Prof. Femi Mimiko, a former Vice-Chancellor of Adekunle Ajasin University in Ondo State, has expressed his endorsement of the recently introduced student loan program by the Federal Government.
The professor believes this initiative will enable universities to charge tuition fees, bolstering their financial position. He emphasized that there are more feasible approaches than providing free university education.
Mimiko shared his views during the 6th annual registry lecture at Elizade University in Ilara Mokin, Ondo State. The lecture, “Reform Imperatives in the Governance Structure of Tertiary Institutions in Nigeria,” addressed vital issues in tertiary education.
He recalled that the Federal Government abolished university tuition fees in the 1970s, primarily due to much revenue from oil. However, with the decline in the oil market’s profitability, the government faced a quandary.
Mimiko explained, “The government found itself in a situation where it couldn’t revert to the no-tuition policy, yet it lacked the necessary funds to bridge the gap. As a result, Nigerian public universities, especially federal universities, are now in a unique predicament where funding from proprietors is diminishing, and tuition fees are prohibited.”
Therefore, he strongly advocates for a government-backed loan scheme enabling every undergraduate student to access funds to cover their tuition fees. This approach would allow universities to charge tuition and ensure improved financial support.
Prof. Olukayode Amund, the Vice Chancellor of Elizade University, commended the registry department for organizing the lecture and emphasized its importance. He encouraged other faculties to follow suit and arrange their informative sessions.