President Goodluck Jonathan said at the weekend that only high standard of education would guarantee a better future for Nigerian children.
He made the remark at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, at the 42nd convocation and conferment of higher and honorary degrees.
He said that the best way to derive the benefits of the country’s large population was to get the people educated, skilled and employable.
“It is for this reason that education receives the highest financial allocation in our budget in 2013,” Jonathan said.
“The present administration is determined to provide access to quality education at all levels for Nigerians”.
Represented by NUC Secretary, Prof Julius Okogie, Jonathan urged private organisations to join hands with the Federal Government in forging partnership in funding of research and scholarship with the universities.
“We are prepared to work with all relevant stakeholders to improve the education sector of our economy.
“As a developing economy, our social progress and economic advancement will depend largely on progress we make on research and technology,” he said.
He urged the recipients of honorary degrees to see the awards as a way to strengthen their relationship with the university as well as make them to contribute more to national development.
“Let this honour done to you by the oldest university in the country spur you to greater height in your service to your fatherland,” he said.
Jonathan commended the university’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Bartho Okolo and his management team for the massive infrastructural development going on in the university and urged other universities to emulate it.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that four eminent Nigerians were conferred with honorary degrees including Secretary to the Government Federation (SGF) Senator Anyim Pius Anyim who bagged the Doctor of Law; the INEC Chairman, Prof Attahiru Jega, who received Doctor of Administration; the Chairman of Main One Cable, Mr Fola Adeola who bagged Doctor of Business Administration and MD/CEO of Diamond Bank PLc, Mr Alex Oti who went home with Doctor of Business administration.
Responding on behalf of the awardees, Anyim expressed appreciation to UNN for finding them worthy of the award.
He noted that the award would make them to do more to the university as well as to the country.
“We are excited that you found us worthy of this prestigious award, we will continue to identify with the university in its quest to become a world class institution,” he said.
Earlier, Okolo said that the awardees met the stringent conditions of the University for Conferment of honorary degree, having distinguished themselves and contributed so much to national development.
“By this award, they awardees have become alumni of UNN and will share in pride privileges and responsibilities of the university.
The VC announced that 198 persons bagged doctorate degrees, 2,268 master degrees while 269 will receive post-graduate diploma.