Subsidising tertiary education will expedite economic growth, says Onaiyekan

THE Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, His Eminence, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, has appealed to the Federal Government to create accessible facility for subsidising university education saying this has the capacity to ensure speedy economic growth in the country.

  Onaiyekan, who is also the chancellor of Veritas University, Abuja (VUNA), made the appeal while addressing the combined

convocation ceremony for the 2012/2013 and 2013/2014 sessions, at the institution in Bwari, Federal Capital Territory.

  He said that in addition to granting private universities licences to operate, the Federal Government should do more to support the education of men and women of character and integrity at the tertiary level.

  “We raise our eyes up to our government to stretch out to us the much needed hand of fellowship and partnership. It will be recalled that after years of hesitation, our government finally gave up its monopoly of university education in Nigeria,

opening the way for private institutions,” the cleric stated.

  He added that, “Although they all go under the general name of private universities, it is to be expected that each one would have its own peculiar vision and character. They, therefore, complement government efforts not only in providing the much-needed extra admission spaces, but also in giving Nigerians a variety of choice in university education. We appeal to government to give our universities access to its facilities for subsidising tertiary education in Nigeria.”

  He said that VUNA was established by the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), in line with the church’s principle to pursuing truth in all its forms.

  He said the church was anxious for a sincere dialogue with the government on the matter in order to make the university

more accessible than it was now.

  In his remarks, the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council of VUNA, the Most Rev. Anthony Obinna, said that the institution seeks to promote high standards of teaching and learning as well as to produce quality graduates.

 He tasked the graduands not to leave any stone unturned in pursuance of academic excellence, as they strive to attain greater heights in life.

  “As you seek employment or begin to work or move on to further studies in your life; I believe that the seasoned formation you received in VUNA will continue to motivate you to greater achievements,” he admonished.

  In his address, the Vice Chancellor, VUNA, Prof. Michael Kwanashie, hoped for a close working relationship between universities in the country in order to foster social and economic growth, stressing that it was only by so doing that meaningful youth development could be achieved.

  “There can be no transformation in this country unless we promote transformative education. That is why our job here is to create leaders who will change the lives of people in the society positively.”

 Overall best graduating student, Miss Somtochukwu Agwulonu, who graduated with a Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 4.65 points in accountancy, attributed her success to the support given her by her parents.

Agwulonu, said achieving the feat was “quite challenging, but God made all things possible.”

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