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The need for Education Endowment Fund in Delta State



By Eunice Emeyazia

Education endowments first of all, are monies or other financial assets donated to academic institutions, which support the teaching, research, and public service missions of Higher Institutions of Learning.

These Endowments are referred to as perpetual gift because only a portion of the income earned is spent annually. While the balance is added to the principal, for growth.
This provides financial stability to the college/polytechnic/ university and consequently, the host community. A well-managed endowment brings about long-term stability, fiscal responsibility, and financial viability, while also enhancing the organization’s prestige and credibility, and relieving pressure on the annual fund.A
A system like this, no doubt, will help curb incessant ASUU strikes which has NEGATIVELY affected students in many Universities, in Nigeria.

Concerned about the way the education sector is going across the country, coupled with the wrong notion sprouting like stubborn weeds in different corners, that “Education in Nigeria is a Scam”, the Commissioner for Higher Education, Delta State, Professor Patrick Moboughare, for a while now, has consistently harped on the need to establish/set up Education Endowment Fund for Institutions of Higher learning.
Suffice it to state here that Government owned Universities in Delta State do not join ASUU strikes, because to the best of my knowledge, the State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa has remained committed to his responsibility towards the Institutions.

Now, from the view points raised by Mr. Peter Obi in this video ( political, tribal and religious sentiments aside), I think it’s important to adopt this strategy if schools are looking at generating IGR for it’s sustenance. I learnt also that Lagos State has an existing Education Endowment Fund Law, which can be emulated.
Additionally, it is not just about making laws but IMPLEMENTATION is key.
Higher Institutions themselves should have online database of all their graduates/ graduating students who should be given Alumni numbers. Members of existing Alumni Associations should wake up. Let’s begin to see HOW MUCH MORE we can do to contribute meaningfully to our Alma Mater, and help the future leaders of our great country.

It is high time we begin to look at things in a different perspective. Rather than hiking school fees which by the way, discourages “Education for the Poor”, look for other ways of funding higher institutions, especially creating systems such as Endowment Funds where donations and others could be channeled, in a most transparent and accountable way. (Transparency and Accountability is vital for the success of this system)

When we look at/ talk about systems that work outside the country, there is need to also take a critical look at the WHY and the HOW, so we could apply it in our country/state.

This reminds me of the time, I, in company of some persons, visited the Governor of Ebonyi State, Engineer David Umahi at the Government House in Abakiliki.
We wanted to find out how he carried out massive projects in that state with little Government funds, he said a lot of things that made me wonder what most leaders who go outside the country, every now and then, bring to the table when they get back. Do they ever think of how to replicate what they saw? Well, that sounds like a rhetorical question doesn’t it?

Everyone has a role to play. Policy makers and stakeholders in the Education sector across the country, including, Vice Chancellors of the various Universities, Rectors of Polytechnics and their counterparts in Colleges of Education, need to come together and fashion out ways to create an Endowment Fund that is TRANSPARENT & allows for ACCOUNTABILITY, for the sake of the future of Education in Nigeria.

Eunice Emeyazia is an activist.

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