After 75 years of existence, Nigeria’s pioneer tertiary institution, Yaba College of Technology (YABATECH), is still grappling with myriad of challenges of old and obsolete equipment for teaching and research, dilapidated infrastructure, space constraints in the face of increasing students’ population and increase in number of academic programmes among others.
Daily Trust gathered that shortfalls in government funding have made it difficult for the college to adequately upgrade its structures and construct additional facilities to accommodate increasing numbers of students.
Also, the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) interventions are scarce for the college leaving it unable to fill the gaps in its needs.
Amidst these challenges, the college continues to grow while the management moves to salvage the situation to remain globally relevant.
Recently, the college instituted a N50 billion endowment fund to generate revenue for developmental programmes.
The rector of the college, Engr. Obafemi Omokungbe, said the fund was required because its programmes have increased over time and the students population also keeps increasing.
He pointed out that the federal government’s investment in education dwindles in view of limited resources; adding that government alone cannot salvage the current situation, hence, the decision to institute an endowment fund to address the challenges of the college.
Endowments, according to him, are powerful as they deliver a dependable and perpetual source of funding for the institution as well as provide a consistent and permanent funding source that supports students, departments, research and programmes for generations to come.
While noting that by the investing in the endowment, they are investing in the future of the youths, he said a board of trustees has been set up to administer the endowment fund in perpetuity and to ensure judicious utilization for the benefit of the college and the donors.
He described the launching of the endowment fund scheduled to hold in September in Lagos as a clarion call on friends of the college, private and public institutions, international donor agencies and well-meaning Nigerians to come on board the development train of the college.
Some of the legacy projects available for endowment include the construction of three high-rise towers, Centre for Continuous Studies, College Medical Centre, multi-storey car park and students’ hostels among others.
In the same vein, the old students of one of the unity schools in Nigeria, Federal Government College, Kaduna, have concluded plans to establish an endowment fund worth N1 billion for their alma mater.
At the unveiling of the 50th school anniversary logo in Lagos, an alumnus of the college, Mr Abolere Solebo, explained that N500 million of the endowment fund would be dedicated to the improvement of the school infrastructure.
Solebo, who is the chairman of the Steering Committee, further revealed that the remaining N500 million would be channelled to catering for the lives of the alumni.
The 50th anniversary billed to hold in January 2023, is themed ‘Role of Education in Building a United and De-tribalized Nation’.
“We are going to use the 50th anniversary to celebrate our own and also continue to foster camaraderie among the alumni,” he said, disclosing that Alhaji Aliko Dangote will launch the endowment fund.
According to him, the anniversary will help to foster the bond among alumni and also serve as an avenue to preach unity in the country ahead of the 2023 elections.
Earlier, the school’s anniversary chairman, Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imokuede, who is a member of the 1982 set, decried the falling standard of education in Nigeria, saying the alumni owe it a duty for the younger ones to enjoy the dividends of the country.
FGC Kaduna, founded by the federal government, was established in January 1973 as a co-educational day and boarding secondary school for students residing in Kaduna State and its environs.