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Allow private universities access TETFUND, VC tells FG

Prof. Alewo Johnson-Akubo, Vice Chancellor of Salem University in Lokoja, has urged the federal government to permit private universities to receive funding from the Tertiary Education Trust Fund in order to achieve the desired level of educational growth in the nation.

The Vice-Chancellor described the call as “very germane” and “necessary” to turn around the country’s educational system in an interview with journalists held in his office in Lokoja.

Johnson-Akubo said, “It’s somehow that private universities are not part of the TETFUND funding as the public universities.”

“No doubt, TETFUND funding, ordinarily, is a proceed from what should be seen as a commonwealth, since we are all producing graduates that will serve the nation.

“I think it’s high time that such discrimination stopped. This is because nobody will tell you not to work in a particular office because you’re coming from a private university.

“Therefore, I am calling on the government to see to it that private universities become as many beneficiaries of TETFUND as public universities because we are all working towards the same purpose.

“In fact, if you ask me of genuine universities that should benefit from TETFUND, I will tell you it’s the private universities in terms of ranking.

“This is because funding private universities are like extracting water from flinty rocks. I have a privilege to head a private university and I understand the dynamics of finances,” he said

The vice chancellor observed that whereas public universities received budgetary allocations, TETFUND, other grants, and various subventions, private universities, which received nothing at all, were not eligible for TETFUND.

He claims that he does not see any justification for not including private universities in the overall plan for the TETFUND.

He said, “My clarion call to the government is to see to it that private universities as one of the brightest hope of the nation’s university education benefit from TETFUND as soon as possible.”

The VC explained that Salem University “is that one institution where you bring your wards or children to, and in four years, we return them to you as finished products in every ramification, and devoid of strike.”

In response to the Academic Staff Union of Universities’ strike, the vice chancellor (VC) urged the union’s leadership and the government to work together to find a middle ground that would satisfy both sides while also serving the interests of parents and lingering students.

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