According to a speech read on his behalf by Education Minister Prof Ruqqayatu Ahmed Rufai, “It is not acceptable that no Nigerian university is among the top tier providers of tertiary education in Africa, not to mention globally. Nigeria cannot be a great nation on the back of poorly trained youth. It is for this reason that the transformation of our nation must start in the classrooms.”
The President also asked the universities to lead in fresh thinking that would align their curricula with modern reality to produce graduates with an entrepreneurial mind-set.
President Jonathan stated, “There is no doubt that the University has been a transformational force in the evolution of our country. The founding fathers vision was for a united, strong and prosperous Nigeria. These values underline our present transformation initiatives.”
The President asked the University of Nigeria to “spearhead the design of new programmes to inculcate the values of dedication to work and entrepreneurship in your students.”
“The University of Nigeria should lead because of its age, quality of staff and students and its achievements in research and community service. The various international linkages and the recent UNESCO recognition of the University as a biotechnology centre should help elevate your ranking in the near future,” he said.