GOVERNOR Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State has charged private universities in the country to focus on specialised training that would produce the relevant manpower to transform the country.
Aregbesola spoke at the weekend at the Achievers’ University, Owo, Ondo State, where he was honoured with a doctorate degree of Science in Public Policy and Management.
According to him, private universities should not follow the old trend of public tertiary institutions by teaching many courses that are of little relevance to current challenges in the country.
The governor said attempting to train students on virtually every field of academic discipline has not helped public institutions to achieve the goal of assisting the country to produce experts in specific areas for development purposes.
He observed that for them to make their marks in the foreseeable future, private universities should focus on an area of scholarship relevant to contemporary development challenges.
His words: “For instance, seeing that transportation is still a major challenge in this country, there should be a university that will specialise in Transport and Logistics Studies whose Civil Engineering Department will be the best in road construction, laying railway lines, building airports and establishing seaports.
“There could also be private universities specialising in specific areas of Medicine, Informatics, Arts or Public Administration. The private universities must carve a niche of relevance for themselves”.
The governor noted that the country was at a critical juncture in its history, stressing that Nigerians must come up with creative ideas that could help the country overcome its various challenges.
He said: “It is disheartening that there has been paucity of ideas from those who should be the guarantors of ideas. Ideas rule the world. Every form of power – political, economic, technological and diplomatic – is a product of an idea. Even violence, terrorism, war and peace are products of specific ideas”.
Aregbesola lamented the failure of leadership in the country, insisting that the kind of intervention that Nigerians should get from them was absent and tasked the academia to rise up to the challenge.
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