Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City
Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, has ruled out subsidising university education in the state.
He said majority of the state budget for education is channelled towards funding basic education.
Obaseki who stated this while inaugurating the Governing Council of the Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, said his administration would assist students to the extent it could.
Obaseki said his vision is to return Edo to its glory days of being the bastion of education in the country, insisting that he would deploy resources to fund basic education instead of subsidising university education.
According to him, “I am prepared to release fund for building infrastructure in AAU but will not do so until I am assured that the funds would be judiciously used”.
Obaseki said it was worrisome that the AAU was reduced to an institution driven by pure political agenda, and urged the new board to set up an investigation panel to review and understand what went wrong with the university.
Challenging the new board to reposition the institution to be a world class university as envisioned by Prof Alli, Obaseki said it was saddened that the expectation of the university has failed.
“We have reduced our premier university to one driven by pure political agenda. That cannot be the fate of our ivory tower.
“I hope this new board will help refocus the university to the dream of late Ambrose Alli.
As a government, we will give you all the support that is required. We spend N300m every month on that university. They claim they have more than 20,000 students. We have invested on infrastructure and we will do more but I believe the faculty and the people responsible for managing the university should do more.
“There should be more transparency in the way the university is managed. There should be less rancour and more academic work. I have no doubt that the people we have selected have what it takes to turn the fortunes around.
“I have confidence that this new board can turn around the university. The government is ready to spend more money on infrastructure but we will not until we are sure that the resources we put in will be well utilised”, he said.