Tinubu warns varsities against indiscriminate award of honourary degrees
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has warned Nigerian universities against indiscriminate award of honorary Doctorate Degrees, saying that it is a sabotage which undermines the very core values of academic integrity and must be discontinued.
Mr Tinubu handed the warning at the combined convocation ceremonies for the 6th, 7th, and 8th graduates of the students of Federal University of Lafia (FULafia), in Lafia, the Nasarawa State capital on Saturday.
The President, who was represented by the Acting Executive Secretary of National Universities Commission (NUC),
Mr. Chris Jibreel-Maiyaki, explained that degrees were being awarded for candidates found worthy in character and learning.
He argued that the honorary degrees should be given to only deserving Nigerians who have contributed immensely to the growth of society.
According to him, academic competence and professional training represents just a fraction of the qualifications needed to build a strong and prosperous nation.
He said, “Moral training and ethical standards must be coupled with the best form of academic development for universities to fulfill its purpose.
“Therefore, universities management and the general environments of teaching and learning must model the highest standard of integrity, probity and moral discipline.
“In this connection, I must draw your attention to the tendency of some institutions to devalue the quality of their degrees by given out honorary Doctorate Degrees indiscriminately against the common universities community practice.”
President Tinubu has also pleged to always respond positivity to needs of universities and its communities in order to reposition things for better outputs.
He, therefore, pleged to do everything possible to tackle the infrastructural deficit in Nigerian universities and other tertiary institutions in the country.
Earlier, Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State appreciated the management of the institution for putting in effort to train students for four and five years as the case may be.
The governor also promised to train all the 50 First Class graduates of FULafia from the three sets in different entrepreneur skills and give each of them N500, 000 at the end of the one month training.
Sule, however, reiterated his administration commitment to continue to support the university to enable it to achieve its mandate of training the manpower needed for the development of the country.
Prof. Shehu Abdul-Rahman, the Vice Chancellor (VC) of the university, said the convocation was the first in his third year as the VC of the institution.
He stated that the combined convocation was for 6,499 students from 53 departments of 12 faculties, 48 PhD graduates as well as other post-graduates.
He added that the institution that started with few departments in 2011, currently has a College of Medicine, School of Basic and Remedial Studies as well as School of Postgraduate Studies.
According to him, the school currently running 17 courses at post-graduate level and nine other courses are awaiting commencement.
He revealed that the institution has 14 resourced centres and cademic directorates responsible for research, retraining and consulting.
Prof. Abdul-Rahman maintained that he had been building on the formidable foundation and core values of integrity, innovation and excellence laid by his predecessors.
He then appreciated the President, governor of Nasarawa State and other partners for throwing their weight behind the institution.