By Dayo Adesulu
TERTIARY institutions have been tasked to cease the opportunity of the recession and engage in quality research work of new scientific capacity and technology to boost the nation’s economy.
Speaking during the 17th Convocation of Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT), Enugu State Governor, Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi said: ”There is therefore no better time than now for ESUT and other Institutions in the country, to rise up to the challenge and in particular with the private sector that deliver Scientific technological breakthroughs that would impact significantly on the economic profile and fortunes of the nation.”
According to him, ”Tertiary Institutions in the Country, do have a critical role to play in this regard, especially if they tailor and intensify their research activities towards the development of new scientific capacities and technologies that, not only help to diversify our economy and create new jobs, but spur rapid growth in every sector.”
The visitor to the university who lauded the institution for keeping faith with their mandate, charged the Council and its Management to deploy all their energies and competences to improve the fortunes of ESUT and take it to the desired pinnacle of intellectual and technological excellence.
Ugwuanyi who is also an Alumnus, having obtained two Masters Degrees from ESUT, assured; “As a government and in line with our promises, we have continued to place a very high premium on the improvement of the quality and standard of Education in Enugu State. We have continued to develop and implement policies that are designed to reposition and revitalize educational institutions at all levels in the State.”
These, he noted, include; “provision of critical infrastructure, renovation of existing facilities and the re-equipment of our schools so as to enable them compete favourably with their contemporaries and keep up with emerging realities and developments.”
On the challenges facing the University as lucidly highlighted by the Institution’s Vice-Chancellor Prof. Luke Anike, Ugwuanyi said: “Apart from other interventions we have made and are still making in the school, we will continue to work with relevant ministries and agencies of government, as far as available funds can permit, to address these challenges adequately and satisfactorily.”
He noted that dwindling revenue and other contemporary economic issues are prevailing situations that obviously call for concerted and committed efforts by the public and private sector, as well as institutions of learning, to reverse or bring under control, the dwindling revenue and other contemporary economic issues which are greatly impeding the attainment of national target and aspiration in energy sector of the economy including education.
Meanwhile, in his address, the Chancellor, Amb. Hassan Adamu (Wakili Adamawa) also commended the management staff of the university for the feat so far recorded, calling on its stakeholders to work assiduously to ensure the realization and sustenance of the goal and aspiration of the University as per the dream of the founding fathers.
In his convocation address the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman Governing Council, Prof. Godfrey Igwebuike Onah, revealed that since they came on board, the Governing Council and management had taken steps to block the existing loopholes, so as to promote quality scholarship and provide a congenial academic environment adding that, although most of these steps are expected to yield long-term fruits, some of their positive results are already being felt.
He commended the Federal Government for the assistance through the TETFund and PTDF while calling for timely release of funds from these agencies, to ensure that the intervention projects are expeditiously completed.
Commitment to research
Earlier, the University Vice-Chancellor Prof. Luke Okechukwu Anike revealed that aside from giving honours to the deserving 12,714 graduating students from nine Faculties spread across graduands from 2013/2014 and 2014/2015 academic sessions, the management of the University had taken some bold steps to ensure global visibility and excellent academic rating of ESUT.
ESUT Vice Chancellor explained that this was done through commitment to research, teaching and various approaches to staff development and that the University staffs have been encouraged through their sponsorship to national and international conferences, workshops and seminars adding that the development had significantly increased the level of ICT competency and productivity amongst staff and even students.
The revival of the University’s Research Centre: the Vice Chancellor disclosed that the University resuscitated the moribund Research Centre like the Biotechnology Centre, Industrial development Centre, Social Science Research Centre Entrepreneurship and also created Research and Innovation Unit.