The Senate Committee on Education on Tuesday urged companies operating in the country to help in the funding of educational institutions as part of their corporate social responsibility.
The Vice Chairman of the committee, Prof. Adeyeye Olusola made the call in Abuja during an oversight visit to the National Universties' Commission (NUC).
Olusola said, ``Companies like MTN and others should have a department that it is funding in universties. This is the practice in other parts of the world.
``These companies should give back to the communities where their businesses are flourishing and not just fund projects that they know they would get their money back.
``They are feeding fat on the country, but do not plough back into the system.''
He commended the NUC for overseeing the activities of universties in the country and urged it to create an enabling environment to make the job of lecturing more attractive and rewarding.
The Chairman of the committee, Prof. Uche Chukwumerijie, urged the NUC to explore other means of funding institutions outside government subvention.
Chukwumerijie said the visit was in the exercise of the committee’s constitutional duties ``as we are partners in progress and not inqusitors.
``We shall, therefore, appreciate a free-flow of information relevant to the exercise of this function.''
Responding, the Executive Secretary of the NUC, Prof. Julius Okojie, said the commission had invested in universities to enable them to stand on their own.
``Having realised the importance of education in driving the transformation agenda of the present administration, the NUC embarked on a rigorous review of the university system to achieve quality assurance.''
He added that the commission had, among other things, embarked on the review of academic programmes of universities and strenghtening of existing structures.
Okojie noted that the establishment of new universities in the country by the Federal Government was to ensure improved access to higher education to the teeming youths in the country.