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FG threatens to relocate FUTO, other institutions



The Federal Government has threatened to relocate the Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO), and other government institutions experiencing crisis of land encroachment to other states.

The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Mr Sonny Echono, said this in Abuja on Thursday when the Governing Council of FUTO visited him in the ministry.

Echono expressed worry on the spate of land encroachment in many government owned institutions located at the various states in the country, NAN reports.

He said that it was time the ministry began to advise the Federal Government on possible relocation of those institutions to prevent crisis.

According to him, “the issue of land encroachment of FUTO is a serious matter for us here at the ministry.

“I want to state for the benefit of the public that we are getting to a position where the sector is going to advise the government on possible relocation of federal facilities in communities that continued to be hostile.

“This is not limited to FUTO, there are a number of institutions, even our Federal Government Colleges, where government acquired land and paid full compensation for some of these schools.

“For those that are located at the outskirt and as development catches with the school, people now imagine that land left for future expansion and growth should be carved out and used for residential building, and that is what put a lot of pressure on these facilities.

“Sometimes, the state government officials and traditional institutions are accomplices in these acts of selling land that belongs to federal institutions.

“We are at the point where we will begin to recommend that we relocate such facilities and return them to states that are willing to accept them,” he said.

Echono also promised to immediately look into the fencing of the institutions.

On the erosion challenge of FUTO, the permanent secretary said the ministry would work closely with the Ecological Fund Office to assist in proffering solutions to the problems.

Earlier, the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, Governing Board, FUTO, Prof. John Offem, said that successive FUTO administrations had confronted the challenge of encroachment without much success, while calling on the ministry to intervene.

Offem said that the most meagre resources expended by the current management of the institution to construct about 5,000 metres of perimeter fence was completely destroyed by some misinformed youths from the host community.

The Pro-Chancellor also called for the intervention of the ministry to restore some delisted academic programmes of the school of management and management technology by the National Universities Commission (NUC).

”For three consecutive academic sessions, FUTO has been denied admission of fresh students to programmes namely: Maritime Management Technology, Project Management Technology and Transport Management Technology.

“Financial Management Technology and Management Technology, on the premise that these programmes were not included in the mandate of the university.

“The delisting if not reversed will lead to dearth of highly skilled manpower in these fields for our fledgling industries,” he said.

Offem also explained the purported resignation of the Chancellor of the university, Alhaji Muhammadu Barkindo, the Lamido of Adamawa was still not clear and we had lost contact with him.

“We have written and sent emissaries without any positive result; We heard through the grapevine that the chancellor had resigned his appointment but there has not been any official confirmation in this regard.

“The university is unaware of this development and therefore, seek the intervention of the ministry to ensure that FUTO is not denied the royal fatherly role of chancellors in the university affairs,” he said.

He, therefore, appealed for more support in some critical projects necessary for the status of a technological university.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that FUTO which was established in 1980 was recently elected as Africa Centre of Excellence in Future Energies and Electrochemical Systems with project value of 6million dollars.


Age barrier: JAMB tells candidates what to do



The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) on Saturday advised candidates of the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) to always read and strictly adhere to instructions contained in the examination brochure before registering for the examinations.

The board’s Head of Media and Publicity, Mr Fabian Benjamin, gave the advice in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday in Abuja.

Benjamin spoke to NAN against the backdrop of concerns being raised by the public on the fate of some candidates who sat and passed the UTME with high scores, but were not sure of their plight as they did not meet the age requirement.

NAN reports that one Ekele Franklin, a 15-year-old candidate, who reportedly scored the highest at the 2019 UTME, but who may not be offered admissions into University of Lagos (UNILAG), his choice of institution, because of his age, is one of such examples.

According to Benjamin, the board, in its examination brochure, states the age limit for admissions into tertiary institutions in the country, but because candidates hardly read the item, fall victims to the unfortunate circumstance.

“Although universities have different requirements for entries into their institutions, where some may be stern with the age limit, others may be flexible.

”Some schools will never admit one who is not up to the required age into their institutions, even after scoring high marks in the UTME and other examinations.

