Of the 3,597 graduands of the forthcoming 37th funders day and 29th convocation ceremony of the Federal University of Technology Minna, only 57 candidates graduated with first class.
This was disclosed by the Vice-Chancellor of the institution, Professor Abdulahi Bala, during the 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 affiliated institutions.
He said the highlight of the convocation ceremony will include the Conferment of first degrees, higher degrees, and postgraduate diplomas, as well as an award of prizes, will take place during the Convocation Ceremony slated for February 1st, 2020.
A cursory comparison of this year’s graduands with those of last year shows a drop of undergraduates by 74 candidates.
The Vice-Chancellor who doubles as Chairman West African Universities admitted 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 programs and in doing so, we would have succeeded in sanitizing the program in a manner that not only is quality assured, but also timely completion of the program.”
He explained that the Senate of the University has approved new programs 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 Ph.D. 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 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, Blockchain 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. 2019 set constructed the Phase II of the 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 the 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 a 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.