Eminent Nigerian Friday made case for Nigerian Premier University, the University of Ibadan on why the Federal Government should create a special funding status for the Institution.
The dignitaries including the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar who is the Chancellor, University of Ibadan, the Pro Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council, Nde Waklek Joshua, and the Vice Chancellor, Prof Idowu Olayinka all in their separate remarks urged the FG to give special attention to the 69 year old institution, especially in the areas of providing rehabilitations funds and increased allocations.
The dignitaries spoke at the University’s 69th foundation day ceremony which held at the International Conference Centre, on Friday. The programme which also had in attendance a former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo amongst other eminent Nigerians also witness the conferment of honourary Doctorate degrees of the University on three deserving individuals.
At the event, a total of 402 candidates from various disciplines were awarded the Doctor of Philosophy degrees, in addition to one Doctor of Medicine degree. The Faculty of Education leads the pack with 85 graduands, followed by the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry with 70 graduands, and Faculty of Arts with 61.
The honorary doctorate degrees were conferred on a foremost linguist, Emeritus Prof Ayo Bamgbose; former Presidential Special Adviser on Petroleum, Dr Emmanuel Egbogah; seventh vice chancellor of the University. Prof Allen Bankole Oyediran; and Chairman, Dubri Oil, and pionering chairman, University of Ibadan Research Foundation, Dr. Chevalier Itsueli.
According to the dignitaries, an old institution as UI deserves a special attention particularly in the areas of funding noting that such special attention would reposition the University to rank among the first top five universities in Africa and among the first 500 universities in the world.
Minister of State for Education, Prof Anthony Anwukah, who represented President Muhammadu Buhari, who is the visitor to the institution, promised that goverment would continue to meet its obligations to all its tertiary institutions.
The Sultan of Sokoto, in his address, said the subvension to UI should be a special one and the highest among all tertiary institution in the country because UI is the country’s premier university. He added that the university should expand its research base and should reach out to individuals that could offer assistance to it.
The Pro Chancellor, Nde Waklek, who assumed office in May 2017, specially appreciated the “Federal Government for consistent release of fund to run the university and particularly for eliminating ‘shortfall’ in the monthly subvension given to the university. However, ‘our Oliver Twist’ wants more.
“We appeal to the Federal Government to please ensure that the university’s overhead and capital grants are regularly and promptly released. We also want to appeal to the Federal Government to expedite action on the release of fund for the university 10 Megawatt (10MW) Solar Plant commissioned last year to resolve the energy crisis on campus.” The ground breaking of the university’s 10 Megawatt Solar Plant was performed in October 2016.
The vice chancellor, Prof. Olayinka, noted that UI “is a pride of our nation and it has active collaboration with over 200 universities all over the world. I wish to renew our plea with Mr. President that the University of Ibadan be given special attention in the form of special rehabilitation funds and increase in allocation that may run for about five years in order for it to compete favourably with top institutions in the world as was the case about 40 years ago.
“This administration believes that no nation can achieve sustainable development without the enabling environment for sound education for those willing and able to acquire knowledge. The ability of the university to effectively confront this challenge is a function of the quality of administration.
“On the on-going 10MW/Solar Plant/Independent Power Project (IPP) which I reported during the last convocation, I am happy to report that we have entered into negotiation for another 10MW renewable energy project with another Consortium led by Highland Energy Solution Services Limited and Greenleaf University, United States of America. Both projects, when completed, will guarantee regular supply of up to 20MW electricity at UI disposal.”
Describing UI as pride of the nation owing to its active collaboration with over 200 universities all over the world, Prof. Olayinka however stressed that the university has continued to play a leading role in teaching and research in the country, adding that it has currently produced a large amount of postgraduates students at the master’s and doctoral level, which he said was critical inputs for most other universities in Nigeria.
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