Reps ask FG to intervene in FUTA crisis

The House of Representatives on Wednesday urged the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu to immediately intervene in the crisis rocking the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA) as to avert avoidable loss of lives and properties of members of the FUTA community.

The House also mandated the House committee on Tertiary Education to intervene and investigate the cause of the crisis with a view to resolving it.

The House resolution was sequel to a motion of urgent public importance moved by Honourable Afe Olowookere entitled, “Urgent need to avert loss of lives and properties at Federal University of Technology, Akure.”

Giving background on the crisis, the lawmaker said that the Federal University of Technology, Akure has in the last one month embroiled in crisis as a result of allegation of corruption against the Vice Chancellor, Professor Adebiyi Daramola, by the Non Academic Staff Union (NASU) and the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities (SSANU) of the university.

He added that, “The protest by the members of these two unions within the university environment daily has paralysed activities in the school and there is palpable tension that may result to a breach of peace and wanton destruction of lives and properties if immediate intervention is delayed.”

Speaking further, he maintained that the crisis has hindered the resumption of both the returning and new students who were supposed to have resumed last week, and also the graduating students could not process their documents for enlistment into the National Youth Service Scheme.

The lawmaker expressed worry that some community leaders including Deji of Akure Kingdom have intervened without achieving the desired result.

In another development, the House mandated the Committee on Water Resources to interface with the Federal Ministry of Water Resources and Officials of the Benin-Owena River Basin Development Authority to determine the circumstances surrounding the non-completion of the project, and ensure its inclusion in 2017 Appropriation proposals.

The resolution of the House was sequel to a motion entitled, “Urgent Need to Complete the Owena Multipurpose Dam in Igbara-Oke, Ondo-State”, moved by Honourable Olowookere.

The lawmaker further stated that there was an urgent need to salvage the multibillion naira equipments at the dam site that were fast depreciating.

The lawmaker noted that, the construction of Owena multipurpose dam project that was commenced by the Federal Government in 2007 is yet to be completed and utilised for the provision of potable water for the people of Ondo State.

According to him, “The water treatment plant for the dam has been constructed and is ready for use, thus bringing the government investment on the project so far to about N18 billion, leaving only the water reticulation as the outstanding project for which Safko Construction Company Nigeria Ltd. (S.C.C) has been paid N2 billion but has not moved to site.”

The project, he said, when completed, would provide the whole of Ondo Central senatorial zone with potable water, but at the moment, its non-completion has left the whole area without potable water which exposes them to the risks of epidemics.

When the motion was put to vote by the Speaker, Honourable Yakubu Dogara, it was supported by members.