How will the capacity of the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA) be strengthened and restrategised to fulfill its tripod mandates of academic excellence, research and community service, as well as to fast track technological development of the country, was put at the front burner at the 28th convocation of the university.
The President and Visitor to the university, President Muhammadu Buhari, who fired the first salvo, pledged that despite the challenges the nation is going through, the Federal Government will remain focused and resilient in promoting teaching and research that engender selfreliance and employability.
The President, who spoke through the Deputy Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Chiedu Mafiana, noted that his administration had embarked on development of a roadmap, tagged: “Education for Change,” with clearly defined objectives and strategies to uplift the education sector and in the same vein place education on the front burner, given its role in nation building.
Addressing the stakeholders, comprising the Chancellor of the university and Emir of Bauchi, Alhaji Rilwan Suleiman Adamu; the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council, Dr. Mohammad Shata; the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Adebiyi Daramola; Ondo State Governor, Mr. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN); President of African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, as well as traditional rulers, members of the academia and captains of industry, the President specifically lauded the university for its giant stride in intellectual breakthrough and infrastructural development.
He particularly commended the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Adebiyi for the university’s involvement in the recent launch of a Cube Satellite in Japan, saying: “I commend the efforts made by FUTA in the launching of a Cube Satellite in collaboration with Kyushu Institute of Technology (KIT), Japan and the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA).”
Buhari acknowledged that the FUTA’s effort has further confirmed the participation of Nigeria in the unique global network of research and space outreach.” This was as the Federal Government promised more job opportunities for the teeming unemployed graduates, stressing that the job opportunity had already be captured in the 2017 budget with the focus on the private sector.
“In this regard, the government has embedded opportunities for job creation in the budget with focus on the private sector, so that fresh graduates and their predecessors yet to be gainfully employed can leverage on the available entrepreneurial opportunities,” the President reiterated, calling on the graduating students to apply their acquired skills and knowledge to bring fresh and stimulating innovation as well as contributing to the ‘change agenda’ of the government.
On his part, the state Governor, Mr. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, said the government would do its best in ensuring that the graduates are gainfully employed. But, he urged the graduating students to apply the training they have acquired to impact the society positively by becoming entrepreneurs, who will eventually create jobs and not job seekers relying on government for employment.
Akeredolu, therefore, praised the efforts of the Vice-Chancellor in transforming FUTA landscape, especially for the judicious utilisation of internally generated revenue (IGR) for the infrastructural development of the university.
In their separate remarks, the Chancellor, Alhaji Adamu and the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council, Dr. Shata lauded the Federal Government’s effort at revamping all sectors of the nation’s economy, including education through the ‘Change Agenda.’
They said the country requires graduates with physical and intellectual ability to pull it out of the present economic doldrums, especially to overcome the present socio-economic and political challenges bedeviling the country.
But, to take the university to its loftier heights, the Vice- Chancellor said his administration has put every mechanism in place in terms of infrastructure, enabling environment and research equipment to reposition the university for the challenges of the 21st Century towards improved ‘gown and town’ relations, research development and academic excellence.
The university conferred Honorary Doctor of Science in Management (Honoris Causa) on the former Minister of Agriculture and incumbent President of African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, in recognition of his contribution to the society.