Govt alone can't fund varsities, says Obaseki

Governor Godwin Obaseki: says the government can not fund varsities alone

By Jethro Ibileke/Benin

Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki has said that the federal and state governments can not fund tertiary institutions alone.

This is even as he charged universities to deploy new technologies in upgrading teaching and learning outcomes so as to meet up the demands of modern societies.

Obaseki gave the charge on Wednesday while addressing members of the Presidential Visitation Panel to the University of Benin (UNIBEN), who paid a courtesy visit to the Government House.

According to him, “With the outbreak of Coronavirus pandemic, the whole process and method of learning and imparting knowledge has changed or is changing radically globally.

”Therefore, the way we think about university and the purpose of the university must also change.

“We have seen the role of technology in education and the role of technology in transforming lives. We cannot ignore that fact and continue to believe that it is not relevant.

“The other challenge I am sure you will have to deal with is that of funding the university. Realistically, I don’t think the government alone can fund universities. I think we should explore other means to make our universities viable.

“As far as we are concerned, the University of Benin (UNIBEN), has produced more manpower than any other institution in the state. So, we have an interest and a stake.

“We don’t see it as a federal university; we see it as our own university. We will always do everything we can to support the institution. We have our own universities and we are going through the same challenges you just mentioned.”

“I received the result of the visitation panel of Ambrose Alli University, so I can imagine the kind of work you will have to deal with. Your track records speak for themselves; if anyone can do the job, it’s you. We have no doubt that you are going to do a thorough job.”

The governor charged the panel to come up with recommendations that will help in strengthening the university to be more viable.

“All our institutions have suffered from a lack of a sense of accountability. It has disappeared from our universities. It is disappointing to see the level of corruption in some of our universities.”

Earlier, the Chairperson of the Visitation Panel, Mrs Amal Pepple, said that they have a huge task ahead of them, as they have a 60-day duration to submit their report.

However, Pepple thanked the governor for the rehabilitation of some of the link roads within the campus and the renovation of the university hostels, which was used as the Games village for the just concluded National Sports Festival, tagged Edo 2020.