The governor of Nasarawa State, Alhaji Tanko Al-Makura has challenged universities in Nigeria to devote more time and energy to researches that will give birth to alternative and cheap source of power for their campuses rather than spend billions of naira on diesel to power generators.
Al-Makura who gave this charge in Keffi during the Fifth Combined Convocation of Nasarawa State University further advised ivory towers in the country to focus more attention on researches that would promote human development and solve existing problems.
He also decried the quality of graduates in the country, adding, “Our universities continue to issue bland certificates to graduates who are barely literate, if we take literacy literally to be the ability to read and write.”
The governor further noted that education in Nigeria is bland and not tied to the needs of society, stressing that “education must be woven into life with a common thread running through it and society; this is how universities can be relevant.”
Earlier in an address of welcome, the Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof Muhammad Akaro-Mainoma said that the state government had been gracious to the school in provision of funding for the development of the institution.
He equally vowed to continue to maintain high academic standard in institution, noting that the university is well known for its academic excellence.
According to him, “In the areas of infrastructural development, we have seen with our eyes the level of development in this institution, TETFund has only invested N2 billion, while the state government has invested over N8billion to assist the university develop to this point.
He added that over 29,000 graduates comprising 21,442 undergraduates for the combined set and 8,270 postgraduate students graduated with various classes of degrees.
Akaro-Mainoma also informed the gathering that the institution has 54 academic programmes for undergraduates with eight faculties.
He explained that 195 programmes are offered at the Post Graduate Diploma (PGD), Masters and Doctor of Philosophy levels.
His words, “Out of the 45 academic programmes approved by the National Universities Commission, 44 have full accreditation status while efforts are being made to get nine additional programmes accredited, bringing the total number of academic programmes at undergraduate level to 54.
However, the Vice Chancellor, Federal University Lokoja Prof Angela Freeman Miri differed with governor Almakura on the quality of Nigeria graduate.
Miri who refuted the claim by Almakura that Nigerian university is churning out low quality graduates contended that Nigerian graduates are among the best in the world.
She commended management of Nasarawa state university for giving priority attention to postgraduate programmes, saying “I am impressed with the quality of graduate the school had produced.”