The Founder, Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti, Aare Afe Babalola, on Sunday bemoaned the inability of the National Universities Commission to sanction illegal universities in the country.
Babalola also expressed disappointment with the approval by the National Assembly of one-subject universities in its members’ constituencies as well as unsustainable state universities in governors’ area, urging the NUC as the authorized approval body “to ensure that the conditions laid down in the law are strictly followed.”
The ABUAD founder spoke in Ado Ekiti during the university’s 9th convocation.
A total of 1,415 students, comprising 1,306 first degree graduates and 109 post-graduate students, graduated during the convocation.
The 1,306 graduating students comprised 125 First Class, 563 Second Class Upper, 473 Second Class Lower and 60 Third Class.
Also Doctor of Letters was conferred on the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi; the Ewi of Ado Ekiti, Oba Adeyemo Adejugbe; and Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum; while Doctor of Laws degree was bestowed on the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari.
Babalola called on the Federal Government, the NUC, and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to apply appropriate sanctions on illegal universities, which he said should include “forfeiture of the properties of the founders and imprisonment of all collaborators.”
“The NUC on its website had been publishing names of illegal universities annually. This means no action had been taken against those which were discovered in previous years.
“The damage done to education by these illegal universities is irreparable,” he said.
The ABUAD founder, who said the institution had the practice of rewarding excellence in character, scholarship, entrepreneurship and leadership among students, academic and non-academic staff members, said the university had spent N620 million in the last 10 years on reward mechanism.
Zulum, who harped on unity, said, “We shall work together to ensure the unity of our nation. The reason why we are facing insurgency, banditry and killing in Nigeria was as a result of lack of education and high unemployment rate among our youth.
“Two problems are facing our education – the mismatch between education sector and industry, and the mismatch between graduates and labour markets. But I know that this university has been offering quality education that can provide jobs for our youth.” the governor said.
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