President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has restated the commitment of his administration to the proper funding of higher institutions in the country. He also pledged to work with relevant stakeholders to tackle the problem of incessant strikes and achieve stability in university academic calendar.
He gave the assurance in his address at the 33rdconvocation ceremony of the Federal University of Technology, Akure, FUTA on Saturday, November 18th, 2023.
The President, represented by a former President of the West African College of Surgeons, WACS, who is a current visiting Professor at the National Universities Commission, Professor King-David Terna Yawe, said his government was not unaware of the challenges facing higher educational institutions, particularly universities. The President who spoke in his capacity as the Visitor to FUTA said, “I want to use this opportunity to assure all Nigerians that our government is making frantic efforts to address the situation holistically. My government would not shirk its responsibilities in this regard. We will ensure that educational institutions get their dues in order to perform their statutory duties optimally.”
According to him, “Your welfare, including human and infrastructural development will be the priority of the federal government and I have no doubt that we can achieve stability in the university academic calendar if we come together as critical stakeholders. However, this cannot be achieved unless a peaceful teaching and learning environment is guaranteed and purposeful and participatory governance is fostered.” Tinubu enjoined all the unions in universities to cooperate with the government in order to deliver the needed development by ensuring an atmosphere of peace and tranquility on campuses pledging that, “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 government work hard to raise the bar of conducive teaching and learning environment.”
Assuring the university management on his government readiness to improving on funding the educational sector, especially the university, the President who reiterated the enormous and capital intensive nature of funding universities said “we are all aware education is capital-intensive. For adequate funding therefore, all the stakeholders have roles to play. I therefore call on the organized private sector operators and international partners to collaborate with our universities and research institutes in the areas of research funding and utilization of research outputs for national integration and development.”
The President said, “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 definitely have students who will be focused, eschew all forms of violence and other anti-social behaviours. Hence it is my belief that today’s graduands have been certified not only for their academic standing, but also for being worthy in character.”
Addressing the graduands, the President urged them to strive to create jobs with the training and skills they have acquired instead of seeking jobs. He said “I congratulate the graduating students for the success we are all celebrating today. For breaking through the rigours of academic works with good results and sound moral character calls for celebrations and I also congratulate your parents and guardians for the privilege, courage and determination to pull resources together in order to secure a glorious future for you. I am aware that many of you were delayed by the unfortunate COVID-19 pandemic and the attendants’ lockdown, as well as staff unions’ strike actions, but through it all you were undaunted. Today’s occasion therefore calls for warm congratulations and I rejoice with you all.”
Appraising FUTA’s stand in the comity of universities locally and globally, President Tinubu said, “it is worthy of note that today’s ceremony is taking place at this auspicious time when FUTA is being celebrated across the nation for its recent achievement as one of the best universities in Nigeria. According to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings for the year 2024, FUTA is rated third (3rd) Best University in Nigeria. For over two decades, FUTA has maintained its lead as the Best University of Technology in Nigeria. This is no mean feat, and it would not have been possible without the able leadership of the Vice Chancellor, Professor Adenike Oladiji, Management and responsible followership of staff and students of this great institution who have worked tirelessly to make these achievements a reality. This is clear evidence that this university is actively committed to excellence in spite of its challenges.”
President Tinubu also commended the effort of the Chancellor, Alhaji (Dr.) Umar Faruk II, OON, Emir of Katagum, towards the upliftment of the university. He said “I thank our revered Chancellor, for his fatherly role in the affairs of the university. May God continue to grant you wisdom as you discharge your God-given assignment to your people, our country and humanity at large.”
Delivering their goodwill messages during the convocation, governors of Ondo and Osun states, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN), and Ademola Adeleke commended the giant strides FUTA is making in the higher education sector locally and globally which recently earned her the 3rd Best University in Nigeria in recent ranking of universities in the country, in addition to being the Best University of Technology in Nigeria.
Represented by the Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Pastor Olufemi Agagu, Governor Akeredolu said “the Federal University of Technology, Akure, FUTA, has continued to maintain its enviable reputation for academic excellence, thereby consistently producing graduates who are equipped with the requisite knowledge and skills to excel in their chosen fields. FUTA’s commitment to providing quality education and ensuring that students are well prepared for the demands of the professional world is highly commendable.” Speaking in the same vein, Commissioner for Education, Osun State, Mr. Dipo Eluwole who represented Governor Ademola Adeleke said “FUTA is an enviable University in Nigeria and beyond. We are proud of the quality of your graduates. Keep the good jobs going.”
In her address, the Vice Chancellor, Professor Adenike Oladiji, superintending her first convocation, said the university administration since she took over the leadership has continued to press forward against all odds (global and national economic challenges in particular) to continue to pursue the tripodal mandate of Teaching, Research and Community services. She added that FUTA has become a household name in Nigeria and the present administration in the university has been working hard to raise the bar of the accomplishments by the previous administrations.
Congratulating the graduands, Professor Oladiji said, “On behalf of the management, senate and the entire university community, I heartily congratulate all the graduating students and pray that this achievement will be a stepping stone to greater achievements for you. I want to appeal to you to strive to maintain and improve upon the qualities of the training you have received from here. It is our earnest expectation that you will become alumni to be proud of in the nearest future.”
Commending FUTA’s modest achievements locally and internationally she said, “Our dear university has received numerous accolades, locally and internationally as a result of the feats of her staff, students and graduates. She commended management’s drive in sustaining the push to broaden the international outlook of the university.”
Professor Oladiji appreciated the Visitor to the University, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu (GCFR) for his contributions towards the development of the institution and also commended the efforts of the Chancellor, Alhaji (Dr.) Umar Faruk II, OON, Emir of Katagum, the immediate past Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council, Ambassador (Dr.) Godknows Boladei Igali, OON and his members towards the upliftment of the university. She said “I am grateful for the fatherly and royal support of our revered Chancellor and acknowledged the worthy contributions of the Ambassador Igali-led Council and the progress achieved by the university under his able watch.”
The Registrar, Mr. Charles Adeleye, said for the 2020/2021 session, 3,491 graduated with the Bachelor degree with 195 in the First Class, 1,513 in the Second Class (Upper Division), 1,523 in the Second Class (Lower Division), 258 in the Third Class and 2 in the Pass category. Similarly, the university awarded 1,806 post graduate degrees with 229 in the Doctoral category.
The Valedictorian of the 2021 graduating Class, Miss Favour Olajuyigbe of the Department of Electrical Electronics Engineering with a cumulative GPA of 4.93 attributed her success to God. Said “my journey at FUTA has been a testament to determination, resilience and unwavering faith. When I first set my feet on this campus, I did not have a grand aspiration of becoming the best student in my department, let alone in the entire university. However, I always held the mindset of giving my best in everything I pursued and I refused to back down in the face of challenges. I vividly remember one of my major prayer points was ‘Father, make me excel wherever I am. So when people ask how I am doing it, I will say it is by your grace’.”
She gave this admonition to her to FUTA Class 2021:“To all my amazing Class of 2021, our set was a peculiar one with one of the longest journey in the history of FUTA with five (5) years turning to seven (7) with no carry overs. We faced seemingly endless strike actions that tested our patience and resolve. While our peers in other institutions graduated, we were at home, facing uncertainties. But here we are today, the resilience Class of 2021, emerging victorious from the challenges that have only made us stronger. As we step out into the world beyond this campus, let us carry with us the lessons we have learnt, the friendships we have forged, and the memories we have created together. Let us continue to uphold the values of resilience, innovation and excellence FUTA has instilled in us and make our alma mater proud wherever our paths may lead us.”