I don’t want to be VC of a backward University – Prof. Nwajiuba.
The Vice Chancellor of the Federal University Ndufu Alike Ikwo,(FUNAI) in Ebonyi state,Prof.Chinedum Nwajiuba has vowed to ensure that the university is rated among the best universities across the globe, adding that he could not afford to head a backward university in a 21 century Nigeria.
Nwajiuba made the statement on Wednesday at the institution’s auditorium during a One-day seminar organised by the Faculty of Management and Social Sciences with the theme Economic Recovery And Growth Plan:A Sectoral Analysis.
Prof.Nwajiuba, who is a Professor of Agricultural Economics, enjoined the students of the university to get ready for practical and useful education, stressing that academic qualifications alone have not been able to provide solutions to myriad crises buffeting the nation.
He regretted that education in Nigeria seemed to have been reduced to a mere certificate-seeking adventure, adding that there are too many unintelligent and ignorant academicians in the universities who prefer to sell empty books than engage in critical education.
He posited that under his leadership,every student of the university must develop the appetite for critical inquiry, noting that it was the only way they could differentiate themselves from other students from other institutions.
“I don’t want to be a VC of a backward university. No,it is not possible.
” In as much as we have infrastructural challenges ,this University must meet the standards of world class Universities.
“The situation is worse in the south-eastern part of the country where even doctorate degree holders now devote more time to selling their books or academic materials.
He noted that academics has been destroyed to the extent that lecturers now sit, write any thing they call book and sell to students instead of engaging in deep analytical thinking which makes academicians to be in tune with modernity.
“Academicians can no longer write sensible proposals that can be accepted academically and by the society in general as doctorate degrees, for example, have become, sort of, nicknames.
He noted that he wanted the students to become angry with him and change in order to reduce the widening academic gap between the south-west and south-east zones of the country.
According to him “FUNAI would continue inviting prominent academicians to enlighten our students on the modern dictates of academics and other fields of human endeavour as we would not confine learning to the classroom alone.
The Director General of the West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management (WAIFEM) Prof. Akpan Ekpo who was the seminar’s key speaker, blamed the political class for the nation’s economic and social woes.
Prof.Ekpo specifically blamed the now opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, stressing that it’s 16 years leadership of the nation was a colossal disaster .
“The PDP led-government of 1999-2015 was the worst culprit as its economic mismanagement led to double-digit inflation, collapse of public school systems among others despite the abundance of natural resources at its disposal.
He noted that power was epileptic,and little was done in infrastructural development .
But he observed that from 1999—2007, there were efforts to manage the economy in a manageable sense with the enactment of the fiscal act and procurement act which he said did not yield much result.
Prof.Ekpo also descended heavily on the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC ,saying that its change mantra has not fared any better since Nigerians are yet to see the change after two years in power.
He noted that employment remains very high and that no emphasis paid on infrastructural development and advocated proactive implementation of policies which would diversify the economy with the provision of amenities such as power.
Further lectures were also given at the occasion by Prof. Obi Ajuruchukwu of the University of Fort Hare, South Africa and Dr Dennis Ekumankama, the Ebonyi state Commissioner for Finance also delivered a lecture during the occasion.
While Ajuruchukwu’s lecture was entitled Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security through Economic Recovery and Growth Plan ,Dr.Ekumanakama dwelt on Financing The Economic Recovery and Growth Plan,which he said would require over 70 billion naira.