Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said that given that budgetary allocations alone cannot sustain the running of public universities, the future of the university system depends on the adoption of independent but creative sources of funding, including the establishment of an endowment fund.
Osinbajo was speaking on Thursday when he hosted a delegation from the Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU) on a courtesy visit to the Presidential Villa. The team was led by the institution’s Vice Chancellor, Prof. Ayodeji Abgoola.
“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 matter,” the vice president in a statement by his media aide, Laolu Akande.
The VP urged the management of 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.
“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.”
Earlier in his remarks, Agboola thanked the VP for his selfless contribution to the growth of the University especially as a pioneer lecturer in the Faculty of Law, building it from scratch.
He recollected how the VP mentored many law students at the University and his support in entrenching the culture of research at the institution.
The VC 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.