Oyedepo calls for increased funding of education sector
THE Chancellor of the Landmark University, Omu-Aran, Kwara State, Bishop David Oyedepo, has again canvassed proper funding of education in Nigeria, noting that a country without sound education has no brighter future.
For Oyedepo, the bulk of the country’s financial resources being used to fund politics and election matters should be channelled into the education sector.
Speaking with journalists at Omu-Aran during a press conference to mark the school’s second convocation ceremony, Oyedepo said but for private initiatives and intervention in Nigeria, its education sector would have become moribund.
He said Nigerians who value quality education invest close to N2billion yearly in Ghana, just as he disclosed that Nigerians are the ones paying through their noses in pursuit of quality education to hold the educational sector in Britain.
He said the yawning gap remained what private owners of universities were trying to fill in the country, just as he noted that the financing of the institutions remains an expensive endeavour.
The institution churned out 573 graduands this year, out of which 59 earned First Class Honours degrees, 226 emerged with Second Class Upper, 276 finished with the Second Class Lower degrees and 12 with Third Class.
The chancellor called for an increase in budgetary allocation to education stressing: “If not for efforts of owners and management of privately-owned universities in the country, we would almost have nothing to show as a nation due to dilapidated or lack of infrastructure, lack of equipment and standard.”
Oyedepo also explained the seeming high tuition fees in private universities, saying education is a highly expensive venture.
“Private universities are not costly, judging by the standard, availability of equipment, learning condition, competitive remuneration of teaching staff, among other provisions that make a environment conducive. Rather, people should commend private university owners, in the face of several challenges they face in the country,” he said.
Already, the institution has made research into bio-fuel technology, as the product of its Jathropa plantation, has been processed into Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) and tested on a generating set, with positive results recorded.
Oyedepo said Landmark University would not rest on its oars until it is able to produce PMS and other relevant products and lubricants in commercial quantities to serve as an alternative to petroleum products. Speaking on the kennel of the vision of the university, which is agriculture, Oyedepo said it was in recognition of the importance of food to man.
“House and clothes can wait, but food can’t. All the developed countries of the world today conquered challenges on food before they became conquerors,” he noted.
He lauded the Federal Government for its visions on agricultural policies, especially on the direct distribution of some agricultural products to farmers.
The Acting Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof Joseph Afolayan, said the graduands successfully went through an exceptional collegiate mill in 23 programmes, all of which were accredited by the National Universities Commission (NUC) and other relevant professional bodies.
In his convocation lecture, titled, “Agricultural Policy and Tertiary Education in the Dispensation of Change,” Prof Gabriel Ayoola, said the change in government in Nigeria could lead to a policy change in the agriculture sector that would be driven by relevant structures in the country’s tertiary institutions.
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