Okon Bassey in Uyo
Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom state has stressed the need for tertiary institutions in the country to make Information and Communication Technology (ICT) a priority in line with the demands of the 21st century.
Emmanuel who made this call, recently, at the combined second and third convocation ceremonies of the Akwa Ibom State University (AKSU), Ikot Akpaden, Mkpat Enin Local Government area of the state, said since the whole world is going global, the university system must also change in line with the current realities.
The governor who is a visitor to the university, said administrators should be guided by the realities of the 21st century where the world is driven by technology, and highly dependent on science and technology.
â€œInstitutions of higher learning must therefore put emphasis on ICT development to equip our graduates with the needed knowledge to enable them compete favourably in todayâ€™s globally competitive society.
He commending the 916 students who graduated from the various schools, and urged the management to exploit the facilities provided by the state government to its advantage, noting that, through good research works, the institution would gain more financially.
Emmanuel lauded the efforts of the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Eno Ibanga for taking the university to a greater height especially in making AKSU to be ranked among the best state owned universities in the country.
Describing education as one of the essential ingredients in transforming any society, the Governor said, â€œ we must ensure that our children have the opportunity to access affordable education. Education is one of the cardinal responsibilities of government, and our administration views this responsibility with all the seriousness it deserves, that is why we are seeing education not as expenses but as an investment, so we will continue to invest in this endeavour with all the seriousness its deserves.â€
The Vice Chancellor of the institution, Professor. Eno Ibanga, had earlier listed its achievements as well as some of the challenges the school was facing, noting that some of the problems could slow down the pace of development if urgent attention is not given.
â€œBesides the institution is being threatened with the problem of land encroachment by the neigbouring communities, staff and students accommodation, power supply, water supply and sporting facilities among others are lacking.â€
The VC acknowledged the open ears that the Visitor to the institution always gives him which led not only to all the 38 programmes of the institution gaining accreditation, but also giving the management the opportunity to initiate many more projects within the two campuses of the university.