The vice chancellor, Fountain University, Osogbo, Professor Amidu Sanni, has said that Nigeria has a systemic problem while urging government to leverage its economy on agriculture, skill acquisition and entrepreneurship.
He spoke on Wednesday while hosting the South West Group of Online Publishers (SWEGOP) at his office in Oke Osun, Osogbo, described the situation as “very serious.”
He said: “Nigeria has what I will call a systemic problem. Not only in education, all over. Before this oil boom came, we can see the level of the degradation even in agriculture. Before oil came to existence, we had Cocoa, palm oil, rubber and several other things. How do we ensure that agriculture would be able to sustain Nigeria’s economy is very important. We should ensure that we have that kind of leverage on the Nigerian economy.
“We should ensure that the university system integrate skill development, entrepreneurship and innovation outside book work,” he added
The professor of African and Middle Eastern Studies faulted the Federal Government and Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) over the union’s protracted strike.
He said no sane human society would allow a system to collapse for six months, adding that the strike action has badly affected the ranking of Nigerian institutions.
“It is a very serious situation that Nigeria has not been realistic. The current leadership of ASUU across the board believe that education must first be destroyed before it is rebuilt, that is the problem.
“No where in the world is education free, somebody has to pick the bill. The government has not been sincere as to who pays for education and the idea of free education is not feasible anywhere. We should try as much as possible to have a system of having a sort of student loan. In Freetown there is no free lunch,” Sanni said
Speaking about Fountain University, Sanni said once students were admitted, they already know when they will graduate due to the academic calendar. He said there is no strike, no cultism and other social vices associated with students in higher institutions.
He further explained that the institution is trying as much as possible to develop students’ skills outside their area of study.
“The way things are going, the people may not necessarily work with their degree because you might have studied marketing and end up being a fantastic event planner.
“In Osogbo, we have what is called industrial centre. We have skills in ceramic, fabrication and several others. You could be studying law and be good in creative writing or a good rapper. We are trying to help our students to identify their potentials for them to be career makers rather than being job seekers,” the VC added.
Speaking to the Muslim-Muslim ticket fielded by the All Progressives Congress, he said media should be the agenda setter for the whole nation.
“The idea of the media is overheating the polity. It should not be. If anyone is kidnapped today, you won’t ask if he is a Christian or Muslim, you will want the safety of the person. Religion is a personal matter. Yoruba family system does not discriminate. Why should we be emphasising too much on religion? It is not fair. Let us live in harmony ensure that we have a very peaceful life to live together,” Sanni said.