By George Odok
President Muhammadu Buhari has called on Nigerian universities to continue to emphasize training in entrepreneurship education.
He said that this would engender a class of graduates trained as job creators in the country.
Buhari, represented by Mr Goodluck Opiah, Minister of State for Education, made the call on Saturday in Calabar during the 35th convocation ceremony of the University of Calabar.
He said his administration remains fully focused on meeting legitimate expectations on moulding the future through education.
He lauded the University for the entrepreneurship programme and the partnership the institution has forged with both national and international development partners.
He added that the handshake between the town and the gown was commendable.
“Let me also commend the University for effective collaboration and linkages with other institutions overseas, which would create
opportunities for the students for scholarship and research.
“The successes recorded in terms of online result handling and management, as well as bold attempts at having a smart campus is also commendable.
“My administration remains fully focused on meeting legitimate expectations on moulding the future through education.
“I also challenge you to work with the industries to increase the level of production going on in the country so that we can achieve a diversified economy,” he added.
He said that his administration’s commitment towards the growth of the educationl sector was evident in various intervention agencies, hence funding has been provided in addition to budgetary allocation.
“This is evident in the Tertiary Education Trust Fund and Needs Assessment projects in public universities for improved facilities for meaningful research, teaching and learning.
“I commend the management of UNICAL for the sustained campaign against cultism, which has brought about a tremendously peaceful and congenial atmosphere for healthy academic enterprise through the decades,” he added.
Speaking, Prof. Florence Obi, Vice Chancellor of the institution, said the university was in dire need of funds to raise a perimetre fence around the water front to curb cases of insecurity.
Obi said that since her assumption of office in December 2020, she has made appreciable progress in repositioning the university by introducing reforms and providing facilities.
She said the lecture pavilions, office complexes and two students’ hostels have been successfully completed.
“Within the time, we have also carried out massive renovation of hostels and furnishing of classrooms, while solar street lights have been installed, roads resurfaced, and drainages for flood control constructed.
“We are gradually achieving our smart campus goal through the utilisation of Information and Communication Technology resources,” she said.
The Chancellor of the institution, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, promised to work tirelessly to ensure that the university remains competitive in the global academic community as well as being the best university in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Pro-Chancellor of the institution, retired Gen. Martin Luther-Agwai, said there was no doubt that UNICAL was grossly underfunded.
Luther-Agwai said the underfunding was partly due to dwindling inflow of funds from government sources.