President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday challenged Nigerian universities to play a leading role in the research and production of vaccines locally.
The President made the call at the 36th convocation ceremony of the University of Ilorin.
He also urged the varsities to lead the fight against infections and diseases in the country.
Buhari, who was represented at the ceremony by a former Vice-Chancellor of Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Prof. Ignatius Onimawo, appealed to the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to embrace dialogue in the resolution of disputes with the government.
He said: “The nation expects universities to play a leading role in research efforts to develop COVID-19 vaccine in Nigeria.
“The nation expects nothing less from the Nigerian university system.
“For ASUU, let me remind the union that no one gains from a crisis. While government alone cannot solve all challenges facing a society, this administration is willing to listen to complaints and alternative points of view to managing a situation.
“The university system cannot withstand any crisis now considering the time it had lost to the COVID-19 pandemic.”