The management of the Plateau State University has disclosed plans to hold the first convocation ceremony of the institution.
Twelve years after it was established, the institution revealed that it would graduate 344 students, out of which three are graduating with first class honours.
The Vice Chancellor of the university, Professor Danjuma Sheni, disclosed this while briefing reporters on activities preceding the first and second combined convocation ceremony.
Professor Sheni said that the school has gone through turbulent moments since its establishment, particularly with the suspension of academic activities in 2007 which he said impacted negatively on the growth and development of the institution.
He highlighted some challenges facing the institution, stressing the funding of the university as one of the major challenges.
The academic, however, noted that the government has been coming to their aid in the area of accreditation of courses by the National University Commission (NUC).
“Finance has been a major concern since funding of education is on the concurrent list but government has been supportive to meet accreditation requirements as well as payment of salary,” he said.
Two courses – Management Studies and Accounting – were fully accredited while 17 remaining courses were partially accredited by the NUC.
He noted that there was no aspect of life that could do without agriculture, saying Nigerian graduates must henceforth stop searching for formal jobs that seem to be no longer in existence.
Food Production Capacity
The Governor stressed the need for productivity, resilience and hard-work among Nigerians, pointing out that the present nation’s economy demands one to be self-employed.
According to him, there is no other alternative to sustain Nigeria’s economy than to build the required interest in agriculture and brace up with anything that could promote food production capacity.
Mr Aregbesola held that Nigerians must, as a matter of urgency, invest in things that would prevent famine in the next five years if truly the nation was ready to overcome her present economic challenges.
Lamenting the dwindling revenues from the crude oil sales, Governor Aregbesola said “unless Nigeria sees the need to promote agriculture, efforts to bring back the dwindling economy may be gloomy”.
“There is need for us, especially our young graduates, to lead the nation in promoting agriculture as the only realistic surviving alternative to economy.
“We must embrace farming because it is only agriculture that has direct links to all aspects of life.
“Nigeria has grown to the stage her food production capacity must be urgently expanded to meet the general needs of the citizenry and as well enhance exportation.
“The time to enhance productivity has come. We must all embrace productivity. We must produce whatever we desire to consume,” he stressed.
Congratulating the graduating students, Aregbesola charged them to adapt to the virtues they acquired in the institution.
He advised them to get prepared for the challenges ahead and life after university which he described as “challenging”.
“You must all be prepared. The challenges ahead, especially at this period of over saturated tendencies of labour market, you need grim determination to succeed. You must be rational and critical in the application of the knowledge you have acquired”.
He further appealed to those who are using the precious and reputable name of Islam to perpetrate violence, saying “violence is directly antithetical to Islam”.
“All hands must be on deck to end terrorism in the country as the act is tantamount to the tenets of Islam.”
Earlier in his lecture, Professor Abubakar Adamu Rasheed, charged both private and public organisations in Nigeria on the need to invest more in education.
He said the country had gone to a stage where education should be seen by all as a bedrock for national development and called for the need to encourage participation in both basic and higher education.
Professor Rasheed, who is the Executive Secretary, National University Commission, said all hands must be on deck to promote tertiary education.
He implored stakeholders in the private and public institutions in the country to, as a matter of necessity, rescue the nation from her present educational backwardness by establishing more universities in the nooks and crannies.
Prior to the discovery of crude oil, agriculture use to be Nigeria’s economy mainstay, a position the Nigerian government is pushing to return the nation to by pushing for more youth involvement in agriculture.
The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) is calling for the reinstatement of the 13 Vice Chancellors sacked by the federal government this year.
The protesting students who stormed the office of the Minister of Education in Abuja said that the sack was politically motivated and unjust.
The students, who were led by their National President, Tijani Usman, are calling for the resignation of the Minister.
Meanwhile, the Executive Secretary of the National University Commission (NUC), Professor Julius Okojie, who addressed the protesting students, appealed to them to articulate their demands as he would facilitate a meeting with the Minister.
The National University Commission (NUC) has claimed that the seven suspended private institutions will continue operations, but have been banned from admitting new students.
The deputy executive secretary of the commission, Mr Akinbode Agbaoye made the clarification in reaction to a petition filed by Lead City University at the hearing called by House of Representatives on Wednesday.
At the resumed public hearing of the House Committee on Public Petitions, Mr Agbaoye explained that the NUC has cleared two of the suspended universities after they produced the required documents.
He added that the NUC will embark on forensic audit of the remaining institutions on the 19th of July.
In the charged atmosphere during the hearing, the chairman of the House Committee on Public Petitions, Representative Uzo Azubuike sought to know why the regulatory body did not embark on the forensic audit to resolve issues, before announcing a full suspension of the schools operational licence.
The NUC official explained that announcing the suspension of the seven private universities did not imply that the schools would be shut down.
The petitioner, Lead City University however was far from satisfied with the explanation especially with the de-accreditation of the law faculty of the private institution.
Mr Agbaoye however responded that the school’s law faculty remain unaccredited as he explained that the initial accreditation was erroneously approved.
The NUC noted that it is not interested in killing any university but described the petitioners as recalcitrant and a serial offender.
It also accused Lead City University of running post graduate programmes without approval.
As the House of Representatives has lined-up the issue to be debated, students of the affected universities are hoping that the dispute will be quickly resolved by the federal lawmakers.
The University of Abuja has been shut indefinitely following protests by students of the school over the suspension of four non-accredited courses by the minister of education.
A statement signed by the registrar of the school Mohammed Modibbo however says the university was closed for students to go on Easter break with effect from Wednesday 4 April 2012. The statement advised students to vacate the hostels before 6pm.
Students of the University of Abuja had protested against the suspension of four courses run by the institution.
The Federal Government had on Tuesday suspended some courses in the university. These courses include Medicine, Veterinary medicine, Engineering and Agriculture. The departments offering these courses have failed to get accredited by the National Universities Commission and many students have therefore been unable to graduate from them for years.
The protesting students have obstructed traffic on the expressway outside the permanent site and refused people access into the university. The expressway is one of the major entry routes into Abuja and also leads to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport.
Traffic to and from Abuja on that axis has been halted.