Obasanjo Laments FG’s Failure To Establish Education University | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Obasanjo Laments FG’s Failure To Establish Education University

Posted: Nov 30, 2015 at 9:53 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Laide Raheem, Abeokuta

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has said that only the National Universities Commission (NUC) can explain why the proposed Federal Universities of Education did not materialise during his tenure as president 12 years ago.

According to him, “the federal government had 12 years ago, proposed the upgrading of the Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo, Ivan Ikoku College of Education, Owerri and two others in Kano and Zaria into full fledged University status and the council was ready to go, before the set back from the NUC”.

Obasanjo, then charged government at all levels to do more in the area of employment cautioning the country must avoid sitting on keg of gun powder.

The former President, who spoke at the 16th &17th convocation, awards of Honourary Doctorate degrees and 10th year anniversary of the Tai Solarin University of Education (TASUED) Ijagun, Ogun state at the weekend, however commended the Ogun state government for taking up the initiative to establish the first University of Education in Nigeria.

Obasanjo, who was conferred with the Doctorate degree award of Doctor of Science Education in Political Science, posthumous award for HID Awolowo, and business mogul, Aliko Dangote, stressed the need for the establishment of University of education.

According to him, “the idea of University of Education in Nigeria came up 12 years ago, when I was at the helm of affairs in the country. I had thought that if we have specialised university for agriculture, specialised university for science and technology, why not for university of education?

“At that time at the federal level, four Colleges of Education, which belong to the Federal Government would be turned into universities of education. They included the Adeyemi College of Education in Ondo, Ivan Ikoku College of Education, Owerri, one in Kano and I think the other in Zaria. We were ready to go well, why we could not go, I don’t know. Well, Peter Okebukola is here, you can ask him and he will tell you.

“Well, the Ogun state government took this initiative and behold, we had the first University of Education in Ogun state. Mr. Governor, please help us to thank your predecessor for this.”

Obasanjo, however, disclosed he accepted the award even when he had rejected the one from the BELLS University of Technology, because of the name, Tai Solarin, which the university is named after and Mama Awolowo, whom he described as role models as far as education development is concerned in Nigeria.

“I really don’t indulge in accepting University degrees. But, a number of reasons are adduced to why this has become a must for me. One, is the name, Tai Solarin, who in his life time showed great commitment to education development. Two, for our Mama HID Awolowo, to join in the company of where she has been honoured. Also, the 10th anniversary of the University. As you know, 10 years of an institution is not a joke, so I consider it an honour to come and join in the celebration and lastly, because it is the first university of education in Nigeria. For these reasons, I found it irresistible not to be here.”

The former President enjoined Nigerians to brace up for the challenges which unemployment had created, pointing out that with education, particularly higher education, “we should be able to break cycle of poverty, through job and wealth creations. We can achieve this at the federal, state, local, family and individual level.

“We must all see education as a tool to making positive contributions to our country. But, if after your education, there is no job, you must be able to think outside the box positively, that is one advantage education has provided for you and not making you a tool for evil machinations.”

He, therefore, charged the 5,970 graduating students to show quality and character in their various fields.