By Alemma Aliu
THE Vice Chancellor, Samuel Adegboyega University, Ogwa, Esan West local government area of Edo State, Professor Ben Aigbokhan, yesterday, revealed that the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has been one of the major obstacles depriving private universities from benefitting from capital projects and research grants from the Tertiary Education Fund, TERTFund.
He stated this at a press briefing to mark the 5th convocation ceremony of the university where he said eight students out of a total of 79 have graduated with first class honour degrees this year.
He said: “If you have intervention from TERTFund to do capital projects, it will reduce utilisation of your resources on such and can now be ploughed into research. We said they should extend the facility to private universities. I am a member of the Committee of Vice Chancellors of Private Universities. In 2017, we proposed a bill to the National Assembly, it was taken to them last year, but unfortunately, our colleagues in the public universities, particularly ASUU leadership vehemently opposed it.
“Prominent persons in NUC have confirmed this to us. TERTFund now said we can access research grant but you must be tagged to a research partner in a public university. That means a professor of status. If I want to do a research, I will have to be attach to somebody from the public university before I can assess it.”
Prof. Aigbokhan said the institution over the years has also had zero tolerance for cultism and other social vices, stressing that in order to ensure that students are well behaved, sanction such as suspension for two semesters are usually meted on students caught smoking cigarette and in some cases that are more severe, such students are expelled from the institution to serve as deterrent to others.
He said the school is currently building a structure to commence a law programme just as a centre for entrepreneurial development has been established in the school.