A former Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission, Prof. Peter Okebukola, said the country’s 153 universities were not socially relevant due to inadequate funding.
The don said this on Thursday at the third Distinguished Lecture of the Mountain Top University, Ogun State.
Speaking on the theme, “More investment, more harvest: Agenda for enhancing social responsibility of Nigerian universities,” Okebukola said his arrival at the conclusion that poor funding was the major factor responsible for Nigerian universities’ irrelevance to the country was due to his findings after a research carried out among them.
During the research, the don said he discovered that the country’s universities were doing “amazing things” despite operating on a shoestring.
He said, “I keep hearing people from all over the country and the world that our universities are doing nothing to the society, that they are not proffering solutions to societal problems like food insecurity, energy inadequacy, insecurity and so on. Some are asking, ‘why are our universities not solving societal problems?’ This criticism is too much.
“I was challenged and I carried out a research. I discovered that saying Nigerian universities are not doing anything in the society is not true. The truth is that good things are happening in our universities and the conclusion of the research is that our universities, based on the level of funding they are getting, are delivering very well and if we increase the level of resources available to them, they will deliver more and be more socially relevant.”