By Gabriel Enogholase, Benin-City
The Vice Chancellor of the University of Benin, Professor Lilian Salami, has identified an inadequate budget allocation for the education sector by the government, as well as the scarce funding of public universities, as the nightmare of the education sector in the country.
Professor Salami, who answered questions from journalists in Benin yesterday ahead of the 50th anniversary of the University Founders Day, said the education system in the country could be as competitive as foreign universities if properly funded.
He added that the University of Benin in its 50 years of existence has trained and graduated more than 350,000 men and women of integrity, who have excelled in their various fields / disciplines at home and abroad and can compete with graduates from foreign universities. all over the world.
She said: “Sometimes, we are very quick to look at other countries and use them as our criteria. Many of those foreign countries that we use as criteria actually went through the same process that we face in the country today.
“If you were in my own generation, and you look back, you would agree with me that we have done a lot since then. The opinion of most people is that most foreign universities have done better, but we are not doing badly at home.
“But at the same time, Nigerian universities can do much more. Part of the problem that has gotten us to where we are in Nigeria is the fact that funding has remained a problem.
“Otherwise, Nigeria’s education system would be comparable to what exists in other parts of the developed world. I can say that whatever you put in terms of demanding quality, the input must also be according to that to get the best.
“For us at UNIBEN, I dared to say that our teachers, our lecturers can be up to the task anywhere in the world. But sometimes, the equipment and tools may be lacking to make them work efficiently, and I think that’s where our problems lie.
“Once our universities are adequately provisioned, I think we should be able to get to where others are that we envy today. I’m sure that in the very near future we should be able to get there. ”She said.
“Our University has produced more than 350,000 graduates. These individuals, incidentally, are well placed. Many of them are CEOs of large establishments, pioneers. We have had ministers, governors and others.
Remember that the University of Benin was established as the Midwest Institute of Technology in 1970 and became a full-fledged University in 1972 and was taken over by the federal government in 1973.