A former Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO), Prof. Jude Ejike Njoku has posited that a level of opposition is necessary in leadership as it constantly keeps a leader on his toes.
Delivering the first Foundation Lecture of the institution with the theme; “Academic Research and Leadership; a challenging experience”, the lecturer called on those in leadership positions to strive to maintain harmony with others in leadership status as well as with their followers.
Professor Njoku then proceeded to list the panacea for successful leadership for vice chancellors, rectors, provosts and leaders of all categories including hardwork, brilliance, courage, firmness, morality as well as prudence in financial management, adding that leadership path is always strewn with difficulties and challenges.
Prof. Njoku, the fourth Vice Chancellor of FUTO, traced the history of the university right from 1980 when it was located at a temporary site at Federal Government Girls College, Owerri with Prof. Umaru D. Gomwak as the pioneer vice chancellor.
He paid tribute to the founding fathers of the institution more so the six vice chancellors for guiding FUTO to attain enviable heights despite financial constraints as he commended those institutions like NNPC, the Central Bank and others for their assistance to the institution.
A professor of Agricultural Economics, the lecturer called on Nigerians to go back to agriculture and to become producers not consumers, stressing that agriculture is Nigeria’s hope for economic growth through production, marketing and export.
After dwelling extensively in agricultural areas such as production, marketing and government policies, Prof. Njoku commended the Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Adewunmi Adesina for his brilliant work on agriculture in conformity with the Federal Government’s transformation agenda on agriculture urging academics to intensify research work on agriculture.
Earlier in his opening remarks, the Vice Chancellor of FUTO and Chairman of the occasion, Prof. Chigozie Asiabaka, noted the metamorphosis of the lecture to foundation lectures form the usual inaugural and public lectures.
Describing the lecturer as an “elder statesman”, he urged the audience to pay attention to the lecture to derive benefits from it.
Among those present at the well- attended occasion was the Minister of State on Foreign Affairs 1, Prof. (Mrs) Viola Onwuliri, wife of the former vice chancellor of FUTO, late Prof. Onwuliri