The former Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission, Professor Julius Okojie has apologized to proprietors of private universities in the country for the then federal government insistence that private universities in the country be named universities of technology.
He tendered the apology in Ondo on Thursday while delivering the convocation lecture of the 8th convocation ceremony of Wesley University, Ondo.
According to the professor, President Obasanjo in his crave for technology driven tertiary education for national development made a policy that private institutions in the country be university of technology.
“In his quest for a technology and industrialized nation toward addressing the growing unemployment among youths, and in order to check the foreign dependent economic status that has become characteristic of our country, former president Obasanjo directed us at NUC to make it compulsory for the license seeking private universities in the country including Bell University which the president founded to be universities of technologies”.
He disclosed that the policy has good intention for the country from holistic perspective but it was later found that it was delimiting to the potentials of private universities including Wesley University.
The don, a two tenured executive secretary of NUC said the challenges that emerged through the policy was that private universities, including Wesley university Ondo faced unwarranted scramble for students intake when in actual fact they had no wherewithal to survive such a competition.
“With the poor performance of secondary school leavers in WAEC/WASC in science subjects required for studying technology based courses in universities, insignificant number of students seek admission in private universities because there were many unfilled spaces in public universities with no tuition.
This he said made the universities to struggle for students’ enrollment aside the huge cost of university administration they had to shoulder.
Okojie, the forestry and education administration scholar however said that he was very happy that apart from the policy, one of other critical issues that was preventing Wesley University from actualizing her set objectives are being currently tackled.
“I am happy and very optimistic that with recent development in Wesley University community, the institution will achieve her mission and objectives”.
He added that he was one of the advocators of government subvention for private universities in Nigeria as a way of complimenting proprietors support for government in providing education for the citizens saying that proprietors of private universities are not basically profit makers but life and nation builders.
In his remark, the chairman of Wesley University board of trustees, Sir Ademola Aladekomo agreed that although a lot of resources especially funds are required to build a world class University, all organs of the university are focused in the vision, mission and the strategies to ensure that this is achieved and sustained.
Aladekomo appreciated the former NUC helmsman for the trust he has in the owner and management of the Wesley University.
He enjoined that as the University holds its 8th convocation ceremony being the first to be held on its permanent site, all hands must be on deck to ensure that God lead the university to its glorious position among the world class university.
He said “though the task is Herculean we have faith in God that in the next eight years Wesley University will be one of the first ten Universities in Nigeria”.