President Muhammadu Buhari has called on all stakeholders in the education sector to ensure the provision of qualitative and quantitative education in order to achieve national development.
Buhari, who was represented by the Minister of State for Education, Professor Anthony Onwuka, said this on Saturday during the 41st convocation ceremony for the conferment of post-graduate degrees, diplomas and certificates at the University of Benin, Edo State.
At the event where a total of 11,020 students received different higher degrees, the President decried what he described as the disregard for Nigeria’s education system by key players in the sector.
He said, “If there is one thing Nigerians agree on, it is the fact that our educational system is undervalued. Permit me to say, at this point and very sadly too, that the current standard of education in Nigeria has, unfortunately, succeeded in creating three classes of Nigerians: a minority that is well educated, a majority that is poorly educated and those without education at all.
“This not healthy for our country and concerted efforts should be made to reverse the trend.
“Let me use this medium to reiterate the vision of the Federal Government in the provision of qualitative education, especially tertiary education for our teeming youths. This, however, requires the support of all stakeholders.”
He, however, noted that while the Federal Government would not relent in its efforts to overcome challenges caused by the activities of the Boko Haram sect and other misguided elements in the near future, Nigerians must guard the country’s educational values, against all odds.
“The Federal Government notes, with dismay, the incidents of bomb blasts and other acts of terrorism in our institutions of learning and pledges its determination to put a final stop to this ugly trend, as no responsible government will fold its arms and allow a system that has taken several years to build to be snatched overnight by the unwholesome activities of some enemies of progress,” he added.
While congratulating the graduates and honorary awardees, Buhari stressed the need for universities to focus on viable and entrepreneurial ideas that would assist the government.
He also urged the managers of tertiary institutions to continue to demonstrate prudence in the management of their resources as his administration would ensure that the Treasury Single Account blocks any form of diversion and misappropriation of government funds.
He said, “The government is determined to fight corruption at all levels, including our tertiary institutions. We cannot speak of effective and efficient funding of the education sub-sector if our universities are mired in crisis, fraud and loss of institutional vision.”
Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State, in his remarks, frowned on the prevalence of land grabbing by unpatriotic individuals and groups.
He said the development had become a problem for the university and promised that the state government would not hesitate in demolishing illegal structures.
Honorary doctorate degrees were conferred on the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase, and a consultant gynaecologist, Dr. Osagie Osato.