Judex Okoro, Calabar
President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned the recent phenomenon of cash and sex for marks in Nigeria’s tertiary institutions, saying they are a blight on society.
He said this sad phenomenon undermines our collective efforts to bequeath a morally-upright society to posterity and charged university governing councils across the country to take up the challenge and rid the campuses of all undesirable elements.
President Buhari, who made this known in his speech at the Abraham Ordia Stadium of the University of Calabar during the institution’s 33rd convocation ceremony, commended the university for domesticating the administration’s war against corruption in the institution
The president’s whose speech was delivered by the Minister of State for Education Hon Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, enjoined the university to remain focused and desist from giving in to distractions.
“The recent phenomenon where lecturers are alleged to be awarding grades in exchange for cash and sex across our universities is a blight on the society and an anathema to our collective efforts at bequeathing to posterity a morally- upright society.
“I challenge university governing councils and management of universities in Nigeria to take up the challenge with passion; rid our campuses of undesirable elements and restore public confidence in our institutions.
“While we strongly commend you for domesticating this administration’s war against corruption in your university, I urge you not to give in to distractions but to remain focused on the need to build a university of our collective dream,” the president said.
He said in his administration’s drive to improve access to higher education by millions of qualified youths in the country, his administration has in the last three years approved the establishment of one new federal, and 12 private polytechnics, granted licenses for the establishment of four state and 14 private universities.
He added that despite dwindling resources, his administration this year allocated N671.07 billion or 6.7% of the total budget to education, stressing that although it falls short of UNESCO’s 26% recommendation, it is significant in our circumstance.
He charged higher institutions in the country to “be necessarily creative in order to reasonably expand their internally-generated revenue bases to complement the modest efforts of the government.
“You should find creative ways of exploiting the existing Public-Private Partnership (PPP) policy to meaningfully bridge the infrastructural gaps existing on campuses,” the president advised.
In her remarks, the pro-chancellor and chairman of the governing council of the institution, Senator Nkechi Nwaogu, said the institution has implemented the National Policy on Information, Communication and Technology and joined the global education community in devising plans for building ongoing sustainable enterprise for development.
She assured all stakeholders to University of Calabar’s commitment to the continuous infrastructural and human capital development as well as the provision of peaceful and conducive teaching and learning environment in the university community.
Also speaking, the vice-chancellor of the institution, Professor Zana Akpagu said a total of 4, 074 graduands were found worthy in character and learning and were conferred with various degrees during the 33rd convocation.
He said the university had significantly expanded its curricular offerings to include Dentistry, Engineering, Mass Communication, Anti-Corruption Studies, Food Science and Technology, Criminology.
At the 33rd convocation, four deserving personalities were conferred with honorary doctorate degrees including the vice president of Liberia Jewel – Howard Taylor and a director with the Africa Development Bank, Professor Anthony Nyong.
Others were the Emir of Askira, Alhaji Mai Abdullahi Ibn Muhammadu Askirama as well as Chief Ann Ene Ita, a retired permanent secretary in the Federal Civil Service.