By Rotimi Ojomoyela
ADO-EKITI—Legal Luminary and University Administrator, Chief Afe Babalola, SAN, has decried the failure of the Federal Government to comply with the recommendations of the United Nations Education and Socio-Cultural Organisation, UNESCO that 26 percent of budgetary allocation should go to funding of education.
Babalola, who identified funding as the greatest problem of the country’s education sector, said “many of the states, including Federal Government allocate as low as seven per cent to the education sector,” which he described as pivotal to the development of the country.
Speaking at the 6th convocation ceremonies of the Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti, ABUAD, the legal icon regretted that Nigeria has one of the most poorly funded universities globally, stating that this necessitated the low ranking the country’s citadels of learning on webometrics rating.
President African Development Bank, AfDB, and former Minister of Agriculture, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, and the Chief Executive Officer of Channels Television, Mr. John Momoh, bagged honorary doctorate degrees of the university at the event.
Babalola disclosed that the two eminent Nigerians were honoured for their sterling contributions to the development of the country, particularly the youth population.
The university also graduated 1,042 graduates, with 72 bagging first class honour degrees from different departments.
Babalola also urge the FG to revisit the moribund education banks to enable students access loans at reduced rates to finance their education and also to start their own businesses after graduation to fight rising unemployment.
Babalola appealed to the Federal Government to establish an Airport in Ado Ekiti as well reconstruct Ado-Ijan-Ikare road for easy access to the university.
According to him, the federal road leading to this university, Ado- Ikare road is in bad condition, of course there is no rail line and there is also no airport. With the provision of the two in Ekiti, Nigerians will benefit from the 400-bed multi system hospital which has latest equipment in this university.
“The FG approved airport for this state in 2009 for the benefit of all Nigerians, who can benefit from our quality healthcare delivery and functional education we are offering in ABUAD”.
Responding on behalf of the honourees, Dr.Adesina, said that the future of Africa does not depend on population and natural resources but on how best they can use the available resources to convert their visions to reality.