The federal government Thursday urged governing councils of universities to seek support of philanthropic organisations and individuals for additional funding of projects.
The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, gave the advice in Abuja yesterday while inaugurating the governing councils for the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta; Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike; Joseph Sarwuan Tarka University of Agriculture, Makurdi and the Federal University of Agriculture, Zuru.
Adamu, represented by the Minister of State for Education, Goodluck Opiah, cited trying economic times and government’s desire to bring in more private sector participation in tertiary institutions, asking the councils to come up with ideas that would generate more revenue outside government allocations.
“To this end, the councils should look outwards and enlist the support of philanthropic organizations and individuals for additional funding of projects in the Institutions. In addition, the councils can explore other sources of revenue through endowments,” he said.
He asked the councils to play their roles with skill and efficiency, provide the type of leadership that would stimulate rapid growth of the universities and make them more competitive and attractive.
“In doing these, you should ensure that the universities’ master plans, academic briefs and strategic plans are respected and their provisions strictly adhered to,” he said.
Adamu also said the idea that the chief executive or any principal officer of institutions should come from localities where they are sited had watered down the integrity of Nigeria’s tertiary institutions.
Describing the practice as alien, he said merit should be the guiding principle.
He urged the councils to come up with ideas that would generate more revenue outside government allocations.