Sterling Bank, Soyinka seek private sector funding for education
The duo who spoke at the third convocation ceremony of the Kwara State University, Ilorin, which coincided with the presentation of awards to winners of the Business Plan Competition, sponsored by the bank, noted that with the rising challenges facing governments at all levels, the growth of the sector relies mainly on private sector participation, through appropriate funding and provision of content.
Soyinka who delivered the convocation lecture harped on the need for the private sector to take more interest in the education sector, stressing that the need to fully develop the sector cannot be over emphasised as it remains the bedrock of development of any nation.
Adeola who was represented at the event by the Regional Business Executive, South West, Ademola Adeyemi, expressed optimism that the foray into the sector by the bank would encourage other financial institutions to see the need to also contribute their quota to the growth of the sector for the benefit of students at all levels.
His words: “The challenges in the education sector are three fold – funding, capacity building and content. These have continued to hamper the development of the sector in the country leading to the outflow of foreign exchange as many Nigerians seek better and quality education abroad.
“This informed our decision to set up the One Education Desk to constantly seek out and execute ideas that would champion the advancement of the education sector in Nigeria through strategic partnerships, service provision for students, parents, teachers/lecturers, vendors, school administrators and the non-academic staff as well as the provision of world-class Information Communication Technology (ICT) solutions and other services with the ultimate aim of reducing unemployment in Nigeria.”
He added that the desk would serve as the platform “to achieve our objective of putting in place a one-stop shop for ICT infrastructure solutions and other services needed to take education to the next level, ultimately improving the quality of graduates churned out by Nigerian institutions.”
Adeola stated that the sponsorship of the competition was a confirmation of “our conviction at Sterling Bank that the MSME’s remain the catalyst of economic growth of any nation, especially in a developing economy like ours. It also goes a step further to attest to our commitment to the sustainable development of the education sector in Nigeria.”
While commending the university for organising the competition, he said: “It will serve as a starting point for the galvanization of practical ideas towards the industrialisation of the country”.
He enjoined the award winners to use the prize they have won on projects that would create value for themselves and the society.
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