Africa’s Richest Woman, Mrs. Folorunsho Alakija has revealed why she donated N250m towards the completion of the University of Osun access road project.
According to Alakija, who is also a philanthropist, the ‘widow’s mite’ was to help with effectiveness in studies and also to aid a higher level of performance in the students.
The commissioning of the access road to the University of Osun (UNIOSUN), took place in Osogbo, the state capital on Thursday October 20.
Alakija said, “As the Chancellor of UniOsun, it was a great pleasure to be at the official opening of the access road to our university today, 19th October 2017.
I remember when the Management of our University paid me a courtesy visit to brief me about their activities as well as the projects they have embarked on, they also told me about the current state of the access road to the university which they had started constructing but which needed more funds to be completed.
I decided to do something about this and after consultation with my husband, we gave our widows mite to the construction of the road to which we are all at today to commission to the glory of God Almighty.
I believe that the construction of this access road will contribute to a higher performance in the students here in Uniosun because they can stay back in school to read knowing that their travel time back home will be without hassles.
I am glad that the road was completed on time and I thank His Excellency, Governor Aregbesola for commencing this project in the first instance. I also commend the efforts of the eminent members of the Advancement Board for working assiduously to ensuring the completion of this access road.
This road is just one of several projects the university is working on, to ensure that UniOsun has the infrastructure required for learning, teaching and research.
If we all contribute our own quota, in time we will begin to see a better education system, one that our children deserve.”
Meanwhile, the Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola has said it is an act of mental laziness for university operators to rely on subvention from the owners and burden the students with humongous tuition fees.
He urged Nigerian universities to adopt world best practices where schools raise funds through endowments, grants and donations from the society, the primary beneficiary of university education.
Aregbesola said university funding across the world is capital-intensive and requires helps from philanthropists, like Mrs Alakija, to boost the education system.
He hailed Mrs Alakija’s gesture, saying her gesture was a refreshing perspective in education funding, particularly the university, which requires a huge financial outlay.
Aregbesola at the commissioning ceremony said: “Universities require a large amount for capital projects and not less sum for recurrent expenditure. In our intellectually lazy (or idea-challenged) environment, the line of least resistance has largely been followed – which is to rely on subvention from the owners and burden the students with humongous tuition fees.
“But the best practices, as we see from other climes, are to raise funds through endowments, grants and donations from the larger society, which is the primary beneficiary of university education anyway.
“Universities also generate revenues through patents, royalties and other intellectual property materials.
“This is why there is a huge gap between per capita spending on students by the Euro-American universities, compared to our own.”