Provided with the right platforms, young Nigerians will always rise to the stature of national and global challenges, while finding solutions to them through innovation and technology, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said.
This is the more reason why, in addition to government funding, there must be robust private sector interventions to further drive world-class, ground-breaking research and cutting-edge innovation in the country’s higher institutions of learning, Prof. Osinbajo added.
He spoke in pre-recorded keynote remarks at the Yaba College of Technology (YabaTech) N50 Billion Endowment Fund Launch Thursday in Lagos.
According to a statement by his media aide, Laolu Akande, he said not only are institutions of higher learning proving ground for our best ideas, the birthplaces of innovation, and ground-breaking research, they are also to all intents and purposes designed to guide and nurture a society’s pathway into the future.
But, as he noted, research and inquiry may lead to revolutionary discovery or lead nowhere. Either way, the process is expensive and can only depend on large sums of patient capital.
He said; “How do you fund world-class, relevant, cutting-edge higher education sustainably? The question has even greater resonance in Africa where public resources are low and the poverty levels put access to quality education beyond the reach of many.”
Buttressing the need for endowment funding for higher institutions of learning, Prof. Osinbajo said endowments have helped to drive some of the most important global discoveries across different sectors.
According to him, the Yaba College of Technology, is one of the best institutions to use as proof of the concept that we can indeed develop world-class higher institutions for innovation, and research using both private and public-sector finance.
Addressing the endowment promoters, he added that the N50 billion ambition of this endowment fund mirrors your vision for this great institution and demonstrates your keen awareness of what is truly at stake. And we must approach this with a sense of mission and duty.
“We must augment government’s finest intentions with our individual and collective desire to see us do better, to see Africa do better; to see our children step into global arenas of enormous and unprecedented opportunities. One thing is clear, young Nigerians will always rise to the stature of the challenges the world presents them, and even beyond, if we continue to provide a platform for them to stand on.”
“It is no mistake that one of the largest economies in the world, and arguably the most technologically advanced, also has some of the best and most prestigious universities. American colleges and universities have been sustained and supported by endowments for over 300 years,” he said.