The Federal Government may be compelled to relocate the Federal University of Technology Owerri and other federal educational institutions due to the hostile activities of host communities
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Mr Sonny Echono stated this in Abuja when the Governing Council of FUTO visited him in the ministry.
Mr Echono expressed worry on the spate of land encroachment in many governments owned institutions located at the various states in the country stressing that it was time the ministry began to advise the Federal Government on possible relocation of these 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.
The pro Chancellor and Chairman of council of the University Professor John Offem said the federal Government duly acquired the land at the permanent site and adequate compensations were paid to the host communities.
Professor Offem said because no there was no initial take off grant, the university was unable to construct perimeter fence to secure FUTO boundary which gave rise to the trespass and encroachment of the University land
Professor Offem noted that the University had also witnessed high rate of vandalism, theft, destruction of properties as well as insecurity on campus due to lack of perimeter fence and solicited the intervention of the federal government to address the challenge
Professor Offem said FUTO was also suffering from Erosion as a large portion of the university is facing threat of been washed away, stressing that the only bridge that connects the administrative block section and the rest of the school was threatened by erosion.
The FUTO pro chancellor called for the restoration of delisted academic programmes in the school of management and management technology, and establishment of medical school in FUTO
He said FUTO had lost contact with it chancellor, Alhaji Muhammadu Barkindo Musdafa, the Lamido of Adamawa who was appointed in 2015 as they heard through the grapevine that the chancellor had resigned his appointment but there was no official confirmation to it and demanded the intervention of the federal government to ensure that the school was not denied the royal fatherly role of chancellors in the university affairs
The Federal University of Technology Owerri was established in 1980 and it relocated to its permanent site in ihiagawa Owerri, imo state in 1991.