The Vice Chancellor of the University of Jos, Professor Ishaya Tanko, has decried the level of insecurity in the institution and urged the President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene.
The Vice Chancellor said the situation posed a serious threat to the university’s vision of nurturing a world class institution for academic excellence and innovation with local, national and global impact .
Speaking at the 33rd and 34th combined convocation ceremony of the university on Saturday, the Vice Chancellor noted that the institution had been under intense attack that included the instant killing, kidnapping and harassing of staff, students and their loves ones.
“These threats to our campuses have posed severe challenges that are threatening our focus on achieving excellence.
“Our campuses are porous, making it very difficult for our security personnel to provide the required safety. While acknowledging the enormous cost required to provide security across our campuses, the actualization for the core vision of the university is dependent on providing a safe and conducive environment for teaching, learning, research and innovation “, the VC stated.
He listed other challenges facing the institution to include funding, industrial action, land encroachment and Integrated Payroll Personnel System and called on President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene in the situation and also provide the needed funds to complete the perimeter fence for the Naraguta campus.
The President, who was represented by the Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission, Professor Rasheed Abubakar, acknowledged the rapid developmental strides of the university, especially in the area of infrastructure, academic programmes, staff strength and student population since its inception in 1972.
He dismissed the argument that there are too many universities in Nigeria which currently has over 200 million population and a total of 222 universities.
Buhari, who cited South Korea with a population of 51 million and 203 universities as well as Vietnam with a population of about 97 million and 185 universities among others, to buttress his point, underscored the need to increase the number of universities in Nigeria to enable the country cater for the teeming millions of youths tasty for university education in the country.
“Of the number of total applications for University admissions for the 2022 Joint admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME), less than 35 % were successfully accommodated. Therefore, the argument that there are too many universities in Nigeria is untenable”, the President stated.
Noting that his administration had committed enormous resources for the development of university education in country, the President urged universities in the country to reciprocate government’s gesture by engaging in cutting edge research and the acquisition of the requisite expertise that could empower their students with the necessary skills and competences that would make them a positive force for development and growth .
It was reported that during the convocation ceremony, a total 20,532 students were awarded different certificates by the university.