The Vice-Chancellor, the University of Ibadan, Prof Kayode Adebowale, along with other influential figures in the education sector, has expressed dissatisfaction with the inadequate financial support provided by the federal government to the institution.
They called upon the alumni association for assistance during the orientation programme for alumni relations representatives, themed “Building a 21st Century Alumni Community,” held at Trenchard Hall of UI.
The alumni association’s involvement, alongside other stakeholders, has been recognised as a solution to the declining funding of Nigerian universities by the FG over the past decade.
Distinguished speakers at the event included Kayode Adebowale, the vice-chancellor of the university; Abib Olamitoye, the former president of the Ibadan College of Medicine Alumni Association (ICOMAA) Worldwide and founder of Ibadan Central Hospital (ICH) and Academy Suites; Peter Olapegba, the director of the Office of Alumni Relations, UI; and Fatai Adeniyi, the deputy provost of the College of Medicine, UI.
During the orientation programme, Adebowale, who chaired the event, stressed the importance of universities seeking internal resources and establishing stronger connections with their alumni communities to complement the funding provided by their owners.
He acknowledged the continuous reduction in funding from the FG over the past decade and emphasised that “universities worldwide cannot solely rely on their owners’ funding.”
“In this case, the Federal Government serves as the university’s owner,” he said.
Adebowale highlighted the need to deepen relationships with alumni to encourage them to contribute to the university’s development.
Abib Olamitoye, the lead speaker at the technical session, shared his experience as the former president of ICOMAA and highlighted the successful establishment of a 21st century alumni community for the College of Medicine, University of Ibadan.
He mentioned that “ICOMAA is currently constructing a new hall worth N2.5 billion for medical students in the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan.”
Olamitoye also mentioned the generous donation of US$1 million from his coursemate, Phillip Ozuah, based in the United States, for the alumni hostel within UCH.
He further expressed pride in ICOMAA’s achievement of raising over N700 million in support of the project from other alumni.
Olamitoye acknowledged the vast number of successful individuals the University of Ibadan has produced over the years, including governors, ministers, and entrepreneurs, many of whom are based in the diaspora. He stressed the importance of reaching out to these alumni, raising awareness about the significance of contributing to their alma mater’s development, and encouraging them to give back to the institution.
Peter Olapegba, the director of the Office of Alumni Relations, explained the concept of alumni relations as maintaining lifelong connections with graduates of the university.
He highlighted that “in advanced countries, alumni contribute approximately one-third of the annual revenue generated by their respective institutions.”
Olapegba emphasised the need to leverage the alumni base to improve funding at the university, noting that alumni have a vested interest in the university’s sustainability and the maintenance of high standards.
Fatai Adeniyi, the deputy provost of the College of Medicine, UI, echoed the significance of the alumni community in securing enhanced funding for the university.
He cautioned that “any funding requests to the alumni should focus on addressing student challenges rather than staff welfare.”