Linus Aleke, Abuja:
In line with its culture of academic excellence and the desire to produce quality and God fearing leaders in Africa, one of the foremost private universities in Northern Nigeria, Bingham University had graduated 1593 students and honour two distinguished former Nigerian leaders, General Yakubu Gowon and President Goodluck Jonathan in a combined convocation and 10 years anniversary of the prestigious institution.
In an address of welcome at the occasion, the President Evangelical Church of West Africa (ECWA), Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Gado said that Bingham is not just a university founded on the pursuit of academic excellence but also committed to molding and shaping youngsters into becoming future global leaders.
The university according to him “Is in the business of producing quality leaders to help build Nigeria into a nation of our dream, where no one is oppressed.”
“One of the goals of this institution is to soundly equip our students morally, socially, psychologically, mentally, physically and spiritually so that they can come out as world first class priority leaders in order to enable them squarely face and tackle all situations in life, no matter how challenging.”
He however, counseled the grandaunts not to depend on government or wait for white collar jobs but put their entrepreneurial skills into good use to create job for others rather than waiting for government.
“Do not depend on government, let there be less emphasis on white collar jobs. Control your expenses, do more budgeting and planning before spending. Buy only what is essential, depend less on foreign goods and services and patronize our locally made products. Desist from being wasteful and ostentatious.”
Also speaking, the Vice Chancellor of the university Prof. Kursim Leonard gave graphic details f the performance of the graduating students in the following words.
“we are pleased this day to present to you 1593 combined graduates of Bingham university, Karu; 19 first class, 486 second class upper, 856 second class lower, 213 third class, 19 pass degrees and 85 qualified medical doctors. It will also interest you to know that in a short while we shall be honouring two distinguished men whom God has used and is still using today to lead, pray and Sheppard this nation through the right path.”
The Vice Chancellor also enumerated the challenges confronting the institution to include but not limited to power supply, inadequate lecture halls, staff offices and laboratories.
“For Bingham, the challenges are enormous, the high rate of staff attrition, porous security environment, the need to compete with other universities in Nigeria remain a daunting task. The university has been incurring huge power cost; an average of 7.5 million naira per month for gas, 2 million naira light bill monthly is neither affordable nor sustainable.
“We have also shortage of accommodation and class space, the challenge of equipping medical and science laboratories, computer center, lecture halls and staff offices. The university clinic needs upgrading and the roads need asphalting.”
He observed that the university cannot survive on internally generated revenue and loans from commercial banks, adding that concerted effort to find alternative funding sources must be put in place if the institution is to realize the dreams of the founding fathers.
While advising the graduating students, the vice chancellor urged them to imbibe the foregoing qualities to succeed in their endevours: Intelligence, hard work, discipline, courage, loyalty, faithfulness and above all love and generosity of spirit.
On his part, the former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan explained that he was not persuaded by anybody within or outside the country to concede defeat during the 2015 general election, saying that he knew that that was the right thing to do, while reiterating his philosophy that his ambition is not worth the blood of any Nigerian.
He nonetheless, charged the management of the institution to ensure that they produce students that are worthy in learning and character so as to live up to the noble ideals of the founding fathers and the vision of the school.
He added that the challenges confronting the country is temporary, stressing that with commitment and cooperation of all citizens, the country will surmount its present predicament.