Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has called for more investment in open universities in the country and the expansion of the capacities of tertiary institutions.
Osinbajo, who was represented by the Minister of Transportation, Engr. Mu’azu Sambo made this call at the 20th convocation of the Igbinedion University, Okada, Edo State, over the weekend.
The vice president said the expansion of tertiary institutions would accommodate more youths who constitute 70 per cent of the country’s population.
“As a nation, we must invest in more open universities. With the number of youths accounting for about 70 per cent of our population, we cannot overemphasise the need to expand the capacity of our tertiary education landscape cost-effectively.
“According to the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), in 2019 the carrying capacity across our tertiary institutions stood at 750,000 while no fewer than 1.9 million candidates apply yearly.”
He further pointed out the need to encourage transnational education by deliberately attracting top foreign universities across the world to set up their campuses in Nigeria.
“This will enhance quality and engender healthy competition with tertiary institutions around the world,” he said.
Referencing a former prime minister of the Republic of Guinea, Sambo said it is no longer news that the world is a global village and that universities across Africa must align with international best practices to remain relevant.
“This will help to deliver standards and qualitative education to students. Anything short of this, our continent would be uncompetitive,” he added.
While noting that the tertiary education sector, like other industries, has governing bodies and agencies dedicated to ensuring that quality and standards are maintained, he called on them to contribute their quota towards ensuring that [more] world-class tertiary institutions are operated in the country.