Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has tasked the Governing Council of the Edo University, Iyamho to explore innovative approaches to generate revenue for the running of the university amidst the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The governor made this call during a courtesy visit on him by members of the Governing Council of the university, led by its Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Council, Prof. Thomas Audu, at Government House in Benin City.
He noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused major disruptions in all sectors of governance and economy including the education sector, adding: “This university was conceived as a unique experiment in university education in Nigeria. It was supposed to be a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement between the government and the university.
“I urge the institution to attract a bit more industry and commerce in the Okpella-axis through investment. The university is situated in the mining belt of the state and it will be easy to raise funds.
“We were hoping that most countries would have a major GDP growth this year but we have seen situations where these countries have seen almost double negative GDP. As a nation, we are forecasting that we would have a negative GDP growth of eight per cent, amounting to $20 billion dollars, which will throw the Nigerian economy into huge challenges.”
Obaseki, however, noted that despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the institution is making giant strides in the area of technology as it continues to make impact on the knowledge of its students notwithstanding the closure of schools across the nation using the E-learning platform.
He added: “COVID-19 pandemic has been a major distraction to the world, Nigeria inclusive. It has been very disruptive. It has put a lot of tests and strains on our fragile system across the board as the educational system is not left out.”
Earlier, the Pro-Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Thomas Audu congratulated the governor and his deputy for their nomination by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to fly the party’s flag at the September 19, 2020 governorship election in the state.
He disclosed that the Chancellor of the institution, Dr. Aderemi Makanjuola donated a Molecular laboratory which has the capacity to test 300 COVID-19 samples in a day.
The Pro-Chancellor said despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the institution is still impacting on the knowledge of students through E-learning, via CANVAS Learning Management System (LMS).
Audu said that, in the area of infrastructural development, the school in partnership with other private bodies, approved a block of classrooms for Faculty of Engineering, building of 150 rooms and hostel accommodation, while the 80-room hostel for Medical students has been completed and already in use.