Chancellor urges FG to incentivise private varsities
Founder and Chancellor of Southwestern University, Okun-Owa, Ogun State, Babatunde Odufuwa, has appealed to the Federal Government to give incentives to private universities.
Stressing that private universities were vital contributors to the development of tertiary education in the country, he argued that there was a need for the government to support them, especially with funds.
Odufuwa, who spoke at the maiden convocation of the university at the weekend, insisted that private universities should be given due recognition and support for improving the quality of education in the country.
The institution, which graduated 332 students comprising the 2016/2017, 2017/2018, 2018/2019 sessions, churned out 26 first-class graduates.
Honorary awards were conferred on Chief Patrick Solola, Evangelist Olubukola Okunnowo and the Owa of Okun-Owa, Oba Gabriel Abiodun.
He said, “It is the responsibility of the Federal Government to train every child. It is the responsibility of every government to train its own citizens, and so it is worldwide. When you train your citizens, they are easy to be governed appropriately.”
Urging the government to ease the burden of parents of students of private tertiary institutions by giving them incentives, he added, “I implore the two tiers of government in Nigeria to give awards to all the students in private institutions across Nigeria.
That is the proper thing to do. It is the proper thing to do and it is the way it is done in advanced countries of the world.”
The convocation lecturer, Prof. Bukola Oyawoye commended the role of private universities in the development of education.
While delivering the lecture entitled ‘The Essence of Private University in Educational Development of Nigeria’ the professor of Microbiology argued that if not for the emergence of private universities, many people would have missed the opportunity of attending tertiary institutions.
She said, “It is estimated that about 1.5 million candidates participate in the Joint Admission and Matriculation Examination (JME) yearly, and less than 25 per cent of them actually gain admission into the universities. It is obvious that the available public universities cannot absorb them.
“With the advent of private universities, this problem is gradually been checked, as some of the eligible candidates are now absorbed by the private universities.”