“It is not peculiar to Nigeria alone, it happens in other countries too,” he said.

Benjamin therefore urged prospective UTME candidates to be cautious and become acquainted with, as well as follow all the instructions stated in the procedure so as not to fall into problems.

He also said that admissions process for the 2019/20 would commence on Wednesday, Aug. 21, as the board was working tirelessly to ensure a smooth process.

Meanwhile,JAMB, on Friday disclosed the result cancellation of another candidate of the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, UTME.

JAMB said the candidate, Kingsley Unekwe’s result was canceled because he altered his score.

Addressing reporters Abuja, JAMB Registrar, Prof. Is-haq Oloyede said 18-year-old Unekwe was caught inflating his original UTME score from 201 to 269.

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JAMB cancels UTME result of another candidate, gives reasons



The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB, has disclosed the result cancellation of another candidate of the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, UTME.

JAMB said the candidate, Kingsley Unekwe’s result was canceled because he altered his score.

Addressing reporters on Friday in Abuja, JAMB Registrar, Prof. Is-haq Oloyede said 18-year-old Unekwe was caught inflating his original UTME score from 201 to 269.

Oloyede said the discovery was made when Unekwe and his mother appeared before some officials of the board in Abuja.

The JAMB Registrar also disclosed that the boy would be handed over to security agencies for prosecution.

According to Oloyede: “Anybody who does post-result infraction will have their results withdrawn by the board.

“You are the fifth person. Two of them are already being prosecuted because we showed them clearly that they forged their results to deceive their parents who are desperate like your parents are to study medicine.

“We will prosecute you for attempting to damage the image of the board. We told your father that we have all the facts, if we find out that the facts are not correct you will be prosecuted.”

The 18-year-old becomes the fifth person whose UTME result was withdrawn and canceled by the board.

Oloyede said the boy edited the original score allocated to him by the board and presented it to his parents as the original result, adding that Unekwe’s parent had called the board, alleging irregularities in their son’s result.

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NITDA, TETFUND seek technologies for quality education



Nigeria’s information and technology agency, NITDA, in collaboration with the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND), seek to provide emerging technologies in tertiary institutions, to improve the quality of education in Nigeria.

Speaking at the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), on Friday, the Director General NITDA, Isa Pantami, said the technologies are important and strategic.

“We are talking about emerging technologies and digitalisation, no longer computers because this is what education requires,” he said.

He appealed to TETFUND to pay more attention to information technology in their intervention across institutions.

The technology boss said this will improve the quality of education given to Nigerian students.

Recall that the IT agency had outlined five new regulatory instruments for the improvement of the Information, Communications, and Technology (ICT) in Nigeria.

The regulatory instruments will promote indigenous innovations.

They hope to address various challenges facing Nigeria towards effective ICT adoption.

The NITDA boss said with the presence of digitalisation, there will be less need for physical classrooms in various institutions in Nigeria.

On his part, the Executive Secretary TETFUND, Suleiman Bohoro, said the issue of emerging technologies is one the most important activities of digital inclusion.

Bohoro said there are a number of emerging solutions that are creative and makes learning easier.

“Without the role of IT, there will not be knowledge of the economy,” he said. “This project will go a long way in checking plagiarism in various institutions.”

Below are the areas of cooperation between the Technology and Education agencies.

1.IT infrastructure and development in tertiary institutions- This will help in deployment of information in the institutions.

  1. Human capacity development in tertiary institutions- This is to support training and development of human capacity for Nigeria especially in tertiary institutions in identified areas of critical information technology skills and emerging technologies.
  2. Development of emerging technologies in tertiary institutions.
  3. Digitalisation of services in tertiary institutions: This is towards the improvement of the learning and teaching environment.

5.Project management in tertiary institutions: This is the development of ICT platforms and capacity in the area of management of project in tertiary institutions in Nigeria.

  1. IT academy deployment in tertiary institutions: This is the provision of local sources for the development of a specialized information technology academy to sustain the development.
  2. ICT policy development in tertiary institutions: This is to support the development of standard ICT policy and framework.
  3. Emerging technologies and deepening of research and development in tertiary institutions.

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