Daily Trust (Abuja)

18 February 2013

Nigeria: Govt Can't Continue Uni Funding, Says NUC

Universities may have to start looking for alternative sources of funding and stop depending on government funding for projects, said the National Universities Commission.

The commission said universities under its charge were depending too heavily on government to fund their infrastructure.

"It is only in Nigeria that government wants to do everything," said Julius Okojie, executive secretary of NUC.

"There is no way government alone can continue to provide everything on campus."

He spoke at a workshop organized for directors physical planning and development from universities.

Federal universities seem most affected, he noted, in comments presented by NUC's deputy executive secretary Akinbode Agboye.

"It is even worse in federal universities where no fee is charged, and 90% of funding go to salaries," he noted.

He called for universities to depend less on the Tertiary Education Trust Fund--which finances current projects on university campuses across the country from government budget.

Any shortfall in funding from TETFUND could adversely affect university finances for projects, he noted.

Such shortfalls, he projected, could limit university project budgets to less than N300 million.

Only about 45% of funding from TETFUND was released last year.

He suggested concessioning--which would allow universities to partner with private businesses to provide and charge for services--as an alternative.

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