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FUTO V-C seeks separate funding for technology

By Chris Njoku, Owerri

The outgoing Vice-Chancellor of Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO) Prof. Francis Eze has called for separate funding of universities of technology in the country.

Prof. Eze said as special institutions saddled with the responsibility of accelerating the pace of technological and human capital development, lumping these institutions with other universities would retrogressively impede the country’s march to world technological advancement and innovation.

Eze, a Professor of Physics and the 7th substantive Vice-Chancellor of the institution, stated this while briefing reporters on his stewardship in the past five years he held sway as the Chief Executive of the university.

He said apart from introducing so many new courses and securing their accreditation, his administration had equally attracted a $6 million, African Centre of Excellence, addition to another World Bank-Assisted Centre of Excellence estimated at $11 million.

This, according to him, is aside another Centre of Excellence Assisted by Nigeria Content Development and Monitoring Bank.

The Vice-Chancellor disclosed that the university, under his leadership, had produced policy documents to enhance administration, especially for appraisal and promotion of members of staff, student’s regulation, sexual harassment and anti-plagiarism documents.

“Despite obvious challenges arising from the country’s economic downturn, we have weathered the storm and introduced so many new courses and also secured their approvals.”

He listed these to include School of Agricultural Engineering and Engineering Technology, creation of new faculty in Engineering and Engineering technology dubbed “School of Electrical Systems Engineering and Engineering Technology” with four new Engineering courses.

Others, he said, are School of Biological Sciences, School of Health Technology with two departments, that of Information and Communication Technology Software Engineering, Cyber Security as well as that of Computer Sciences.

Also created, according to him, are School of Basic Medical Sciences, School of Logistics and Innovation Technology with Project Management Technology, College Of Medicine which houses School of Basic Medical Sciences, School of Basic Clinical Medicine.

He said the institution had secured full accreditation for over 90 per cent of her courses mainly in Engineering, but regretted that unbridled and unabated encroachment of lands by the host communities arising from non-perimeter fencing, wanton vandalism of structures as well as the activities of herdsmen within the campus, had become a major stumbling block in her march to greatness.

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