Chief Afe Babalola, the Founder and Chancellor of Afe Babalola University, (ABUAD) Ado Ekiti, on Wednesday lamented the dilapidation of infrastructure in many Nigerian educational institutions.
He expressed his displeasure during the 7th International Conference on Infrastructural Development in Africa (ICIDA), held in Lagos.
Babalola was represented at the event by Prof. Adeolu Durotoye, Provost, College of Science and Management Sciences, ABUAD.
The chancellor said dilapidated infrastructure was responsible for the alarming rate of Nigerian students going abroad to study.
He blamed the rate of dilapidation in schools and other vocational institutions over the years on neglect by successive regimes.
Babalola urged the government to address the problem by increasing budgetary provisions for education.
“For Nigeria to catch up with the rest of the world in terms of quality education, the government must comply with the 26% UNESCO benchmark for education.
“I recall that Chief Obafemi Awolowo devoted 54 percent of the budget to education.
“Targeting a certain percentage of GDP each year would ensure that the education infrastructure deficit is slowly reduced, while demands for new infrastructure are met,’’ he said.
Prof. Joshua Ayarkwe, Chairman ICIDA and Provost, College of Art and Built Environment, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana, also spoke at the event.
He said approaches to infrastructure development in Africa are Eurocentric.
Ayarkwe said that the conference, an intellectual discourse, was aimed at rethinking infrastructure development in Africa.
“We have come to realize that there is no way we are going to develop without an inclusive thinking, so we need to really look beyond what we are doing.
“We need to position ourselves and look beyond the
current mode of development and embrace the fourth industrial revolution,’’ he said.
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