Dangote Advocates Special Funds for UI by FG

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By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan.
President of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote on Thursday asked Federal Government to give special grant to the University of Ibadan to enable it improves on its research and upgrades its infrastructure.
Alhaji Dangote stated this in Ibadan while speaking after his conferment with an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science (D.Sc.), alongside two other eminent Nigerians, Professor Niyi Osundare and Chief Bode Amao, by the University of Ibadan as part of the 68th Foundation Day Ceremony of the University.
He stressed that University of Ibadan deserved the special grant considering its premier status in the country, saying,“with adequate funding, I believe the University will be able to compete favourably with the best Universities in the world,”
“I believe that UI deserves special attention not just because of its status as Nigeria’s oldest University, but also because of its invaluable contribution to the transformation of society through creativity and innovation.  With adequate funding, I believe the University will be able to compete favourably with the best Universities in the world,” he said.
According to Alhaji Dangote, “such an economic intervention has become imperative given the perennial funding challenges facing our Universities”.
Speaking further, he canvassed Public Private Partnership (PPP) for the funding of tertiary education in Nigeria, saying government alone can no longer fund education in the country
as a result of competing needs of other sectors.
“This is where Public Private Partnership (PPP) comes in. I strongly believe the private sector must go beyond the payment of the 2% Education levy to join hands with the State and Federal Governments in funding tertiary education in Nigeria. This will ensure that our institutions of higher learning are positioned to produce graduates that we can all be proud of” he said.
Alhaji Dangote added, “in this regard, as part of our support to the University, we want to start by making a small donation of N250million as a contribution”saying,“ we hope that this token will go some way in assisting the University towards the completion of some of the ongoing projects“.
“If there are two things that I am passionate about, they are education and entrepreneurship.  I believe they go hand in hand. Some years ago as Chairman of the National Committee on Job Creation, my committee tried to fashion out strategies for integrating entrepreneurship into our national educational curriculum, in line with what obtains in the Western world.  We believe Nigerian universities should produce self-employable graduates able to fend for themselves and contribute meaningfully to national economic growth, rather than waiting endlessly for white-collar jobs.”
He stressed “that is why we took the decision to set up our Dangote Academy in 2010 to train young graduates on technical and vocational skills, to enhance their competitiveness in the employment market”.
“We have so far trained close to a thousand graduates and have absorbed more than 80 per cent of them in our various subsidiaries, whilst we have given the rest the opportunity to use the skills that they have acquired in our Academy, in other organizations.  We believe that by so doing, we will be contributing to increasing the supply of skilled manpower for our industries and the country.  Indeed, it is our intention to upgrade the Academy into a full-fledged University of Technology.”
The 68th Founders Day and 2016 convocation ceremony of the institution was attended by the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Saliu Adetunji, Sultan of Sokoto who is the University Chancellor, Alhaji Mohammed Sa’ad Abubakar, Emir of Kano, Alhaji Sanusi Lamido Sanusi; Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council of UI, Dr. Umar Musa Mustapha as well as governor Abiola Ajimobi who was represented by the Secretary to the state Government, (SSG) Alhaji Alhaji Olalekan Alli.

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