…Approves N208bn for upgrade of federal varsities
Doosuur Iwambe, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed concern over the slow pace of Nigerian universities in the aspect of Research and Development, which he said, could assist the development of the country if the higher institutions in the country intensify effort at discoveries and inventing things.
The President said this on Saturday in his address at the fourth convocation of the Federal University, Dutsinma (FUDMA), Katsina State.
Buhari, represented by the former Deputy Governor of Kano State, Prof. Hafiz Abubakar, said that part of the speech would serve as a wake-up call to the nation’s universities.
He said: “It is not heart-warming that in our over 58 years of independence, Nigerian universities are slow in discoveries and inventions. Research, critical thinking, moral dispositions, discoveries, and inventions should find natural habitats in our universities, as they do in several other universities in the world.”
Buhari noted that universities are supposed to be strong drivers of the country’s development initiatives for sustainable growth.
However, he assured that his administration would continue to do everything possible to improve structures and facilities in the institutions and to enhance learning by training the required workforce through various interventions like TETFUND.
The president urged FUDMA to collaborate with Sokoto River Basin Development Authority to produce improved agricultural varieties and give the required scientific and extension support to the local farmers saying that it would enhance the farmers’ productivity and economic viability.
Earlier in his remarks, the acting Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Adamu Baba-Kutigi, said that 430 students were graduating from the institution for the 2017/2018 session.
He said that the university’s vision is to be among the top-ranking universities in the world, saying that seven faculties run about 40 programmes.
The vice chancellor added the institution had established microfinance bank, university farm, printing press, and a shopping mall to enhance its internally generated revenue.
Meanwhile, President Buhari has approved N208 billion for the upgrade of federal universities.
The president made this known at the 23rd convocation of the University of Abuja on Saturday.
Represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Sonny Echono, the President said Nigeria could overcome its challenges by developing its human capital.
He said his administration would continue to address the concerns of the tertiary institutions.
“The present administration will continue to improve on the infrastructural facilities in the universities, promote teacher development and curriculum review.
“It is in furtherance of this that I recently approved the disbursement of N208 billion to public tertiary institutions under the 2019 intervention of the TETFUND.
“The ability of Nigeria with its huge population to overcome its present challenges of development no longer depends on petroleum resources but on the ability of the country to develop its human capital.
“The government will continue to look into the issues raised by the universities.”
The president added that the government would “monitor the universities closely,” Buhari added.