…Ayade institutes N100m research grant
The Cross River State University of Technology (CRUTECH), Calabar, has graduated 6632 students from the institution’s seven faculties of agriculture and forestry, basic medical sciences, communication technology, education, engineering, environmental sciences as well as management sciences and sciences.
Speaking at the 6th to 10th combined convocation for the installation of chancellor, award of first degrees and prizes as well as the award of higher and honorary degrees of CRUTECH on Saturday, November 25, the vice chancellor, Prof Anthony Owan Enoh, revealed that 19 students graduated with a first class stressing that the event was a formal graduation of first degree students from the seven faculties.
“Out of this number, 19 bagged First Class, 1609 passed with Second Class (Upper Division), 4994 made Second Class (Lower Division), 1104 earned Third Class and 10 earned pass.
“A total of 293 students graduated from the postgraduate faculties of engineering, management sciences, education, communication technology and environmental sciences at both the Post Graduate Diploma and Masters Degree level.
“The two doctoral students who could have been added but could not, due to the chequered school year we have had to contend with. They have completed all conditions but the University could not accelerate the process just for this purpose in its firm belief in maintaining the high standards required at that level,” he said.
The convocation featured the installation of the Paramount Ruler of Obudu, Uti Joseph Davies Agba, as the second chancellor of the university and the conferment of the degree of Doctor of Arts History (Honoris Causa) on him.
Besides, the former governor of Kaduna State and national chairman, care-take committee of the Peoples Democratic Party ((PDP), Senator Ahmed Makarfi was conferred with Doctor of Business Administration (Honoris Causa) while the governor of Bayelsa State, Mr. Henry Seriake Dickson, bagged honorary Doctor of Environmental Management.
Meanwhile, the Cross River State governor, Prof Ben Ayade, instituted a N100 million research grant to CRUTECH with a charge to invent a technology that can generate electricity from micro and minor water resources, particularly boreholes and underground water.
Speaking as a visitor at the convocation, the governor said: “I want to put an end to support the university in areas other than research; I want to set aside on behalf of the government of Cross River, a research sum of N100 million which will be set up and chaired here in Cross River University.”
“I want us to carry out a research on how to generate electricity from our boreholes. I want every single borehole sunk in Cross River to be converted to a source of electricity. I want you to challenge me on how through a dehydrogenation process you can switch hydrogen from water and get that hydrogen molecule to drive turbines.”
Rationalizing the need to put an end to the dependence on foreign technology, while charging universities of technology to demonstrate various inventions and technologically-driven products of their institutions, Ayade asked rhetorically: “Why would Africans continue to rely on the western world? Why would Africans who by nature of what God has given to us as the richest and wealthiest continent remain in darkness? Where are the professors and what do we profess? What do we reflect and teach with no instrumentality of our kind of research?”
Continuing, he said: “How long can we continue to parade ourselves as university professors with very little to profess? How long can we continue to show the classrooms as examples of our progress without showing the research inventions and technologies that are being acknowledged as products of this school?” We therefore must not continue to rely on the challenges of finance to justify the failure of research and teaching in a university.”
Ayade added: “Apply this N100m and if it becomes necessary for me to add, I shall add and you know I will. Take this as a challenge as you go back home, that CRUTECH, in our next convocation what I want to see at the centre of this, would be an invention, perhaps a car, an aero plane, but whatever it is, let’s get started.”