Alakija Donates N250 Million for Completion of UNIOSUN Road
The Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has described the situation where operators of Universities in Nigeria rely on subvention from the owners and burden students with humongous tuition fees as intellectual laziness.
The Governor observed this at the formal opening of the access road to the University of Osun (UNIOSUN), at the entrance to the university in Osogbo. He held that Nigerian universities should adopt world best practices where schools raise funds through endowments, grants and donations from the larger society, which is the primary beneficiary of university education.
The Guardian reports that the Chancellor of UNIOSUN, Chief Mrs Folorunso Alakija was said to have assisted the university with the sum N250 million, which was the exact amount they needed to complete the road project.
Aregbesola averred that university funding anywhere in the world is capital intensive and requires helps from philanthropist like Mrs Alakija to boost education system. He commended Mrs Alakija’s gesture, saying it is a refreshing perspective on funding for education, particularly the university, which requires a huge financial outlay.
Aregbesola said: “Universities require a large amount for capital projects and not less sum for recurrent expenditure. In our intellectually lazy (or idea challenged) environment, the line of least resistance has largely been followed – which is to rely on subvention from the owners and burden the students with humongous tuition fees.
“But the best practices, as we see from other climes, are to raise funds through endowments, grants and donations from the larger society, which is the primary beneficiary of university education anyway.
“Universities also generate revenues through patents, royalties and other intellectual property materials. “This is why there is a huge gap between per capita spending on students by the Euro-American universities, compared to our own.” The governor commended UNIOSUN for being on this same path of operating within the framework of intentional standard of running a tertiary institution.
He stated that the university has been self-subsisting for some time now, as government has stopped giving any subvention to it.In her remarks, the donor Mrs Alakija attributed the gesture towards the construction of the university’s access road to her immeasurable passion for education. She lamented on deplorable state of the nation’s education system, saying it is lamentable and disheartening that no Nigerian University made the list of the first 1000 universities in the world.
“The education system in Nigeria presently needs urgent assistance and unless there is a major overhaul, the future of the next generation of Nigerians will be bleak. “As we all know, education is very important for sustaining and developing people. With it, people acquire wisdom and knowledge. They build confidence and develop the ability to fend for themselves from what they have learnt.
“It is also both an instrument of stability and of change; stability in the sense that good traditions are documented, taught, imbibed and practiced; change because it prepares and equips people to meet new challenges. In the same vein, education is a tool for inculcating moral values in the citizens.
“The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Sustainable Development Agenda has identified 17 Global goals, which every nation of the world must strive to accomplish by 2030. “The 4th goal which is quality education, requires that inclusive and equitable quality education which promote lifelong learning opportunities be made available to all.
“Education is a vision my family and I do not take lightly. This is evidenced by the support we continue to give to students through our Rose of Sharon Foundation where almost 1,500 students benefit from our scholarship program up to university level and the same spirit of which also drove the completion of this project,” she said.
In his welcome address, the Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Labode Popoola, applauded the philanthropic gestures of the donor, Dr. (Mrs) Folorunso Alakija, describing her as a seasoned philanthropist.
Meanwhile, governor Aregbesola will on Tuesday unveil residents’ registration card (Kaadi Omoluabi) for schools pupils, artisans, businessmen and women. The flag off of the card will be done simultaneously with the commissioning of some newly constructed modern school buildings built by his administration as part of his efforts to transform education in the state.
Kaadi Omoluabi residents’ registration identification initiative, which had commenced since 2012 when operational, will assist the government to establish a reliable database of all residents of the state including pupils in all schools as well as artisans for efficient planning and allocation of resources to meet the needs of the citizenry.
The initiative will also enable the government’s e-government strategy and implementation in ensuring government service delivery and facilitate transactions for economic growth of the state.
He said that the card would also ease the processing of loan facilities to artisans as well as market men and women because it will serve as guarantor to people seeking to obtain loan facilities from banks in the state.
“Since Kaadi Omoluabi initiative is biometric, residents of the state seeking loan facility from banks will no longer be compulsorily required to use civil servants as guarantors for the loan which many people considered difficult.
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