Unilorin VC seeks better funding of education

The vice-chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Sulyman Age Abdulkareem, has canvassed adequate funding of education in Nigeria to improve its standard.

The vice-chancellor, who stated this on Monday while fielding questions from journalists in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, noted that the government was trying, but there was still room for improvement.

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

“I had 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 at secondary school level were exposed to necessary facilities for practical application of what they learnt.

“Outside Nigeria, it is not only the government that is involved in funding education; cooperate bodies are in 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 cannot do it.

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“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. We don’t lack brain; what we seriously lack are the tools and the 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).

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

“We cautiously managed the meagre resources that we had to the extent that we ultimately had a commendable overall budget performance and we were able to execute not less than 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 N75 million.”

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