VC alleges poor funding of Niger Delta petroleum varsity

Professor Akaehome Akii Ibhadode

The Federal University of Petroleum Resources (FUPRE), Effurun, Delta State, said to be the first university in Africa to embark on innovative research in petroleum engineering, is groaning under poor funding by the Federal Government as well as alleged marginalisation by oil and gas stakeholders.

At a pre-convocation media briefing, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Akii Ibhadode, said the university, which was established in 2007, had not been able to accomplish its many set goals, like building its own mini refinery and electricity supply system, among others, as dearth of funding remained a major challenge.He said: “Our major challenge as a university is that of funding which may not be much different from those of other institutions. However, we are particularly disadvantaged considering the manner the university took off. The non-provision of a take-off grant at inception has slowed down the development of the university.”

The VC said for the university to live up to expectations of the founding-fathers, the government must do more to adequately fund the university.“In every area we turn to, we require fund to operate, but the challenge of inadequate fund across the economy has adversely affected our operations too. We passionately appeal to the Visitor to kindly consider and approve the implementation of the special funding windows in the University Establishment Act. This will greatly facilitate the university’s relevance as a key global player in the development of human capital for the oil and gas sector,” he added.

Ibhadode also lamented the non-participation of stakeholders in the university’s programmes unlike what obtains in other well-known federal universities in the country, saying: “It is disheartening that key stakeholders in the sector have not identified with the university even when we are already getting global accolades.The VC disclosed that the university achieved 100 per cent full accreditation from both the National Universities Commission (NUC) and the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) for all its academic programmes in 2017. The development, according to him, had propelled the university to join the league of few universities in Nigeria with such records.

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Akii Ibhadode
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