OPEN LETTER TO PRESIDENT MUHAMADU BUHARI – ASSENT TO FEDERAL UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY OGOJA BILL.
Dear President Buhari,
Today, I have been motivated by your contacts in Japan and the technological pact you and your team have signed with Japan. I know for sure that if the agreement is jealously guided and religiously followed, the partnership will move Nigeria technologically forward and position her at a point of envy in Sub Saharan Africa.
I know you are aware that technology is driven by education especially research driven institutions like universities of technology. I know too that you are aware that the country you govern is nearly 200 million people and the population of school age is accounting for over 63%. Japan on the other hand is having a population of 136 million people. As at today, Japan has a total of 605 universities with the government controlling over 70% of it. In total, there are around 150 private and public universities in Nigeria, with a capacity to carry 600,000 students. For a country with close to 200 million people, 62% of them 24 or younger, that’s nowhere near enough. So there is no way we can grow technologically when we are lacking institutions of technology. As at today, Nigeria has four universities of technology located at Minna – North Central, Yola – North East, Owerri- South East and Akure – South West.
Mr President, I think this is grossly inadequate for a country that is struggling to be the giant of Africa.
In the light of the above, the 8th National Assembly considered the bill seeking to establish Federal University of Technology Ogoja in Cross River state in the South South Geopolitical Zone of Nigeria necessary for the expansion of university access and the quick development of technical manpower that will drive our technological growth in this technologically driven century.
We have been grossly marginalized. Because of the geographical nature of Cross River state, students from Ogoja must travel over 5 hours to get to the state capital where a university is located under their catchment area. Once you miss getting admission in University of Calabar, you will need to go 209Km to University of Nigeria Nsukka or 205km to Makurdi where University of Agriculture is located. We have suffered for too long and desire that you come to our rescue.
We have enough land to house the institution and we are ready to donate it free for the take off of the university.
We have professionals in the academia that are willing to relocate to give the university a smooth take off. We can boast of 12 professors in the field of Science and Technology presently offering their services all across the country and about 23 Associate Professors in engineering and allied courses that are ready to come home and develop the university. We are indeed ready.
It is on record that your administration desires to create more jobs for the teaming youths and we see this as a very quick route through which you can generate over 5000 direct and 10,000 indirect jobs.
We are confident that you will think about leaving a legacy behind especially that as a military man, Ogoja was your very first posting and you created a lot of friendship prominent among them was when you took Chief I I Morphy as your father and his son Ray Ugba Morphy became your associate at a tender age.
We have written several letters to you and this one certainly will not be the last all in our quest to peacefully appeal to you to assent to the bill seeking to establish Federal University of Technology Ogoja right on your table.
Before I draw my letter to a close permit me to use this medium to thank you for appointing one of our sons, Prince Goddy Agba, a world class technocrat as your Minister of State for Power. We trust that he will do Nigeria proud in delivering the dividends of democracy in the power sector.
I am very optimistic that you will append your signature to that bill and write your name in the annals of history.
God bless you.