The Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo‑Iweala, weekend, appealed to the striking university lecturers to call off the strike and resume teaching.
She said this after she and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi bagged doctorate honorary doctorate degrees at a private university, Oduduwa University, Ipetumodu in Osun State.
The Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, according to the Vice Chancellor, Professor Adeleke Ogunwale, nominated the two eminent Nigerians for the award as part of activities marking the maiden convocation of the institution which produced 18 first class graduates out of 166 that graduated.
Dr. Iweala was awarded honorary Doctor of Science in Accounting, her counterpart was honoured with Doctor of Science in Economics.
The ceremony attracted important dignitaries like theOoni of Ife, Oba Sijuwade who was represented by his wife, Chief Mojisola Sijuwade; the Pro Chancellor/Chairman, Governing Council, Dr. Adegoke Adedoyin, among others.
She said: “We are indeed saddened by the death of Professor Iyayi. I appeal to ASUU to go back to school in the interest of students, their parents, because the Federal Government has acceded to their requests.”
The Minister said this just as she clarified that the shortfall in the federal allocation to state governments in the federation did not have any political colouration as being insinuated in some quarters.
According to her: “There is no politics in it. Every state goes to Federal Allocation Committee meeting monthly; they see the account and know that oil production is down and the receipts are down.
“They know Customs’ revenues are down, yet we distribute whatever that is to be distributed. From that, we have been able to manage this country and workers have been able to collect their salaries.
On the need for the revitalisation of tertiary education, she said: “Our tertiary institutions face serious challenges which require urgent attention.
President Jonathan injects N220billion a year on top of regular resources to address challenges in tertiary education.”
She gave N50,000 prize each year for the best student in Accounting and Economics as a personal contribution to the development of the institution.
In his own short response, Mallam Sanusi said though, the economy was becoming stable, the effects of the growth should be seen in the life of a common man on the street”.
The Vice chancellor of the institution, Prof. Adeleke Ogunwale, commended the Ooni of Ife for giving hundreds of acres for the establishment of the institution which came to being in 2009.
He hinted that the institution graduated 166 students with18 first class, 63 second upper division and 82 lower class. Out of the 18 first class, 10 of them are ladies. The honorees have impacted positively on people. Patience Jonathan. Today, we confer doctor of science in accounting on Dr. Iweala while Mallam Sanusi was awarded. doctor of science in Economics.
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