By Olawale Jokotoye
Abeokuta – The Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNNAB), has appealed to wealthy Nigerians to assist the nation’s universities with funds to enable them to maximise their intake capacities.
The Vice-Chancellor (VC), Prof. Kolawole Salako, made the appeal on Saturday at a press conference in Abeokuta against the backdrop of the post-UTME screening recently conducted by the institution.
Salako said that except universities were endowed with the much needed funds, they would continue to shut their gates against many Nigerian youths eligible for admission.
The VC who disclosed that over 10,000 candidates applied for admission into the university lamented that “the institution’s carrying capacity can only accommodate 4,000”.
“This kind of situation would have been avoided if the elite, especially wealthy Nigerians, have cultivated the habit of supporting tertiary institutions with endowments like their foreign counterparts,” he said.
According him, many wealthy Nigerians would rather heap blame on the government which also needed their support to improve the nation’s education sector.
“Don’t tell me to advise government; tell me to advise Nigerians. Bill Gate is not a Nigerian but he is sponsoring education, agriculture, and health in Nigeria.
“My advice to wealthy Nigerians is that they should understand that all those billions of naira they have should be used to assist humanity for enduring legacies.
“What our wealthy men and women should do is what their counterparts are doing in the U.S and Europe where wealthy people go into serious endowment.
“One family with only one daughter donated billions of dollar to Harvard University and Stanford University.
Salako, however, commended Chief (Mrs.) Folorunsho Alakija and Chief Wale Babalakin (SAN), for their financial assistance to the Osun State University and the University of Lagos respectively.
“I attended a convocation on Saturday where an amazon, Chief (Mrs.) Folorunso Alakija alone donated about N1 billion worth of facilities to Osun State University.
“The Pro-Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Chief Wale Babalakin, has done a lot too in the area of endowment.
“There are several individuals who can help our universities and support what the government is doing in the education sector ,” he said
He, however, advised candidates who might not secure university admission this year not to loose hope but to write some remedial examinations.
The vice chancellor also urged them to take advantage of vocational skills and learn some trades or try to learn some international languages. (NAN)