By KATO P. LADAN, Kaduna
Former Vice President of NIgeria, Architect Mohammed Namadi Sambo has lamented the increasing number of travel for education abroad, which he blamed on several challenges facing the education sector.
He expressed this while speaking at the Conference of Alumni Associations of Nigerian Universities (CAANU) fourth quarter delegates conference in Kaduna on Saturday November 28, 2020,
“It is indeed very worrisome to note with great concern, the exponential rise in travel for educationabroad,” he said.
He said that the numerous challenges facing our University system in the country which has no doubt affected teaching and learning in our ivory towers.
“These challenges had crippled the system that it’s gradually losing its heroic pasts,” he added.
The former Vice President stressed that University Education is key to the development of any countty.
“It is gratifying to note that this event is holding at this crucial period when our University Education system is undergoing some critical changes certainly no better time than now,” he said.
Architect Sambo.said that he is aware of efforts by the Conference of Alumni Associations of Nigeria Universities (CAANU) as the umbrella body of Alumni Associations in NigerianUniversities, over time to seek a formidable relationship with Association of Commonwealth Universities, National Universities Commission, TETFUND. the administration of various Universities as well as various others, to empower and integrate the participation of various stakeholders while developingthe participation of Alumni bodies in the disciplinary and multidisciplinary approaches.
“So aware that CAANU has been pursuing its objectves whichnot only include provision of alternative sources of funding; forum for the joint consideraton of common matters, strategies and actions affecting opportunities for individual Alumni Associations to learn from one another, common platform for interaction with Federal, State Government and proprietors of Private universities on matters affecting University Education in NIgeria and other noble and positive objectives all in the interest or development of Nigerian Universities.
“It is thus important that well meaning individuals and corporate organizations cooperate with CAANU towards achieving these goals that would reposition the fate of our dear nation in positive direction,” he appealed.
He lamented that Nigerian students suffer, as the nation is going through another strike action as embarked upon by the Academic Staff Unions of Universities (ASUU), which had paralyzed academic activities in the system for almost eight months.
“It is gratifying to note the offer made by the Federal Government to members of ASUU, though not exhaustively meeting the demands of the union but certainly it is a bold step towards resolving the lingering crises in our University education,” he said.
Namadi urged the conference to consider the establishment of an endowment fund in their respective institutions to augment funding for research and critical infrastructure in the universities.
“Expectedly, Alumni of each institution will drive the process of mobilizing the private sector and philanthropists to generate resources and support for the endowment fund to pursue a cause that would fast track the country’s transition to a knowledge-based society,” he said.
He therefore, commended, the Chairman of Governing Council, Prof. Ahmed Tijani Mora and the leadership of the Alumni of Nigerian Universities for recognizing their modest contributions to the educational sector and humanity tnat necessitated the Award of Excellence to be bestowed on him and indeed other notable Nigerians.
“No doubt, this honour is a call to duty that will spur us to do more for a system that has aiven so much to us. I therefore on behalf of all recipient of this prestigious award, sincerely appreciate the organizers of the event for the rare honour and recognition,” he assured.
He acknowledged the efforts of Governor of Kaduna State, Malam Nasir el-Rufai, in various sectors in the state most especially in the education and infrastructural development sectors.
“I am aware of efforts by the Kaduna State Government’ to relocate this University to a permanent site that will accommodate the increasing number of students seeking admission to studyeach year.”