President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday promised that education would receive the needed budgetary allocation in order to boost the education sector.
Buhari gave the assurance in Port Harcourt, at the 30th Convocation Ceremony of the University Of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT).
He said education was key to national development, and assured that his administration would provide new facilities, rehabilitate and upgrade existing ones.
“This administration will continue to support the Nigerian university system in ensuring that learning, teaching and research facilities are constantly upgraded and updated to compete with other global institutions.
“We will also strengthen the regulatory and funding agencies and position them for improved and effective service delivery.
“I call for support of corporate organisations, alumni associations, philanthropists and development partners to bridge the gap in government funding of our universities,” he said.
Buhari, represented by Prof. Julius Okojie, Executive Secretary of Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC), said the newly approved curricula in universities would address issues of skills acquisition and employment.
The president said that over 12,000 university teachers had benefitted from government capacity building programmes.
Earlier, Prof. Joseph Ajienka, Vice-Chancellor of UNIPORT said that 18,363 students who graduated from 55 departments in 16 faculties were drawn from 2011 to 2014 academic sessions.
He said that 13,382 students graduated with First degrees, while 2,214 received Post-Graduate Diploma certificates.
According to him, 2,616 graduated with Master degrees, while 441 students graduated with doctorate degrees.
A breakdown of the number showed that 41 graduated with First Class, while 2,389 graduated in the Second Class Upper Division category.
“A total of 8,602 bagged Second Class Lower divisions, 1,972 had Third Class, while eight students graduated with Pass.
“Also, 324 obtained MBBS, 38 bagged B. Pharm degrees, while 19 graduated with BDS in Dentistry,” he said.
The vice-chancellor said UNIPORT would continue to produce quality graduates capable of competing favourably with their local and international counterparts.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Emir of Gwandu, Alhaji Mohammad Bashir, was inaugurated as the third Chancellor of UNIPORT.
Honorary degrees were also conferred on Chief Solomon Ogba, President of Athletic Federation of Nigeria; Mr Herbert Wigwe, Managing Director of Access Bank, and Mr Nnaeto Orazulike, Chairman of Genesis Group. (NAN)