The Vice Chancellor of the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Prof. Maduebibisi O. Iwe, has called on the federal government to encourage education as much as possible by treating it as the most important social service.
He warned that if the education sector continues the way it is, the future of Nigerian children will be at risk.
He spoke in Calabar in an interview with DAILY POST Sunday after he presented a lecture at the 176th-anniversary celebration of The Presbyterian Church of Nigeria.
“Federal Government of Nigeria should see and handle education as a social service. They must embrace and support education wholeheartedly so that our future generations will not be an ignorant set of people,” he said.
“We must encourage education. We should know that it is the baseline for living. We pray and hope that leaders of the country will lend ears to the demand for more funds to tertiary institutions.”
Iwe took time to stress that poor funding has drastically affected the agricultural sector, especially the universities and colleges of agriculture.
“Funding is what the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is asking for universities.
“Funding shouldn’t only be in the area of human capacity development but produce capacity,” he added.
The various universities of agriculture have not achieved the desired impact due to a lack of proper funding, which reason the country is not at par with other agric powers in the world.
“We can achieve that when funds are channeled to universities, particularly those specialising in agriculture. Agric sector needs substantial funds. In the last three years, many farms have collapsed.
“In the mid-1980s, the country established three varsities of agriculture so that there would be the desire by all to plant, harvest, process, package, and export to global markets. I doubt that the country has achieved those objectives because we still rely on importation,” he added.