Private varsities deserve TETFUND assistance — Wellsprings chancellor

The chancellor of Wellsprings University, Benin, Edo State, Pastor Ituah Ighodalo, has appealed to the Federal Government to allow private universities access Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) on single-digit interest rate or Education Intervention Fund, as it has done with other industries.

Ighodalo, the founder of Trinity House Church, who spoke in Benin city, Edo state during the second combined graduation ceremony of the school, noted that it was paradoxical that while the private sector contributes significantly to the education tax that funds public universities private sector universities that collaborate with the government to provide this important social service are excluded from government support.

While lamenting the dearth of funding to provide critical infrastructure in private universities, the clergyman said that by their nature, private universities can scarcely compete for funds in the financial market.

The vice-chancellor, Professor Taiwo Omobuwajo, remarked that the institution had made appreciable advancement on the area of entrepreneurial development, adding that in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, the school ventured into snail farming and presently has a 25,000- capacity snail farm located in its communal zone.

At the ceremony where 285 graduates were conferred with first degrees, the pro-chancellor, Professor Daniel Isimoya, reiterated the determination of the institution to become a centre of excellence in management sciences, information technology environmental sciences and other critical areas of study.

Omobuwajo noted that the feedback from employers of labour and higher institutions within and outside the country clearly shows that its graduates are doing well.

The former Managing Director of Access Bank, Mr Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede; the Group Managing Director of Nigerian Army Properties Ltd, Maj-Gen. Umaru Mallam Mohammed; former Edo State People’s Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate in the 2012 election, Maj-Gen. Charles Airhiavbere; and legal luminary, Mr Gbenga Oyebode were conferred with different honorary doctorate degrees.

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