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Afe Babalola supports ASUU, says FG must fund varsities

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Prof. Afe Babalola (SAN), founder of Afe Babalola University (ABUAD), Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State

Founder of the Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti (ABUAD) and renowned lawyer, Chief Afe Babalola (SAN), yesterday, threw his weight behind the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) saying its agitations were legitimate.

Babalola urged President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government to source for funds to ensure proper running of university education and to meet some of the demands by ASUU.

He spoke yesterday at the 9th anniversary celebration of ABUAD. In attendance were the management staff led by the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Michael Ajisafe.

The legal luminary lamented the rot in the public universities, describing the ivory towers as glorified secondary schools. He insisted that the universities needed urgent intervention so as to improve their standard.

He attributed the enviable height ABUAD attained within nine years of its existence to commitment and dedication of academic or administrative staff. He, however, warned that the management would not hesitate to wield the big stick against any member of staff who is not supporting the vision of the institution, which was to bring a paradigm shift to university education.

He decried dilapidation in the university education system, “I have been Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council, University of Lagos (UNILAG) and I knew that the universities lack facilities and equipment to be of high standard.

“In our universities, students are not resident in schools, some stayed outside the lecture theatres to receive lectures, some even used forest as toilets, lecturers are not paid as and when due, all these are intolerable.

“So, ASUU’s case is strong this time and I support them in spite of the fact that I have been criticizing them in recent past, but I stand with them this time.

“FG must look for funds to make our universities be of high standard. UNESCO recommended 26 percent, but FG still allots as low as seven per cent to education. FG must increase allocations to universities and monitor how the monies are appropriated, because accountability has always been our problem.

“ASUU alleged that over 70 percent of the projects in our universities are uncompleted for lack of funds and corruption, this is wrong.

“In ABUAD, we complete our projects in time. We built our Planetorium within six months, some federal universities started theirs 10 years ago and they have not completed it,” he said.


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