The host communities of the Federal University of Technology, Oweri (FUTO), have started taking back their lands. The situation has created alarm because efforts to discuss the scenario and resolve it have failed, according to the authorities.
This has however not deterred the university from recording milestones in research works that have led to use of recycled products.
Dearth of foundry facility, laboratory equipment, staff quarters and perimeter fencing are some of the nagging issues facing the Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO), Francis Eze the Vice Chancellor said, just as he revealed that the institution would award a total of 2848 first and higher degrees to graduates of the institution.
He also informed the lack of perimeter fencing which the University is facing has resulted to the encroachment of the University’s land by the host communities even as he disclosed that lack of cafeteria was aming the challenges confronting the institution of higher learning
The Vice Chancellor made the disclosure at the Council/Senate Chamber of the University, while briefing journalists on the forthcoming 32nd Convocation ceremony of the University.
He regretted that the members of host communities had been building houses into the encroached FUTO land without authorization from the University management and regretted that the perimeter fence initiated by his administration had been demolished by the members of host communities, saying that it was intentionally demolished to avoid demarcation/boundary of FUTO land.
“We have been calling for meetings between the university management and the host communities so as to stop this ill action but the host communities had not yielded to stopping this. We shall continue to meet with them with the aim that one day the encroachment will stop. This is what we, as a management think that would help in solving the situation. Encroachment into FUTO land had adversely affected the institution in terms of development. Fighting with them cannot solve the problem “, he said
He disclosed that FUTO is among six federal universities selected to host the World Bank sponsored Centre of Excellence on Sustainable Procurement, Environment and Social Standards enhancement.
“The university proposal was outstanding among other proposals that were assessed by Nigeria Universities Commission Panels and the World Bank. The project value is worth over $11m. This Centre of Excellence when fully operational will champion research and development of manpower in procurement, environment and social standards. It will interest you to note that the Centre of Excellence is coming barely few months after FUTO was selected as Africa Centre of Excellence in Future Energies and Electro-Chemical Systems (ACE-FUELS)”, he added.
The Vice Chancellor further said that the university through its Environmental and work Management Committee in collaboration with the Department of Polymer and Textile Engineering and Materials and Metallurgical Engineering had established a mini- recycling centre that converted waste into saleable and useful products.
“Polythene waste materials are being recycled into nylon bags, hangers, plastic cups, key-holders and so on while used table water/soft drinks, plastic bottles are s1, 4)hredded into flakes that are either exported as raw materials or used for production of rugs, pullover, pen and pet bottles for chemicals. Used papers are shredded and recycled into toilet rolls and packaging papers. Biodegradable wastes are converted to manure for farming purposes”, said FUTO VC.