From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
The Chairman of the South West Governors’ Forum, and Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, and the Primate, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Most Rev’d Henry Ndukuba, as well as the retired Archbishop of Lagos Province of the Church of Nigeria, Most Rev’d Adebola Ademowo, will be conferred with doctorate degrees (honoris causa) this Saturday by the Ajayi Crowther University (ACU), on recognition of their contributions in their spheres of influence as clergymen and public servants.
The Vice Chancellor of the institution, Prof Abiodun Adebayo, made the disclosure at a press conference he addressed on the campus of the university in Oyo town of Oyo State on Monday.
He stated that the honours would be conferred on the three personalities at the 12th and 13th convocation ceremony of the institution, which will hold this Friday and Saturday. He explained that the need to observe the COVID-19 protocol made the institution postpone the convocation that was supposed to hold last year to this year.
Adebayo explained that the “university is giving them honorary degrees as an encouragement for them to contribute positively to the society.”
The vice chancellor, however, appealed to the Federal Government and the National Assembly to amend the law that established Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) towards enabling private universities across the nation to benefit from it.
He noted that funding has been a major challenge facing private universities in Nigeria, adding that staff and students of private universities are also Nigerians who should not be deprived of benefiting from public funds to which they contributed. He said the subvention has become necessary for private universities so as to put them in the position of alleviating pressure on public universities for admission.
He stated that private universities have been helping to mitigate the pressure of admissions on public universities, but they have been hampered by funding, adding that most of them do not receive subvention from any other sources outside the school fees, being paid by the students and donations from philanthropists.
His words: “As at last count, Nigeria has 99 private universities, giving them subvention would alleviate funding problems, and mitigate the fee we charge our students. Education is a vital tool that can not be totally privatised.”
Highlighting the convocation event, Adebayo said the combined 12th and 13th convocation ceremony, which commenced on Saturday, November 27th and would end on Saturday, December 4th, adding that commissioning of projects and convocation for diploma and bachelors of degrees would hold on Friday 3rd of December, while that of postgraduate and honorary degrees would hold on Saturday, December 4th 2021.
He continued: “990 students graduated in 2019/2020 out of which 51 made first-class honours, while 1,165 graduated this session out of which 34 were first-class.”