The former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Timi Alaibe, has tasked the leadership, alumni and other stakeholders of the Niger Delta University (NDU), Amassoma to ensure that the university achieves self-sufficiency in its funding status.
Alaibe also demanded that the university adopts a leadership that is sufficiently radical in thoughts, ideas and uniquely equipped to shift the development paradigm of the university.
Making the demands in his goodwill message to NDU at 20, the businessman and politician bemoaned the university’s current dependence on the state government for funding of infrastructure, academic programmes and research development, stressing that it is not sustainable and could be a source of frustration in the near future.
The Nigerian technocrat therefore urged the university’s alumni to constitute a committee that will partner and collaborate with the private sector, foundations and philanthropists/public-spirited individuals to attract donations of funds, equipment and infrastructure.
“I will advise you to be strategic in approach, constitute an alumni committee, and vigorously work to support the university to surmount the tough challenges of raising the appropriate funds needed to deliver high-quality education and research capabilities,” he urged.
According to him, “When inaugurated, such a committee will be charged with the responsibility of establishing relationships and partnerships with various international foundations and devise structured ways of fundraising. This alumni committee will assist the university to formulate a five to 10-year strategic plan, which will form the basis for approaching private sector organisations, foundations and philanthropists/public-spirited individuals for support.
“The golden rule is that you do not go asking for funds without indicating the potential areas of utilisation.”
The former NDDC MD also emphasized the need for the university to adopt a leadership that will think out of the box without ethnic or tribal interests.
He said: “I am definitely not speaking in condemnation of the present or past leadership. I am speaking about the future — our turning point. We need to come to a point where we do things differently.
“What the dreamers of this university had in mind prior to 20 years ago was an academic citadel compared only to the best private universities in Africa and competing in competencies, infrastructure and research with only the best in Europe and America.
“The Niger Delta University needs a leadership that is sufficiently radical in thoughts and ideas and uniquely equipped to shift the development paradigm of the university.”