The outgoing Vice Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) Ile-Ife, Prof. Eyitope Ogunbodede has said there is a need for full autonomy for universities in Nigeria.
Speaking over the weekend at the commissioning of the Agricultural Value Addition and Entrepreneurship Center and the Dispatch Program held in his honor at the Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IAR&T) in Ibadan, Professor Ogunbodede, pointed out that universities are not fully autonomous in the country.
The outgoing vice-chancellor said the time had come for full autonomy for universities to free them from internal and external control, lamenting that the government in most cases adopts policies which may not be suitable to institutions.
“Every institution in Nigeria is in a very turbulent situation at the moment because we have the problem of funding, government intervention in most of the occasions which does not suppose it to be so. Universities are not totally autonomous. Thus, the government, in most cases, has developed policies that may not be suitable for the institutions. As we speak, all university unions are on strike. ASUU, SSANU, NASU are on strike,” he said.
Prof Ogunbodede added: ‘And as a VC you still have to keep the university running. Several internal and external interventions affect these universities. So God has helped me over the past five years to coordinate university activities to mitigate collateral damage.
The outgoing vice-chancellor noted that there had been a lot of turmoil before he assumed his duties as vice-chancellor, but that he had cordial relations with workers and students, even if there were challenges before taking office, adding that he was able to mitigate collateral damage through the wisdom and support of stakeholders in the university community.