Crawford varsity VC decries exclusion of private institutions from funding by TETFund
Vice Chancellor of Crawford University, Igbesa, Ogun State, Professor Isaac Rotimi Ajayi, says, “It is very wrong for the educational authorities in the country to exclude the private universities from the funding opportunities offered by the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund).”
Ajayi on the sideline of the ongoing 39th Nigeria Institute of Physics (NIP), which the school hosted, insisted that it is morally wrong for government not to render help to educational institutions just on the weak claim that they are privately-owned.
“In developed democracies like the United States, United Kingdom and Canada, educational institutions, public and private, are heavily funded by governments as they realise that their success is the governments’ success. It is when these institutions are strong and viable that the government would be able to derive the greatest benefits in taxes, social development, employment generation and benefits of social re-engineering from them.”
He pointed out that government intervention for private institutions remains a “moral obligation,” rather than of “condescending assistance” as the monies being expended are sourced from private businesses all over the nation, and these universities are also contributing to this pool.
Commenting on the plan by Lagos State to close down some unregistered primary and post-primary institutions, he opined that closure of schools should not be the first option for government.
“It is good that government should dialogue with such institutions and find out why they are unwilling, or unable to register. After that, they would see what manner of intervention would be needed to help them comply.”
He pointed out that the government would thereby demonstrate to the public that it is a “caring and responsible father” when it would seek to foster the growth of entrepreneurs, who have committed enormous resources into these ventures, instead of “snuffing life out of them because of easily surmountable inadequacies.”
Ajayi noted that it was not out of place for government to institute a tax holiday to fledgling institutions to ensure their survival and viability.
The conference of the Nigeria Institute of Physics, is an annual event which, holds in institutions of higher learning around the country.