President Muhammadu Buhari has appealed to the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and other unions within and outside the university system to always give peace a chance.
He said that dialogue is always better than conflict.
“No one gains from the crisis. While government alone cannot solve all challenges facing society, this administration is willing to listen to complaints and alternative points of view to managing a situation.
“The university system cannot withstand any crisis now, considering the time it had lost to the coronavirus pandemic”, he said.
Buhari also tasked universities to find the country’s solution to the COVID-19 pandemic through research.
The President made the appeal at the grand finale of the 36th coronation ceremony of the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN).
He added that the nation’s universities have a role to play in the efforts at combating covid-19 in the interest of the nation and humanity.
Represented by Prof Ignatius Onimawu of the National University Commission (NUC), the President said that nation expects nothing less from the Nigerian university system.
According to him: “While I expect us to abide by all the protocols given out by health authorities on COVID-19, our universities have a role to play in the efforts at combating it in the interest of the nation and humanity. I expect our universities to conduct researches targeted at discovering an antidote to it. Universities are expected to focus their research attention on the challenges facing our societies and find practical solutions within the context of national development.
“I, therefore, challenge the universities to give their best in the fight against this common and unrelenting enemy of humanity. I enjoin our researchers to collaborate among themselves and look forward to bringing an effective solution to this medical challenge. The nation expects your university to play a leading role in the research efforts to develop COVID-19 antidote in Nigeria. The nation expects nothing less from the Nigerian university system.”
Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof Sulyman Abdulkareem said that the total number of 180 graduates bagged first class.
He added the university produced a total of 10,922 graduates in the 2019/2020 academic session.
“Out of this (10,922) figure, 9,338 are First Degree/Diplomas graduands while the remaining 1,584 are graduating with Higher Degrees/Postgraduate Diplomas. In the First Degree/Diploma category, we have 180 First Class, 2,836 Second Class Upper Division, 4,879 Second Class Lower Division, 1,110 Third Class and 14 Pass.
“We also have 140 MB; BS graduands, 46 graduands in Nursing, 5 graduands with Distinction and 16 with Pass in Optometry, 6 graduands with Distinction and 49 with Pass in Pharmacy while we have 37 graduands in Veterinary Medicine.
“Furthermore, a total of 20 graduands are obtaining Diploma from the Institute of Education. For emphasis, the total number of higher degrees to be awarded at this occasion is 1,584. This figure comprises 142 Postgraduate Diplomas, 1142 Masters from various Faculties, 113 MBA/MPA/MILR/MGIS/MPH/MHPM and 187 PhDs.
“The 2019/2020 session was also special because we had 2,766 students from our affiliated institutions that completed their programmes and will be awarded Postgraduate Diplomas after going through our rigorous and high standard of academic excellence as well as our stringent quality control mechanisms. Another 84 students from institutions affiliated with us are also being awarded Diploma degrees in various disciplines,” the Vice-Chancellor said.