Zaria (Kaduna) President Goodluck Jonathan has tasked Nigerian universities to intensify efforts at generating revenue internally to meet their developmental needs.
He made the call in Zaria on Saturday at the Golden Jubilee Convocation of the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, Kaduna State.
Jonathan, who was represented by Vice President Namadi Sambo, said that the call became necessary in view of the fact that government alone could not take care of education.
He advised that Nigerian universities should seek assistance from within and outside the country with a view to making the universities excellent centres of learning.
The president called for collective efforts from all Nigerians to salvage the nation’s education system from collapse.
“Private organisations should join hands with the Federal Government to ensure funding of research and scholarship.
“On our part, we shall continue to enhance funding and infrastructure development in our universities and other tertiary institutions.
“Education is a core aspect of national transformation agenda of this administration,” he said.
The president lauded ABU for its immense contributions to the development of education, and agriculture not only in the North but Nigeria at large.
The Acting Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, Governing Board of ABU, Alhaji Mohammed Dewu, said it was difficult to deny that after 50 years of existence, ABU had made significant contributions to all aspect of human endeavour.
He stressed the need for the university to evolve a strategic development plan to transform into a research-based post-graduate university in the next 50 years.
He called for upgrading of learning, teaching and research facilities and environment and the installation of state-of-the-art equipment.
Others are conducting problem-oriented scientific research into the process of community and national development to build self-reliance and ability to defend democratic rights.
The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Abdullahi Mustapha described ABU as the most culturally multiplex and vibrant university in Nigeria.
He stressed that the astronomical growth of ABU took place within extremely trying moments generated within and outside the university.
The VC enumerated some of the constraints to include acute shortage of resources and support and brain drain, especially from the mid 1990s.
The university conferred honorary doctorate degrees on the former Head of State, Rtd Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, Rtd. Gen. Theophilus Danjuma, Alajat Abibatu Mogaji, mother to Senator BolaTunubu and Emir of Kuwait, Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.
Responding on behalf of other honourees, Babangida described ABU as a university to beat south of the Sahara.
He said the university had fostered national cohesion.
The university’s hall of fame was launched as part of the convocation and anniversary. (NAN)
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Jonathan tasks universities on internal revenue drive