[OPINION] ROLES OF GOVERNMENT IN ENHANCING UNIVERSITY SYSTEM IN NIGERIA

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By Ayeni Otito-Jesu Joshua

To begin, Nigeria is a nation that is blessed with variety of individuals of intellect and high brainpower however; it is quite disheartening that the condition of our University System is not as suitable as it should be in developing the minds of the citizens in the country. The issue of enhancement in the educational system necessarily supported by the University system is suffering from a serious wound of abandonment and neglect and that is one reason for poor educational progress in the nation.

As a nation, there are certain responsibilities on the neck of the government that is needed to be carried out and these roles, if properly carried out, can enhance the University system in Nigeria.

One, proper funding: according to a 2018 article titled ‘10 problems of Nigerian Universities’ published on infoguidenigeria, one of the major problems of our University system in Nigeria is poor funding. Thus, in order to achieve a successful University growth, the government which is the proprietor of federal and state Universities in Nigeria, is expected to fund the Universities in Nigeria adequately as these funds would be needed in solving financial constraints such as inadequate payment of staff, lack of institutional facilities needed to aid learning as well as the incessant strike actions embarked upon by various unions.

Two, creating a research-friendly environment to encourage innovation: as a responsibility, it is necessary that the government provides schooling environment needed to aid research and in turn, build students to be creative and innovative. Interestingly, because the world is developing in terms of research, it is pertinent that government provides facilities and an encouraging environment to develop the students in carrying out these researches and meeting up with international standards. By doing this, the University system in Nigeria will be dependable and reliable in terms of research and academic study.

Three, providing adequately equipped libraries with well-furnished ICT tools: as an institution established to provide knowledge and intellectual growth for its students, it is necessary that the government provides a fortified library that is recent in digital proficiency and ICT driven. Because the library is a compendium of knowledge, students cannot but invest in knowledge acquisition by going to the library (physical or virtual) to access, acquire and use information materials. By doing this, there will be knowledge update and in fact, a bunch of relatively knowledgeable individuals that will become assets in the hands of employers.

Four, staff employment should be based on merit: Because of the need to employ staff to work in Universities, there is absolute need to employ staff that are qualified and not just based on favouritism. With favouritism, there tend to be inefficiency and unproductivity in the University’s work because of lack of merit and qualification. With merit, lecturers tend to invest enough in the students by being committed and enthusiastic as to getting positive results from their students.

In conclusion, for us to have a sustainable University system in Nigeria, the government should take cognizance of the role Nigerian Universities play in influencing the human resources necessary for the country’s development. As a clear understanding of this role will in turn lead to the readiness to reform and do all that is necessary to get the University system in Nigeria better and up to standard.

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