By Chidi Nkwopara
OWERRI—The management of Federal University of Technology, Owerri, FUTO, has expressed worry that “the activities of land speculators is distorting the masterplan of the institution.”
The Vice Chancellor, Professor Francis Eze, who raised the alarm yesterday at a pre-convocation press briefing, also disclosed that the recent incursion into the university’s land is along the Owerri-Port Harcourt road.
“Recently, this attack on our property assumed unprecedented dimensions with the parcelling and selling of the University land situated at the Owerri-Port Harcourt axis, Avu, by some land speculators”, he said.
The VC was also irked that the affected area was originally meant to accommodate the institution’s teaching hospital, when approved by the Federal Government.
“As a way of improving our internally generated revenue and exposing the students of FUTO to practical experience, the institution established a farm. It is however very sad that thieves from our host communities, have continuously exploited our porous borders and have stolen everything in our farm”, the VC said.
While announcing that “FUTO ought to have been enjoying hydro power by now, if not for the host communities that scuttled it”, Eze however assured that management was looking at the possibility of using alternative sources like solar panels and gas turbines to power the school.
Answering a question on the forthcoming convocation, Professor Eze said that 3,047 students would be conferred with varying degrees of the University.
“A total of 39 students earned First Class degree, 44 successfully completed their doctorate degree, while 237 and 11 made Third Class and ordinary pass respectively”, the VC said.
Continuing, Eze announced that the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, would deliver the convocation lecture, “Driving national economic development through science and technology”.