From Victor Akinkuolie, Ondo
The founder and chancellor of Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD) Aare Afe Babalola SAN, has urged the Federal Government to accord more attention to the development of universities in the country.
Babalola, who is also the President of the Institute of Arbitration of Nigeria, gave the advice while delivering a paper during the second founder’s day lecture of the University of Medical Sciences, UNIMED, Ondo.
Speaking on the topic titled ” The Secret of Founding” the legal luminary noted that universities in the country particularly government-owned institutions faced some challenges, which according to him include, poor workers attitude to work, incessant industrial action by the labour unions, lack of modern curricular and paucity of good leadership among others.
He said, “ One of the major problems in this country is the attitude of staff to work, particularly in public institutions. Hardly will you find a Nigerian worker who sees where he works as his business.
“They all see the employer’s business as the employer’s that one doesn’t have to stress himself or herself. They believe one doesn’t have to stress himself or herself while working for government”
“For me, I see where I work as a personal business but on the contrary workers in public institutions and civil service think otherwise . That is why it would be very difficult for most Nigerian universities unlike their counterparts overseas to become world class universities”, he stated.
However, Babalola said he established his own university, the ABUAD out of curiosity and love to ensure quality and functional education.
He explained further that the experience he acquired as a Pro Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council of the University of Lagos also propelled him to establish a university and according to him, the institution is ranked as one of the best private universities in Nigeria today.
Earlier in his remarks at the occasion, the Vice-chancellor of UNIMED, Prof. Friday Okonofua had said the lecture was organised to commemorate the celebration of the founders day of the institution.
Okonofua explained that the university has been able to make some achievements in the last few years of its existence under the auspices of the Ondo State Government, host community and philanthropists.
He commended a community leader in Ondo city and former Chairman of Odua Investment Company Limited, Chief Isaac Akintade for donating a building to the university.
The UNIMED Vice-chancellor appealed for more financial assistance from public spirited individuals, religious bodies as well as non-governmental organisations in the bid at making the University achieve the mission and vision of its founding fathers.
While reiterating the commitment of the University management to excellence in medical sciences, the UNIMED Vice-Chancellor stated that the institution would continue to organise academic activities that would benefit its students and the general populace.
The programme held at the auditorium of the Odosida campus of the institution in Ondo city was attended by Vice-chancellors from various universities in the country, medical professors within and outside the country, lecturers, community leaders, students, staff and friends of the university as well as representatives of the Ondo State Government.