Timothy Olanrewaju, Maiduguri
Vice Chancellor of the University of Maiduguri, Prof. Ibrahim Njodi, has announced the readiness of the university to mobilise its staff to resume oil exploration activities at the Lake Chad area. The institution had halted the exercise after six of its staffers were killed and three others kidnapped by Boko Haram terrorists in July 2017.
Njodi, while speaking at the 23rd Combined Convocation of the university yesterday, said the management and staff of the university would not be discouraged by the July 25, 2017 incident, which occurred during a field trip to the Lake Chad area with some personnel of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
“The University of Maiduguri will not be discouraged by what happened. We are ready to mobilise to the site to continue with the assignment anytime the security agencies fortify the environment for smooth exploration activities,” he announced.
He said the university would continue to collaborate with the corporation to resume work and complete the assignment to pave way for oil exploration in the Lake Chad region.
Njodi said the university believes in research for development and as such signed an agreement with NNPC on June 24, 2017 to conduct gravity, magnetic and soil geochemical survey in the Chad Basin area of Magumeri and Gubio.
He explained that the NNPC/UNIMAID team had successfully covered 50 points of its assignment at Mongumeri area in 10 days and was only returning on the last day when the insurgents ambushed the team, killing six UNIMAID staff and abducted three others, as well as some soldiers and civilian JTF and NNPC staff.
He assured that the university would continue to uphold the vision of its founding fathers, noting that UNIMAID had witnessed several attacks leading to loss of lives and property.
“Despite all these attacks, our university keeps its learning and teaching,” he noted.
Chancellor of the university, Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, said the fact that the convocation was taking place shows that the security situation in the North East has improved. He commended the staff and students for their perseverance and courage in the face of the security challenge.
A total of 12, 170 students including 3, 527 post-graduate students and 8,643 undergraduate students were awarded degree and diploma certificates.