The Vice-Chancellor, Salem University, Lokoja, Prof. Alewo Johnson-Akubo, has called on the Federal Government, to allow private universities to benefit from the Tertiary Education Trust Fund, for the desired educational development in the country.
The Vice-Chancellor, who made the call in an interview with journalists in his office in Lokoja, described the call as “very germane” and necessary” to turn around the nation’s education system.
Johnson-Akubo said, “It’s somehow that private universities are not part of the TETFUND funding as the public universities.”
“No doubt, TETFUND funding, ordinarily, is a proceed from what should be seen as a commonwealth, since we are all producing graduates that will serve the nation.
“I think it’s high time that such discrimination stopped. This is because nobody will tell you not to work in a particular office because you’re coming from a private university.
“Therefore, I am calling on the government to see to it that private universities become as many beneficiaries of TETFUND as public universities because we are all working towards the same purpose.
“In fact, if you ask me of genuine universities that should benefit from TETFUND, I will tell you it’s the private universities in terms of ranking.
“This is because funding private universities are like extracting water from flinty rocks. I have a privilege to head a private university and I understand the dynamics of finances,” he said
The VC noted that public universities had budgetary allocations, TETFUND, other grants, and all sorts of subventions, yet, the private universities, which did not have anything at all, were denied excess to TETFUND.
According to him, he sees no reason why private universities should not be integrated into the scheme of things for the TETFUND.
He said, “My clarion call to the government is to see to it that private universities as one of the brightest hope of the nation’s university education benefit from TETFUND as soon as possible.”
The VC explained that Salem University “is that one institution where you bring your wards or children to, and in four years, we return them to you as finished products in every ramification, and devoid of strike.”
On the strike action of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, the VC called on both the government and union leadership to try, in the interest of parents and the loitering students, to see how they could shift grounds and come to some level of compromise, a little to the left and a little to the right with priority to the centre.