Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Sterling Bank Plc, Mr. Yemi Adeola and Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka have called on the organised private sector in the country to complement the effort of the government in repositioning the nation’s education sector.
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 Sterling Bank Plc, 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.
Prof. Soyinka who delivered the Convocation Lecture advised on the need for private sector to take more interest in the education sector and noted that the need to fully develop the sector cannot be overemphasized as it remains the bedrock of any nation.
Mr. Adeola who was represented at the event by Mr. Ademola Adeyemi, the Regional Business Executive, South West, 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 ICT solutions and other services with the ultimate aim of reducing unemployment in Nigeria”.
He added that the desk will 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 in Nigerian institutions”.
Mr. Adeola stated that the sponsorship of the Business Plan competition is a confirmation of “our conviction at Sterling Bank that the MSMEs 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 organizing the competition, he said “it will serve as a starting point for the galvanization of practical ideas towards the industrialization of the country”.
Mr. Adeola then enjoined the winners of the Award to use the prize won by them on projects that would create value for themselves and the society.

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