President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed concern over low ranking of the country’s universities. The president expressed the concern on Saturday in Bauchi at the 19th to 22nd convocation ceremony of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi.
Represented by Prof. Julius Okojie, Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission, he said that “it is worrisome that no Nigerian university is quoted among the top 100 universities in the world.
“We rank below a thousand, if we do not aspire to be among the world class universities, we cannot boast of robust system capable of making the country among the top economies of the world.
“We have abundance of talents who excel elsewhere but appear incapacitated at home. This is unacceptable. Whatever makes our abundant talents fail at home and excel abroad must be identified and neutralised for our benefit and that of our future generation,” Buhari said.
He blamed incessant strikes by teachers as “major bottlenecks to progress of the country’s university system”.
“The repercussions of strike usually retard the smooth running of academic activities with heavy negative consequences”.
The president called on the state governments to support and encourage universities situated in their states because they were responsible for harnessing local talents and promotion of local innovations. He observed that the Treasury Single Account policy was meant to enhance accountability, transparency and revenue.
“The seemingly challenges especially in tertiary institutions should be seen as a teething problem that will gradually vanish as the policy takes roots. “MDAs should, therefore, exhibit patience and understanding, bearing in mind that Nigerians shall surely reap from the fruits of the policy,” he said.