Top echelons in the management of the University of Ibadan took turns to demand a special funding status from the Federal Government on Friday, arguing that such is necessary for the university to maintain its place in the nation’s educational sector.
Led by the University’s Chancellor and Sultan of Sokoto, Abubakar Sa’ad, the canvassers included the Pro-Chancellor, Joshua Waklek and the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Idowu Olayinka.
They all made the case during the 69th Foundation Day of the university, which climaxed its five-day graduation ceremony for the year 2017.
The programme held at the International Conference Centre, had eminent Nigerians, including the former President Olusegun Obasanjo and the Minister of State for Education, Anthony Anwukah, who represented President Muhammadu Buhari.
According to the Sultan, for the university to maintain its premier status, there is need for the federal government to jerk up its subvention.
This, he said, would avail it the opportunity to also come up with innovations that would help propel development in the university education system in Nigeria.
In his own word, Vice Chancellor cited, among his reasons for a special funding status, the need to recruit younger academic staff to fill the vacuum created by the exit of some professors, who have reached the stipulated retirement age and had to quit.
A total of 402 candidates from various disciplines were awarded the Doctor of Philosophy degrees, while one other bagged Doctor of Medicine.
Honorary doctorate degrees were also conferred on four Nigerians whose interventions have touched the university and mankind.
They include a foremost linguist, Emeritus Prof Ayo Bamigbose; former presidential Special Adviser on Petroleum, Dr Emmanuel Egbogah; seventh vice chancellor of the university. Prof Bankole Oyediran; and Chairman, Dubri Oil, and pioneer chairman, University of Ibadan Research Foundation, Dr. Chevalier Itsueli.
President Buhari, in his address delivered by Anwukah, pledged commitment to the federal government’s obligations to the universities under its watch to assist then performed at the optimum.