*4years after establishment
& Akpokona Omafuaire
25 September, 2011, Sweetcrude, WARRI– FOUR years after it was established in 2007 to train manpower for the petroleum industry, the Federal University of Petroleum Resources, FUPRE, Effurun, Delta State, cannot turn out certified graduates because it has not been accredited for this purpose by appropriate authorities and the institution is also deficient in basic academic and infrastructural facilities to train students.
The poor funding of the institution, which is the pioneer university of petroleum techonology in Africa had become a source of friction between the authorities and students of the school in recent times.
It was gathered that students who enrolled in the school with the hope that these problems would be sorted out before their graduation since it is a Federal Government-owned university have found out to their chagrin that government was not bothered about their predicament.
Accusing the governing council of mismanagement, irate students, led by Comrade Nwosisi Michael, stormed the streets with placards, last week, protesting the non accreditation of the school and lack of basic infrastructures.
The students who laid seige on the East-West Road marched through the Petroleum Training Institute, PTI, Road, Ebrumede- Okuokoko –Iteregbe junction, which they barricaded with woods and bamboos.
Some of the placards carried by them bore such inscriptions as, “No accreditation after four years”, “Our graduates can’t serve”, “No to corrupt Governing Council”, “No road, no water, no workshops, no laboratories” and “We are tired of empty promises”.
“Our anger is that after four years, our school is yet to be accredited; we need infrastructure in the school, we don’t have workshops, there are no laboratories. Most painful is we don’t have good hostels, no water and good road. How can we study under such an unbearable condition in the 21st century? It is unheard of that a school of this calibre will be neglected like this”, students’ leader, Comrade Michael disclosed.
“We want the Federal Government to respond quickly, this is a peaceful protest, if our demands are not met, we may be tempted t go violent,” he said.
Reacting to the protest, Acting Dean of Students, Dr. John Arubaiyi, said, “The protest is a normal reaction of students”, adding, that two weeks ago, they discussed their grievances with the Vice Chancellor.
“The following week, they came back that they want to cry out to the federal government, we appealed to them to calm down, we later got information that they reported to the Police and SSS for permit. The vice chancellor promised them that by December, the school will be accredited and that he is in the process of putting in place two workshops; and that laboratories will be set up too. I appeal to the students to call- off the protest and give us more time.
“We promise to meet with them regularly to brief them on developmental plans, we have school buses, which convey them to school from their hostels, and we are trying our best to ensure that they are comfortable”, he stated.