Stakeholders seek private sector funding for education – Stakeholders in the education sector have advocated more private sector investment, tax concession, import duty waivers for educational equipment and special intervention funds to revamp the sector in the face of the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The stakeholders comprising public and private sector participants, who spoke during the Ecobank Digital Series entitled: “Education in Nigeria – The role of private investment”, noted that education is a critical sector that contributes to human capital development and sustainable future for the country and must, therefore, not be overlooked. They called on the private sector to invest more in education in the form of corporate social responsibility (CSR), scholarships, provision of palliatives, support to reconstruction and rehabilitations of schools across the country.
In his presentation, Professor Olabode Ayorinde stressed the need for the government to place high priority on the education sector when providing intervention funds, urging commercial banks to also lend more to this sector at low interest rate.
He added: ”The private sector has played a significant role in education development. However, funding has been a major issue. A critical analysis shows inadequate infrastructure, lack of equipment and teaching aids, high teacher to student ratio, all of which requires a loan facility to solve. Regrettably, we see the government and its agencies providing intervention funds to the aviation sector, agriculture, creative sector without considering the education sector.”
Also, Suleiman Ramon-Yusuf, of the National Universities Commission (NUC), attributed the poor state of the economy to the inability of the private sector in making the right impact on the education sector, noting that endowments, scholarships and bursaries would create access for schools to admit more students.