The Vice Chancellor of Christopher University, Mowe, Ogun State, Professor Friday Ndubuisi, has called on the Federal Government to amend the Act establishing the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) to incorporate private universities as beneficiaries of the intervention projects by the fund.
Prof. Ndubuisi made the call in his address titled, ‘Private universities in a Developing world,’ which he delivered during the second matriculation ceremony of the university recently, adding that this will help tackle the funding and infrastructural challenges facing private universities in the country.
He queried the rationale behind the exclusion of private universities from being beneficiaries of intervention projects by TETFund when the bulk of the funds accruing to TETFund the organisation come from the private sector through the 2 percent Education Tax levy on all registered companies in Nigeria.
His words: “It is a paradox that the bulk of the funds accruing to TETFund is from the private sector through levying of 2 percent Education Tax on all registered companies in Nigeria and yet its lofty gestures and goodwill are not extended to private universities.
The private universities are owned by Nigerians, either as missionaries, groups, individuals with very minimal foreign participation. In the same vein, majority of the students of private universities are also Nigerians.
The manpower they have produced and are producing in no small way contribute to the nation’s economic development. Does it therefore make sense to deny private universities fund from an organisation such as TETFund that the private sector is indeed funding? The logical answer is No.
“This is why Christopher University is joining other concerned private universities and Nigerians to call on government to make a move to change the policy of TETFund to be not only liberal and progressive in its outlook but to do what has been seen as equitable and just.
An executive bill should thus be sponsored to the National Assembly to widen the scope and area of operation of TETFund to include private universities”.
He stressed that private universities, Christopher University inclusive, are contributing alongside public universities to the human capital development of the country, a reason they (private universities) should not be denied funding and support by a publicly funded institution like TETFund.
Prof. Ndubuisi disclosed that the university which started with 11 degree programmes in the 2016/2017 session had reviewed its academic brief by including 2 new degree programmes in spite of daunting challenges.
The new degree programmes which have been approved by the National Universities Commission, he said, are Mass Communication and International Relations, adding that the institution plans to introduce degree programmes in Media and Information Science before the year runs out. He added that efforts are ongoing by the institution to establish the School of Law next year.
Noting that Christopher University matches theory with practice in the training of students, upholds morals and discipline, Prof Ndubuisi called for public support and goodwill to be able not only to attain its vision and mission but also to be able to serve the Nigerian community in particular and humanity in general.
In his speech, the founder of the university, Chief (Dr.) Christopher Ezeh, while congratulating the matriculating students, reminded them that the task ahead of them is challenging but with diligence, determination and perseverance, they will achieve their desired goal.
Ezeh, who is the Chancellor of the university, said discipline is the bedrock of success in any human endeavour and reiterated that at Christopher University, discipline and good conduct are priced virtues.
“My charge to you however is not only keep company that is aligned with your objectives at this university. Make very good use of your time here, bearing in mind that you are building a future for yourself. Be resolute to the faith you profess and in doing so, you will weather the temptation to fall into anti-social behaviour,” Ezeh admonished the students.