Higher Institutions Must Imbibe Strategic Fundraising Culture, Says Amin

The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Maiduguri, and former Chairman of the Committee of Vice-Chancellors (CVC), Prof. Jibrila Amin has stressed the need for higher institutions in Nigeria to imbibe the culture and techniques of strategic fundraising that would enable them manage endowments.

Briefing journalists recently, he said the major problem facing Nigerian universities has to do with funding because of the over dependence on the proprietors, be they government or private organisations and individuals.
“Even the minister of education in Nigeria has come out of recent to say that government is unable to bear the full financial requirements of its universities, yet more institutions are being created,” he said.

He added that the Nigerian university system is bedeviled by several issues and some of universities are facing an existential crisis.

Amin, who is also the pioneer Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University, Dutse, explained that this dire need motivated the setting up of the Strategic Fundraising and Capital Campaign (SFCC) initiative by an international consortium.

According to him, “the SFCC is an initiative of several institutions: the Tri-College University Consortium, leading the initiative especially the Minnesota State University, Moorhead (MSUM). There is also the ORBICOM, the Global Network of UNESCO Professors of Communication at the University of Quebec, Montreal Canada. In Nigeria the initiative is being administered by C & F Porter Novelli, a top corporate communications agency in the country.

“There is also an advisory board with me as the chairman. Other members of the board are Prof. Molefi Asante of Temple University, Philadelphia, USA; Prof. Bolaji Aluko the pioneer VC of the Federal University Otuoke; Prof. Ekanem Ikpi-Braide, the President of the Nigerian Academy of Science; Prof. Yakubu Ochefu, the Secretary General of the CVC and Mrs. Yinka Ogunde, who is in private business and has a lot of experience in the education sector.”

He opined that the best way forward is to look across the Atlantic Ocean for best practices in what world class American universities do to ensure relative financial self-sufficiency, adding that they rely a lot on philanthropic organisations and individuals to supplement their income from fees paid by students.

“We are therefore seeking to tap from their wealth of experience in fundraising and hence the SFCC initiative which is aimed at inculcating the culture of fundraising in our universities and other tertiary institutions.”

Asked who the key target of the initiative are, Amin said: “The main target of the SFCC are the senior university managers in Nigeria. We are targeting VCs, DVCs, registrars, bursars and directors of development/advancement. We are particularly keen to have on board the people in the development/advancement offices of universities because they are directly involved in fundraising as part of their schedule of duties. We shall seek to firmly entrench in the university system a culture of fundraising for self-reliance.”

On the nature of the initiative, the don noted that it would involve a series of free monthly webinars and a hybrid summit that will be hosted by the Minnesota State University (MSUM), USA from September 15 to 18, 2021.

“The SFCC initiative consists of webinars and a summit. There will be seven webinars which will be delivered by subject matter experts from across the world.

There will also be a summit which promises to be an intense and exciting three days of training and social events in one of America’s leading universities.

“There will be a registration platform for prospective participants to register.

This will be arranged for by the Nigerian administrators of SFCC – C&F Porter Novelli and it will soon be unveiled. Vice-chancellors and other university managers will be contacted to bring to their attention the initiative and to solicit their support and buy-in into the programme.”

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