Cross River governor, Prof Ben Ayade has instituted a N100m research grant with a charge on the state university, Cross River State University of Technology (CRUTECH) to invent a technology that can generate electricity from micro and minor water resources, particularly boreholes and underground water.
Ayade disclosed this while speaking as a visitor at the 6th to 10th combined convocation ceremony for the installation of Chancellor, award of first degrees and prizes as well as the award of higher and honorary degrees of the Cross River University of Technology, (CRUTECH,).
“I want us to carry out a research on how to generate electricity from our boreholes. I want every single borehole sunk in Cross River to be converted to a source of electricity. I want you to challenge me on a dehydrogenation process that can switch hydrogen from water and get that hydrogen molecule to drive turbines,” Ayade said.
The governor who remarked that the research works are very simple in character and approach, said: “I want to put an end to support the University in areas other than research, I want to set aside on behalf of the government of Cross River, a research sum of N100 million which will be set up and chaired here in Cross River University.”
Ayade charged universities of technology to demonstrate various invention and technologically-driven products of their institutions, and rhetorically asked: “Why would Africans continue to rely on the western world? Why would Africans who by nature of what God has given to us as the richest and wealthiest continent remain in darkness? Where are the professors and what do we profess, what do we reflect and teach with no instrumentality of our kind of research?”
Continuing, the governor queried: “How long can we continue to parade ourselves as University professors with very little to profess, how long can we continue to show the classrooms as example of our progress without showing the research inventions and technologies that are being acknowledged as products of this school?”
“We, therefore, must not continue to rely on the challenges of finance to justify the failure of research and teaching in a university. Apply this N100m, and if it becomes necessary for me to add, I shall add and you know I will,”
“Take this as a challenge as you go back home, that Cross River University of Technology, in our next convocation what I want to see at the centre of this, would be an invention, perhaps a car, an aeroplane, but whatever it is, let’s get started.”
CRUTECH Vice Chancellor, Prof Anthony Owan Enoh, revealed that the combined convocation was witnessing the formal graduation of 6632 first degrees from the institutions’ seven faculties of Agriculture and Forestry, Basic Medical Sciences, Communication Technology, Education, Engineering, Environmental and Management Sciences.
Owan Enoh also intimated: “Out of this number, 19 bagged First Class, 1609 passed with Second Class(Upper Division), 4994 made Second Class(Lower Division), 1104 earned Third Class and 10 earned Pass,”
“A total of 293 students graduated at the postgraduate faculty from Engineering, Management Sciences, Education, Communication Technology and Environmental Sciences at both the postgraduate diploma and Masters Degrees.”
The VC also said: “The two doctoral students who could have been added but could not, due to the chequered school year we have had to contend with. They have completed all conditions but the University could not accelerate the process just for this purpose in its firm belief in maintaining the high standards required at that level.”
The event featured the installation of Paramount Ruler of Obudu, Uti Joseph Davies Agba, as the second Chancellor of the University and the conferment of the degree of Doctor of Arts History (Honoris Causa) on him.
Also conferred with honorary degrees were former governor of Kaduna State and National PDP Chairman, Senator Ahmed Makarfi as Doctor of Business Administration (Honoris Causa) and governor of Bayelsa, Henry Seriake Dickson, bagging Doctor of Environmental Management (Honoris Causa).