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Buhari Tasks Universities On Research Breakthrough To Accelerate National Growth, Development

…ABU Produces 89 First Class, 305 Ph.D Holders
President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday tasked Nigerian universities on research breakthrough to accelerate national growth and development.
Buhari gave the task in a message to the 38th convocation ceremony of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria.
Represented by Prof. Akanerem Essien of the National Universities’ Commission (NUC), the President also said Nigeria would not achieve greatness until “education is highly funded.”
He disclosed that the Federal Government, through TEDFUND, had established “institution based research and national research fund” to resuscitate research activities in Nigerian universities.
He, however, lamented that much of the funds were yet to be accessed by the nation’s public universities.
The President called on the universities to put in place tangible proposals for the purposes of research breakthrough that would make remarkable impact on national development.
He noted that ABU had in the past made remarkable progress in research on agriculture, extension services and livestock improvement through breeding.
“These activities must be resuscitated for increased food production especially at this point in time when government has step-up plan aimed at diversification of the economy with agriculture in the front burner.
“This government will harness available resources from the universities to achieve the desired goal for national development,” he said.
In his speech, the Chancellor of the university and Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Nnaemeka Ugochukwu, described ABU as a reputable institution of higher learning not only in Nigeria but the world over.
He said the diversity of programmes, mixture of staff and students had made it a proudly true national institution.
“This distinction in turn makes it incumbent on all of us to constantly and diligently apply the human, financial and other resources at our disposal in posing a positive attitude in order to move the university to greater levels.”
The Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Ibrahim Garba identified lack of hostel accommodation and inadequate overhead as some of the major challenges of the university.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that a total of 14,586 students graduated during the convocation.
Prof. Ibrahim Garba, Vice-Chancellor, Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria said the institution has produced 305 Ph.D. holders and 98 First Class degree holders for 2013/2014 academic session.
He stated this in an address at the 38th convocation ceremony of the university held at the main campus, Samaru, Zaria, Kaduna State.
Garba said: “The Chancellor, Igwe, Nnaemeka Alfred Ugochukwu will in today’s convocation ceremony, confer a total of 13,149 First Degrees and 4,598 Higher Degrees and Diplomas to deserving graduates for the 2013/2014 academic session.”
He gave the breakdown as follows; First Class, 89 persons, Second Class Upper, 2,086, Second Class Lower, 7,108, Third Class, 3,161, Pass, 262 and 443 Unclassified Degrees.
According to him Higher Degrees and Diplomas include; 305 Ph.Ds., 2,669 Masters of Arts and Masters of Science and 1,624 Post Graduate Diplomas.
Garba reminded the graduates that they have been added to the list of alumni of the university and should therefore see themselves as members of the larger ABU family.
He said the university had continued to discharge its mandate of teaching, research innovation and community service diligently.
“The university had from its inception, continued to train men and women without any distinction on grounds of race, religion or political beliefs.
“It has remained the most national in character in the Nigerian university system,” he said.
He however lamented that the university with a population of about 40,000 students has accommodation for only 11,000 students on its campus.
“It is important to note that the growth of student population is not accompanied by any addition of hostels in the last 35 years, while the existing ones have been degraded over time.”
The V-C said discussions were on with private investors to build more hostels through public-private partnership.
“A huge donation was yesterday pledged by Alhaji Aliko Dangote to build 10 hostels for ABU. This is unprecedented and has certainly come at the right time,” he said. (NAN)

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