President Muhammadu Buhari has said that the Federal Government alone can’t finance universities in the country because the burden is too much for the government.

Buhari called for private sector involvement in the financing of universities in Nigeria.

Speaking at the 2020 convocation and 72nd foundation day celebration of the University of Ibadan on Tuesday, the President stressed the need for universities to make themselves attractive to the private sector.

President Buhari, speaking through his representative, the Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission, NUC, Prof Abubakar Rasheed, charged universities to come up with programmes that would help his government in reducing poverty and improving the health sector.

He said: “It must be noted that the government alone cannot carry the enormous burden of financing education. The private sector must be actively involved in the task of providing quality education for Nigerians.

“It is my expectation that universities will make themselves attractive to the private sector, define their roles and carve out a niche by designing programmes that will progressively assist the Government in addressing poverty reduction, improving the health sector.”

The president also warned heads of governing councils of government-funded universities against mismanaging the process of appointing vice-chancellors.

“Pro-Chancellors, in their dual role as chairpersons of governing councils and chairpersons of the five-person selection committee for the appointment of Vice-Chancellors, must be prepared to bear full responsibility for the management or mismanagement of the process.”