The Federal Government of Nigeria has appealed to the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and various university unions in the country to choose dialogue and thread softly the path of incessant strikes as a way of tackling the multifarious challenges confronting the socio-economic development in Nigeria.
Speaking while delivering the visitors address in Awka on Friday at the 15th/16th combined convocation ceremony of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, a visiting professor at the National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof Abdulahi Ribadu, who represented President Buhari, education minister and the executive secretary of the NUC, lamented that the academic calendar of Nigerian universities have been periodically punctuated by bouts of industrial actions by the University Staff Unions.
He assured that the Federal Government remains committed to industrial harmony in the educational institutions and shall continue to dialogue with the staff unions for amicable resolution of their grievances.
The visitor reemphasized the commitment of the Federal Government in promoting tertiary education to a high pedestal of functionality noting that beyond the annual recurrent and capital allocations to the Universities, Government is also making various interventions, particularly through TETFund and the Needs Assessment Interventions to improve funding of physical infrastructure, project maintenance, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), entrepreneurship, special high-impact projects, library, academic staff training and development, and research.
Earlier, vice chancellor of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Prof. Charles Esimone, disclosed that for the 2019/2020 and 2020/2021 convocation ceremonies, a total of 6,727 First Degree graduands , 154 Post Graduate Diploma , 992 Masters Degree and 556 Doctorate Degree graduands were conferred with the appropriate degrees/diplomas during the ceremony.
Industrialist businessman, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, president and chairman, Board of Directors, Afrexim Bank, Prof Benedict Oramah and Mr Donald Nwandu bagged Honourary Doctorate Degrees at the convocation.
Prof. Esimone elaborated efforts the university management has made in his five pronged strategy for the actualisation of the Project 200 vision predicated on academic excellence, productive community service, administrative reforms, discipline and advancements.