A team of American universities and partners are organising strategic fund-raising campaign initiative to equip administrators of Nigerian universities and other tertiary institutions with real-time skills on how to raise funds for operating their institutions.
The initiative tagged: 'Strategic Fund Raising and Capital Campaign (SFCC)' summit will comprise series of webinars and a hybrid summit holding at Minnesota State University Moorhead (MSUN) in Minnesota, United States.
The Head of the Nigerian team and Chairman of the Advisory Board for the summit, Professor Jibrila Dahiru Amin, in a statement made available to THISDAY yesterday, said the initiative was aimed at inculcating the culture of fundraising in universities and other tertiary institutions.
Amin, who is a former Vice Chancellor of University of Maiduguri and pioneer Vice Chancellor of the Federal University, Dutse, noted that American universities relied a lot on philanthropic organisations and individuals to supplement their income from fees paid by students.
He added that the present initiative was aimed at seeking to tap from the wealth of experience of the Americans in fundraising.
According to him, "The Nigerian university system is bedeviled by several issues, and some of our universities can be said to be facing an existential crisis. "The major problem facing our universities mainly has to do with funding because of the over dependence on the proprietors, be they government, private organisations or individuals. Even the Minister of Education in Nigeria has come out recently to say that that government is unable to bear the full financial requirements of its universities, yet more institutions are being created.
"We, therefore, think that the best way forward is to look across the Atlantic for best practices in what world class American universities do to ensure relative financial self-sufficiency. American universities rely a lot on philanthropic organisations and individuals to supplement their income from fees paid by students. We are therefore seeking to tap from their wealth of experience in fundraising, hence the Strategic Fundraising and Capital Campaign (SFCC) initiative aimed at inculcating the culture of fundraising in our universities and other tertiary institutions."
Emphasising on the organisers of the SFCC initiative, Amin, who is also a former Secretary of the Committee of Vice Chancellors (CVC), said it was an initiative of several institutions.
According to him, "The SFCC is an initiative of several institutions. The Tri-College University consortium is leading the initiative especially the Minnesota State University at Moorhead. There is also the ORBICOM, The Global Network of UNESCO, Professors of Communication at the University of Quebec, Montreal in Canada. In Nigeria the initiative is being administered by Porter Novelli and C and F, a top corporate communications agency in the country. There is also an advisory board with me as the chairman. Other members of the board are Prof. Molefi Asante of Temple University, Philadelphia, USA; Prof Bolaji Aluko the pioneer VC of Federal University Otuoke; Prof EkanemIkpi-Braide, the president of the Nigerian Academy of Science; Prof Yakubu Ochefu, the secretary-general of CVC, and Mrs. Yinka Ogunde, a private businesswoman with a lot of experience in the education sector."