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Friday, May 24, 2024

Be constructive in your criticism, Tinubu tells university professors

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President Bola Tinubu has expressed disappointment with university lecturers for criticizing the student loan scheme instead of offering advice on how it could be better managed at their respective institutions.

However, he promised that the government would not be deterred by his criticism, saying there was no turning back because the government was not willing to commit to a good standard of education.

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Tinubu said this at the weekend during the eighth convocation ceremony of the Federal University, Oye Ekiti (FUOYE), held at the university campus.

The president, represented by the vice president of the Senate, Jibrin Barau, described his government as “listening.” He said this was what prompted submissions from relevant players in the education sector to be considered, leading to the cancellation of the policy of automatic deduction of 40% of Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of universities.

According to him, the government decided to bow to pressure to cancel the policy of automatic deduction of 40% of IGR from universities, to allow universities to breathe.

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“In June 2023, we approved the Student Loan Plan to make accessibility to quality education undisputed. Following this announcement, there was a disconcerting response from various quarters about the credibility and viability of the plan, much to the astonishment of the government.

“One thing you have to know is that education is not cheap anywhere in the world. This government is not willing to support education that will not advance the nation. Student loan schemes are not scientific initiatives, but are designed to grant access to all who are willing and know the value of education, in order to alleviate the burden of numerous individuals and communities who may have painfully intervened by sending his pupils to school,” he said.

Tinubu stressed that he hoped academics would advise the government on how best to manage the scheme in their respective institutions rather than malign the idea.

He assured all stakeholders in the education sector to expect more interventions, noting that some will be painful while others will be immediately reassuring.

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He urged other universities to follow FUOYE’s example in terms of subscription figures and carrying capacity, which he said surpasses all others of its generation, as well as a good number of universities of previous generations.

READ ALSO: FEC approves N9bn life insurance for workers, says student loan for January

Speaking on the occasion, Ekiti State Governor, Biodun Oyebanji, called on universities in the country to prioritize research efforts aimed at addressing critical challenges facing the nation. He also tasked them with producing graduates who are solution providers.

The governor emphasized the urgent need for local solutions to Nigeria’s various challenges, highlighting the importance of equipping students with practical skills and real-world experience through hands-on learning and industry partnership.

Likewise, the Chancellor of FUOYE and Attah of Igala, Matthew Opaluwa Oguche, in his speech, lent his voice to the call for more funding so that universities can discharge their statutory functions more efficiently.

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