….advised FUTO students to be law-abiding

The crew members of the evergreen newspaper and online media visited Comrade Timothy Eberechukwu, the SUG President Federal University of Technology Owerri.

In the interview, he bared his mind on some issues and developmental projects of the school.

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Can we meet you officially sir?

 I am Comrade Timothy Eberechukwu, the SUG president of the 21st republic of SUG FUTO.

 When were you elected as the SUG president of this university?

I was elected on the 4th of October 2019 and was inaugurated on the 4th of November 2019. I have spent only four months in office.

What are the plans of your administration in bettering the lives of the students?

There are so many plans we have and which some of them have been achieved while some are still on the process. We have plans on tackling so many challenges that are facing so many Nigerian students, which some of them are communication and transportation as well as entrepreneurship so that the students can know what to do. Another plan is to bring the students close to the SUG because so many of them have apathy to the student union government.

Most of the institutions in Nigeria are embedded with the problems of cultism; what is your administration doing in curbing them to the barest minimum?

We are not doing it alone, we are in partnership with the internal unit like the SUG, Man O’ War and other external bodies like ICPC, DSS to make sure that we curb cultism to its minimum. We still say that we are not standing for cultism, we are against cultism and social vices, so we encourage students to desist from any act of cultism and become law-abiding citizens of the state and the university.

It is adduced that indecent dressing is one of the reasons for sexual harassment in our institutions of higher learning, is there an end to these problems?

There are ends, first of all, we start by enlightening the students when there is a mind shift that the public will understand the negative effect of indecent dressing. So from the office of the vice president, we have been advocating the campaign that indecent dressing is not allowed in the school. So once the students are enlightened they will, therefore, dress neatly and as responsible citizens of both the school and the university.

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What are the projects you have at hand if anyhow do you source for income?

Okay, we have some little projects at hand, some of them we source the income from internally generated revenue and also from the accounts we have with school management. From this income  where we finance our projects and programs

What are the problems faced by the students under your watch?

They have been facing the problem of security which we have devised so many means to solve it. Security in the sense that the university does not have perimeter fencing so nobody can take cognizance of those that enter the school environment. But we have tried to curb it with SUG president, the dean student affairs, the commander in chief (C-in-C) Man O’War and also the chief security officer of the university have met commissioner of police when we met with the commissioner of police he enlightened us on some security tips and it was agreed that before any student is arrested in school there need to be a clearance from the university’s chief security officer.   So we are trying, working hard to curb the problem of insecurity and also alleviate any form of extortion of the students by any security agency operating in the school.

Most times, the school authorities use the Students’ Union Government (SUG) body to influence the students’ in order to actualize a purpose or plan. How true is this assertion?

Okay, one of the reasons why the SUG is here is not to fight anybody but to bring unity. We are a media by which we communicate the students to the management and from the management to students. And once the interest of Nigerian students is there, the SUG is there. So what we do is to unite and relate information.  We are the mediator so as a matter of fact, we stand with the students and we defend the interests of Nigerian students first. That is why we are here and that is why the students elected us to be here.


What are your achievements so far?

We have achieved so many things, if you can get “the experience newspaper” it will reflect so many of the things we have achieved from the time we were handed over, though we had, little capital to run some things but we tried as much as possible to make sure that the students are carried along and we have organised a travel back program that helps the students get back to their r various destinations instead of boarding the public transport, we aid them to get back to their places while we provide the means of transportation. We have done so many other things; we produced ID cards for the students, we produce the first edition “the experience newspaper” we have organised Olympics for our students, where our students both male and female are involved in all types of sports, both indoors and outdoors which is still going on, we have tried as much as possible to breach the information gap between the students and the SUG whereby we created the hot-line where the students can get to at any point in time and the SUG will attend to it, we have e made sure that the welfare of the Nigerian students is attended to, the Director of Welfare and the Dean of Students’ Affairs have repaired the bunks in the hostels, we have cleared so many things like the gutter, we have ensured the cleanliness of the hostels, We have made those things better than it was before now. We are closer to the students now than ever and even through the office of the vice president, we have organised “Union Week” where the students are involved in the students’ week. So it’s a process whereby every office of the SUG executives and other arms of government are involved in, to make sure that we achieve something concrete. The judiciary has achieved so many things too, they set up the students’ human right where the students can easily report if their rights are being abused. We have also through the judiciary, set up magistrate courts in different hostels where the students can sue any student who infringes on his/her right to court if the person is not satisfied with the magistrate court judgment he/she can take it to the students’ high court which their judgment is final.

In this time of economic hardship, what is your advice to the students?

My advice to the students is that they become entrepreneur inclined, they should develop the idea, they should be motivated and that’s why we established the C.I Hall and the students’ innovation hall at the SUG resource centre which is one of our achievement, where the students will learn so many skills both the ones that are  I.T inclined this means that we don’t want to raise only those who are academically inclined but also entrepreneurs that can support themselves during this period of hardship and also improve their financial status.

What advice are you giving to the new students of the institution?

What I am telling them is that they are welcome to this institution the Federal University of Technology, Owerri, so many of them wanted to be here, out of the 11,000 that wrote post-UTME only 5,000 was admitted meaning that there are so many others who were not admitted. So they should value the opportunity they have been given, invest in themselves and focus on the pursuit of their academic.

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