Dr Olusegun Aina, the Chairman of Opolo Global Innovation Ltd., has said that there is need for universities to generate sustainable revenue outside government subventions for sustainability and efficiency.
Mr Aina made the call in his acceptance speech on conferment of honorary doctorate degree by Osun State University on Thursday in Osogbo.
The Don noted that the university education, particularly in publicly owned universities, were presently at a crossroad.
According to him, at the core of all the issues is the funding challenge, which has become the pivot on which the system stands or collapses.
“I believe that all stakeholders in the Nigerian education system really need to think through on how to respond to the funding challenges of today.
“And prepare for the future too, by adopting new and innovative strategies to generate needed resources that will help achieve Nigeria’s educational goals and visions.
“It is critical for tertiary institutions to continuously focus on sustainability with a long-term view of the business of education.
“The creative engagements between industry, government, universities, and their host communities are vital to create a suitable ecosystem to facilitate steady business and entrepreneurial activities within local and international markets.
“University is the light of an enlightened world. As a nation, if we hope to find our place among the most advanced societies of the world, we need to look no further than attending to the needs of our educational institutions, “he said.
Mr Aina, however, said that universities needed to be able to generate sufficient and sustainable revenue from sources outside of government subventions/ TETFund interventions and school fees.
He said more socially impactful outcomes could be achieved by a laser focus on innovation and commercialisation of viable ideas and projects, which could be done through partnership with other stakeholders particularly the private sector.
He said stakeholders have roles to play in ensuring that ideas incubated in the universities by students and lecturers were supported by the university administration and industry.
This, he noted would help to germinate and eventually provided huge revenue in perpetuity to both the university and the idea-owners.
Mr Aina said that was one of the reasons Opolo Global Innovation was established in 2020, as an innovation enabler, incubator, and accelerator to strategically focus on nurturing talents to become global innovators and entrepreneurs.
Mr Aina commended the management of the university for honorary doctorate degree conferred in him, describing it as unique and significant.
“On a personal level, I have been privileged to receive Honorary Doctorate Degrees in the past from a number of highly acclaimed universities.
“But for me, this award and recognition from my home State University, the Osun State University, is very unique and significant, and I remain eternally grateful for it,” he said.
The Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Odunayo Adebooye, said the award was conferred on the recipient due to his tremendous contribution to general education and professional accounting development in Nigeria