Wole Olubanji

Prime Gist

The current debate about “restructuring” Nigeria so as to meet the needs of the people is unenlightening. There is no clarity among the proponents about what restructuring means, to begin with. More importantly, pursuing national solutions based on ethnicity – when ethnic identity is a mere social construct – is backward. What Nigeria needs is democracy.

Elavate News

Nigeria’s problem, which has led to the current calls for restructuring of the country, is failure by the ruling classes to meet the basic needs of their people. There is no evidence that restructuring, whatever it means, would solve this basic problem. Official corruption, mass unemployment, ethno-religious conflicts, an economy that over-relies on oil, are Nigerian realities that cannot be addressed by restructuring.

IH

The problem of increment of fees or commercialisation of education is taking a global character. The capitalist political class and policy makers are offloading the problems of the economy on the workers and working class youth, students inclusive. Yet in Africa, everyone keeps talking about the youth being the future of the continent and about the need to offer them the opportunities they need to succeed.

Chronic underfunding of tertiary education has reduced Nigerian public universities into shameful outfits that are incapable of discharging their responsibilities of teaching, research and community service. The government of President Buhari must quickly raise education funding to 26% of the national budget as recommended by UNESCO.

With Buhari freshly elected, the higher education community in Nigeria has hope that their underfunded sector will reap benefits in the president’s honeymoon phase. But students and educators must not relax now; they must take advantage of this changing of the guard to advocate for their needs with renewed vigor.

There are many instances of mismanagement witnessed at Nigerian public universities, including embezzlement of the inadequate funds doled out by the capitalist state. This needs to be investigated and the culprits made to face the law