Former VC Advocates Strict Adherence To Rules In Running Institutions

Prof. Odugbemi

Prof. Tolu Odugbemi, a former Vice Chancellor, University of Lagos, has urged heads of institutions in the country to ensure that policies, rules and regulations are strictly adhered to, in running the system.

Odugbemi gave the advice at the public presentation of his book entitled: A Practical Approach to Contemporary Tertiary Education Management in Nigeria, on Tuesday in Lagos.

The former vice chancellor co-authored the book with Dr Taiwo Ipaye, a former university Registrar.

He noted that there was the need for merit to be at the forefront at all times.

“There is the need for management and heads of our various institutions to always live up to their responsibilities by ensuring that policies, rules and regulations in the system are strictly adhered to, if we intend to continue to make the relevance in nation building.

“Their activities must be merit-based at all times and they must avoid playing to the gallery, shun ethnicity as well as all forms of discriminatory tendencies.

“We need to focus on good education and gainful employment for our youths, for a better today and tomorrow.

“This is not only for our youths, but for a peaceful, orderly and secure society for the benefit of us all,” Odugbemi said.

Speaking on the importance of entrepreneurship and vocational skills, he said the present state of imbalance in economic and social standing in the country was precarious for the health and stability of the society.

He said that the country must, therefore, stop wastage based on misplaced priorities and unproductive ventures, especially in all aspects of governance.

“Our youths must be gainfully employed and paid living wages,” he said.

On his part, the chairman of the occasion, Mr Steve Omojafor, said education remained one of the strongest pillars on which any country could develop and function effectively, adding that Nigeria was not an exception.

According to Omojafor, also the Chairman, Board of Trustees, Augustine University, Ilara Epe, successive governments have continued to exhibit flagrant disrespect for the university system and the lecturers, particularly in remuneration and welfare.

Omojafor, who was represented by Prof. David Oke, Provost, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Idi-araba, stated that if indeed, education was to be accorded its pride of place, the government must need to commence restructuring their budgets.

He said this was to give the required impetus to the education sector and reduce the incessant clashes between the authorities and the universities.

“It does however appear that the new Federal Government is beginning to listen to the voice of reason.

“The alarming rate at which universities spring up in the country has also been a major concern to people like me, as this has a big tendency in low standards in the quality of lecturers and the products of these institutions.

“I, therefore, submit that the National Universities Commission (NUC) needs to take a harder look at requirements for setting up new universities, which has become an all-comers affair.

“In conclusion, I believe that the book; A Practical Approach to Contemporary Tertiary Education Management in Nigeria, which is a compilation of essays by 25 egg heads from top universities around the country and edited by Prof Odugbemi and Dr Ipaye attempts to provide a panacea to the challenges in the system,” he said.

Reviewer of the book, Prof. Duro Oni, a one-time President, Nigeria Academy of Letters, said the book, a publication of 19 chapters, has a foreword by Dr Daniel Olukoya, a professor of Biotechnology and Chancellor, Mountain Top University.

According to Oni, the chapters make valuable contributions to the field of educational management, by shedding light on the complexities of staff recruitment in tertiary institutions.

He noted that the entire publication is well packaged and makes for easy reading, as it does not contain too many technical terminologies.

The one-time deputy vice-chancellor (Management Services) of University of Lagos added that the book would be a useful guide and enlighten readers on how to make the country’s tertiary institutions better.

“I, however, observed very minor errors, too minor to be mentioned. The figures in colour too, could be of better quality,” he said.

Dr Taiwo Ipaye, co-author of the book and Director, Arthur Mbanefo Digital Research Centre, University of Lagos, said that the book comprised 418 pages.

She noted that it was targeted at policymakers and implementers in the university system in the country.

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