To encourage world-class, ground-breaking research and cutting-edge innovation in the nation’s higher educational institutions, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has called for strong private sector intervention.
Osinbajo gave a keynote address on Thursday night in Lagos at the launch of the N50 billion endowment fund for the Yaba College of Technology (YabaTech). According to him, given the proper platforms, young Nigerians would always be able to take on major regional and international problems and use technology and innovation to discover solutions.
The vice president said not only were institutions of higher learning proving ground for best ideas, the birthplaces of innovation, and ground-breaking research, they were also, to all intents and purposes, designed to guide and nurture a society’s pathway into the future.
He noted that research and inquiry might lead to revolutionary discovery or lead nowhere.
Osinbajo stated, “How do you fund world-class, relevant, cutting-edge higher education sustainably? The question has even greater resonance in Africa, where public resources are low and the poverty levels put access to quality education beyond the reach of many.”
He said Yaba College of Technology was one of the best institutions to use as proof of the concept that could, indeed, develop world-class higher institutions for innovation and research using both private and public-sector finance.
Osinbajo added that the N50 billion ambition of this endowment fund mirrored the vision for the institution and demonstrated its keen awareness of what was truly at stake.
He stated, “We must augment government’s finest intentions with our individual and collective desire to see us do better, to see Africa do better; to see our children step into global arenas of enormous and unprecedented opportunities.
“One thing is clear, young Nigerians will always rise to the stature of the challenges the world presents them, and even beyond, if we continue to provide a platform for them to stand on.
“The truth is, we can completely revolutionise our nation’s education sector with radical, long-term commitment and investment from the private sector; a win-win situation for all of us eventually. And I trust that this (endowment fund launch) will be a solid start and step in that direction.”