The Registrar and Chief Executive of Joint Admissions Matriculations Board Prof.Ishaq Oloyede has charged all tertiary institutions to embarked on sustainable waste management including e-waste administration through research and entrepreneurial ventures.
He noted that ivory towers should domesticate the principles of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) as said by UNESCO.
Oloyede who spoke at the 10th Foundation Day Lecture of the Osun State University, Osogbo held on Tuesday,as the part of the activities in marking the University 6th Convocation Ceremony.
Delivering a lecture entitled: “Universities And The Challenges of Sustainable Development,” Prof.Ishaq Oloyede said though Nigerians have predilection to raise the problem of funding, resources and other problems facing the university system but noted that the attitudes of members of the ivory towers should be checked.
According to Oloyede who was represented by a lecturer from the University of Ibadan, Professor Afiz Oladosu, in addressing universities and the challenges of sustainable development, “the environment is fundamental as every ultimately depends on the environment to survive.”
He therefore tasked universities to generate research that would ensure environmental sustainability.
Oloyede said, “universities have crucial roles to play in addressing the challenges of sustainable development.
“The only requirement needed in this regard is attitude which determines our altitude.
“This is because anytime action is required in a course, there is predilection among Nigerians to raise the problem of funding, resources and other problems that would make us not achieve the desired end.
“With positive mental attitude, I recommend that rather than relying on concrete or fence (only) to mark the perimeter of the university campus, universities should be planting streets for economic and ecological purposes.
“The trees will serve as carbon sink, taking out and storing carbon.
“Apart from forestation for the purpose of boundary demarcation, universities should cultivate the plantation culture through a deliberate policy of growing economic trees like teak, date palm and so on.
“Nigeria universities should formulate robust environmental policies and implement the provisions therein to the letter.
” Universities should develop their own capacity for generating power rather than relying on the epileptic public power supply system or unsustainable power generators.
“Alternative energy should be generated from solar, thermal and biofuel sources in order to accelerate development.”
Meanwhile, notable academics in the country have said that until authorities, management and workers in the nation’s universities adopt what they described as positive mental attitude in carrying out their roles, they may not be able to tackle and surmount various challenges of sustainable development battling the university system.
He said that the attitudes of members of the universities communities would determine their altitude.
The JAMB boss further advised universities to impact more on their immediate communities through town and gown programmes that would sensitise Nigerians on the impacts of climate change and the need to embrace sustainable development philosophy.
Also speaking, the Pro Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council, UNIOSUN, Mallam Yusuf Ali (SAN) said universities appeared unperturbed by the challenges facing them saying that they were not ready to change.
Ali accused authorities and managements of universities of greed advising that they should change their attitudes in order to achieve sustainable development.
In his own remarks, the Osun state university Vice Chancellor, Prof. Labode Popoola declared that societies were beginning to challenge the relevance of universities and called on universities to “take the driver’s’ seat.”
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