Ex-UNIMAID VC: higher institutions must be strategic about fundraising
Ex-UNIMAID VC: higher institutions must be strategic about fundraising. The seventh vice-chancellor of the university of Maiduguri, and former chairman of the committee of vice-chancellors (CVC), Prof. Jibrilla Dahiru Amin says higher institutions in Nigeria must now imbibe the culture and techniques of strategic fundraising which enables a university like Harvard own about 40 billion dollars in endowments.
Speaking in an interview, Amin said with funding being a major issue facing tertiary institutions in the country, institutions must find ways of not depending on their funders, considering the recent complaints of inadequate funds.
“The major problem facing our universities mainly has to do with funding because of the over dependence on the proprietors be they government or private organizations and individuals.
“Even the Minister of Education in Nigeria has come out of recent to say that government is unable to bear the full financial requirements of its universities, yet more institutions are being created,” he said.
To address funding issues for institutions, Amin, who was also the pioneer Vice Chancellor of the Federal University, Dutse, said various groups such as the Strategic Fundraising and Capital Campaign (SFCC)had come up to design strategic solutions.
He said: “The SFCC is an initiative of several institutions: the Tri-College University consortium is leading the initiative – especially the Minnesota State University at Moorhead (MSUM). There is also the ORBICOM, the Global Network of UNESCO Professors of Communication at the University of Quebec, Montreal Canada. In Nigeria the initiative is being administered by C & F Porter Novelli, a top corporate communications agency in the country.
“There is also an advisory board with me as the chairman. Other members of the board are Prof. Molefi Asante of Temple University, Philadelphia, USA; Prof Bolaji Aluko the pioneer vice chancellor of the Federal University Otuoke; Prof Ekanem Ikpi-Braide, the President of the Nigerian Academy of Science; Prof. Yakubu Ochefu, the Secretary General of the CVC and Mrs Yinka Ogunde, who is in private business and has a lot of experience in the education sector.
“We (therefore) think that the best way forward is to look across the Atlantic Ocean for best practices in what world class American universities do to ensure relative financial self-sufficiency. American universities rely a lot on philanthropic organizations and individuals to supplement their income from fees paid by students. We are therefore seeking to tap from their wealth of experience in fundraising and hence the Strategic Fundraising and Capital Campaign initiative which is aimed at inculcating the culture of fundraising in our universities and other tertiary institutions.”
Asked who the key target of the initiative are, Prof. Amin said: “The main target of the SFCC are the senior university managers in Nigeria. We are targeting Vice Chancellors, Deputy Vice-Chancellors, Registrars, Bursars and Directors of Development/Advancement. We are particularly keen to have on board the people in the Development/Advancement offices of universities because they are directly involved in fundraising as part of their schedule of duties. We shall seek to firmly entrench in the university system a culture of fundraising for self-reliance.”
On the nature of the initiative, Prof. Amin explained that it would involve a series of free monthly webinars and a hybrid summit that will be hosted by the Minnesota State University, (MSUM), USA from September 15 to 18, 2021.
Amin said further: “The SFCC initiative consists of webinars and a summit. There will be seven webinars which will be delivered by subject matter experts from across the world. There will also be a summit which promises to be an intense and exciting three days of training and social events in one of America’s leading universities.”