President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has encouraged the Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO) to look onwards and explore unutilised opportunities in the university to grow its revenue base in order to defray the enormous burden of funding.
Represented by Usoro Boniface Dickson at the 34th and 35th combined convocation of the institution at the weekend, President Tinubu said the institution must galvanise support from its alumni and endowments and try to produce high level manpower who would be independent at graduation and advance cutting edge researches that would solve societal problems.
He recalled that FUTO was primarily established to identify the technological problems and needs of the society and to find solutions to them within the context of overall national development, adding that the mandate fell within the major planks of his administration’s initiative for rapid development of the country.
The president said that the Renewed Hope Agenda of his government was committed to improving the lives of Nigerians through eradication of poverty using the tool of education and sustainable economic development.
“To this end, this university and other institutions of higher learning have a great role to play in the life of this administration, not only producing graduates but in providing solutions to many issues confronting our society through innovation, researches and purposeful execution of research findings.
“Universities must prioritize solution driven researches, reactivate government-industry-academic collaborations and promote technology driven solutions. The only panacea to the dwindling fortunes of our economy remains home-grown solutions,” he said.
The president also said the recent Students Loan Bill he signed into law demonstrated his commitment to providing education for all, adding that the Act would facilitate loans to indigent students such that no Nigerian student in tertiary institution would drop out of school over inability to pay school fees.
The Vice Chancellor of FUTO, Prof (Mrs) Nnenna Oti, had rolled out her record of achievements in the years under review, including granting of full accreditation to the Department of Building; Department of Urban and Regional Planning; Department of Quantity Survey among others.
Prof Oti said her achievements also included increase in FUTO admission quota from 6,008 to 7,602, an increase of 26.5%, creating additional access to 1,594 students yearly; upgrading of Federal Medical Centre to Federal University Teaching Hospital (FUTHO) as well as partnerships and collaborations with organisations.