The President, Bola Tinubu, has kicked against Industrial disharmony in the nations universities, noting that it disrupts life, wastes time and elongates academic calendar.
Tinubu who said this at the 33rd convocation ceremony of the Federal University of Technology, Akure, FUTA, noted that ” all avenues for dialogue must be explored and exhausted before strike actions are considered, and as the last resort.
According to him “I would like to enjoin all the unions in our universities to cooperate with the government in order to deliver the needed development by ensuring an atmosphere of peace and tranquility on our campuses.
Speaking through, Professor King-David Terna Yawe, a visiting don in National Universities Commission, NUC, President Tinubu, assured that ” On our part, we will ensure that motivational activities are put in place to ensure improved productivity.
“Reciprocative actions would be expected from our universities as Government works hard to raise the bar of conducive teaching and learning environment.
“To whom much is given, much is expected. Dialogue, patience, and positive engagements are better means of achieving results over strike actions.
“Industrial disharmony does nothing but to disrupt life, waste time and elongate academic calendar.
“Therefore, all avenues for dialogue must be explored and exhausted before strike actions are considered, and as the last resort.
On funding, the President, who noted that University education is capital-intensive, called on “the organized private sector operators and international partners to collaborate with our universities and research institutes in the areas of research funding and utilization of research outputs for national integration and development.
“This will also rub on our graduates in the areas of value addition, experience, hands-on training, exposure and less expenditure on employees’ engagement and training.
“If this kind of learning environment is achieved, we will definitely have students who will be well focussed, eschew all forms of violence and other anti-social behaviours.
Speaking on challenges facing higher educational institutions, particularly universities, the President, said that his administration was making frantic efforts to address the situation holistically.
He said that “My Government would not shirk its responsibilities in this regard. We will ensure that educational institutions get their dues in order to perform their statutory duties optimally.
“To put this in motion, one of my first actions as the President of Nigeria after my inauguration was the signing of the Students Loan Bill into law.
“This Act will enable indigent students in all our tertiary institutions have access to interest-free loans which they would pay back at their convenience in future when they are gainfully employed.
“Under my watch and as I have said in my manifesto, no student will drop out of school as a result of inability to pay school charges.
“There are many good plans this Government have in the pipeline for the University community in particular and higher education sector in general.
“Your welfare, including human and infrastructural development will be the priority of Federal Government and I have no doubt that we can achieve stability in the University academic calendar if we come together as critical stakeholders.
“However, this cannot be achieved unless a peaceful teaching and learning environment is guaranteed, and purposeful and participatory governance is fostered.
The President who lauded the university for maintaining the lead as the best University of Technology in the country, added that the feat was made possible by the able leadership of the Vice Chancellor, Prof Adenike Oladiji and the institutions management.
He said that “This is a clear evidence that this University is actively committed to excellence in spite of its challenges.
The Vice Chancellor, Prof Adenike Oladiji, said that 3491graduated out of which 195 made first class.
Oladiji, said that ” out of the total number, 195 students have first class, 1,510 have second class honours (upper division), 1,515 students finished with second class honours (lower division), 254 have third class and two students finished with pass.”
She noted that in a bid to have a direct impact on the society, the university would introduce new academic programmes upon the approval of the National University Commission.
“FUTA aspires to be a world-class university of technology and centre of excellence in training, research, and service delivery.
“Currently, we have active collaborations with universities in the USA, UK, Germany, China, Brazil, India, and Ghana.
“Visiting professorship and scholar positions for academics from the diaspora have been instituted to enrich the quality of training and research in the university.
“Currently, 19 scholars have been engaged. They are from South Africa (6), Namibia (1), USA (1), UK (4) Canada (2), Germany (1), Malaysia (1) and Australia (2) and New Zealand (1).
Oladiji listed the university’s request to include, donation of laboratory equipment and other learning materials, endowment of professorial chairs in various disciplines, provision of lecture halls and laboratories with ultra modern facilities, provision of students hostels under Build- Operate- Transfer BOT Agreement and provision of buses for student field trips.