Universities Not For IGR Generation– Igwe, UNN VC

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The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Nigeria Nsukka, UNN, Prof Charles Igwe has stated that universities were never founded to raise money to run themselves and still engage in pure academics.

He said that ivory towers were rather created for learning and research and their fundings were essentially conceived to emanate from endowments, grants, and other sources, but not to be financially self-sustaining.

Igwe spoke against the financial pressures, particularly on public tertiary institutions, to fund themselves through the generation of Internally Generated Revenue, IGR.

Fielding questions from journalists, shortly after being conducted around projects executed in his administration, Igwe stated that it was for the reason of the Universities concentrating on its core philosophy that President Bola Tinubu opted for students’ loans to enable the tertiary institutions to perform their mandates without encumbrances on the students and the instructions.

According to Prof Igwe, “The University is a universal business. The University is not supposed to open a shop at Nsukka market and begin to raise funds just because it needs money. The business of the University is to teach, research, impact knowledge, and do extension services. These are the basic mandates of every University worldwide, and when we talk about IGR sometimes they will say you are not farming, you are not producing pure water. These things are distractions. I have attended universities in Europe, Asia and I’ve looked at how they manage issues.

“One of the ways we’ve contributed is that we make our staff work very hard in getting international grants such as in my department, Soil Science, where we have equipment while working on my research. That is one of the ways academic staff get funds. But it’s not going to sell pure water and bread. This is not the kind of money that the University needs to conduct proper research and impact society. We are not talking about floating buses that will be running from Nsukka market and will be collecting 30 or 40 naira.

“I’m happy that President Tinubu is talking about granting loans to University students. I just hope that they will also provide jobs for them so that when they finish they will pay back these loans. One of the ways of attracting money to the university is by charging appropriate fees, but the last time I added N5,000 to the school fees the students demonstrated. They said they didn’t know the VC was a Yahoo VC.

“What we get from the federal government every month is less than N15 million as overhead and the last time they brought it was in August and this is December and you pay an electricity bill of more than 80 million and you buy diesel as well. It’s from this so-called 90-something thousand that students pay and N15,000 hostel fees that you take care of these things, where does that lead you?”

The Vice-Chancellor disclosed that his administration inherited a total of 104 uncompleted projects but has completed 73 of the inherited projects while the remaining 31 are ongoing. 

“Some of the completed projects include the renovation of staff quarters; the construction of the cultural centre of the Institute of African Studies; construction of faculties of Medicine and Dentistry, Blocks A, B and C at ItukuOzalla; construction and equipment of the Central Laboratory at Nsukka campus; completion of the Department of Archeology building at Nsukka Campus; rehabilitation of the Old Library building at Nsukka campus, among others.

“We have also initiated a total of 257 projects so far under my administration, out of which 149 have been completed, while the remaining 108 projects are at various stages of completion. Some of the projects that we started and completed under my administration include the re-roofing of the Faculty of Arts building, blocks A and B; completion of the Medical Centre at Nsukka campus; rehabilitation of the College of Postgraduate Studies building; remodelling of the CEDR building; hostel renovation at UNEC, among others.

“I expect that all the projects initiated by my administration will be completed before the end of my tenure. Most of them are already 90 per cent completed.”

Vanguard

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