President Muhammadu Buhairi on Saturday said that the era of wasteful spending is over in Nigeria and advised universities to plough available resources into teaching, research and productive activities. The president, represented by Prof. Chiedu Mafiana, Executive Director at the National University Commission, spoke in Ilorin at the 32nd convocation of the University of Ilorin.
According to him, it is the expectation of government that in the near future, universities should be self-reliant and provide substantial portion of their needed funds. Buhari also said that government was deeply concerned about developments in the nation’s universities. “Government is uncomfortable that our citadels of learning which should be training grounds for probity, social justice and decorum have become havens for gross indiscipline, cultism, sexual harassment, immorality, indecency, violence, unnecessary demonstrations and all forms of anti-social behaviours.”
The president stressed the need for a proper communication channel between students and management to enable both parties interact, dialogue and consult freely. “This will help to engender peace, tolerance, orderliness, self-discipline, sobriety and attitudinal change in our institutions of higher learning.’’ Buhari warned leaders of universities that they would be held responsible for every positive and negative actions in their respective institutions.
He told the graduates that the country does not have the means to provide jobs for all of them. Buhari appealed to them to strive to engage in one form of productive activity or the other, adding that the present economic recession is not peculiar to Nigeria.
He said the socio-economic situation has been brought about by our collective failure as a people, dependency on oil exports to the exclusion of other products.
The president explained that the administration was doing everything possible to restructure the economy and change our ways of doings things. The Vice Chancellor, Prof Abdul Ganiyu Ambali, said that the university would inaugurate 20 projects, 12 of them executed with Internally Generated Revenue.
He appealed to the graduates to be hard working and be active in the university alumni activities. About 8,038 former students were conferred with degrees and diplomas.