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Sultan, Others Advocate Special Funding for UI

Eminent Nigerians yesterday urged the Federal Government to approve special rehabilitation fund for the 69 year-old University of Ibadan (UI).

The special funding, they said at the 69th foundation day ceremony and convocation of the premier university would help the institution with 410 professors on its research and other academic activities needed to develop the country.

Sultan of Sokoto and Chancellor of the university, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, Pro- Chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council, Nde Waklek Joshua and the Vice Chancellor, Prof Idowu Olayinka, in their remarks urged the Federal Government to give special attention to the 69 year-old institution, especially in providing rehabilitation funds and increased allocations.

The programme, which was attended by former President Olusegun Obasanjo among other eminent Nigerians, also witnessed the conferment of honourary Doctorate degrees on three deserving individuals.

A total of 402 candidates from various disciplines were awarded the Doctor of Philosophy degrees (PhD) in addition to one Doctor of Medicine degree.

The Faculty of Education led the pack with 85 graduands, followed by the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry with 70 graduands, while 61 graduates were from the Faculty of Arts.

The honorary doctorate degrees were conferred on a foremost linguist, Professor Emeritus Ayo Banjo; former Presidential Special Adviser on Petroleum, Emmanuel Egbogah; seventh vice chancellor of the University. Prof Allen Bankole Oyediran; and pioneer chairman, University of Ibadan Research Foundation, Dr. Chevalier Itsueli.

They all agreed that an old institution like UI deserved a special attention, particularly in its funding, noting that such special attention would reposition the University to rank among the first top five universities in Africa and among the first 500 in the world.

Minister of State for Education, Prof Anthony Anwukah, who represented President Muhammadu Buhari and visitor to the institution, promised that government would continue to meet its obligations to all tertiary institutions.

Abubakar said the subvention to UI should be a special one and the highest among all tertiary institutions in the country because it is the country’s premier university.

He added that the university should expand its research base to reach out to individuals that could offer it the needed assistance.

Waklek, who assumed office in May this year, appreciated the Federal Government for consistent release of funds to run the university and particularly for eliminating ‘shortfalls’ in the monthly subventions to the university, saying, however, “our ‘Oliver Twist’ wants more.

Speaking, Olayinka noted that UI was a pride of the nation and it has active collaboration with over 200 universities all over the world

“I wish to renew our plea with Mr. President that the University of Ibadan be given special attention in the form of special rehabilitation funds and increased allocation that may run for about five years for it to compete favourably with top institutions in the world, as was the case about 40 years ago,” he said.



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