Buhari charges FUTA, other varsities to lead drive for sustainable devt

Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari

PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has called on Nigerian universities to lead the country’s drive for development and the achievement of sustainable development goals through the production of critical manpower with demonstrable ICT skills.

Buhari gave the charge on the final day of the 29th and 30th combined convocation ceremonies of the Federal University of Technology, Akure, on Friday November 30, 2018.

Represented by the Director of Accreditation, National Universities Commission, Abuja, Dr. Noel Biodun Saliu, President Buhari said “in this age of ICT, we believe that our universities of technology are pivotal to the actualisation of our national development agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations in training and producing highly qualified manpower to solve the problems of unemployment, security and youth restiveness.

He called on universities and other institutions of higher learning to align with the Education 2030 Agenda which advocates for “education for self-reliance, basic skills and competencies needed in the 21st Century,” so that graduates can be employers of labour rather job seekers.

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Buhari said efforts would be geared towards improving infrastructure development and increase funding of universities. He then appealed to all stakeholders in the education sector not to rely on government alone for funding but to rejig the educational system for sustainable funding.

“Funding of government-owned universities, all over the world, is a collective responsibility of all stakeholders,” he said.

President Buhari also challenged the Nigerian academia on the increased need for impactful research towards solving societal problems.

“I strongly believe that FUTA is endowed with high quality and innovative researchers who can take up this task. I encourage the leadership of FUTA to be forthright and focused with a view to faithfully upholding the confidence reposed in you by government and all other stakeholders,” he said.

The governor of Ondo State, Mr Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, who also spoke at the event appreciated the contributions and value FUTA has added to Ondo State and Nigeria, assuring of sustenance of the synergy between the two.

The chancellor, Alhaji (Dr) Rilwanu Adamu, in his address called on both the federal and state governments to increase funding of Nigerian universities to further improve the quality of teaching, learning and research.

The pro-chancellor and chairman, governing council, Senator Joseph Waku, applauded government’s effort in funding education, but appealed for more.

In his address, the vice chancellor, Professor Joseph Fuwape, called on the graduating students to hold firm the ideals and standards that they acquired during their period of studentship.

He recounted FUTA’s achievements over the years, particularly since he took over the leadership, saying that FUTA’s academies have been engaged in high quality and impactful, need-driven research in globally relevant areas of technology, particularly renewable energy, food security and biotechnology.

For the 2016/2017 session, a total of 2,767 graduated with 86 making First Class honours; while 2,033 graduated in the 2017/2018 session with 120 First Class honours in the undergraduate category.

In the postgraduate category, a total of 1,401 obtained the postgraduate diplomas, master’s and doctoral degrees for the two sessions.

Mr. Tope Adebodun of the Department of Applied Geophysics graduated as the best student with the highest Cumulative Grade Point Average of (CGPA) of 4.91. in the 20116/17 academic session, while Funke Olanrewaju of the Department of Food Science and Technology with the same CGPA emerged the best graduating student for the 2017/18 academic session.

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