President Muhammadu Buhari says his administration is committed to the welfare of staff of universities.
Buhari gave the commitment at the first Convocation/Founders Day of the Federal University of Petroleum Resources (FUPRE), in Effurun, Delta on Tuesday.
.The president, Visitor to FUPRE, was represented by the Deputy Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission, Prof. Chiedu Mafiana
Buhari urged the academic sector to start redirecting its focus on providing practical solutions to critical national development issues.
He said FUPRE, Petroleum Technology Development Fund and the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board should synergise to solve the energy problem of the country.
“All the aforementioned government agencies in this core sector should harmonise and synergise to meet the increasing energy needs of our nation.
“This will justify the government’s huge investments in the development of local contents.
“The university should be a catalyst for innovations and engine room for the Nigerian technological revolution in the oil and gas sector,” he said.
The president noted that energy was critical to nation building.
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar promised to establish an Oil and Gas Research Centre in the university to meet its research needs.
The Vice Chancellor of FUPRE, Prof. Akii Ibhadode, recalled that the institution was established on March 14, 2007.
He said that the university was trying to meet its mandate of providing manpower in the oil and gas sector.
He expressed delight at the achievements of the institution so far despite some challenges facing it.
Atiku Abubakar, Catholic Bishop of Abuja, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, Ovie of Uvwie Kingdom, Emmanuel Sideso, Daniel Edozie, and the President-General of the Urhobo Progress Union, Moses Taiga were conferred with honorary degrees at the event.
The convocation featured 795 graduands from six academic sets of the institution from 2011 to 2016.