President Goodluck Jonathan
By Mohammed Aminu
President Goodluck Jonathan, Saturday challenged stakeholders and managers of the nation’s universities to complement the provision of facilities that enable institutions to function optimally, saying the Federal Government alone cannot shoulder the responsibilities of funding tertiary institutions in the country.
The president, who gave the challenge while speaking at the 31st convocation ceremony of the Usmanu Danfodio University, Sokoto, stressed the need for universities to explore opportunities for productive and beneficial partnership with the organised private sector to supplement the revenue they get from the Federal Government.
Jonathan, who was represented at the occasion by the Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Julius Okogie, said “The universities should form productive and beneficial partnerships with the private sector, so that they can generate needed funds to supplement allocation from the Federal Government.”
He noted that while it is necessary for the Federal Government to maintain its commitment from budgetary sources, time has come for the management of universities to cast their nets wide and generate resources for their various institutions.
According to President Jonathan , there should be a change of attitude from believing that the responsibility of government is to provide all the resources while the management simply incurs the expenditure.
He urged the management of universities to be more aggressive in diversifying the revenue base without compromising the essence of a university.
Jonathan noted that Usman Danfodio University had continued to live up to expectation in terms of scholarship and the noble tradition of the Sokoto caliphate.
He said the importance of education to the development of people and society cannot be overemphasised and as such government will continue to support all tertiary institutions that would serve as catalyst to development of the country.
“Our tertiary educational institutions are pivotal on which the transformation agenda rest upon, hence the need to develop them to achieve the desired targets,” he stated.
The president harped on the need for universities to lay emphasis on programmes designed to improve entrepreneurial skills that will benefit students after graduation.
While congratulating the graduands for completing their studies, the president charged them to rededicate themselves to the service of the nation.
He also congratulated the recipients of doctoral degrees and reminded them that the honour done to them was a further call to duty.
In a remark, the vice chancellor of the university, Prof. Riskuwa Shehu, said a total of 11,532 graduands received various degrees and diplomas.
He stated that 120 received Ph.D; 968 masters degree , 673 got post -graduate diploma while 8,509 got bachelors degree.