BusinessDay

Unilorin VC advocates more funding for Nigeria educational system

Sulyman Age Abdulkareem, professor of engineering and the vice chancellor, University of Ilorin has canvassed for adequate funding of education in Nigeria to improve its standard.

The vice-chancellor, who started this on Monday while fielding questions from journalists in Ilorin the Kwara State capital, noted that if we must move the country forward; the educational system has to be prioritized.

“We must prioritise some industries to develop our country. The government needs to spend a lot of money on education. What we had for laboratory pieces of equipment then; differs from what we have today.

“I had a chance to go to a few countries that are not even as advanced as America, I was in Malaysia and Pakistan and I saw how students in secondary school level were exposed to necessary facilities for practical application of what they learnt.

“Outside Nigeria, not only government engage in the funding of education; cooperate bodies are in the support but we are not doing that here.

“If you look at the millions we get as salaries; when you see how much they allocate to each University monthly, you will know that government is trying. Looking at the reality, I’m not sure that this government can do much better,
Government alone can not do it.

“We must all rise to the challenge, more people than the federal government may need to come to the aid of education in Nigeria. Thank God there are few philanthropists that are rendering support but many more will have to come up to assist this nation to emancipate. We don’t lack brains; what we seriously lack are the tools and the pieces of equipment to get work done right.

According to the vice-chancellor , the institution is faced with protracted financial challenges resulting from the economic meltdown occasioned by the lockdown and a deficit variance of income expected from the Federal Government to the tune of more than 2 billion naira and there was a deficit of actual receipt from Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).

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While giving account of his stewardship, professor Abdulkareem explained that, “The drastic financial drop in our projected income put a lot of financial pressure on us and constrained us in meeting the requirements of our growth objectives.

“We cautiously managed the meager resources that we had to the extent that we ultimately had a commendable overall budget performance and we were able to execute not less that 26 physical infrastructural projects in the year under review.

“Despite the challenges, the 2019/2020 academic session was eventful and fulfilling. We solidly enhanced our commitment to stamp our name on global epitaph of academic excellence and reputation. We were gratified to win the 2019/2020 JAMB’s pioneer award for ‘The Most Subscribed University’ with a cash prize of Seventy-Five Million Naira (N75,000,000.00).

“Through a special intervention from the Central Bank of Nigeria, we have started a mega poultry farm that will greatly serve the needs of the people within our environment. With its bright prospects, the farm is also going to be a great source of internally generated revenue for us and a training centre for the staff and students.”

Other achievements he mentioned include; construction of Extension of the Main Library; construction of Administrative Block for the Faculty of Environmental Sciences; construction of the Faculty of Engineering 500- Seat Lecture Theater (ongoing), construction of Carpentry Workshop and Paint Factory for Technical and Entrepreneurship Centre.

He disclosed that the University will graduate a total of 10,922 students at the convocation ceremony for year 2019/2020 academic session.

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