President Goodluck Jonathan has said that federal and state universities across the country have experienced improved infrastructure since his administration to power through the Needs Assessment Fund and other intervention funds like the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND).
Jonathan, who stated this in Benin City, Edo State, at the weekend during the 39th and 40th convocation ceremony of the University of Benin (UNIBEN), also commended the out-going Vice Chancellor (VC) of the university, Prof. Osayuki Oshodin, for his innovations in the last five years as head of the school.
Represented by the Pro-Chancellor of the university and Chairman, Governing Council, Senator Effiong Dickson, the President said that allocations were made to the various universities based on their needs assessment requests, through which the sum of N2.6 billion accrued to UNIBEN.
He said the Federal Government was still open to funding of research and scholarships by private organisations in order to further improve the nation’s education sector.
“It is the quality and high standard of education we are able to bequeath to our children that will assure us of a better Nigeria.
“It is gratifying to note that all public universities in Nigeria, federal and state alike, are better off now following the recent financial releases made to them in line with their needs assessment request.
“It is a thing of joy to state here that the University of Benin benefited to the sum of N2.6 billion from our recent allocation from the needs assessment funds for infrastructure. This is in addition to subventions from the Tertiary Education Trust Fund.
“As we work together to sustain this development, it is my hope that most tertiary institutions will be able to develop infrastructure and as well improve in their academic service delivery. We are prepared to work with all relevant stakeholders to improve the education sector in order to transform our economy”, the President said.
While congratulating the in-coming Vice Chancellor, Prof. Faraday Orunmwense, he urged him to bear in mind the antecedents of his predecessors and use them as a guide and consider the overall intent of the university as his priority.
Also speaking, the Chancellor of the university and Lamido of Adamawa, Dr. Muhammadu Musdafa, attributed the inability of the university to organise a convocation for its 2011/2012 session to the six-month strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) last year and called on the union and the Federal Government to find a permanent solution to the endemic problems in order avoid a disruption of the nation’s academic system.
Earlier, the vice chancellor said that 103 doctorate degrees and 1,933 masters degrees were awarded for the 2011/2012 session, while the 2012/2013 session produced 27 doctorate degrees, 449 masters degrees and 40 post-graduate diploma recipients. The Guardian