The Accountant-General of the Federation, Mr Jonah Oguniyi Otunla has said that the decision of the INEC to use Vice Chancellors of universities as returning officers in the 2011 election was a brilliant idea, adding that the election was successful because the professors were incorruptible intellectuals.
“2011 election was successful because of the employment of Vice Chancellors as INEC returning officers,” he said.
Otunla who spoke Monday, at Caleb University, Lagos said: “In 2015, if INEC has no better alternative, I think it is best to re-employ the service of Vice Chancellors because it has the best result on the 2011 election.” He noted that judging by the calibre of people that were involved, it restored confidence in the electorates and gave credibility to the election. “So I wish the idea of INEC using them as returning officers should continue,” he added.
The number one accountant of the nation who based his recommendation on the fact that the VC were empowered to announce the results of the election as given to them by INEC, said they did a good job and were not manipulated which restores the confidence of the electorates election process.
Delivering a lecture on: “The impact of quality education on national development: where is funding situated” Otunla dismissed the agitation from private universities that they should benefit from the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) insisting that private universities are profit making venture.
He said: “As private ventures or enterprises, private universities depend on income generated through a variety of sources. These according to him include; tuition fees, contributions from a variety of sources and income from investments.
He urged private universities, which maintain academic standard, to continue in their good works saying that the public is watching, one day some one will come and assist financially, just as it is being done in the US and UK.
He maintained that parents who have chosen private university for their children did so because they wanted the best for their children, insisting that they should be able to afford it. “If you want quality education, you must be ready to pay for it. I have three children and none of them is in private university because I cannot afford it,” he said.
However, as part of his commitment towards education, Otunla has pledged N100,000 endowment fund for the best graduating Accountant student of Caleb University effective from 2013.
Otunla who berated the manner with which our teachers are treated said: Our country should celebrate teachers as it is done in overseas, reiterating that the teaching profession is more important than any other profession as all professions were taught by teachers.
Said he: “The role teachers play qualify them to have a say in the national development as quality teachers will produce quality students who will drive the national economy. If you have a bad teacher, you cannot have a good student.