Fashola, prof differ on varsities operating business

The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has said alternative funding remains a viable solution for public universities to generate revenue for themselves without depending on the government.

The minister stated this on Tuesday at an event organised by the House of Representatives themed, ‘Re-imagining Tertiary Education in Nigeria: Issues, Challenges and Solutions.’

The summit was also attended by the President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, Prof. Emmanuel Osodoke; Director-General of Budget Office, Benjamin Akabueze; and Chairman, Channels Media Group, John Momoh.

According to a statement released on Wednesday and signed by the ministry’s Director of Press, Mrs Blessing Adams-Lere, the minister noted that a printing press, consultancy services and poll results were credible funding proposals for tertiary institutions.

While making his remarks, the Director General, Budget Office of the Federation, Akabueze, aligned with Fashola’s position, saying, “There has to be sustainable funding of tertiary education. We can’t continue with the current system because it is not working and not sustainable.”

However, a Professor of the Department of Education Administration & Planning, University of Calabar, Uduak Ekpo, disagreed with the proposal.

She said, “If lecturers run away from their core mandate of academic excellence through research and teaching and go into business, funding of the university, education will suffer.”

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