President Muhammadu Buhari has told managers of the nation’s universities that era of wasteful spending is over, saying that every available fund should be ploughed into teaching, research and productive activities.
Speaking during second day of 32nd convocation ceremony of the University of Ilorin in Ilorin on Saturday, President Buhari expressed the hope that universities should be self-reliant or be in a position to provide a substantial portion of their needed funds in the near future.
The president, who was represented at the occasion by the deputy executive secretary of the National University Commission (NUC), Professor Chiedu Felix Mafiana, said that government was aware of the hardship the citizens were going through at the moment.
He said that universities had a role to play in the effort at revitalising the economy and building a solid foundation for the nation.
“As catalyst for change, the universities should not only be producers and disseminators of knowledge, but also creators of wealth. They should be in the vanguard in reorientating our people to espouse the ideals of good citizenship.
“In tune with the laws establishing them, our universities should relate their activities to the social, cultural and economic needs of the people of Nigeria. They are expected, through research, to identify the problems and needs of society and find practical solutions within the context of national development.
“As purveyors of knowledge, universities should be committed to the pursuit of excellence.
“A technologically productive economy is dependent in great measure on research inputs from the universities. I therefore challenge the universities to give of their best as the nation expects much from you. Government on its part will continue to fund our universities to the limit of its available resources,” he said.
The president, who also said that the country was blessed with great potentialities and resources yet to be harnessed, added that the task to restore the nation to economic prosperity does not depend on government alone.
“All of us, men and women of our great country must be involved in the struggle to build a viable and virile country for the general wellbeing of our people and even generations unborn,” he said.