The collapse of Nigeria’s education system has been blamed on the country’s policymakers who laid the foundation of the quota system on the basis of ethnicity and political patronage in place of merits.

Olumide Akpata, President of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) made the declaration on Thursday while delivering the 46th and 47th Convocation Lecture of the University of Benin (UNIBEN) in Benin City, the Edo State Capital.

Olumide Akpaya, an alumnus of UNIBEN who titled his Lecture, “Re-prioritization of Education: A Panacea For The Obstacles Challenging National Development In The 21st Century Nigeria” lamented that the sets of Vice-Chancellors at the moment cannot be compared to Vice-Chancellors shortly after the first and second generations of Nigeria Universities were established in terms of wits and expertise.

“That was the moment we laid the foundation for the collapse of the education system in Nigeria. Rather than be guided by the best standard practice and principles, we prioritized the education systems that are administered in Nigeria on the basis of ethnicity, and son of the soil crept into the education system and now holds sway.

“Look at the first sets of Vice-Chancellors we had Nigeria then and compare them with what we have in Nigeria today. For instance, the first Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos was Prof. Enitan Njoku. He was from the South-Eastern part of Nigeria. The same school was at one time led by Prof. Gbadebo who was fathered by a Ghanian.

“The first indigenous Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, UI, was Prof. Kenneth Nwaokadike, born in Awka, the present Anambra State and there was also a time a man from Ondo State became the Vice-Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University” he recalled.

The NBA president however called on Nigerians to galvanize support and vote for leaders that would prioritize education in Nigeria in 2023 and the retooling of the Curricula in the teaching of law and practice.

“Without taking anything away from the Anambra election, we must all go out and register to vote and begin the process of our Country. This is the only way that Nigeria’s problems can gradually and effectively be resolved. They will try to discourage you that politics is a dirty game, but I urge everyone to disagree”.

In a remark, the Chancellor of the University of Benin, Prof. His Royal Majesty, Prof. James Ayatse, the Tor Tov, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his enduring legacy in Nigeria.

The traditional ruler, appealed to the relevant agency handling the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System, IPPIS to fine-tune its operations to eliminate salary payment shortages some Staff are currently experiencing in some institutions.

The Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council of the University of Benin, Dr Sonny Kuku, the Olor’ogun, said with the recent induction of six Professors from the University of Benin inducted as Foundation Fellows into the Academy of Medical Specialties in Nigeria, the institution, now has the highest number of honourees into Board.

On her part, the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Lilian Salami, recalled some of the milestone achievements the institution has recorded since the past few years in office.

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