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President Muhammadu Buhari has called on universities to lead the country’s drive for development and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) through the production of critical manpower with demonstrable Information Communication Technology (ICT) skills.

Buhari gave the charge on the final day of the 29th and 30th combined convocation of the Federal University of Technology Akure (FUTA) last Friday.

The Visitor to the university, who was represented by the Director of Accreditation, National Universities Commission, Abuja, Dr. Noel Biodun Saliu, said: “In this age of ICT, we believe that our universities of technology are pivotal to the actualisation of our national development agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations in training and producing highly qualified manpower to solve the problems of unemployment, security and youth restiveness, thereby enabling them become self-reliant, entrepreneurs and job creators.”

He called on universities and other higher institutions to align with the Education 2030 Agenda which aadvocates for “education for self-reliance, basic skills and competencies needed in the 21st Century” so that “graduates can be employers of labour rather than searching endlessly for white collar jobs which are not readily available.”

On funding, the President assured universities of government’s readiness to improve, but also appealed to all stakeholders in the education sector not to rely on government alone for funding.

“I strongly believe that FUTA is endowed with high quality and innovative researchers who can take up this task. I encouraged the leadership of FUTA to be forthright and focused with a view to faithfully upholding the confidence reposed in you by government and all other stakeholders.”

To the graduating students, Buhari urged them to apply the knowledge and skills acquired in school to contributing to the socio-economic and political development of Nigeria.

The Chancellor, Alhaji Rilwanu Adamu, and the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council, Senator Joseph Waku , appealed for more government funding, especially for specialised universities.

“As the needs of universities have been on the increase to meet the challenges of global competitiveness, I wish to crave the indulgence of the Federal Government for more financial support, especially on the release of the shortfalls in personnel grant to our University,”Senator Waku said.

In his address, the Vice-Chancellor (VC), Prof Joseph Fuwape called on the graduating students to hold firm the ideals and standards they acquired as students.

He said FUTA had achieved a lot, particularly since he became VC.

“Our academies have been positively engaged in high quality and impactful need driven research in globally relevant areas of technology, particularly renewable energy, food security and biotechnolog.The university has also embarked on various research activities and developed strategies to rebrand FUTA as a Centre of Excellence in research, innovation and product development. The efforts of the research activities have yielded positive results, particularly in the area of renewable energy with the launch of solar powered generator,” he said.

For 2016/2017 session, 2,767 graduated with 86 first class; and 2,033 graduated in 2017/2018 Session with 120 First Class in the undergraduate category.

For Postgraduate, there were 1,401 Postgraduate Diplomas (PGDs), Master and Doctorate Degrees for the two sessions.

Mr. Tope Adebodun of the Department of Applied Geophysics graduated as the best student with the highest Cumulative Grade Point Average of (CGPA) of 4.91 in the 20116/17 academic session; and Funke Olanrewaju of the Department of Food Science and Technology with the same CGPA emerged the best graduating student for the 2017/18 academic session.

President, Impact Leadership Academy, Mr Akinwumi Odumakinde; former President of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), Dr Lawrence Olusegun Aina; and Oba Olufemi Olutoye, the Alani of Ido-Ani Kingdom, were conferred honorary doctorate degrees.

Source: http://thenationonlineng.net/lead-development-buhari-charges-futa-others/

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