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Osinbajo Hosts OOU VC, Advocates more Varsity Endowments

The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, has advocated the adoption of independent but creative sources of funding for Nigerian Universities to overcome the perennial challenges of poor funding. Osinbajo, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, made this submission on Thursday, 22nd December, 2022 when he received in audience, the delegation of Olabisi Onabanjo University, led by the Vice-Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Ayodeji Agboola, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

In his remarks, Osinbajo, who averred that budgetary allocations alone cannot sustain the running of public varsities, said the future of the University system depends on the establishment of endowments and independent sources of raising funds, urging Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago-Iwoye to take the lead in this regard. The Vice President noted that funding University education had remained a serious issue in the country over the years. He called for diversification in the funding of public universities, stressing that dependence on government for funding and provision of critical infrastructure was no longer sustainable.

The Vice-President addressing the University delegation at the Presidential Villa, Abuja

Osinbajo, who explained that all of the great universities around the world have endowment funds, expressed optimism that OOU can become a model for other tertiary institutions in terms of making money independently. He, therefore, advised the University Management to consider adopting suitable approaches to fund its activities. He said, “Funding in the university system (public universities) has to be diversified. The system has to find a way to sustain itself. We really have to look carefully at how universities can make money independently. Whether it is an endowment or some other way, adopting a business model. “

“All of the great universities around the world have endowment funds. Raising money through independent sources for funding university education is a serious thing,” the Vice President added.

Osinbajo urged OOU to adopt other approaches to funding its activities, noting that “depending on government alone or the TETFund for development of infrastructure is not sustainable.” If independently funded and properly run, the Vice President was confident that the University would become greater and globally relevant.

He further said, “I encourage you to create an endowment fund, in addition to the other approaches that you will adopt. Olabisi Onabanjo University can become a model for others but it has to have independent sources of raising funds.

“There should be serious-minded people running the endowment office. This is the future and way forward for the University system in Nigeria. If you do it well, the University will really excel.”

While interacting with his guests, the Vice President also recalled how he and two other academics from the University of Lagos’ Law Faculty were involved in teaching Law in the early years of OOU. He narrated how, for three years every Tuesday, he and the two other lecturers would travel with the then Dean of Law at the University of Lagos to Ago-Iwoye to take lessons and return to Lagos the next day. Earlier in his remarks, the Vice-Chancellor commended the Vice President for his selfless service and invaluable contribution to the growth of OOU, especially as one of the pioneer lecturers in the Faculty of Law of the University. He recollected how Osinbajo mentored many Law students at the University and acknowledged his support in entrenching the culture of research at the institution. Prof. Agboola also made a presentation to the Vice President on the current state of the University, its challenges and projections for the future, seeking more support, especially in the area of infrastructure development.

Some members of the OOU delegation on the visit included Dr. Adekunle David from the Faculty of Engineering of the University, Mr Joseph Osifeso, a Principal Assistant Registrar in the Vice-Chancellor’s Office and Goodwill Ambassadors of the University which included Mr. Michael Matthew and Mr. Abah Adejoh.

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