Prof. Aize Obayan, Vice-Chancellor, Landmark University, Omu-Aran has called for increased funding of research in universities to assist in the Federal Government’s agriculture transformation agenda.
Obaya, who made the call in Omu-Aran, Kwara State, said that funding would enhance the contribution of the universities toward food security in the country.
She said that Nigerian universities were expected to, through research efforts address the food insufficiency that resulted from flooding, outdated farm practices and insecurity challenges.
“We cannot isolate universities in Nigeria from the framework of governance and administration generally. Many Nigerian universities are biting more than they can chew and they do not have enough resources to run the programmes have. So, at what point will they play their roles when they find it difficult to fulfill the primary roles of teaching, research and development due to inadequate funding?’’ she asked.
The don said that to address the challenge of inadequate funding, universities should be encouraged to focus on agricultural mechanisation, vital to ensuring food security.
Obayan said that Landmark University had since inception taken the bull by the horn and introduced scholarships, especially on agriculture-related courses to encourage students.
“The introduction of scholarship by the university and Bishop David Oyedepo Foundation, the installment payment of tuitions and other similar measures are some of the palliatives put in place. These measures have continued to attract many students to the university among series of other achievements it has recorded in its agrarian revolution drive,’’ Obayan said.
The VC, who decried the unpleasant state of many universities, said the development could hamper the country’s future development plans.
“Universities must be able to go into researches and laboratory testing to improve agriculture; they must research into how improved seedling can be generated. This is the practical way of transferring theories and research findings into practice, which has been the missing link in the country’s agriculture transformation initiatives,’’ she said.