President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has told Nigerians that his administration’s policies may seem difficult but the desired positive outcomes will happen soon.
He, however, solicited the support of Nigerians for his government’s economic policies, “despite the difficulties currently experienced, ” and assured that the policies would soon yield the desired positive results.
Speaking at the 43rd Convocation ceremony of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria where 25,432 students graduated with various degrees, the Minister of Education, Professor Tahir Mamman, who spoke on behalf of the President, said, the policies seem difficult, but the desired positive outcomes will soon happen.
He said, “I would like to solicit for understanding and support of Nigerians towards the government’s economic reform programmes inspired by the difficulties involved. We are very much hopeful that these policies will yield the desired results in no distant future.”
Speaking on the role of universities in national development, President Tinubu said Ahmadu Bello University among other Nigerian universities have contributed immensely to research and development, hence the need for them to partner with industries and entrepreneurs to commercialize their ideas.
He also called on the graduates to go out and be job creators and job seekers, adding that, opportunities available to them are limitless and open to them to conquer.
The President said, “Universities are known as citadels of research and innovation, which provide the necessary ingredients for the development of societies. Ahmadu Bello University enjoys an enviable status in its contribution to research and innovation, especially in the areas of agriculture, medicine, and engineering among others.
“I therefore urge the university to publicize their research and collaborate with industries and entrepreneurs for commercializing such ideas.
“Today, the higher education sector is witnessing tremendous growth, internalization and impact, from globalization. This is facilitated in part by partnerships, collaborations and the use of information and communication technology.
“The initiative of the university in developing a regional and internationalization policy aimed at attracting international staff and students is a right step in the right direction. The Federal Government is complementing these pragmatic efforts through its recent approval of transnational education in Nigeria.
“This policy allows universities and investors abroad to set up institutions within Nigeria, owned by them or collaborate and partner with existing Nigerian institutions.
“Gone are the days when Nigeria is bottle-lap in the areas of knowledge and cooperation. Overall, therefore, this gives Nigerians access to quality education based on global standards and also saves foreign exchange.
“On our part, this government acknowledges the critical roles of tertiary institutions in achieving the aims of this government to place the nation on the path of development. We will continue to support the institutions with suitable policies and resources that will facilitate their roles.
“Our students will also enjoy such support such as the student loans that we have now expanded to cater for those pursuing skills-based courses, in addition to those in the universities.”
The President congratulated
the graduating students, urging them to use the knowledge they have acquired for societal development to justify the resources expended on their studies. “You are therefore expected to be job creators, rather than job seekers. The opportunities available are limitless and open to you to conquer.”
Chancellor of the University and the Obi of Onitsha, Nnaemeke Alfred Ugochukwu Achebe commended the Federal Government for removing the Federal Universities from the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System, adding that the decision will go a long way in guaranteeing the autonomy of the universities.
The Vice Chancellor of ABU, Professor Kabiru Bala, said of the 25,432 graduating with various degrees, 647 bagged PbD, 5,167 Masters, 40 MPhil and 955 Post Graduate Diplomas.
He said out of 11,916 graduates with Bachelor’s degrees, 182 earned First Class degrees, 3,902 earned second-class upper degrees, and 11,552 graduated with second-class (lower division).
The convocation ceremony was graced by the Governors of Kaduna and Zamfara State, Senator Uba Sani and Dauda Lawal respectively, the Emir of Zazzau, Ambassador Ahmed Nuhu Bamali, former Governor of Cross Rivers State, Donald Duke, and many other dignitaries.