Premium Times (Abuja)

16 February 2013

Nigeria: Jonathan Promises Adequate Funding, Equipping of Universities

President Goodluck Jonathan has given the assurance that the Federal Government will adequately fund and equip Nigerian universities to meet world standards and enhance development.

Mr. Jonathan gave the assurance at the maiden convocation ceremony of Umaru Musa Yar'Adua University, Katsina, on Saturday.

"Our universities must be equipped and modernised to be able to play their role in nation building and compete with other universities in the world," he said.

Mr. Jonathan, who was represented by the Vice Chancellor of Federal University, Dutsin-ma, James Ayatse, said the government planned to establish a research and education network to provide national bandwidth and Internet backbone for universities.

According to him, the effort is aimed at facilitating the development of Information and Communication Technology for research, teaching, learning and national development.

The president congratulated the governor for establishing and funding the university to transform Nigeria's education sector. He lamented the rating of Nigerian universities low in a recent ranking of universities in the world.

In his remarks, Governor Ibrahim Shema said the state government had been providing N250 million annually for staff training and development of the university.

Mr. Shema also announced a 25 per cent reduction in registration fees, adding that the government would continue to accord top priority to the education sector.

Also speaking, the Chancellor of the University, Justice Muhammad Uwais, urged the graduating students to be good ambassadors of the university in both character and learning.

A total of 1,935 pioneer students graduated from the university in 2012.

Honorary degrees were conferred on Mr. Shema, late President Umaru Yar'Adua, and Justice Uwais.

(NAN)

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