Zacheus Adeyewa, Vice-Chancellor of the Redeemer’s University, Ede, Osun State, says the federal government is still owing the university $375,000, which it spent on researches to prevent the spread of the deadly Ebola virus in 2014.
Adeyewa said this during a press conference to announce the ninth convocation ceremony of the university.
He lamented that despite the contributions of private tertiary institution to the country, they are not part of beneficiaries of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund).
“We spent $375,000 during the Ebola crisis and the government has not returned the money to us,” he said.
“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.”
Adeyewa said that the university has one of the best infectious diseases research centres in Africa, certified by the World Health Organisation.
“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,” he said.
“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 Centres 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 Drug Administration and World Health Organisation.”
Ebola was first introduced into Nigeria by Patrick Sawyer, a Liberian-American, who came to Nigeria for a meeting. The disease, however, was largely contained and Nigeria was declared Ebola-free after 93 days.