President Bola Tinubu on Monday in Ilorin said education, determination and ethical compass of Nigerian youths would help the nation overcome its present challenges.
The President stated this while delivering his address at the 37th and 38th combined Convocation Ceremony of the University of Ilorin (Unilorin).
He was represented by the Minister of State for Education, Malam Yusuf Sununu.
According to him: “Nigeria stands at a crucial juncture in history. Our nation’s progress and prosperity depend on the effort and innovation of its citizens.”
The president acknowledged the economic challenges faced by Nigerians, particularly in the wake of the removal of petroleum subsidies.
He noted that this has led to increased costs for many citizens, while appealing to citizens to look forward to the potential long-term benefits of this decision.
According to him, the government will explore investments in alternative energy sources, infrastructure, and public services.
The president, however, acknowledged the importance of public-private financing to elevate the level of education in Nigeria.
He urged corporate bodies, communities and individuals to support Nigerian universities through innovative funding methods.
According to him, public-private financing is a global trend and the Federal Government has taken steps by signing into law a students’ loan to positively change the landscape of education in Nigeria.
Tinubu reaffirmed government’s commitment to championing impactful education and ensuring that both lecturers and students have access to the best facilities to enhance their individual capabilities.
He commended Unilorin for its remarkable achievements in education and research.
Tinubu praised the institution for winning the first African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA) youth debate in Zambia and highlighted the collaborative efforts among universities in Kwara.
“From advancement in sustainable agriculture to groundbreaking development in healthcare technology, the contributions of researchers in this University are appreciated in the fight against malaria in Africa.
“Researchers in the University proved thier mettle through high grade research and are listed among 500 top authors in the world,” he said.
Earlier, the Vice Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Wahab Egbewole, commended the support of critical stakeholders whose interventions have helped in the arduous task of repositioning the Unilorin.
He congratulated the graduands and their families on the successful completion of their various programmes at the institution and prayed Almighty God to grant them success in their future endeavours.
The vice chancellor exhorted the graduands, reminding them that life is a continuum and the end of every journey is the beginning of a new one.
“As you savour the success of graduation, you should not forget that the society even expects more from you as Higher Degree graduands of the University of Ilorin,” he said.
Egbewole stated that about 450 graduating students bagged first class and over 25,000 are graduating in the combined 37th and 38th convocation ceremony.
He stated that the institution would be convoking 25,234 students during the combined convocation.
He said: “We have 14,477 students for the 37th convocation ceremony in the 2020/2021 Academic session who will be convoking.
“On the other hand, we shall be graduating 10,757 students for the 38th convocation ceremony who are for the 2021/2022 Academic session,” he said.
The vice chancellor explained that there are 211 first class and 4,143 second class upper division in the 37th convocation ceremony.
He added that in the 38th convocation, about 239 bagged first class and 3,406 are with second class upper division.
The occasion was also graced by first class traditional rulers, led by the Oni of Ife, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II.