The 2nd Convocation Lecture of the Federal University Lokoja was held on Thursday, 2nd November, 2017 at the University Auditorium, Adankolo Campus. The Convocation Lecture which was entitled: “Resources and the Prospects of Development in Nigerian Universities” was delivered by Emeritus Professor Nimi Dimkpa Briggs OON, Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council, Federal University Lokoja.
Emeritus Professor Briggs who delivered a very elucidating lecture even at a very short notice, said there are great expectations on universities everywhere, especially public universities, which are to educate, train, motivate and cultivate men and women to enable them acquire knowledge, skills and creativity for personal as well as national development. In his words, he said, “to carry out such complex functions and abide by the far-reaching commitments that are demanded of them, universities require huge tangible resources, principally in the areas of human, infrastructural and financial, to enable them meet general expectations”.
The Convocation Lecturer further reiterated that it is important for universities to generate revenue by themselves so as to fulfill their vision and mission. Some of the reasons he highlighted are: to defray deficits, secure their future, have financial autonomy, carryout their complex activities, amongst others. The distinguished Alumnus of the University of Lagos said that universities can generate revenue through research, fees/charges, educational activities, advancement and commerce. In addition, he explicated how other factors such as humans, alumni, physical infrastructure, maturity and reputation can enhance revenue generation in universities.
Consequently, the Pro-Chancellor/Chairman of Council challenged the University to take advantage of great opportunities that present themselves before her, in spite of the daunting challenges which are not insurmountable. Some of the opportunities he highlighted are the youthfulness of the Institution which offers a chance to learn from and avoid the pitfalls that befell older universities, the nearly fallow Permanent Site with its expansive land which gives an opportunity to plan a modern university that could be the envy of many and the location of the University situated in the Confluence City of Lokoja where the two major waterways in Nigeria – the rivers Benue and Niger meet; a city that was once the headquarters of the northern protectorate; the birthplace of the concept of the Nigeria project and home to the famous mount patti where Lord Frederick John Dealtry Lugard lived with Flora Shaw, a city that is an embodiment of the history of Nigeria and blessed with rich mineral deposits.
In his conclusion, the Convocation Lecturer who was the former Vice-Chancellor, University of Port Harcourt and also Chairman, Association of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities, said, adequate financial resources are important for universities to develop properly and so, be in a position to satisfactorily fulfill their mission and vision and for several reasons, such financial resources should come from multiple sources and not from their respective proprietors alone. Moreover, at the national level, Nigeria should institutionalize purposeful governance so that there will be less disaffection, less theft of public funds and greater investment in social infrastructure, especially in education.
The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Angela F. Miri while presenting an award plaque to the Convocation Lecturer, expressed her gratitude and commended the Pro-chancellor/Chairman of Council for a well-articulated, thought-provoking and well-delivered lecture which is very apt for the Convocation Lecture of the University and the nation at large.
In his closing remark, the Registrar of the University, Mr. Usman Suleman Obansa thanked the invited guests and members of the University community for coming to witness the 2nd Convocation Lecture.
Among the dignitaries that graced the occasion were Pro-chancellors and Vice-Chancellors from other universities, internal and external members of the University Governing Council, Principal Officers of the University, Deans and Heads of Departments, Staff, Students and other members of the University community.
You can connect with Emeritus Professor Nimi Briggs via: firstname.lastname@example.org; www.nimibriggs.org
Click here to view Emeritus Professor Nimi Briggs profile
Below are some of the pictures taken at the event:
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