By Precious Oluwole
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has pledged that his government would not shirk its responsibilities in addressing education challenges in Nigeria.
President Tinubu gave this assurance at the grand finale of the 33rd Convocation ceremony of the Federal University of Technology, Akure, on Saturday.
The president who was represented by the former President of the West Africa College of Surgeons, Prof. King-David Terna Yawe, stressed that his administration is not unaware of the challenges facing higher educational institutions, particularly universities. “I want to use this opportunity to assure all Nigerians that our Government is making frantic efforts to address the situation holistically”.
“We will ensure that educational institutions get their dues in order to perform their statutory duties optimally. To put this in motion, one of my first actions as the President of Nigeria after my inauguration was the signing of the Students Loan Bill into law. This Act will enable indigent students in all our tertiary institutions have access to interest-free loans which they would pay back at their convenience in future when they are gainfully employed”.
“I would like to enjoin all the unions in our universities to cooperate with the government to deliver the needed development by ensuring an atmosphere of peace and tranquilly on our campuses.
“On our part, we will ensure that motivational activities are put in place to ensure improved productivity. Reciprocative actions would be expected from our universities as the government works hard to raise the bar for a conducive teaching and learning environment.
“To whom much is given, much is expected. Dialogue, patience, and positive engagement are better means of achieving results than strike actions. Industrial disharmony does nothing but disrupt life, waste time, and elongate the academic calendar.
“Therefore, all avenues for dialogue must be explored and exhausted before strike actions are considered, and as the last resort,”
Tinubu congratulated the graduating students for their success and for breaking through the rigours of academic works with good results and sound moral character, he also congratulated their parents for the privilege, courage and determination to pull resources together in order to secure a glorious future for them.
Earlier in her address, the Vice Chancellor, Federal University of Technology, Akure, FUTA, Mrs Adenike Oladiji Appreciated God for the successful completion of 2022/2023 academic session, inspite of the myraid of challenges in the educational sector, in particular, Nigeria in general.
Oladiji appreciated President Tinubu for his fatherly interest in the institution and for the various interventions in the institution which has improved the teaching and learning environment and has impacted very positively on the ranking of the institution in the community of Nigerian Universities.
“I sincerely pledge to repay the sacrificial support of our proprietor, by keeping our focus steady on the functional mandate of the university which is to spearhead the technological advancement of our dear Nation”.
She appreciated Gov. Akeredolu’s strives in the socio economic advancement of the Sunshine State. “We hope that the relationship between State Government and our university will not only continue but will be taken to a much higher level”.
She also acknowledged the Deji of Akure, Oba Aladetoyinbo Ogunlade Aladelusi for his fatherly support, as well as the entire Akure community for their interest in the take off of the FUTA teaching hospital.
She urged the graduands not to rest, as excellence is a never ending journey. “You should keep in your hearts, the core values of FUTA, remember that you are the most important image makers for the university. You should do all within you power to project FUTA positively wherever they go”.
The Governor of Ondo State, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu who was represented by the Commissioner for education, Pastor Femi Agagu, encouraged the graduands to remain focused, make good use of the trainings they have received in the school and remember that great achievements often come with great responsibilities.
He commended the management of the institution for their dedication and commitment in providing quality education for the students.