Hands off varsities, Jonathan warns host communities

Posted by News Express | 30 March 2014 | 3,153 times

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President Goodluck Jonathan has told university host communities to respect the sanctity and federal character of institutions located in their areas.

In his speech yesterday at the 43rd Convocation ceremony of the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN), the President expressed happiness that peace has returned to UNN after it was engulfed by protests following the removal of the institution’s erstwhile Pro-Chancellor, Dr. Emeka Enejere. Enejere, a UNN alumnus and former lecturer, hails from Nsukka.

“Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, my address would not be complete if I do not make reference to the recent disturbing developments in this university. While I am pleased that peace and normalcy had returned to the university, let me seize this occasion to reiterate that the federal institutions should not be seen as the property of the communities or states in which they are situated,” Jonathan, who was represented by the Supervising Minister of Education, Chief (Barr.) Nyesom Wike, said.

He noted that the Federal Government has kept its promise of providing additional funding for facility development in universities through TETFund and other high impact interventions, but insisted that the government alone cannot provide all the funds needed to cater for the development of the education sector.

The President added that inadequate funding is not the only problem of university education, maintaining: “To run a 21st century educational system, we also need to address the challenges of poor work ethics and prolonged industrial actions.”

He assured that his administration is committed to strengthening all tiers of the education sector by expanding access to education and upgrading the quality of teaching and personnel across all levels of education.

Earlier in his address the UNN Vice Chancellor, Prof. Bartho Okolo, announced that the institution awarded a total of 7,989 degrees comprising first degrees, higher degrees and diploma certificates at the 43rd convocation ceremony.

Okolo, who leaves office by June this year, chronicled the achievement of his administration, among them the following: forging collaborations with over 80 reputable universities across the world, development of infrastructure, making investments that will boost the revenue of the university, and development of on-line transcript delivery system, among others.

Prof. Okolo expressed optimism that the future of the university is bright. He said his belief was further enhanced by the knowledge that “the government of President Goodluck Jonathan is on course to fulfilling its promise for better funding for universities.”

He expressed appreciation to the Federal Government and good-spirited Nigerians who have collaborated with the UNN, under his administration, to ensure a better infrastructure for the university.

•Photo shows President Jonathan.


Source: News Express

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