Uyo — Acting President Goodluck Jonathan has challenged Chancellors of Nigerian universities to exert their influence in the administration of tertiary institutions to ensure that the best come out from our university.
He made this known at the installation of His Royal Highness, the Emir of Fika, Alhaji Muhammadu Abali Idrissa as the 3rd Chancellor of the University of Uyo (UNIUYO), as well as the conferment of an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters (D. Litt) on him.
Jonathan, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Prof. Oladapo Afolabi, described the newly installed Chancellor as a dynamic and astute administrator with years of leadership experience.
He said government attached much important to Chancellors in the country's universities and expressed hope that the tenure of the new Chancellor of UNIUYO would be better than that of the immediate past Chancellor of the school, who was his late father.
Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Akaneren Idem Essien expressed hope that the new Chancellor would step into the shoes of his father, recalling that the immediate past Chancellor during his tenure made the university famous in terms of exposure and attracted projects to the institution.
He said the major challenge of the new Chancellor would be the physical development of the university's main campus, which began three years ago.
"Since the establishment of the university in 1991, using the facilities of the defunct University of Cross River State, the university has been operating in the town campus and annex until 2006 when only the Faculty of Engineering moved to the present location, which is the main campus."
Essien noted that the installation of the new Chancellor came at a time when the university recorded tremendous progress in academics, as well as accreditation of all its 66 programmes by the National Universities Commission.
Responding, Alhaji Idrissa stressed the need for all stakeholders to contribute their quota to reposition universities in the country and urged UNIUYO to carve a niche for itself as a shining star in the comity of federal universities in the country.
"The university must adopt a global perception if we must catch up with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). We should fine-tune our mindset to the global concept where university matters are treated and pursued in line with global best practices. Any attempt to detract from this concept must be stoutly fought and conquered for the survival of our nation."
He also called on the Federal Government to release all grants due to the university so as to address the infrastructural challenges of the institution.
The monarch pledged to fund the construction of a Conference Centre/Offices to be known as 'Chancellor Abali Idrissa Centre' at the main campus to save as an enduring relationship between the people of Yobe and Akwa Ibom States, as well as to immortalise his father, late Alhaji Abali Muhammadu Ibn Idrissa.