The Founder/Pro-Chancellor of Greenfield University, Kaduna, Engr Simon I Nwakacha, has tasked the federal government to fund private universities in the country through intervention agencies to boost academic excellence among students.
Nwakacha noted that even in advanced countries government pump money into private universities as palliatives, adding that the private sector is actually assisting the government in the development of education.
He pointed out that when ASUU was on strike, it was private universities that sustained educational progress.
The pro-chancellor spoke on Tuesday shortly after he was bestowed with an Award of Excellence by the National Association of Northern Nigerian Students.
The pro-chancellor dedicated the “Epitome of Educational Development” award to students of the institution who lost their lives during an unfortunate kidnapping by bandits at its main campus a year ago.
“I am charging the federal government to through its intervention agencies, support private institutions to ensure that Nigerian students excel in all ramifications.
“I am saying this because the government itself has been saying that they cannot do it alone, they need people to come and assist them so they should support private universities.
“During the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike, only private universities sustained education.
“Government is pumping much funding into public universities same should be done for private universities, it’s necessary they fund both private and public universities.
“Even in advanced countries, government was giving palliatives to Harvard and others. It’s better government takes all along, not necessarily equally, but it should be inclusive,” he appealed.
Engr. Nwakacha spoke about the Award, saying, “This award is dedicated to all those who lost their lives in the struggle, the present students, Imperial students, in fact, the whole world”.
He said he felt great because the award was presented by students of educational institutions in Nigeria and it would spur him to do more in educational development in the country.
“There is a lot of work to be done to ensure a brighter future, we would continue to do our best,” he said.
In his remarks at the ceremony, Benjamin Danjuma Barde, Yeriman Gbagyi, a traditional leader said that the award was well deserved.
“When I received the invitation for this award, I said it is not a mistake. As a representative of the community, we know he has done so much for the community in many regards, as well as scholarship.
“You are a blessing to the Gbagyi Chiefdom. This is just the beginning, more awards will come.
“To the students, I urge you to be dedicated to your studies. As you go back, I pray God takes you back safely,” he said.
President of the National Association of Northern Nigerian Students Abdulrahman Ibrahim, in an interview with reporters, said that it is the tradition of the association to search for those that give to society, especially in education development to award them.
“The award is meant to encourage him to do more. Being someone from Anambra State and he decided to establish a university in the North, it shows he is a patriotic Nigerian,” he said.