Nigeria’s corporate existence non-negotiable, Buhari insists
• FG identifies hurdle in pact with ASUU
President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, reiterated that the corporate existence of Nigeria was non-negotiable, adding that efforts would be made to protect the country as a single entity.
He also urged university lecturers, who have been on strike for eight months, to return to the classroom. Represented by Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, at the 72nd Foundation Day and PhD convocation of the University of Ibadan, the President vowed to sanction those compromising selection of vice chancellors for federal universities.
Fifty-seven students from various disciplines were awarded doctorates, with the Faculty of Education leading the pack. Also, 24 Pan African University Life and Earth Sciences Institute (PAULESI) candidates bagged PhDs.
Four prominent Nigerians were conferred with honourary doctorate degrees. General Theophilus Danjuma (rtd) got Doctor of Letters, Dr. Layiwola Fatona was conferred with Doctor of Science, Chief (Mrs.) Comfort Idowu received Doctor of Science, while Mr. John Coumantaros bagged Doctor of Letters.
Buhari, who is Visitor to the institution, reiterated the determination of his administration to security, stressing that corruption, nepotism, kidnapping and other social vices would be eradicated.
The Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council, Nde Joshua Waklek, said the university would continue to invest in human capital to achieve greater heights and improved gown-and-town relationship.
Urging government’s support, the chairman congratulated the ivory tower and its vice chancellor, Prof. Abel Idowu Olayinka, on emerging seventh best institution in Africa and first in Nigeria.
He assured the Nigerian leader that the emergence of the institution’s chief executives would be transparent and lawful. On his part, Olayinka appealed to the President for special reconstruction and rehabilitation funds.
IN the interim, the Federal Government has declared that acceptance of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) as proposed by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) might not resolve their differences.
Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, who spoke yesterday with State House correspondents in Abuja, hinted that even if government kow-tows to the payment mode of the lecturers that have consistently rejected government’s Integrated Payroll and Personal Information System (IPPIS), “ASUU has no money to procure the necessary hardware for its implementation.”
According to the minister, the Federal Government did not make any budgetary provision for UTAS hardware. He, however, said government had dispatched UTAS software to the Nigeria Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) for integrity test in consonance with its quest to encourage homegrown solutions.