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Don tasks NUC on strict monitoring of special varsities, polytechnics

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Don tasks NUC on strict monitoring of special varsities, polytechnics
A University lecturer, Prof. Gbenga Aribisala, has tasked the National Universities Commission (NUC) to develop stringent measures capable of stamping effective regulations on operations of special universities and polytechnics in the country.

Aribisala, a Professor of Civil Engineering, made the call on Thursday, during the 2nd Ayodele Afolabi Esan Annual Public Lecture, organised by the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), and held at the Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti (ABUAD).

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the call comes at a time the country is instilling entrepreneurial and vocational skills on its graduates.

NAN also reports that Professor Aribisala is the Deputy Vice-Chancellor ( Academics) of Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti, and a fellow of Public Administration of Nigeria (IPAN).

Aribisala said the special institutions were instituted to give special skills and imbue graduates with knowledge to be job and wealth creators but lamented that most of them now run courses outside their scopes.

In his lecture titled: ‘Economic Development Through Entrepreneurship and Skills Acquisition’ , the academic, said that the two major problems of insecurity and unemployment could only be solved with robust entrepreneurial and skills acquisition, which special institutions can guarantee.

The scholar also hinted that part of why Nigeria remained economically retarded, in terms of development of Small and Medium Scale businesses, had been that only 60 million, out of 200m million Nigerian population had access to electricity.

“Specialised universities of Agriculture and Technology as well as Polytechnics must be regulated properly by NUC. They are already being polluted by being allowed to run courses in social sciences and others”, he said.

Don tasks NUC on strict monitoring of special varsities, polytechnics

On how to resolve the problem, Aribisala urged the NUC to look into conversion courses, being run by institutions, while researches in schools should be geared toward solving local problems.

“The government must provide bailouts for drowning SMEs. Nigeria should consider exporting skills to other nations to be able to garner more experiences and skills for local development”.

He stated that Nigerian engineers could not be productive, as long as there was a disconnect between the education being offered and the environment.

“China unemployment rate is just two per cent, India with over a billion population has unemployment rate of seven per cent but that of Nigeria is between 33 and 35 per cent.

” We are just consumers without productivity.

“But productivity and wealth creation can only occur when we have infrastructures, it is the bedrock of the economy and the driving force,”” he said.

Speaking about the significance of electricity to the growth of SMEs, Aribisala said: “In energy production, we are the third country without electricity in the world.

“Only three per cent of rural communities and 30 per cent of the nation have access to electricity. You can see how this has affected inflation and unemployment.”

The Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, represented by the Supervising Commissioner for Public Utilities, Prof. Bolaji Aluko, said his government had begun an Independent Power Plant, in partnership with some firms to put a section of Ado Ekiti, off the national grid.

“The national grid was not well supplied with adequate current and voltage to power electricity. Ekiti receives six mega watts from the national grid.

‘How do we have regular electricity with this? We are building an IPP that will help in solving our perennial power problem,,” he said.

The ABUAD’s Founder and Chief Host, Chief Afe Babalola(SAN), urged the engineers to up their games and rescue the nation from total collapse.

He also urged engineers to aspire for political offices to be part of policy making.

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Don tasks NUC on strict monitoring of special varsities, polytechnics

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