By Gid Ahanonu
President Muhammadu Buhari has challenged the Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO) to improve its research efforts and make Nigeria a producing nation rather than one that is import-oriented.
President Buhari threw in the challenge at FUTO’S 29th convocation which took place recently.
The president, represented by Prof. Anthony Anwuka, minister of state for Education, assured that his administration was working hard to better the country’s economy by reducing the rate of inflation, cubbing unstable exchange rate, creating employment, among others.
He commended the FUTO vice-chancellor, Prof Francis Eze, and his team for prudent management of the university as well as maintaining an uninterrupted academic calendar.
The president pleaded with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to be patient as economic challenges had hindered the government from meeting their demands at present.
On the incessant encroachment on FUTO land, President Buhari assured that the federal government would work with the state government to find a lasting solution.
He commended the graduating students for their hard work and encouraged them to forge ahead despite the bad economy.
The FUTO Vice Chancellor, Prof Eze, who declared the occasion open and was also chairman, pledged to continue to provide qualify staff in science, engineering and research for the continuous growth of the university and excellent teaching and learning.
Prof. Eze, who is six months in office, paid glowing tribute to past FUTO VCs for their contributions, promising to improve upon what he met in areas of infrastructure.
He ,however, said that inadequate funding and land encroachment had been the institutions major problems.
A total of 3,082 students graduated while 730 received postgraduate degrees and diplomas, 2,352 students were conferred with bachelors’ degree, with Miss Anita Uzoamaka Mbah clinching the Owerall Best Graduating Student award, having scored CGPA of 4.85v is rte department of Biochemistry.