Jonathan, who was represented by the supervising Minister of Education, Mr Nysome Wike, gave the warning in Nsukka, Enugu State on Saturday during the 43rd conferment of higher degrees and award of honorary degrees by the University of Nigeria (UNN), Nsukka.
He said that federal institutions were not the property of the state government or their host communities but international and universal learning centres.
“Universities are international and universal learning centres where people of all races are given equal opportunities to excel.
“While I am pleased that peace and normalcy has returned to UNN, let me reiterate that federal institutions should not be seen as the property of the communities or states in which they are situated,“ he said.
He said in this era of global universities ranking, all stakeholders in education should help to ensure that universities in the country were ranked among the best.
“The federal government on its own has kept its promise to make additional funds available for the purpose of improving facilities in our universities.
“It is important that funds are judiciously applied with priority given to those projects that will impact positively on quality of teaching and learning,’ he said.
The president congratulate the honorary awardees for the track records that made the university to find them worthy of the award and urged then to keep it up.
“It is my wish that this honorary award will spur you to do more for the society.
“To whom much is given much is expected; the award calls for greater service to this university in particular and to your fatherland in general,” he said.
In a remark, the Vice-Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Bartho Okolo, listed some of the achievements of his administration as he prepares to bow out of service.
He said the achievements included infrastructure development, as well as staff and students’ welfare to enhance scholarship.
Okolo said the four Nigerians chosen for the honorary award distinguished themselves in their chosen careers as well as contributed to national development.
Those conferred with honorary degrees were Mrs Folorunsho Alakija, Doctor of Business Administration; Mr Samuel Maduka Onyishi, Doctor of Business Administration; Late Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, posthumous Doctor of Law and Chief Innocent Chukwuma, Doctor of Business Administration.
The posthumous award for Odumegwu-Ojukwu was received by his widow, Mrs Bianca Ojukwu, who is also the Nigerian Ambassador to Spain
In a remark on behalf of other awardees, Alakija said they were humbled by the award.
She said the award would be a challenge to them to do more for the university as well as to contribute more to national development. (NAN)