Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has called for strategic business partnerships for sustainable higher education in Africa.
Osinbajo made this call while delivering a speech at the 20th Convocation Ceremony of the Igbinedion University, Okada, Edo State over the weekend.
The vice president, who was represented by the Minister of Transportation, Engr. Mu’azu Sambo, said – in a statement from the ministry’s deputy director press and public relations, Anastasia Ogbonna – commended the founders of the institution, which is the first private-owned university in Nigeria, formed 23 years ago.
“Your audacity opened up new opportunities for millions of Nigerians. As a result, we currently have 79 private universities and some 140 privately-owned tertiary institutions in Nigeria today. Government alone cannot solve our educational challenges. We have to rethink our model to make university education more qualitative and accessible.
“To achieve this, we must foster strategic partnerships between the government and the private sector. I strongly believe such partnerships will be very important in addressing our educational challenges,” Osinbajo observed.
Osinbajo, who further pointed out that there was a need to deepen the private sector partnerships, recalled that the first government university in Nigeria, the University of Ibadan, was founded in 1948 and, since then, the nation has only created 43 Federal universities and 48 state universities.
“This shows that it has taken both the Federal and state governments 74 years to establish 91 universities; whereas, it has only taken the private sector 23 years to establish 79 universities. This reaffirms the need to deepen our partnerships with the private sector.”