Oct 9, 2011 – Nigerian FG To Support Private Universities Through Education Trust Fund
Vice President Namadi Sambo yesterday hinted that the 45 private universities operating in the country may soon enjoy financial support from the Federal Government through the Education Trust Fund [ETF].
Sambo said the Federal Government’s intervention using the ETF would help cushion the impact of “grappling with issues of funding,” by proprietors of private universities.
He said the universities are playing complementary roles in “education and national development.”
The vice president spoke at the third convocation of Crescent University, Abeokuta, Ogun State, shortly after being conferred with the honorary doctorate degree in Political Science and International Relations.
“I know for instance that a lot of the private tertiary institutions, particularly, the universities, still grapple a lot with the issues of funding and are clamouring for consideration with regard to the tertiary education fund.
“The Government will as a matter of responsibility, look at this issue on its own merit and advise on ways and means by which all the necessary support will be rendered,” he said.
Sambo who was represented at the occasion by the Minister of State for Education, Mr. Augustine Nyesom Wike, noted that most of the private universities in the country were “being promoted by faith based organisations,” and said they “can only serve to better the moral rectitude of their products.”
One hundred and eighteen students graduated yesterday with seven of them graduating with first Class honours while 37 of others went home with Second Class Upper Division.
Also, seven eminent citizens, including former President, Alhaji Shehu Shagari; Vice President Sambo, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alh. Sa’ad Abubakar; the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero and Alhaji Aliko Dangote were conferred with honorary degrees.
Others were Governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari, and his Sokoto State counterpart, Alhaji Aliyu Wamako. All the recipients except Ado Bayero, were personally present.
Sambo admitted that the Federal Government cannot adequately cater for the burgeoning number of Nigerians desirous of acquiring university education hence the need not only to expand infrastructure in the existing institutions but also allow new ones to come up either private or public.
He said, “We are in support of the opening of private universities which is in support of what the Federal government is doing to give access to university education to the people. For example, every year there are over 1.2million youths seeking admission and only 300,000 will be admitted. Where will the remaining be absorbed?” The Nation