The Lagos State Government has concluded plans to set up Lagos State Tertiary Education Trust Fund for tertiary institutions in the state.
The initiative which would be an autonomous funding mechanism that is required both internally and externally to strengthen academic research, learning and others, is expected to keep all 3 Lagos tertiary institutions on the path of sustainability.
This was made known by the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Thursday when he received members of the Visitation Panel to Lagos State University (LASU) led by the former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Prof. Abdulrahman Bello, at the State House, Marina.
According to a statement titled, ‘Sanwo-Olu floats autonomous financing channel for Lagos’ tertiary schools, sets up dedicated trust fund’, by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Gboyega Akosile, Sanwo-Olu said the move will creatively revolutionise the model for the funding of tertiary education in the country.
Sanwo-Olu said the state government had to create an independent funding channel for the state’s tertiary institutions due to the nature of disputes characterising the national university system which had led to the perennial staff strikes and closure of campuses across the country.
The governor directed the Attorney General of the state, Moyosore Onigbanjo, SAN, and the Special Adviser on Education, Hon. Tokunbo Wahab, to fashion out the statutory framework that will give legal approval to the Fund.
He said, “Now that we have three universities in Lagos, I believe there is a need for us to set up Lagos State Tertiary Education Trust Fund, which, in our view, will create a sustainable model and the funding that is required, both internally and externally, to strengthen academic research, learning and all that is necessary to keep these universities on track of their mission.
“This is an idea whose time has come at the appropriate period many schools are under closure due to industrial disputes. I am issuing the responsibility to Attorney General and Special Adviser on Education to create the legal framework for the birth of the Trust Fund. This will be another legacy initiative our Government is bringing to sustain education in our State. This will create a financial model that will ensure sustainability of these schools.”
Sanwo-Olu said the Trust Fund would create an additional funding source to the 3 universities, aside the monthly subventions and intervention funds from federal education agencies, including Tertiary Education Trust Fund.
This initiative by the Lagos State Government which is highly commendable is coming at a time the education sector has been under intense scrutiny across the country with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on strike for nearly 7 months due to poor funding of the universities.
The Lagos State Government have been commended for keeping the state-owned tertiary institutions running in the face of incessant strikes by university workers as the 3 universities owned by the state are not part of the ongoing nationwide industrial actions by the university lecturers.