BY CHIDI NKWOPARA
OWERRI—Vice President Namadi Sambo and Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State are among six prominent Nigerians that would be awarded honourary doctorate degrees by the Federal University of Technology, Owerri, FUTO, during the 24th Convocation ceremonies scheduled to hold weekend.
Announcing this during a press conference in Owerri, FUTO Vice Chancellor, Professor Chigozie Asiabaka, also disclosed the university’s intention to offer automatic employment to all first class graduands of the institution.
Prof Asiabaka noted that 2,327 students from the five schools of the institution would be admitted into degrees of their various disciplines.
According to the VC, a total of 121 post-graduate students, who made significant contributions to knowledge through their various researches, will be honoured with Masters and Doctorate degrees and post-graduate diplomas.
Asiabaka said: “As part of the policy of this administration to encourage the development of excellence in science and technology, the University management will offer automatic employment to all First Class graduands.”
He said the convocation lecture, The collapse of Nigerian tertiary education: a call for a marshal plan, would be delivered by Senator Uche Chukwumerije.
Asiabaka noted that there were 22,000 students in the institution, adding that the number of academic staff in the institution was not commensurate with the students’ population.
The VC also expressed dissatisfaction over the poor level of government funding to tertiary institutions, especially FUTO.
He said that the only way to ensure quality education in the country was by adequate funding of institutions.
He disclosed his intention to computerise the entire institution and to make the school hostels habitable, but added that the only constraint to his ambition was financing the projects.
While calling on government to look into these challenges, Asiabaka expressed dissatisfaction over the encroachment by the Ihiagwa people, host community of the institution, on the school empty spaces.
He called on the state government to come and restore permanent peace to the area.
The VC, however, vowed not to concede any Federal Government property to the host community, adding that if the state government would not solve the problem, he would invite the Federal Government to intervene