Lagos lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana, has called on the Federal Government to establish an education bank for indigent students and extend Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) grants to private universities.
He said the failure and refusal of government to establish the Nigerian Education Bank was illegal, unconstitutional and a violation of basic human rights.
He made the call at the third matriculation ceremony/public lecture of Christopher University, Mowe, Ogun State, with the theme “The legitimacy of government support for private universities through the Tertiary Education Trust Fund.”
Falana said private investors were carrying the responsibility of government by providing quality education for the citizens. He said government has to support tertiary institution by funding both public and private universities.
The legal luminary noted that private individuals who established private universities are now faced with the challenge of funding and maintenance.
“If the Buhari administration is interested in or serious about education, they would have raised up to two hundred billion dollars from tax and certain percent used for education without borrowing. The government cannot fund education based on the condition of our economy.
“There are grant and foundations set up to assist specialised courses in the art and science vocations that can promote qualitative education. Knowledge is powerful when you have information about innovative ways to handle education, the quality will improve and people will look for the school.”
Moreso, he stated that government should suspend the issuance of license to new private institutions to reduce proliferation of private institutions because the fund to maintain the standard is not available and instead it should provide the means to sustain the already established ones.
He lauded the founder of Christopher University for investing in education and called on other wealthy Nigerians to emulate him by investing in a worthy course.
Chancellor of UNICHRIS, Dr. Christopher Eze, said he established the institution to contribute to the thriving community of success.
“It is a worthy cause that I decided to invest in. Education is not just about going to school and getting a degree but it’s all about widening your knowledge and absorbing the truth about life. It’s not just a preparation for life but a vital aspect of life that change them in every aspect of life.”
The chancellor charged the students to concentrate on their study, stating that if they were observant in the few months they had spent, they would have discovered that it is a civilised community.
Ezeh promised to collaborate with parents to ensure their wards grow in the right way by creating an enabling environment.
Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Friday Ndubuisi expressed joy to have the new students start their tertiary education journey that would take them to achieve their life ambition.
Ndubuisi stated that the students would have some level of freedom and encourage them to build their level of confidence in order to live a meaningful life.
He encouraged the students to strive and choose what will add value to their life and the courage to walk away when there is a negative issue that could affect their personality and that if possible, they should seek counsel.