The Vice-Chancellor of the Redeemer’s University, Ede, Prof. Zacheus Adeyewa, has said that the Federal Government is owing the institution the sum of $375,000, said to have been spent on research aimed at preventing the spread of the deadly Ebola virus in the country in 2014.
The VC said this at a pre-convocation press conference held to announce the ninth convocation ceremony of the university on Monday in Ede, Osun State.
Adeyewa said it was unfair that private universities were not benefitting from the Tertiary Education Fund despite their contributions to the body of knowledge and the well-being of humanity.
He said, “We spent $375,000 during the Ebola crisis and the government has not returned the money to us. They say we are a private university, but they have not answered the question whether Ebola, Yellow fever and other infectious diseases are private.
“Why did they cheat us with this public, private dichotomy? Please, help us to tell them to refund our money. Our African Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases has become the best rated among its peers in Africa through its profound research outputs, innovation and manpower development for the continent.
“We have become a continental powerhouse in the prevention, control and elimination of infectious diseases, such as Ebola and Lassa fever. Our team is not only the toast, but also the pacesetter for the other African Centers of Excellence. In this regard and to the glory of God, the World Bank has rated us as the university with the best research facilities in Sub-Saharan Africa.
“We have developed Rapid Test Kits that could detect Ebola and Lassa fever viruses within 10 minutes. Our Ebola Rapid Diagnostic test kit has been approved for use by the United States Food and a drug Administration and World Health Organisation.”
The vice chancellor said that 22 students of the university graduated with first class honours, while 145 made second class upper division and 203 made second class lower division out of 465 produced by the university.
As part of the events lined up for the convocation, Adeyewa said the university would award a honorary Doctor of Management Science degress to Felix Ohiwerei in recognition of his significant contributions to corporate Nigeria through his exemplary leadership qualities.
He added that a renowned historian, Prof. Toyin Falola, would also be conferred with another Doctor of Letters degress in recognition of his immense and unparalleled contributions to scholarship and transformation of the African continent.