Bowen VC urges National Assembly to review TETFund Act
The Vice-Chancellor (VC), Bowen University, Iwo, Osun State, Prof. Joshua Olalekan Ogunwole, has appealed to the National Assembly to review the enabling law establishing the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) with a view to accommodating private tertiary institutions in the country.
Ogunwole also challenged private universities’ operators and other stakeholders to lobby the National Assembly members, who according to him, “ also have students in many of the private universities while some are relatives, friends and stakeholders in private universities.”
The Vice-Chancellor said reviewing existing TETFund law in favour of private tertiary institutions was a legitimate demand and was in consonance with the extant constitutional duty of the government, by making education accessible to her citizens.
The scholar noted that by excluding private universities from benefitting from TETFund, the Federal Government has officially created discrimination within the university system.
Instead of promoting cooperation, collaboration and healthy competitiveness in research and academic excellence needed by every country for transformation and development.
The university administrator further faulted the “unwarranted discrimination and exclusion” on the basis that tertiary private institutions also regularly paid taxes to the Federal Government, gave employment to Nigerians, engaged in human-capacity building, prepared Nigerians for employment as well as made their researches available for use in developing the country.
On incessant strikes by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), the scholar cautioned both the Federal Government and ASUU, and lamented that as commendable as ASUU’s demands were, especially in the overall development of education and making university education accessible to all Nigerians, the union ought to face the stark reality that Nigeria is running a capitalist economy and not a welfarist state.
In his view to that extent, the union should concentrate on fighting for the welfare of its members, who he noted, were poorly remunerated and not celebrated as done in other climes.
In the same vein, the Bowen boss admonished the Federal Government to stop paying lip-service to university education and as a matter of urgent national importance, it should improve funding of public universities and provide needed infrastructure for effective teaching-learning and researches.