BY PETER DURU
MAKURDI—Over 200,000 Nigerian students studying in Ghanaian universities are reported to expend over N100 billion annually as tuition outside sundry fees.
Former lawmaker and educationists, Senator David Iornem, who disclosed this yesterday at a briefing to mark his 64th birthday anniversary in Makurdi, said the figure represented a major capital flight from the country.
According to him, “available figures show that the over 200,000 Nigerians currently studying in Ghana, expend over N100 billion annually on tuition and sundry fees. This situation arose because official figures show that out of N1.7million Nigerians seeking admission into institutions of higher learning, only 500,000 find placements leaving many with no other option but to seek admission in Ghana.
The federal government should take immediate steps to unbundling the higher education sector in Nigeria by adopting the United Kingdom, American, Malaysian and German models which allows for the establishment of small university colleges by willing entrepreneurs.
“In these countries, small university colleges which may be affiliated to bigger universities are set up by small scale entrepreneurs with adequate resources. I believe that when we kick start this process, more than 500,000 university places will be created in the first year.
“This can be achieved by involving small entrepreneurs and allowing existing universities to set up satellite campuses. By the third year of starting this system, no Nigerian youth wanting to enter a university, polytechnic or a college of education will have any difficulty or denied the opportunity to development him or herself.
Prof. Iornem added, “it is totally unacceptable to officially shut the door against young Nigerians wanting admission, thereby, leaving them stranded and hopeless; we must return the higher education sector to its days of glory when brilliant young people were sure of their future.”