The founder of the Elizade University, Ilara Mokin, Ondo State, Mr. Michael Ade-Ojo has called on the Federal Government to render financial support to the private universities across the country in order to develop the education sector in Nigeria.
Ade-Ojo, who identified funding as a major challenge facing private universities in Nigeria, said the development had been affecting the development of the institutions, hence the need for the government to intervene to reduce the financial burden of the schools.
The founder made the call at the combined third and fourth convocation ceremonies of the institution. No fewer than 413 students were conferred with first-degree awards across the faculties of the university.
He said, “ The major challenge facing private universities in Nigeria is funding. This is a cog in the wheel of the development of these institutions. The founders of these universities solely bear the responsibility of financing them.
“Let me use this opportunity to call on the government to devise means of assisting private universities since the graduates produce by these institutions contribute immensely to the national development in various ways.”
Similarly, the Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Olukayode Amund, said private universities needed the help of the FG financially because they had been assisting the university education system in Nigeria by reducing the stress of students’ admission of the public varsities.
The VC also noted that the private varsities had rendered good service for the students, by being an alternative platform to the public universities, for the students to achieve their university educational goal.
The don said, “Private varsities have been licensed to reduce the stress imposed on public universities by creating additional access for intending candidates. As a proffered solution to funding, public institutions are enjoined to operate within their carrying capacities, taking advantage of the relief provided by the private universities with regard to the admission of students.
“The FG is urged to create a level playing ground for both private and public universities to charge appropriate fees so that candidates can have the freedom of choice for either public or private institutions thereby alleviating the stress on public universities.
“In addition, the disbursement of TETFUND grants should be extended to private universities in view of the service rendered to Nigerian parents and candidates by providing a viable alternative for attaining their educational goal.”