President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR has said that with global economies becoming profoundly knowledge-driven, Nigerian Universities need to be more research oriented, ICT-based and compliant. He stressed that such proper research orientation would impact directly on the quality of Nigerian graduates and nation’s development index.
In the Visitor’s address at the 5th convocation ceremony of Federal University Dutse (FUD) recently, the President, who was represented by the Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), Professor Abubakar Adamu Rasheed, mni, MFR, FNAL, noted that it was imperative to embrace technological knowledge in order to take the nation to its zenith.
He pledged that government would continue to invest heavily in the nation’s universities by directing bodies such as the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) to do more in terms of research promotion and building ICT infrastructure in tertiary institutions.
On the efforts of FUD since its establishment, the President stated that his administration was impressed by the university’s ability to sustain and maintain a very stable and enviable academic environment since its inauguration in 2012.
He urged the university management to remain resolute in promoting and maintaining excellence.
The Visitor applauded the commitment and achievements of the university, especially with the commissioning of several TETFund financed projects.
He express his delight that the University’s College of Medicine and Health Sciences Complex had come on board, stressing that these were indications that the University management had effectively keyed into government’s desire to improve the capacity of the nation’s health sector through effectual training and development of the health manpower.
He assured that the Federal Government would continue to support and emphasize the training and re-training of academic and non-academic staff; ensure the periodic review of school curriculum in line with national aspirations; promote entrepreneurial learning and entrepreneurship as essential ingredients for Nigeria’s economic growth and development.
The President said that Government was focused on curbing unemployment and had initiated a number of entrepreneurship support programmes at all levels and in all sectors of the federation. He urged the young graduands to take advantage of such opportunies by managing them well when enrolled and with a view to becoming genuine creators of wealth.
He emphasised that the task of rebuilding the country was a collective responsibility and challenged out as stakeholders to know that they had a key role to play.
President Buhari congratulated the graduands for successfully completing their studies. He called on them to realise that Nigeria had gone through a myriad of conflicts and economic challenges which required that youths with the natural advantage of energy and technological flair should be in the forefront of reserving these challenges.
Some of these challenges he mentioned include the scourge of hunger, diseases, terrorism and climate change.
In his speech, the Pro-chancellor and Chairman of Council, Alhaji Ibrahim Akuyam said that the University had recorded admirable milestones. According to him, these achievements were reflected in the conduct of the students, the quality and relevance of programmes, quality and discipline of both academic and non-teaching staff, international linkages and collaborations and improvement of infrastructural faculties.
Despite these achievements, he disclosed that the university was facing challenges in providing of quality student accommodation and addressing scarcity of lecture halls and classrooms. He noted that with the envisaged expansion of programmes and a subsequent growth in student population, the situation had become more of an urgent priority project requiring attention. Alhaji Akuyam expressed the hope that the graduands would be excellent ambassadors of the institution wherever they might find themselves.
The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Fatima Batul Mukhtar, in her convocation address said the nation as a whole was facing new educational and socio-economic challenges characterized by competing demand for resources. She commended the founding Vice-Chancellor, Professor Suleiman Amin for his vision in laying an excellent foundation for the institution.
She stressed that the university had succeeded in establishing, and consolidating programmmes in Agriculture and the Sciences prioritising Science programmes over the Art and Humanities. She added that efforts towards digitalization and the provision of sufficient ICT infrastructure for both staff and students had brightened the university’s path towards formidable research and scholarship.
On the graduate output, the Vice-Chancellor disclosed that a total of 785 undergraduate students from various faculties were graduated with varying classes of degrees in 19 different programmes. Out of these 52 had first class, 291 2nd class upper division, 105 with third class degree and 105 with pass degree.
Out of the 52 with first class honours degree, 15 were in Biotechnology, 14 from Microbiology, 6 from Computer Science, 1 in Forestry and Wildlife Management, 1 each in Criminology/Security Studies and Economics.
A total of 162 graduands were also awarded postgraduate diplomas and degrees in Agriculture and Rural Development, Criminology, Banking, Finance and Computer Science.
A major highlight of the convocation was a lecture titled “Facing the New Decade” which preceded the award ceremony delivered by the Vice-President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, GCON.
Present at the convocation were State Governors of Jigawa, Kano and Sokoto, representatives of other Governors mostly from the North, members of the National Assembly, Honourable Ministers, Accountant General of the Federation, Auditor General of the Federation, Royal fathers, parents and well-wishers of the graduands.