The former Governor of Adamawa State, Boni Haruna, has attributed the slow pace of research and development in the Nigerian university system to unnecessary political interference in the administration and affairs of tertiary institutions.
Boni, who disclosed this during the convocation of the Adamawa State University (ADSU), Mubi, noted that such interference had also adversely affected the country on all spheres of its development and growth.
He, therefore, called on federal and state governments, which are the proprietors of the institutions to shun undue pressure and interference, but to encourage quality and standard in the education sector.
Boni, therefore, noted that the challenges facing the country currently could be attributed to the fact that most Nigerian universities were not geared towards proffering solutions to national problems due to such interference.
The former governor, who is also a former Minister of Youth, urged the state Governor, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, to ensure an enabling environment for the institution to grow, insisting that political elites should refrain from playing politics with education at all levels.
Boni, who conferred with a Honorary Doctorate Degree (Honoris Causa) of the university by the Governing Council of the institution, said that the state university was the first state-owned university in the North East geo-political zone, which was established in 2004 and has graduated 11,650 students between 2009 and 2020.
The former governor, whose administration established the university, lamented that the emergence of Boko Haram insurgency in the North East and Adamawa State, in particular, led to the combined convocation from 2009 to 2020 academic sessions.
Meanwhile, Governor Fintiri challenges the university to proffer solutions to the state’s problems through cutting-edge academic research and excellence, saying the university should encourage research and excellence towards solving its challenges and those of its immediate environments.
“The university should prove itself worthy by providing solutions to challenges facing it, beginning with electricity, water supply and other service problems within the campus,” he stated.
Fintiri, therefore, offered automatic employment to five overall best graduating students of the university and also to proceed for further studies abroad on scholarship.
The Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Kaletapwa Farauta said that the 5th to 13th combined convocation produced no fewer than 11,625 graduates.
Prof. Farauta said: “The university authorities, after concerted efforts and wide consultations with other critical stakeholders, expressed readiness to graduate the nine sets at a go from 2009/2010 to 2018/2019 academic sessions.