixth in the world. It is meant to produce high level manpower for the petroleum industry.
Obasanjo, who recalled that some years back, the University of Ibadan (UI) was number four among all universities in the commonwealth countries, expressed regret that it lost the position several years ago and is yet to recover. “It is sad that we were blessed with abundant oil which should have served as a blessing, but we have messed it up. But all is not lost, we are not there yet, but we will get there.”
The former president urged those managing the country’s universities to accept that something is terribly wrong, and try to do “something unique” to bring the institutions back to their past glories.
He disclosed that when he established his private university, the Bells University of Technology, Ota, Ogun State, he challenged its management to “produce a Nobel Laureate within 20 years of its existence.”