In a significant address at the 33rd convocation lecture of the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), President Bola Tinubu, represented by David Terna Yawe, called for a proactive approach to challenges in Nigerian higher education. He emphasized the importance of constructive dialogue and negotiation over disruptive strikes, urging unions to cooperate with the government for the development of peaceful campus environments.
Tinubu underscored the potential benefits of international collaborations for Nigerian universities, stating, “An international partnership would rub off on Nigerian graduates in the areas of value addition, experience, hands-on training, and exposure.” He emphasized that such collaborations could lead to students who are well-focused, rejecting violence and anti-social behaviors.
The president acknowledged the existing challenges in higher educational institutions, expressing his commitment to addressing the situation. He urged all unions in universities to work collaboratively with the government and assured the implementation of motivational activities to enhance productivity. Tinubu stressed the need for reciprocal actions from universities and highlighted the significance of exploring all avenues for dialogue before considering strikes.
In his words, “Dialogue, patience, and positive engagements are better means of achieving results over strike actions. Therefore, all avenues for dialogue must be explored and exhausted before strike actions are considered, and as the last resort.”
President Tinubu reflected on his commitment to education, stating, “Under my watch, no student will drop out of school as a result of inability to pay school charges.” He highlighted one of his early actions as the President, signing the Students Loan Bill into law.
FUTA’s Vice Chancellor, Adenike Oladiji, shared the institution’s academic achievements, noting that 195 students graduated with first-class honors. She highlighted the best graduating student, Oluwanifemi Olajuyigbe, and detailed the university’s efforts to address societal challenges through new academic programs.