The Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, says Nigerian leaders should be prepared to build more prisons and cemeteries if they fail to invest in education.
The governor said there is a direct relationship between the unrest in the Niger Delta and the low level of education, unemployment and under-employment.
Mr Dickson said this in Abuja on Thursday while receiving the letter of recognition and approval for Bayelsa Medical University at the headquarters of the National Universities Commission (NUC).
“We sit here and all our children are going to neighbouring countries and they are paying in dollars. Nigerians are hungry for good and quality education. The enrolment figures have increased in our schools so we have to think of the third and a specialised university,” he said.
Mr Dickson said funding is one of the reasons for the depreciation of universities in Nigeria.
“Nigeria universities cannot afford to be cheaper than our nursery and primary schools and this is the fault of our government. When it comes to nursery and primary schools, we pay higher but when it comes to funding universities, we play politics with it,” he said.
The Executive Secretary of NUC, Abubakar Rasheed, said the university will become the 48th state university in the country with effect from January 31.
He urged the state government to adhere strictly to the technical advice which includes the rules and regulation of the commission.
“There are 169 universities in the country, 43 are owned by the federal government, 47 are owned by state government, 75 are privately owned,” he said.
According to him, Nigeria now has four specialised medical universities in Nigeria.
“Bayelsa state university is now the second medical public university in Nigeria and the fourth medical university in Nigeria. The public medical universities are situated in Port Harcourt and Lagos State while the two private medical universities are in Ondo State and Bayelsa State,” he said.
The four medical universities are Bayelsa State Medical University, Ondo State University of Medical Sciences, PAMO University of Medical Sciences in Port Harcourt and Eko University of Medical Sciences, Lagos.
He said JAMB, TETFUND and NYSC had been informed of the creation of the university.
Mr Rasheed said about one per cent of Nigeria’s population is in the university.
“The reason for more universities is because the 169 universities have a total enrolment of only two million students and we are a population of about 2000 million people. If you google search, you will find out that countries with only one-third of our population have up to 500 universities,” he said.
The Federal Executive Council approved the establishment of four new private universities in January.
The new universities are Greenfield University, Kaduna; Dominion University, Ibadan Oyo State; Trinity University, Ogun State and Westland University in Iwo, Osun State.
Source: Premium Times