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Bello charges Buhari to consolidate on Jonathan’s achievements in tertiary education sector




VICE Chancellor of University of Lagos (UNILAG), Prof. Rahamon Adisa Bello, has charged President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) to consolidate on the achievements of the outgoing administration and complete the implementation of the Needs Assessment of Nigerian Public Universities.

He spoke on the third day of the 2013/2014 convocation ceremony of the institution, during which a total of 4, 764 higher degrees, including postgraduate diplomas, masters’ and doctorate degrees were handed out.

The ceremony also featured conferment of honourary degree awards to three eminent Nigerians. They are Lt. General Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma (rtd), who received a Doctor of Science award (D.Sc); Deacon Gamaliel Oforitsenere Onosode, Doctor of Letters (D.Litt) and Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye, Doctor of Science (D.Sc).

Bello said it was imperative for the president-elect to focus attention on the Needs document as it was one of the ways universities in the country could become stable and contribute positively to the economic development of the nation.

He explained that the programme initiated by President Goodluck Jonathan’s led administration was targeted at upgrading the infrastructural decay in Nigerian public universities, as well as manpower development programmes.

He said, “We would like to urge the president-elect and the incoming visitor to the university, as he assumes office, to consolidate on the achievements of the outgoing administration in the higher education sector, and complete the implementation of the Needs Assessment funding programme. We would like to also draw his attention to the need for a funding mechanism that will insulate higher education in Nigeria from fluctuations of the Nigerian economy.”

Bello, who said the institution recorded modest achievements in the areas of partnership, research, academic and infrastructure.
added that it also “continues to pursue partnership arrangements that would immensely benefit our staff and students. One of such is the partnership with LG Air-conditioning Worldwide to provide training for our engineers. We have on our campus, an LG Air-conditioning Academy located in the Faculty of Engineering. This academy is the only one of its kind in Africa at the moment. With this, our graduates of engineering and allied studies will be experts in air-conditioning in the nation while the facility provides opportunities for research.”

“Also continent-wise, the university became a foundation member of the 14-member African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA), which was recently launched in Dakar, Senegal. We also serve as the coordinator for the West African sub-region. This is a testimony of our research promotional activities, results of which will soon be apparent both within the university and the nation.”

He continued, “The B.A. degree programme in Chinese Studies, which was commenced in the 2013/2014 session, in response to the reality of the growing influence of China in the world economy, has blossomed with the first set of 19 students already settled in their two-year immersion studies at Soochow University, our Chinese partner university.”

To achieve coordinated growth and further development of UNILAG, Bello informed that the university recently produced a 25-year strategic plan spanning 2012-2037.

“It contains all facets of the university and how they should grow or develop in tranches of five years. The first five-year plan is currently being worked and all our activities are in tune with the plan. The plan took into consideration the dearth of land available to the university and thus projects vertical development. We want to acknowledge all our donors and also solicit for more supports towards this project.”

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