*Pledges to support academic activities for excellence, improve education sector
*VC seeks more funds for universities, stoppage of remittance of 40% universities IGR
By; SADIQ ABUBAKAR, Maiduguri
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has urged students to shun any act that will jeopardize their academic activities in school.
He also assured the students federal government absolute support to their excellent studies and provision of study materials as well as structural facilities and amenities for their excellent performance.
Represented by the Vice President Kashim Shettima, President Tinubu stated this on Saturday at the 24th Combined Convocation ceremony of University of Maiduguri while congratulating all the Professor Emeritus and distinguished Nigerians that were honoured by the university for their various contributions and support to humanity and the institution.
Tinubu also promised to improve on the education sector of the country from its present state, while assuring to make some reforms with a view to elevating the status and structure of the education sector, calling wealthy individuals and corporate organization’s to continue to support tertiary institutions in the country as government alone cannot cater for the responsibilities of education.
Governor Babagana Umara Zulum of Borno State in his remarks, congratulated the distinguished Nigerians honoured, describing it as well deserved, while appreciating the university management abd governing council for their decision.
He also saluted the Chancellor of the university, Professor emeritus and graduands of the university for their successful graduation and pledged to continue to support the students and school authority within its limited resources as an alumnus.
Earlier, the Vice Chancellor of University of Maiduguri, Professor Aliyu Shugaba appealed to the federal government to address the university’s underfunding, while appreaciating the various interventions of the federal government through appropriation and TETFund.
He stressed that the institution needs more financial support for running cost, pointing out that, the present level of support is inadequate, which has compelled the university to increase students charges recently.
“As moderate as our charges are, there are proving too onerous for parents and students to bear. As I speak to you, many students are yet to pay the 60 per cent for the first semester, not to talk of the 40 per cent for the second semester. Except serious financial support is provided to tertiary institutions, future opportunities for youth education, especially, in the North East region is under serious threat.
“Students enrolment in tertiary institutions such as ours might drop, due to lack of financial capacity to pay charges,” the VC said.
Professor Shugaba also called on the federal government and governments of the North East zone to assist parents and students by providing adequate scholarships support to cover their charges, noting that, investment in the education of the students is a guarantee of their future development and peace.
He appealed to the federal government to also reconsider its decision of collecting 40 per cent of Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) in the universities as tax, explaining that the IGR in question is largely changes paid by students for specific services.
The VC further noted that unlike in private universities, public institutions do not charge tuition fees.
“Besides, taking IGR will amount to indirect taxation of the already impoverished parents. We ought to also be mindful of the demoralising impact of funding crisis on staff abd students, especially, the learning environment,” he said.
He however, appreciated the tremendous assistance and support to the university by various governments, institutions, individuals and private companies towards the pursuit of the mandate of teaching, learning and research over the years and towards the successful hosting of this convocation.
The Chancellor of the University who is the Emir of Lafia, HRH, Hon. Justice Sidi Bage Muhammad and also the Chairman, Nasarawa State Council of Emirs and Chiefs appointment as the Chancellor of the institution was conferred while three Professors were also conferred with Professor Emeritus and four Nigerians honoured with honourary doctorate degrees of letters, science and arts.
They are Professor Emeritus Mustapha Abubakar, Professor Emeritus Bamidele Rotimi Badejo and Professor Emeritus Mohammed Yerima Balla.
The university also honoured four distinguished Nigerians, namely,, Vice President, Senator Kashim Shettima, Shehu of Borno, Alh. Abubakar Garbai Ibn Umar El Kanemi, Alhaji Abdulsamad Rabiu, Chairman, BUA Group of Companies and Dr. Dahiru Bobbo, the Dan Madamin Adamawa, who is also the second registrar of the university, elder statesmen and philanthropists for their various contributions and support to humanity and the institution.
The Vice President also commissioned the school’s multi billion Naira projects on. Saturday, such as, Abdulsamad Rabiu International Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship which was constructed and donated to the university by the the CEO of BUA International Group, Alhaji Abdulsamad Rabiu.
VP Sen. Kashim Shettima, SGF, Sen. George Akume, governors and representatives of Borno, Yobe, Taraba, Gombe, Adamawa and Bauchi states, Alh. Mohammed Indimi, Chairman Oriental Energy Resources, Alh. Abdulsamad Rabiu, Chairman BUA Group, and Dr. Dahiru Bobbo who is also the Dan Madamin Adamawa and former Registrar of University of Maiduguri witnessed the ceremony.
Others include, Ministers, National Assembly members, BSHA members, SEC, Security Chiefs, Shehu of Borno, His Eminence, Alh. Dr. Abubakar Garbai Ibn Umar El kanemi, Emir of Fika, HRH, Dr. Mohammed Ibn Abali, Emir of Bichi, Alh. Nasiru Ado Bayero, Emir of Nasarawa, Alh. Mohammed Usman Jibrin, Emirs of Shani, Biu as well as Shehu of Dikwa, Shehu of Bama among other personalities from far and near, graced the occasion.