Despite Poor Funding, FG Creates 30 More Tertiary Institutions
President Muhammadu Buhari creates 30 more tertiary institutions despite public concerns over poor funding of the existing ones as well inadequate budgetary allocations to the education sector.
Findings show that no fewer than thirty new tertiary institutions have been established by the federal government since Buhari’s assumption in 2015.
NAN reports that the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics on Tuesday said the establishment of polytechnics in Nigeria was fast becoming mere ‘constituency projects’ to satisfy political convenience.
ASUP President, Anderson Ezeibe, who stated this in Abuja at a two-day workshop said: “We do not agree with the continued establishment of new polytechnics on the largely unsubstantiated premise of providing greater access to tertiary education for young Nigerians as the existing ones remain unattractive to young Nigerians.
Earlier in April, ASUP had asked both the federal and state governments to shut down polytechnics if they can no longer fund them.
The zonal coordinator of ASUP in South West (Zone C), Nureni Yekini who stated this at a briefing held in Abeokuta, shortly after the leadership monitored compliance of strike action in the state said: “The governments are just creating schools for fun and crippling what we called TETFUND in the institutions whereby you are just waiting for the federal government to build one structure or the other which is not acceptable to us.”
Findings by NAN show that among the new tertiary institutions established by the Buhari-led government are 11 universities, 9 colleges of education and 10 polytechnics.
In June, the federal government approved release of N18 billion for take-off of four specialised universities established by the Buhari administration.
The established universities include: the Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko (2018); Air Force Institute of Technology, Kaduna (2018); Nigerian Army University, Biu (2018; Federal University of Transportation, Daura, Katsina State (2018); Federal University of Agriculture, Zuru, Kebbi State (2020) and the University of Health Technology, Otukpo Benue State (2020).
Other universities established by the Buhari government include: the Federal University of Technology, Babura, Jigawa State (2021); Federal University of Technology, Ikot Abasi, Akwa Ibom State (2021); Federal University of Health Sciences, Azare, Bauchi State (2021); Nigeria Air Force University, Kaduna (2018) and the Federal University of Health Sciences, Ila Orangun, Osun State (2021).
Findings also show that the ten polytechnics established include: Federal Polytechnic Ile-Oluji, Ondo State; Federal Polytechnic, Daura, Katsina State; Federal Polytechnic Kaltungo, Gombe State; Federal Polytechnic Ayede, Oyo State; Federal Polytechnic Munguno, Borno State; Federal Polytechnic N’yak, Shendam, Plateau State; Federal Polytechnic Ohodo, Enugu State; Federal Polytechnic Ugep, Cross Rivers State; Federal Polytechnic Wannune, Benue State and the Federal Polytechnic, Orogun, Delta state.
The nine Colleges of Educations established are: Federal College of Education, Iwo; Federal college of Education, Odugbo; Federal College of Education, Isu; Federal College of Education,Ekiadolor; Federal College of Education, Gidan Madi; Federal College of Education, Jama’are; Federal College of Education, Birnin Kudu and Federal College of Agriculture, Kirikasamma.
A Professor of Education Leadership Development at the University of Abuja, Salihu Ingawa, said establishment of more tertiary institutions is a “crude fraud” as the lawmakers are using it to please President Buhari and to “get something for their pockets and constituency”.
Professor Ingawa said: “Yes we have the number but do we have the capacity? How many universities can admit even 30,000 students?”
Insisting that there is a need to provide the infrastructure, Ingawa said: “How can you go to these institutions where they have no instrument to provide the practical, even as the theoretical is not there.
“The first generation universities are suffering and they said they are aged and the university I attended was established in 1804, how can you say universities established in 1960/61 are aged.
“What they should do is to increase the capacity of the first generation universities both in infrastructures and human resources so that they can admit more students as they have established a name for themselves,” he said, adding that instead of building new universities, they should put all the infrastructure they are going to put in the new universities to the old ones and see what will happen.
“You see the N5 billion for a new university, give it to ABU or UNN Nsukka and see what will happen but because they want to impress Buhari to say he expanded the universities from like 20 to 100,” he said.
For Dr. Abdullahi Yalwa, there are two sides to it, based on the population and the space for people to study; there is a need to establish more institutions considering the number of applicants from JAMB and the institution, there is a need for expansion for absorption capacity.
“But the question is what sort of education are we giving? We are just processing people to hold a paper of NCE, HND, DIPLOMA or degree and people will just carry the paper with nothing practical to show or to defend,” he said.
He argued that what they have in existence is not properly groomed to provide the right quality of education because the existing institutions are not well equipped and funded, while the teachers are not well equipped and trained to provide the right quality of education.