ABUJA – Dr Andrew Efemini of the Department of Philosophy, University of Port Harcourt on Wednesday called on the Federal Government to establish Education Development Bank in the country.
Efemini told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that the establishment of the bank would assist in providing loans to relevant bodies in the education sector.
He said that a Federal Government panel in 1982 recommended the establishment of the bank as an alternative finance mechanism for the sector.
“The establishment of the bank without any further delay will help reposition Nigerian universities in terms of funding, sustainable growth, universal and global ranking.
“It will facilitate the independence and autonomy of universities and reduce drastically their dependence on government direct funding as it is in most countries,’’ Efemini said.
He urged governments at the different levels to revisit Decree No.58 of 1993 to back the establishment of the bank.
He said that universities would compete globally if they had the potential for raising funds and investing same in the institutions. [eap_ad_1] Efemini said that the owners and shareholders of the bank should include the federal and state governments, Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND), private and corporate investors, private and public universities.
He said that soft loans mobilised from international finance sources could be used to finance the bank.
“This will assist universities to own assets and invest in such a way that they will be able to pay wages and salaries of lecturers that can match international standard.
“This is such that government guarantees, international funding agencies support, corporate bodies’ investment, incentives for people. “It is also expected that the asset base of the bank will be in trillions of naira or billions of dollars,’’ he said.
Efemini said that the issue of competitive wage for both academic and non-academic staff was a way of convincing Nigerians in the Diaspora to return home.
He said that arrangement were already on ground to enact a law by the councils of universities to ensure that they utilise the funds from the education bank.
Efemini said the objectives that were set for the education bank include fund innovation and investment proposals that would promote a sustained self-reliance of the universities. (NAN)[eap_ad_4]