THE OCCASION OF ACCEPTANCE OF OPERATIONAL LICENSE FOR PRIVATE UNIVERSITIES IN NIGERIA

PROTOCOL

Bismillah-ir-Rahman-ir-Rahim

Assalamu Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh

All praise be to Allah (SWT) for His mercies and blessings upon us and the entire humanity. May His peace and blessings be upon our beloved Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.), his Household and Companions.

2.     On behalf of other Founders and Proprietors of the twelve (12) Private Universities recently approved, I stand to appreciate the Federal Executive Council (FEC) and all other stakeholders especially the Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), Professor Abubakar Adamu Rasheed mni and his team for ensuring that we passed through and fulfilled all the requirements for the establishment of Private University in Nigeria.

3.     Indeed, as every Proprietor would recall, passing through all the fourteen (14) steps required for the establishment of the Universities had not been easy. All human and physical facilities had to be put in place and subjected to the necessary inspections by the teams of professionals to arrive at satisfactory recommendations for approval. We are indeed grateful to the various NUC teams for all the pains and rigors they had to go through to ensure that we secured the approvals. As we receive our operating licenses today, I congratulate all of us for this milestone achievements and wish everyone the best of luck in this noble task of operating a Private University.

4.     By all standards, establishing a Private University as a non-governmental organization is not a small thing to come by. In the words of the Executive Secretary “Anybody who thinks that he is establishing a University to make profit is making a mistake”. As Founders of Private Universities, we see education as the only veritable tool for the growth and development of any society. Educating, especially the teaming Youths of any society who are the vanguards of development is critical to any society and cannot be overemphasized. Our efforts should therefore be seen as humanitarian rather than profit orientated venture.

5.     Distinguished personalities, ladies and gentlemen, we, as Proprietors strongly believe and are convinced that no nation can develop its human and material potentials without adequate investment in education. We hold the strong belief that a right and qualitative education is an effective panacea for a better society. It is a known fact that today access to education, especially tertiary education in Nigeria has become a serious challenge for our youth. Apart from what we perceive as a general “falling standard of education”, access to public universities and other tertiary institutions by candidates who are qualified for entry, has become a serious challenge due to the limited capacity of the available universities to accommodate them. Furthermore, in some parts of the country, especially the North-East region, it is becoming virtually impossible to access higher institutions of learning due to the insecurity challenges that have devastated all facets of human endeavours beyond imagination.

6.     Distinguished and eminent personalities, ladies and gentlemen, the resultant effect of the foregoing is the fact that our youth now embark upon educational pilgrimages to foreign countries to acquire training, degrees, and skills which are elusive to them in this country. It is within reason that most Nigerian students would not embark on the strenuous journey of seeking academic training in other countries when what they are seeking for could be obtained within. What is more disheartening is that, as a nation, we lose billions of naira to other countries on account of educational tourism every year.

7.     Let me at this point therefore make it clear that those of us who ventured to establish Private Universities are not to compete with the Public Universities. We are not by any means in competition, rather, we are making efforts to complement each other as partners in progress to assist governments at all levels and to provide education to our people to further close the gaps for a better society. There is no gain saying that most of the problems bedeviling our societies especially poverty is seen largely as the contributory factor to the problem of insecurity and breach of peace in all parts of the country. The spate of poverty amongst citizens of states ravaged by insecurity is better appreciated than imagined. The situation is so hopeless that there is the urgent need for all well-meaning individuals and organizations to undertake and provide more opportunities to our teeming youths to have access to education at various levels as a solution for the betterment of our country.

8.     Finally, let me call on all meaning Nigerians at home and abroad, national and international agencies to partner with serious and well-grounded providers of social services especially education, to team up and collectively intervene to complement governments at all levels so as to ameliorate the national problems and enhance human development.

9.     Thank you and may Allah bless us all. Ameen.