The Presidential candidate for the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), Dr. Obiageli Ezekwesili, according to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) has tendered solution to the frequent industrial action of tertiary institutions over poor funding of education in the country.
According to NAN, the APCN presidential candidate expressed displeasure with the ongoing strike by members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). She however assured Nigerians in a press statement on Tuesday, that there would be adequate funding for the educational sector if she emerged winner.
“One of the signature programs of our administration would be TwentyToeRanking. This initiative will focus on the transformation of twenty Nigerian universities and to raise them up to the league of world-class institutions within a seven-year period.
“The other signature program is Grant Autonomy to Federal universities, which is a core policy change that can facilitate #TwentyTo-eRanking. It implies that our government will grant full autonomy to public universities.
“Our administration will end the current centralized control of universities by the Federal Government or state governments over their own funded universities, which over the decades stifled their growth and performance.
“Most top-ranking government-owned universities around the world are known to thrive as a result of de-balancing of the need for accountability for public resources on one hand, and preservation of their academic freedom on the other hand,” she stated.
Ezekwesili added by saying, “The FG’s current budgetary funding for such universities will be converted to annual grants that are indexed to accountability, performance and results. The overriding objective will be for our public universities to deliver qualitative tertiary education at cost-effective tuition for the students.
“University autonomy will, especially, deepen research capabilities and building of partnerships within the tertiary education system. This policy will also change university leadership and governance, thereby insulating the institutions from political appointment of Vice Chancellors that has over the decade compromised academic quality and performance.
“Our government shall design and execute a solid financing model that allows for students that meet the requirements for tertiary learning to fund their education, relying on a mix of financial aids, scholarships and student loans.”