By Demola AKINYEMI, Ilorin
President Umaru Musa Yarâ€™Adua yesterday challenged the university authorities in the country to rise up to the challenge of effectively partnering with the federal government in coming up with a well-structured response to the global economic crisis.
He also said thatÂ the government is committed to meet the financial obligations of the nationâ€™s universities, stressing that, the development would assist the nationâ€™s universities to develop themselves academically and thereby enhance the educational growth of the country.
According to him â€œthe recent federal government Special Intervention Fund of a total of N5.5billion for six selected universities including the University of Ilorin is a reflection of this commitmentâ€
Yarâ€™Adua noted that, â€œit is the policy of my administration to remove observed inadequacies in the area of funding and enhance the productive capacity of the Nigerian universitiesâ€,stressingÂ that, the quest of the present administration to transform the country into one of the worldâ€™s 20 economies of the world by 2020 depend on the ability to create the right environment for the youths.
This, the president believedÂ would go along way of assisting them to maximally realize their creative and productive potentials so as to improve the socio well being of the populace.
President Yarâ€™Adua made this submission during the 25th convocation and Founders Day of University of Ilorin ceremonies held at the main auditorium of the university also called for a renewed focus on the innovation and creativity required to enhance the functionality and competitiveness in the university system.
The President also noted that hisÂ administration,â€™â€™ has been consistent in stressing the principal place of human capital development in ensuring sustainable growth and development in all facets of the nation so as to move the country forwardâ€.
President Yarâ€™Adua who was represented at the occasion by the Kwara state deputy governor, Chief Joel Ogundeji added that, â€œ Given the realities of the times, our universities need to restructure and realign their priorities with the imperatives of the national development objectivesâ€.
He therefore called on the nationâ€™s universities to create fund raising strategies that would complement the efforts of the government at repositioning the nationâ€™s universities for better optimum result.
Yarâ€™Adua also commended the management of the university of Ilorin for running an uninterrupted academic calendar in the past eight years saying that such development has continued to improve the academic excellence of the institution.
Also speaking, the Minister of Education, Dr. Sam EgwuÂ similarly commended the university for its consistent objection to strike saying the policy hadÂ helped the institution to maintain stability in its programmes.
â€œThe word strike cannot be found anywhere in the dictionary of the university of Ilorin. In this university, students graduate as and when due; four-year degree programme is a four-year programme-no extra time this is indeed commendable. I commend the Governing Council and university management for always being alive to their responsibilities.â€ he added.
The minister whoÂ expressed hope that the university will utilize optimally the ETF High Impact Intervention Fund recently granted it for staff development and research however said that the federal government is now poised to repositionÂ the tertiary education to an enviable level in order to boost the standard of education in the country.
In his speech, the Vice Chancellor of the university, Ishaq Oloyede said the graduands are made up of 3, 876Â in first degree and diploma programmes and 1, 491 in higher degree and post graduate diploma.
He hinted that that the graduands had been presented their certificates in line with resolution of the school to do away with â€˜To Whom It May Concern and unexpired statement of result.
He therefore called on the nationâ€™s leaders to effectively address the unemployment among the youths in order to bring new lease of life to the society.