Laleye Dipo in Minna
Members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Federal University of Technology, Minna branch were conspicuously absent as the institution began its graduation activities on Friday.
ASUU nationwide has been at daggers drawn with the federal government for upward of two months to press home its demand for improved conditions of service and upgrading of facilities in tertiary institutions in the country.
Contrary to what used to be the practice, members of ASUU were absent at the pre-convocation press conference addressed by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Abdullahi Bala. The ASUU members were also not part of the Jummat service organised as part of the ceremony.
The university convocation committee also cancelled Science and Technology exhibition which used to be part of the ceremony.
“As a departure from previous years, we are not going to organise a Science and Technology exhibition this year.
“This is because the students and their supervisors, whose projects usually form the bulwark of the exhibition, are not on ground on account of the ongoing ASUU strike,” Prof. Bala told newsmen in Minna on Friday.
The ASUU FUT Minna chapter Chairman, Dr Mohammed Attaihiru Ndanisa, when contacted on phone, said he was driving and could not comment on the issue.
However, Bala told the press conference that 4,443 students would graduate from the university next Friday, adding that out of the number, 72 of them bagged first class, 941 came out with second class upper division, while 1,905 students would graduate with second class lower division certificate.
According to the vice-chancellor, 707 students would graduate with third class degree, while 46 others graduate with ordinary pass.
Bala disclosed that universities in the country had received a directive from the National Universities Commission (NUC) on the review of the cancellation of pass certificates but said the Senate of the FUT Minna was yet to discuss the memo for the implementation of the new policy.
He disclosed that the convocation lecture would be delivered by the Director General of the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan, Dr Nteranya Sangina.
The lecture has as its theme: “Transformation of African Agriculture, the Journey So far.”