BY GABRIEL ENOGHOLASE
BENIN – PRESIDENT Mohammadu Buhari has tasked universities and higher institutions of learning in the country to channel their time and resources on research and innovation that will enhance the nation’s economic development.
The president who was represented by Prof. Ramon Yusuf, gave the charge at the 42nd convocation ceremony of the University of Benin, Benin City weekend.
He said the institutions must think outside the box and concentrate on their core values which are research and innovation in order to get the nation out of the woods noting that such would be more effective if they partner industries to achieving that feat.
“I urged the universities to focus on their core mandate and it is clear that the chances of achieving greater heights and contributing more meaningfully to the national development are much higher than when they focus, channel their energies and resources into focal areas of core competency than when they spread themselves totally especially in the milieu of economic implementing.
“Another aspect in our universities that require a focus is the area of research and innovation which constitute an important component of the mandate of universities. In deed, it is a well known fact that no nation can develop or make meaningful progress without a solid research and development culture.
” Therefore, universities should pay closer attention to research and innovation with the ultimate aim of generating new knowledge and developing new product and pattern that will catalyze the much needed industrialization of Nigeria” he said.
Speaking also, the pro-chancellor, University of Benin, Senator Effiong Dickson Bob, said with the institution limited resources, it has been able to sustain the developmental strides and has improved on the standard set by its previous administrations in the area of ICT infrastructure, academic research and creating an harmonious environment for learning.
On the part of the chancellor, His Highness, Muhammad Sanusi II, Sarkin Kano, he charged the vice chancellor and his team to redouble their effort by taking the quantum leap that will lunch the university into the league of 21st century universities by initiating programs, researches and community services in which critical areas as impact projects, eco-innovation, skills development and entrepreneurship.
In his part, the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki said his government was bent on addressing and investing massively in the technical and vocational education of the people of the state, stressing that they are critical to the economic survival of any given nation.
On the part of the vice chancellor, Prof. F.F. O. Orumwense, while commending president Mohammadu Buhari for his avowed commitment to deliver on quality education to Nigerians, said the university has remained the most innovative, the most sought after in this part of the world adding that the institution has also recorded a huge feat as she presents her first sets of graduands of the national institute of legislative studies for the convocation.