President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday enjoined the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, and other unions of tertiary institutions, to embrace peaceful means of resolving issues rather than embarking on strike.
Buhari stated this at the 71st Foundation Day and Convocation ceremony of Ph.D degree of the nation’s Premier University, University of Ibadan, UI.
Speaking through the Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission, NUC, Professor Abubakar Adamu Rasheed, the President pointed out that industrial actions hindered the progress of a nation, stressing that it was better to dialogue than to disrupt academic activities.
Noting that the presidency was aware of the challenges facing education in Nigeria, Buhari said that it was under peace and stability that things could work.
Earlier, Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, who stated that the state government and people of Oyo State were proud to be associated with the University in several ways, said that for 71 years, UI had produced eminent people, who had gone ahead and make a mark in Nigeria and indeed, the world’s scene.
He said great minds like Chinua Achebe, Emeka Anyaoku, Flora Nwapa, and Chief Bola Ige passed through the great institution.
“Here in Oyo State, we believe that an educated population is an asset to the nation. Education begat development and development brings about real change and transformation. Education is one of those areas where we put away all partisanship and work for the common good. At the basic education level, our administration is working day and night to improve the standard of education by providing the right infrastructure and improving human capital to produce first class materials for transfer into the tertiary system”, he said.
Makinde, who expressed his displeasure over acute brain drain said, “One good way to do this is by staying back in Nigeria so that together we can build a great country.”
On the issue of taxation, which has been the bone of contention between the state government and the institution, the governor stated that it was moral for the institution to remit personal income tax of its staff to the state.
He stressed, “I have been in conversation with the University on the issue of Personnel Income Tax and our position is very clear. Workers who are resident in Oyo State should have their taxes domiciled here so that together we can uplift the standard of social service in our immediate environment. We intend to take that discussion to logical end”.
In his speech, the institution’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Abel Idowu Olayinka revealed that a total of 343 candidates, from various disciplines were conferred with Doctor of Philosophy Degrees, PhD.
According to him, “The Faculty of Education leads the pack with a total of 70; followed by the Faculty of Science with 60 Ph.D graduands and the Faculty of Agriculture with 44.”
He also said, Dr Dagogo Jack, was the only one who received the higher doctorate degree of Doctor of Science adding, “Dr Dagogo Jack, a member of the MB,BS Graduating Class of 1978, was the fifth person ever to earn a D.Sc from this university in our 71-year chequered history”.
Also at the occasion, four eminent personalities were conferred with honorary degrees. These are: Are Afe Babalola, Professor Folagbade Olajide Aboaba, Emeritus Professor Ayodele Olajide Falase, Dr Alex Chika Eze.