By: HALEEM OLATUNJI

 

The President of the Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, has said that special attention should be granted to the University of Ibadan by the federal government of Nigeria, as a result of the institution’s commitment to the positive transformation of the society through creativity and innovation.

He made this statement on the 17th of November 2016, during the 68th Foundation Day ceremony of the University of Ibadan, which is part of the institution’s 68th Convocation ceremony.

The business tycoon, who was conferred with an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science (D. Sc) by the Senate of the University of Ibadan on that day, urged the federal government of Nigeria to give adequate fund to the University of Ibadan and other Universities in the country.

However, he admitted that the government might find it difficult to do so, considering the competing demands by other sectors, hence, he acknowledged that Private-Public Partnership is necessary in complementing the effort of the Federal government in funding Universities in Nigeria.

According to him, “I believe that University of Ibadan 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.”

“It is in this wise that I will like to use this opportunity to enjoin the Federal Government to consider allocating special funds to the university to enable it to improve on its research and upgrade its infrastructure….We do acknowledge that the Federal Government alone cannot shoulder the entire burden of funding tertiary education due to competing needs of other sectors that also demand priority attention. This is where private-public partnership (PPP) comes in”, he said.

Alhaji Aliko Dangote appreciated the effort of every member of the University of Ibadan for working towards ensuring that a Nigeria University was ranked among top 1,000 in the world, by Times Higher Education (THE), which according to him, is a welcome development.

“Let me seize this opportunity to congratulate the entire faculty, staff and students of UI whose collective effort has resulted in this achievement”, he said.

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