Poor subventions from FG affecting teaching, research in OAU since creation – VC
Timothy Agbor, Osogbo
The Vice-Chancellor of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Prof Eyitope Ogunbodede has said that inadequate funding by the Federal Government has been a major challenge the institution has been battling since its establishment in 1961.
Ogunbodede made this known recently during a press conference to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the institution in Ile-Ife.
He said government subvention had been grossly inadequate for running of the university adding that “there has been sporadic and insufficient financial allocations to the University by the Federal Government and it has affected service delivery and capability in teaching, research and community social responsibility.”
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“In spite of the modest achievements, funding has been a major challenge to the university as government subvention has been grossly inadequate for the running of the University. Research is sustained essentially through foreign grants which has helped in advancing the research culture of the university.
“The sporadic and insufficient financial allocations to the University by the Federal Government has affected service delivery and capability in teaching, research and community social responsibility. There has been persistent shortfall in personnel costs. The declining government subvention and the pressures of expansion, coupled with the unwillingness of students to pay commensurate tuition fees, worsened by the ageing infrastructure, have necessitated the need to explore alternative funding sources.
“The University Alumni and friends have been of great assistance in supporting various projects and programmes in the University and we are immensely grateful. However, we are constrained to ask for more intervention and support in the face of inadequate and dwindling resources from the Federal Government. The legacy of Great Ife must be sustained,” Ogunbodede said.
Flanked by the Chairman, Governing Council and Pro-Chancellor of the University and other top management members, Ogunbodede said despite the financial challenges confronting the institution, it has contributed immensely to quality education, advancement of research and overall national and international development in the nation.
He stressed that the institution would continue to harness and adopt modern technologies in the implementation of its objectives by keeping pace with modern technological development.
While enumerating the achievements of the institution, Ogunbodede said the University has made significant advances in research, resulting in nationally and globally significant success stories.
“The University has achieved rapid growth and development, particularly in the areas of Academic programmes, Research, Infra-structural Development and human resources development.
“The University has produced, among its staff, a Nobel Laureate and six Nigerian National Merit Award Winners.”
He disclosed that OAU is one of the few universities with a hundred percent accreditation of its programmes as well as the leading institution in Engineering.
The Vice-Chancellor further said the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) 8.03MW power project for the supply of electricity to the University is ongoing and almost completed.
According to him, this will enable OAU to generate its own electricity.
“The University processed and obtained from the Transmission Corporation of Nigeria the Marketing License us an Electricity distributor. the first Nigerian University to enjoy the privilege.
“The aim is to reduce the economic burden of high tariff and ensure regular electricity supply to enhance its various academic activities. The university presently pays over N80 million per month for electricity and additionally over two million naira per month on diesel to power generator.”
He also stated that the University staff and students have organised and participated in several policy discourses aimed at addressing political, social, economic, legal and technological problems that bedevilled most African nations and their people.
While commending the University Alumni and friends for their assistance in supporting various projects and programmes in the institution, he asked for more intervention and support in the face of inadequate and dwindling resources from the Federal Government.
Also speaking, after the university unveiled the 60th anniversary logo, the Pro-Chancellor, Owelle Oscar Udoji assured that the board would continue to do its best to move the institution forward.
He said, “I wish to assure you that we will do our best to move this great institution forward. Since our appointment, we have tried our best to work behind the scene. Within the next few months, you will begin to see great changes.”
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