Prof. Stephen Ocheni, Minister of State for Labour and Employment has called on university authorities in the country to maintain very high level academic disciplines and integrity.
Ocheni made the call when members of the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN) Alumni, Abuja branch, paid a courtesy visit to his office in Abuja on Monday.
According to him, we have to ensure that authorities of institutions of higher learning maintain very high level academic disciplines and integrity.
“This is very important because a lot people send their children abroad and spend millions of dollars to train their children outside the country; when we have a premier institution like the UNN, among others.
“Our certificates are recognised anywhere in the world but a lot more needs to be done for us to justify the Federal Government’s investments in education.
“This is by turning out first class graduates; graduates of world class standard that can stand the challenge of defending their chosen area of discipline anywhere in the world whenever they are called to do so.
“Also in trying to orient our students, I want to appeal to our lecturers in various campuses to maintain high level of discipline in their dealings with the students.
“This is very important, as I have always said the lecturers must take the students as their children.
“Treat them like your children and in that way, you will not be able to oppress them, ’’ the minister said.
Ocheni also called on the lecturers to ensure they maintain cordial relationship with the students and to also ensure that hard work was inculcated in them.
The minister, however, called on alumni associations to partner with the university authorities in curbing cultism on the campuses and instil discipline in the students.
Ocheni said the collaboration was necessary in order to ensure that the future of the Nigerian leaders (students) were capable of bringing change and leading the country to a better destination.
According to him, these are the kind of messages we need to take to the campuses whenever we have programmes on the campuses.
The minister noted that training of students and infrastructure development should not be left alone for the university managements and the Federal Government, saying that alumni associations also had a role to play.
In his speech, Prof. Peter Onwalu, Vice President, UNN Alumni Association, Abuja branch, said the visit was to familiarise with the minister, who also graduated from the institution.
Onwalu said the visit was meant to invite the minister formally to the association’s Dinner and Award Night programmes on Nov. 29.