From Mathew Jwantu
The Vice Chancellor Federal University of Technology Professor Abdulahi Bala, has said that out of 3,597 graduands of the forthcoming 37th funders day and 29th convocation ceremony slated for February 1st 2020, only 57 candidates graduated with first class.
Speaking to journalists during pre-convocation press briefing, Prof. Bala said the total number of graduands of undergraduate programmes is 3,597. This according to him, comprises 57 First class, 926 Second Class Upper, 1733 Second Class Lower, 836 Third Class and 45 Pass degrees. The total number is made up of graduands from both the University and affiliate institutions.
He said highlight of the convocation ceremony will include Conferment of first degrees, higher degrees and postgraduate diplomas as well as award of prizes will take place during the Convocation Ceremony.
A cursory comparison of this year’s graduands with those of last year shows that: The number of undergraduates is less this year than last year by 74 candidates. However, in both years, the percentages that constituted First Class, Second Class Upper and Pass degrees are 2 percent, 26 percent and 1.25 percent respectively. There are slight variations for Second Class Lower and Pass degrees.
This year’s postgraduate awardees (905) are more than last year’s (772) by 133. Also, the numbers this year for PhD and Masters are higher than last year’s, while the number of postgraduate diploma for last year are more than this year.
The Vice Chancellor who double as Chairman West African Universities, admitted that it is too early to conclude, the measures put in by the University in 2018 to ensure timely completion of postgraduate studies appears to be yielding fruits.
“We shall continue to strenuously ensure that students keep to the prescribed timelines for their postgraduate programmes and in doing so, we would have succeeded in sanitizing the programme in a manner that not only is quality assured, but also timely completion of programme.”
He explained that Senate of the University has approved new programmes during the year under review. At the undergraduate level, B. Eng. Mining Engineering was approved and the Department of Horticulture was carved out of the Department of Crop Production, while B.Tech Applied Geophysics, underwent resource verification and was granted approval by the NUC.
At the postgraduate level according to him, the Master’s Research Programme (MRP) sponsored by WASCAL (West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use) was upgraded to a PhD programme on Human Habitat.
Responding on achievements in the institution, the VC said the Management, with the support of Council, has continued to make giant strides in the provision of infrastructure and requisite facilities in order to engender a comfortable, conducive and enabling environment for work and study. The construction of the School of Life Sciences Complex at the Gidan Kwano Campus has reached an advanced stage, while work on the complex for the School of Physical Sciences has commenced in earnest.
He maintained that the completion of these two complexes later this year will enable the relocation of the two Schools from the Bosso Campus to the Gidan Kwano Campus.
“Construction of the Phase II building for the School of Engineering was completed last year, thereby providing additional 21 offices and 8 lecture rooms for the school. Facilities at the School of Information and Communication Technology (SICT) are also being expanded with the commencement of work on the Phase II building of the Department of Cyber Security and a 500 twin lecture theatre. Substantial progress has also been made in the construction of the Phase I of the Department of Cyber Security.”
Prof. Bala was quick to add that the University also has the privilege of having two IT hubs under construction with funding each from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA). Both are at different stages of development and, when completed, will provide a state of the art facilities for training in 21st Century technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, Block Chain Technology, and Autonomous Vehicles.
“The Leave-a-Legacy Programme, which was designed for graduating undergraduate students to contribute money and build a capital project as a legacy of their sojourn in the University, was also not left out in the provision of additional infrastructure. The 2019 set constructed the Phase II of interlocked walkway, spanning a distance of about 150m from the University Clinic to the Students’ hostels. The importance of this project cannot be over-emphasized given that it eases pedestrian movement, especially during raining season, from the hostels to the academic areas.”
He said work on the construction of the first cluster of students’ hostel by Urban Shelter Limited commenced in 2019 and is ongoing. The Alumni Association of the University also carried out the sod-turning in November, 2019 ceremony for the construction of 5000 bed space hostel for the University.
In addition to physical projects, the University also carried out extensive maintenance and renovation projects in 2019. Prominent among these are the renovations of the students’ hostel, some staff homes, laboratories, classrooms and theatres at both campuses as well as the road network at the Bosso Campus.
The University according to him, also spent over thirty million Naira in the procurement/purchase and provision of books, journals, electronic resources as well as other equipment and literature in the library. More than N400m was expended on the procurement of equipment and furnishing of laboratories. The National Intelligence Agency also supported the University with multi-million Naira equipment that led to the establishment of the Digital and Malware Defection laboratories at the Department of Cyber Security Science.
“This investment not only went a long way in enhancing our preparedness for the 2019 accreditation exercise conducted by the National Universities Commission (NUC), but certainly enhanced our capacity and ability to deliver high quality practical training to our students and also enhanced our research capacity.”