Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Prof. Kayode Adebowale, has commended Dr Bibiana Okoli, the first female visually impaired to bag a Doctor of Philosophy degree from the institution’s Department of Special Education.
Adebowale, who gave the commendation in his address at the 73rd Founder’s Day and convocation ceremony of the institution, in Ibadan on Wednesday, said that Okoli’s tenacity, which made her achieve the rare feat, was worthy of commendation.
Adebowale, who started out by commending the governing council, management and staff members of the university, added that the council had successfully midwife the appointment of five principal officers in three months.
He urged all the 481 candidates who bagged doctorate degrees in various disciplines to raise the bars wherever they found themselves and be good ambassadors of the institution.
“The nation needs many like you who can provide feasible and practical solutions to the complexities that it is grappling with,” Adebowale said.
In his address at the occasion, the Visitor to the university, President Muhammadu Buhari, said that his administration had given priority to the education sector, especially tertiary institutions.
The president, who was represented by the Deputy Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), Mr Chris Mayaki, noted the roles of the private sector in providing quality education in Nigeria.
He said his administration would increase budgetary allocation to education by 50 per cent in the next two years and 100 per cent over the next five years.
In his address, the Sultan of Sokoto and Chancellor of the institution, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, sued for peace among those who vied for the position of the 13th vice-chancellor in order to move the university forward.
He called for more funding for the university, especially in research, and urged the president to look into the agreement reached with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) by the Federal Government to avert another crisis in the nation’s universities.
Abubakar said: “Please Mr Visitor, keep our schools open; that is our request. Provide more funds for schools to be better than they are, so that Nigeria will be a much better country than it is now.”
Also in his address, the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council of the university, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, congratulated the Sultan of Sokoto on his reappointment as chancellor of the institution.
Odigie-Oyegun, who spoke on the challenging terrain he came into upon his appointment, appreciated everyone who ensured that the university got back on its track.
The pro-chancellor, who is an alumnus of the university, joined the chancellor to urge the new vice-chancellor to mend fences and run an all-inclusive administration for the progress of the institution.
Odigie-Oyegun called for special intervention to revitalise the premier university, having identified infrastructural decay and the need to upgrade the welfare of both academic and non-academic staffers, among others.
“The situation is so bad that special intervention is required. We need to work very hard on our facilities to restore the respect that the University of Ibadan once enjoyed in Africa and certainly in the commonwealth,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the event was attended by many dignitaries, including Prof. Sarah Agbor, Commissioner for Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, African Union Commission, representative of Oyo State Governor, Mr Seyi Makinde, among others.
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