The head of the EKSU alumni organization wants the government to prioritize funding for education.
Governments and higher institutions’ alumni associations have been urged to lead the way in addressing various challenges confronting tertiary education in the country.
The new Chairman of Ekiti State University (EKSU) Alumni Association, Ekiti State Chapter, Pastor Adetunji Aribasoye, made the call in Ado Ekiti during the inauguration of the 15-member executive committee, which is to lead the organization in the next three years.
He said, “The challenges of tertiary education and education generally in Nigeria are there, and they have always been there, but the present generation seems to be a lot different from ours.
“Government at all levels should play its part through adequate funding of education. This cannot be overemphasized. No society can grow beyond the knowledge of its leaders and population. So there is a need for the alumni associations and the government to hollistically put funds into the educational sector and activities and ensure that facilities are made available in the institutions for effective and efficient running of the system.”
The EKSU alumni chair, while urging the government to convene a national summit on education, charged members of various university alumni associations to always encourage the younger generations and make learning attractive to them.
“I have been to some other countries, and I saw that what they have is just focused and purposeful leadership that seems to cherish education. The facilities are there; if they are also available in our country, nobody will be thinking of leaving the country to study, and this brain drain syndrome will be reduced to the barest minimum.
“These are some of the things that could be done with the help of alumni globally,” he added.
While unveiling his 7-point agenda, Aribasoye said necessary mechanisms will be put in place to generate more income for the association.
“Part of our focus is to galvanize and mobilize more members to join the association and to see to their welfare and we are also willing to give them any other supports within our capacity.
“We are already in discussion with the university management, the Vice Chancellor, Prof Edward Olanipekun, to see how to move the body forward.
“Also, the global body of the association, ably led by Engr Dipo Bamisaye, has done a lot. They offered a lot of support to members and are willing to do more. Thankfully, governor Biodun Oyebanji is also a member, he is the number one member in Ekiti state we are talking to him already for support,” he said.
The Speaker, Ekiti State House of Assembly, Rt Hon. Adeoye Aribasoye, who is an alumnus of the institution and a brother to the new chairman, urged the new executive committee to do their best to move the association forward.
“My only advise to them is to work as a team and be selfless. They must know that the vision of the association is greater than their personal interest and that they must put ahead of any other consideration.
“As stateholders in the state, the association must imbibe the collaborative spirit and work with the government. We have to collaborate together to ensure that Ekiti is taken to an enviable position in the comity of nation,” the Speaker said.