Education is Strategic to Transformation Agenda – President Jonathan

The President and Visitor to the University, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, has affirmed that education would continue to remain a focal point in his administration’s drive for national development. Speaking at the just-concluded 21st and 22nd Convocation Ceremonies of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), Dr. Jonathan noted that “development cannot be possible without good education. Hence, this year’s budgetary allocation of 426 billion naira to education out of the total national budget of about 5 trillion is a clear determination of a deliberate and sustained effort by our administration to turn things around for the better”.

The President, who was represented at the occasion by the Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), Professor Julius Okojie, noted that government was not unmindful of the many challenges troubling our citadels of learning such as funding and disruption in the academic calendar, as he called on stakeholders in the education sector to support and cooperate with the Federal Government to deal with these issues and find a lasting solution.

He commended the Governing Council and Management of the University for establishing the Office of Advancement, as well as its internationalization drive; stating that that FUNAAB had impacted positively on the nation’s socio-economic and political life through its tripodal mandate of teaching, research and extension services. He also congratulated the University for its current World Webometrics Rating as 2nd Best in Nigeria and 29th in Africa.

The Chancellor and Asagba of Asaba, HRM Obi (Professor) Chike Edozien, expressed his appreciation to the Federal Government for releasing the merged 2011/2012 TETFund allocation and other special interventions to FUNAAB, which had helped the University in no small measure in developing its infrastructure. “We hope that these gestures of the government will be sustained in future as the only catalyst for ensuring that the University remained focused in its mandates of teaching, research and extension services and to further enhance our own mission of building great future leaders and generate knowledge through research and intellectually-stimulating environment for teaching, learning and community outreach, towards sustainable development”, he added.

He used the occasion to remind the Visitor of his directive for specialized Universities to transmute into multi-disciplinary institutions and appealed for approval for FUNAAB to establish the Colleges of Medicine and Law, so that more young Nigerians will be given opportunity to have access to University education.

The Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council, Senator/Sir (Dr.) Adeseye Ogunlewe, in his address titled, “Need To Grant Autonomy and Self-financing Status to All Federal Universities and Parastatals”, said Senate and Council of the University were fully aware of the problems of admission of students, who are qualified  but could not gain admission into Federal Universities. He solicited for the establishment of additional Colleges namely; the College of Medicine, College of Law and the College of Social Sciences without necessarily requesting for any take-off capital funds from the Federal Government, to meet the yearning of the citizens of Ogun State and Nigeria, assuring that the good people of Ogun were ready to raise the necessary take-off funds to finance the establishment of the new Colleges.

He advocated for a symbiotic relationship between Nigerian Universities and the Federal Government’s Office of the Millennium Development Goals, (MDGs), adding that Industrial Revolution cannot be achieved, without the involvement of researchers in the Universities and Polytechnics. Senator Ogunlewe called on the federal and state governments, to as a matter of policy, make annual budgetary provisions for specific research innovations that are assigned to Universities while soliciting that members of the Nigerian Society of Engineers and the Nigerian Academy of Engineering should be included in the formation and execution of policies on national development.

The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olusola Oyewole, whose address was titled, “We Shall Reach Our Goals”, said since the inception of the University about 26 years ago, it had worked assiduously to realise its vision, mission and mandate as enunciated by the Founding Fathers and in line with the statutes establishing the institution. He pointed out that FUNAAB had never relented in its efforts at maintaining high academic standards, made possible by the immense contributions of its ever-dedicated members of staff, conducive, peaceful teaching and learning environment within the available resources.

Professor Oyewole, who is also the President, Association of African Universities (AAU), disclosed that he assumed office about 25 months ago, with a personal vision, “to promote the advancement of FUNAAB towards a World-Class Status by providing a visionary leadership, empowering the human capacity, promoting equality and excellence in teaching, research for development and community engagement for societal impact”.

He said this tradition of excellence had assisted FUNAAB immensely in producing well-behaved graduates that are making waves in all facets of life and that the University had continued to witness remarkable progress and development.

While congratulating the graduating students for toiling very hard and making a huge success out of their several years of dedication, hardwork, perseverance and determination, the Vice-Chancellor said, “As you go into the world, remember to be good Ambassadors of FUNAAB wherever you find yourselves. Always keep the flag flying and avoid any act that could tarnish the hard-earned image of yourselves, your family and indeed, the University. Remember to be honest, humble and disciplined”. He added that by virtue of the training that they had acquired in the University, becoming an entrepreneur should not be a Herculean task for them.

A breakdown of the statistics of the recent graduate and postgraduate students of FUNAAB for the 2011/2012 and 2012/2013 Academic Session, is as follows: 1681 First Degree Graduates and 197 Postgraduates for the 2011/2012 Academic Session and 1874 Graduates and 107 Postgraduates for the 2012/2013 Academic Session.

Last Updated on July 4, 2014 by admin

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