Respect varsities’ autonomy, Nwodo urges FG

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President-General of the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation (Ohaneze Ndigbo) John Nwodo, has advised the federal government to respect and uphold the autonomy of universities in order for them to achieve the purpose for which they were established.
Nwodo who made the call while presenting the second convocation lecture of the Federal University Ndufu-Alike Ikwo (FUNAI) in Ebonyi state, with the topic: “National Reconciliation and the Role of Universities,” said that universities by the laws that govern them are expected to enjoy considerable internal autonomy in their administration.
He regretted that government’s appointment of university governing councils mostly on political patronage has remotely diluted their autonomy. He said universities were supposed to be research communities, nursey of ideas, and solution-oriented institutions that contribute to the advancement of mankind. He lamented that lack of funding, poor management and intellectual dishonesty are deterring most Nigerian universities from achieving these goals.
Visitor to the university, President Muhammadu Buhari, represented by the director of management support services, National Universities Commission (NUC), Victor Onuoha, while restating government’s commitment towards education of its citizens, tasked universities to embark on quality research and international collaborations that will yield innovative ideas and solutions to problems facing the country.
Earlier at the occasion, Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Chinedum Uzoma Nwajiuba, stated that out of 247 graduating students, 22 made first class degrees in different disciplines; 140 had second class upper division; 80 made second class lower division; while five made third class.
He attributed the students’ performance to excellent staff-student ratio, staff commitment, willingness of students to learn and good learning equipment, among others.
Urging the graduands to continue to be of good characters, Nwajiuba said, “May I remind you that sowing and reaping have not ended with your graduation. You have merely moved to higher levels of sowing and reaping. What eventually becomes of you will depend not only on the quality of your harvest so far, which have become seeds for the future, and that is the degree you are being admitted into today, but what choices you make in the years ahead; for every choice we make will bear consequences.”
Pro-chancellor and Chairman of the university governing council, Prof. Mba Uzoukwu, restated the commitment of the council in ensuring that the institution sticks to the principles of excellence and integrity.

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