How to achieve financial sustainability in Nigeria’s tertiary institutions, by Prof. S.A. Abdullahi
For Nigerian tertiary institutions to have financial sustainability they must put in place a number of efficiency measures that would generate more revenue for them, the Dean, School of Postgraduate Studies, Ahmadu Bello University, Prof. Sani A. Abdullahi, has said.
Prof. Abdullahi, a long standing academic of over 30 years teaching experience in the university system, also noted that considering the role of universities as agents of economic growth and development, certain important drivers must exist for them to be financially sustainable.
The don spoke when he delivered a lecture, entitled “Financial Sustainability in Nigerian Public Tertiary Institutions: Challenges and Way Forward”, at a symposium last week organized by Ahmadu Bello University Business School.
Such measures, according to him, should include establishment of an investment unit that would be responsible for developing investment portfolio and business development strategies to enable universities to get adequate financial resources for effective knowledge creation.
Stressing the need for a university leadership that leads by example and upholds extant financial regulations to ensure value for money, Prof. Abdullahi also canvassed that academic value that emphasizes quality, skills and student employability should be deeply entrenched.
The Dean further fingered collaboration among institutions in order to save on spending as well as reduction in overheads relative to the core functions of institutions as also key measures that could help universities have financial sustainability.
Prof. Abdullahi stated that universities should put in place processes to generate additional third stream funding and emphasize more on research proposals writings to attract additional funding and grants from foreign donor agencies and countries.
While emphasizing that no revenue generating unit should be ignored no matter how small, he said that efforts should equally be made at increasing IGR on a continuous basis rather than adhoc with full involvement of university management.
He stressed that compliance with corporate governance principles was necessary and that some forms of semi-autonomy should be considered for all IGR units with clear deliverables and workable reward system to encourage high performance.
Prof. Abdullahi, equally, listed some factors that negatively affect the viability and sustainability of tertiary institution’s venture. These, he said, included poor recruitment policy thereby compromising quality and talented staff.
Mismanagement, poor funding, low interaction with private sector, weak internal control system, poor financial reporting and limited knowledge of business also remained the major factors militating against the financial sustainability of Nigerian public tertiary institutions.
The Vice-Chancellor, Ahmadu Bello University, Prof. Kabiru Bala, was represented at the symposium by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic, Prof. Danladi A. Ameh, with the Dean, ABU Business School, Prof. M.H. Sabari and Director, CBN Centre for Economics and Finance, Ahmadu Bello University, Dr. Mohammed Auwalu Haruna, in attendance.
Public Affairs Directorate,
Office of the Vice Chancellor,
Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.
Sunday, 4th July, 2021