Imo to establish second state-owned university, prepare indigenes for Post Covid-19 Era
NEWSMAN, Owerri – Imo state Governor, Hope Uzodimma has announced plans to establish a second state-owned university to empower indigenous youths and help reduce crime, violence and other vices in the state.
Uzodimma revealed this in a meeting with the visiting National Universities Commission (NUC) Verification Team at the expanded State Executive Chambers, Government House, Owerri on Monday.
According to a statement by the Chief Press Secretary and Media Adviser to the Governor, Oguwike Nwachuku, Uzodimma said “what prompted the ambition of his administration to establish the University of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences was, one, the urgent need to reduce the problems Imo children encounter seeking admission from only one State University”.
“Secondly, that he observed that the world over what will be taking the lead after the COVID-19 pandemic will be agriculture and that the type of agriculture will be technologically driven, hence it is expedient that Imo State keys into the technological life system to make living more meaningful”, the statement added.
To actualize the above objective, Uzodimma told NUC that the University of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences will kick off as soon as possible “to allow Imo children acquire knowledge first, before talking of the secondary aspect, which is employment and specialization”.
Earlier, the Leader of the Verification Team, Dr. Babatunde Ramon Yusuf, who is also the Deputy Executive Secretary NUC said they were in Imo to look at the resources, both human and material, for the take off of the state proposed University of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences.
Dr. Yusuf noted that the attempt to convert existing Polytechnic infrastructure into a University infrastructure is not an easy task and suggested that beyond facilities and infrastructure there is the need to put purposeful programmes on ground, especially personnel of both teaching and non teaching staff.
He promised, on behalf of NUC, “to partner with the State to ensure that the lofty aspirations and heights proposed by the Governor are achieved”.
NUC further gave tips of their recommendations for a smooth take off of the proposed university to include: the establishment of School of Sciences as a foundation to specialization in Agriculture and Agricultural Sciences; the need to incorporate School of Engineering with emphasis on Mechanical, Civil and Electrical Engineering; and finally, that the university should consider the need for Environmental Sciences as well as Information Communication Technology (ICT) where ICT hardwares will be provided.
Present at the meeting were: the Deputy Governor, Prof. Placid Njoku who was a former Director in NUC, members of the expanded State Executive Council, the Head of Service of Imo State, Dr. Camillus Iwuagwu, the Acting Rector, Imo State Polytechnic, Umuagwo, Sir John Ikechukwu Mbadike and other stakeholders in the Education Sector.