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Universities cannot be left to govt alone, Tinubu says, seeks stakeholders support



President Bola Tinubu, on Saturday, said university education cannot be left for government alone, calling on stakeholders to join hands with the government in assisting universities in the country.

The president, who noted that all stakeholders must develop the sector, made the call on Saturday, during his presidential address delivered at the 32nd Convocation of the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Ondo State.

President Tinubu, who was represented by a visiting professor of the National Universities Commission, Prof King-David Yawe, said due to the capital-intensive nature of university education, there was a need for joint efforts by stakeholders, particularly in the area of research funding.

He said: “We are all aware that university education is capital-intensive. For adequate funding, therefore, all stakeholders have a role to play.

“Suffice it to say that the government alone cannot do the funding. I, therefore, call on the organised private sector operators and international partners to collaborate with our universities and research institutes in the areas of research funding and utilisation of research outputs for national integration and development.

“This will also rub on our graduates in the areas of value addition, experience, hands-on training, exposure and less expenditure on employees’ engagement and training. If this kind of learning environment is achieved, we will have students who will be well-focused, and eschew all forms of violence and other anti-social behaviours. Hence, I believe that today’s graduates have been certified not only for their academic standing but also for being worthy.”

Tinubu also called on all the organised labour unions in the universities to cooperate with the government to deliver the needed development by ensuring an atmosphere of peace and tranquillity on the campuses.

“On our part, we will ensure that motivational activities are put in place to ensure improved productivity. Reciprocative actions would be expected from our universities as the government works hard to raise the bar of conducive teaching and learning environment. To whom much is given, much is expected.

“Dialogue, patience, and positive engagements are better means of achieving results than strike actions. Industrial disharmony does nothing but disrupt life, waste time and elongate the academic calendar. Therefore, all avenues for dialogue must be explored and exhausted before strike actions are considered, and as the last resort,” Tinubu charged.

The President, who congratulated the graduating students, reiterated that the Students Loan Bill signed into law would enable indigent students in all tertiary institutions to have access to interest-free loans which they would pay back at their convenience in future when they are gainfully employed.

He said: “Under my watch and as I have said in my manifesto, no student will drop out of school as a result of inability to pay school charges.”

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