The founder, BUA Group, Alhaji Abdulsamad Rabiu has pledged the donation of $100 million annually to boost research in the country’s tertiary institutions.
Rabiu, represented by Dr Aliyu Hong, the Director of Government Relations of the company, disclosed this on Tuesday in Abuja at the 2021 Roundtable for the Development of Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun (FUPRE).
The event, which has the theme: “Improved Institutional Donations and Endowment’’, was aimed at advancing the technology and sustainable development of education in the institution.
He said that university education required a facelift, hence, the need for adequate funding to pride the institutions as effective in the committee of nations.
Also, the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, called for a more robust partnership between the private and public sector to fund tertiary education.
Gambari, who was represented by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Timipre Sylva, also said that institutions must begin to think outside the box to expand innovation for educational advancement.
“We must endeavour to focus more on technology that will make research to thrive in our institutions.
“We need to start developing technologies that are acknowledged globally to solve problems, which is another phase in the educational development of the country.
“We need to actually begin to research into our problems and find solutions, the educational system need to lead in the push.
“There is now need for collaboration between academic and industry, especially in our oil industry. We have been producing oil in the late 50s, which means our territory is a matured one.
“We need to begin to develop technology in the oil and gas sector,” he said.
He, therefore, said that the institutions must increase its horizon in producing professionals suitable for the expansion of economic growth of the country.
The Minister of State for Education, Mr Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, said there was need for continuous provision of quality access to education for Nigerians.
Nwajiuba, represented by his Special Assistant on Policy and Political Matters, Mr Paul Odili, said the ministry would encourage partnerships from private industries for excellence and quality education.
“It is time for national and international donors to play a role in supporting education. Our spending has to match with education need to provide the needed outcome.
“Exclusive funding of education is not sustainable, hence the need for partnership to advance educational research and as well develop infrastructure,” he said.
He, therefore, assured that the ministry would continue to support the growth of university education in the country.
The Chairman, Board of Trustees, Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETfund), Alhaji Kashim Imam, also pledged TETfund continued support for FUPRE as well as other institutions to enhance research development.
Imam said that TETFund in its drive to promote research gave the university N3billion in support of infrastructure, scholarships, research and other need of the institution.
“We have completed projects across our universities in excess of 10,000 within 10 years. For this year, our budget is N300 billion fully funded.
“We are given each university the sum of N900 million, the polytechnics N800 million and the colleges of education N700 million.
“There are 226 institutions- Federal and states that are funded by TETFund.
“For the year 2020, TETFund gave FUPRE N3billion in support of one infrastructure scholarship research and all the various need,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Akpofure Rim-Rukah, called for support in the provision of laboratory equipment as well as all related equipment to enhance the education of Nigerians.
“The university is to be the hub for petroleum industry and so we need support so that we can stop sending our children abroad for studies when we can get them here.
“We cannot also leave everything for the government to do, we need private industry to come in and support the infrastructural development of the school.
“This roundtable is, therefore, an innovative call for private sector to be involved in education financing of our country,” he said.
Sen. Ita Enang, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, said the partnership would be instrumental to advancing research, knowledge and as well creating skilled workforce.