President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has said that he expects scholars in the universities to advise the government on how best the students’ loan scheme could be managed in their respective institutions rather than casting aspersions on the motive.
He said that despite the barrage of criticisms trailing the scheme, there would be no going back because the government is not ready to compromise on good standard of education.
Tinubu, who stated this at the eighth convocation ceremony of the Federal University Oye-Ekiti (FUOYE) convocation ceremony held at the weekend in the university’s campus, said that his administration listened to the submissions of relevant stakeholders in the education sector and therefore cancelled the policy of automatic deduction of 40 per cent varsities’ internally-generated revenues (IGR).
The President, who was represented at the occasion by the Deputy Senate President, JibrinBarau, said that the government decided to yield to pressure to cancel the policy of automatic deduction of 40 per cent varsities’ IGR so as to allow the universities to breathe.
He said: “In June 2023, we approved the student loan scheme to make the accessibility of quality education incontestable. Following this announcement, there was a baffling response from several quarters on the credibility and workability of this scheme.
“One thing that should be known is that education is not cheap anywhere in the world. This government is not ready to endorse the education that will not advance this nation. Students’ loan schemes are not rocket-science initiatives but designed to grant access to all who are willing and know the value of education in a way to take the burden off numerous individuals and communities who may have been intervening painfully in sending their wards to schools.”
“I expect that scholars would advise the government by calling our attention to how best this could be managed in their respective institutions rather than cast aspersions on the idea. By the grace of the Almighty God, there is no going back on the students’ loan scheme because we are not ready to compromise good standards in education.”
He, therefore, urged other universities to take a cue from FUOYE on subscription figures and carrying capacity, which he said, beats others in its generation as well as that of a good number of older generation universities.
Meanwhile, the Ekiti State Governor, Biodun Oyebanji, has called on universities in the country to prioritise research efforts aimed at tackling critical challenges confronting this nation as well as producing graduates who are solution providers.
The governor, in his remarks, emphasised the urgent need for home-grown solutions to Nigeria’s challenges, stressing the importance of equipping students with practical skills and a real-world experience through hands-on learning and industry partnership.
Also, in his address at the ceremony, the Chancellor of FUOYE and Attah of Igala, Matthew OpaluwaOguche, urged the government to fund universities to enable them to fulfill their statutory roles more efficiently.
The highpoint of the event was the conferment of honorary degrees of the university on three eminent personalities that include Senate Majority Leader, OpeyemiBamidele; Senator Solomon Adeola, and Yusuf Adamu.
Bamidele, who spoke on behalf of the honorees, said that they valued the honors conferred on them by the university and expressed their profound appreciation for the recognition bestowed upon them.
He said the honorary degrees conferred on them serve as testament to their dedication, achievement and commitment to excellence in their respective fields.