The newly inaugurated University of Nigeria Board of Trustees, Nsukka (UNN), began planning to make the institution self-sufficient in funding its research, academic programs and infrastructure.
Board chairman Ikechi Emenike described the goal in his speech at the inaugural board meeting, said it was time for UNN to have an independent financial base, noting that 91 of the 170 universities in the countries get funding from either federal or state government.
“We all need to start thinking about new ways to get the resources our higher education institutions need to fulfill their mandate of producing people who can manage and drive the political economy,” he said. declared.
He therefore pledged that the council was ready “to think outside the box to endow this learning citadel with an independent financial base” that would free it from over-reliance on government.
The new president called on the managers of the Nigerian ivory towers to take inspiration from the American system and build strong endowments to ensure financial dynamism.
“Today Harvard University has $ 44 billion in endowment, University of Texas keeps $ 33 billion, Yale University keeps $ 33 billion, Stanford University keeps $ 30 billion while Princeton University retains $ 28 billion, ”he added.
He noted that building such a huge financial base could be seen as a daunting task in Nigeria, but stressed that it could be achieved. However, he cautioned against turning the university into a lucrative business.
While stating that he did not consider his nomination “to be an award or a glory,” Emenike said it was “something that I must use for the betterment of this particular university and of humanity in general. “.
Emenike further said, “I see it as a call to serve. It is a mission that I intend to take as seriously as all the appeals and requests for service to humanity that have been made to me during my modest career in development economics and the world. conscientious socio-political activism.
Describing UNN as a national heritage, Emenike said the board would do its best and provide “a great pillar of support” to the leadership to ensure the institution lives up to its founding father’s dream.