By Chidi Nkwopara, OWERRI.
The Federal Government has appealed to the leadership of Academic Staff Union of University, ASUU, to appreciate the current economic challenges that have financially constrained the Federal Government to meet its demands.
President Muhammadu Buhari made the appeal in a message delivered in Owerri, on his behalf, by the Minister of State for Education, Professor Anthony Anwuka, during the convocation ceremony of the Federal University of Technology, Owerri, FUTO.
“As partners in progress, I plead for understanding and cooperation as the government is committed to addressing the various issues being canvassed by the Union, as we strive to right the wrongs of the past”, Buhari said.
He acknowledged the anxiety and uncertainties that agitate the minds of the graduands, on what the future holds for them after graduation.
“The fear is further amplified with the rising unemployment coupled with the recent economic recession that has befallen our beloved country. Periods like this are opportunities for geniuses to emerge”, Buhari said.
The President assured Nigerians that his administration will not renege in its promise to provide opportunities and avenues so that youths could develop their skills and creative ingenuity.
In his own address, the Vice Chancellor, VC, Professor Francis Chukwuemeka Eze, declared that he would “re-engineer and transform FUTO, to a truly world class university through recruiting, nurturing and developing uniquely promising students and exceptional staff in science, engineering, technology and innovation to the benefit of mankind”.
The VC disclosed that FUTO currently has 48 academic programmes in eight schools, adding that a good number of these programmes had received full accreditation, while few had interim accreditation.
“The programmes with denied and interim accreditations, have been presented to the National Universities Commission, NUC, for accreditation, as observed deficiencies have been rectified. In addition, we are in top preparation for the upcoming institutional accreditation and resource verifications for five newly established programmes”, Eze said.