Daily Champion (Lagos)

18 March 2011

Nigeria: Otueke Federal University - Ijaw Foundation (U.S.A) to Launch Educational Trust Fund -Aja

Board of Directors of Ijaw Foundation plan to launch an educational trust fund for the University and scholarship programmes for qualified Ijaw sons and daughters.

FUOTUOKE, being the first Federal University in the heartland of the Ijaw nation, is one of nine new federally-funded universities established by the Federal Government in February 2011 to promote equity, emphasize excellence in tertiary education and address societal development in the country.

The Chairman of the Board , Dr Reuben Mietamuno Jaja made the declaration at the first inaugural town- hall meeting of eminent ijaw disapora community in the Americas , Europe and Asia to welcome the the New VC of the University Professor Bolaji Aluko.

The well attended meeting was moderated by Professor Joe Ebiware who called on all Ijaws at home and abroad to give their full support to the inaugural Chancellor who has an enormous task ahead and need the full support of the the Ijaw nation.

He commended the Vice Chancellor for his great vision for the University and joined the call to build a dispora constituency for the University.

He said "The Ijaw Foundation has concluded plans to launch an educational trust fund and scholarship progremmes to support FUOTUOKE to be nestled in the creeks of the Bayelsa state in Niger-Delta region.

"The take-off trust fund and scholarship progremmes will be used to support the students and infrastructural development of the 200-acre university campus that will be built on a currently virgin site in the Ijaw town of Otuoke, which is 40 kilometers south of the state capital of Yenagoa and 120 kilometers west of the famous seaport of Port Harcourt, in neighboring Rivers State", he added.

Jaja explained that the commitment of the Foundation for programmes is to support President Goodluck Jonathan's his vision and commitment to empowering the nation's youths through education and the heartland communities of the Ijaw nation.

He however said "As patriots of the Ijaw cause, it is the duty of Ijaw Foundation to build a constituency to support the youths of Niger Delta region as well as support of President Jonathan, for his vision and commitment to empower our youths through education and the heartland communities of the Ijaw nation".

While welcoming all Ijaw sons and daughters in the diaspora to join the Ijaw Foundation in welcoming professor Aluko, the moderator of the townhall meeting, Professor Abiware urged members of the Foundation to contribute their professional support to make the funding drive a success.

Responding, the vice chancellor of the University, Professor Aluko while discussing his vision for the university declared to implement the Blue Print programmes on information technology and entrepreneurial scheme, apart for the empowerment of the youths in Niger Delta, but also for the overall development of Nigeria.

He said "The FUOTUOKE University viewed as the engine of development of Niger Delta region has a geographical context, has an intellectual context, has the economic context and one would hope that the concentration of the University would be toward developing and promote world-class and cutting-edge research in energy and environmental science the area".

According to him, FUOTUOKE will take-of with two academic faculties on humanities and social sciences and science that covers engineering and technology, with early aspiration to promote world-class and cutting-edge research in energy and environmental science.

He however emphasized that "Its anticipated that September 2011 would be the take-off session starting student population of about 200-300 students is expected to grow gradually to a maximum size of 6,000 students over a 10-15 year period on energy and environmental science, engineering and technology; marine science, engineering and technology; human and social dynamics; as well as business management and entrepreneurial studies"

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