Obasanjo, who spoke in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital
when the management of the Federal University of Petroleum,
Effurum, Delta State visited him, reasoned that for a
university to be ranked among the best, it should be able to
boast of quality staff, robust research, adequate facilities and
laboratory equipment as well as adequate funding. "It is only
then they (universities) can produce high standard graduates."
The Vice- Chancellor of the University, Prof. Akii Ibhadode
Fas, said their visit was to appreciate Obasanjo for approving
the establishment of the university during his tenure as
Nigeria's president and also present to him a special award.
The institution, which was established in 2007, is the first
petroleum university in Africa and sixth in the world. It is
meant to produce high level manpower for the petroleum
Obasanjo, who recalled that some years back, the University
of Ibadan (UI) was number four among all universities in the
commonwealth countries, expressed regret that it lost the
position several years ago and is yet to recover. "It is sad that
we were blessed with abundant oil which should have served
as a blessing, but we have messed it up. But all is not lost, we
are not there yet, but we will get there."
The former president urged those managing the country's
universities to accept that something is terribly wrong, and try
to do "something unique" to bring the institutions back to
their past glories.
He disclosed that when he established his private university,
the Bells University of Technology, Ota, Ogun State, he
challenged its management to "produce a Nobel Laureate
within 20 years of its existence."