The Federal University Lokoja (FUL) has commenced process of establishing its faculty of Engineering and training of students at the Metallurgical Training Complex of Ajaokuta Steel Company.
This was disclosed when the management of the University yesterday visited the steel complex for mutual collaboration with the management of the company.
The Vice-Chancellor of the institution, Professor Olayemi Akinwumi said it is becoming difficult for the Federal Government alone to shoulder the responsibility of funding education, hence sought the support and cooperation of the authorities towards a successful collaboration that would lead to siting the Engineering programme at the training complex, assuring that the partnership would benefit both Federal Institutions.
Professor Akinwumi who lamented that the Ajaokuta Steel Mill – commonly referred to as the “Bedrock of Nigeria’s industrialization” – is being underutilized and the facilities at the MTC are deteriorating day by day, said the training complex is well endowed and equipped with facilities that can make the Engineering programme one of the best in Nigeria in terms of training quality students and manpower that can drive competitiveness in the sector.
The VC thanked ASCL Management for the warm reception and for giving the needed cooperation to the Dean, Faculty of Engineering, Engr. Prof. Lateef Onundi and his team of experts who had begun the groundwork for the commencement of the programme and already established a cordial working relationship with the Steel Company. He added that the positive reports of the support extended to the steering committee so far were very impressive.
In his reaction, the Head, General Administration, Engr. Ahmed Salihu, who received the University Management on behalf of the Sole Administrator, Engr. Sumaila Abdul-Akaba along with other top management staff including Engr. Suleiman Umar Muhammad, Head, Engineering, Works and Services; and Engr. Abubakar Garba Hassan, Head, Corporate Affairs, among others, noted that the planned collaboration is a welcome development as it would go a long way to add value to the company as well as bring life to the training equipment and facilities that have been lying comatose for years.
The Management of Ajaokuta Steel Plant expressed delight in the proposed partnership saying they had looked forward to this kind of alliance backed with a sincere commitment that would help in reviving some critical sections of the Steel Plant ahead of its total resuscitation. They promised to work in tandem with the University Management in ensuring the realization of the genuine intention by giving it the utmost support as well as making appropriate recommendations to the supervisory body – Ministry of Mine and Steel Development – for necessary actions, while urging FUL Management to keep the line of communication open through constant interactions to achieve the set objective.
Afterward, the Vice-Chancellor and his Management Team were conducted around the MTC facilities including practical workshops, classrooms with audio-visual aids, laboratories with stores, technical drawing studio, library, lecture theatre, administrative block, and administrative unit with boardroom and staff common room. Other facilities inspected included the water treatment plant, internal and external ring road with perimeter fence wall, auditoria, refectory, and the quality & control unit.
On the entourage of the Vice-Chancellor were Prof. M.S. Audu, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic); Prof. Abdullahi Emmanuel Bala, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration); Dr. Rebecca Aimiohu Okojie, Registrar; Dr. Sarah Dauda Yani, University Librarian, Mr. John Sule Shilo, Bursar; Engr. Prof. Lateef Onundi, Dean, Faculty of Engineering; Dr. Bankole Mutalib Adeowu, Director, Physical Planning and Development Department (PP&DD); and Engr. Olukayode Ojo, Ag. Director, Works and Maintenance.
The delegation also included Mr. E.D. Obafemi, Senior Special Assistant to the VC; Rt. Col. Babafemi Sunday Mepaiyeda (Rtd), Chief Security Officer; Mrs. Omolade Toluhi, Principal Assistant Registrar (Registrar’s Office); and Mr. Paul T. Agada amongst others.