Federal Ministry of Lands and Housing Development Committee on Land Dispute Visits the Vice-Chancellor
By Stella Ijegbula
The Committee on Land Dispute from the Federal Ministry of Lands and Housing Development has expressed the readiness of the Federal Government in resolving the land dispute between Federal University of Technology, Owerri and its host communities.
Chairman of the Committee, Deacon T.O. Onaeko, a Director in the Ministry made this known during a visit to the Vice-Chancellor Prof. Francis Chukwuemeka Eze on Wednesday, January 30, 2019, at the Vice-Chancellor’s Conference Room. He said the committee was constituted to find a lasting solution to the conflict and pointed out that the federal government is aware of encroachment on FUTO land by the host communities and the army but promised an end to the dispute. He also stated that the terms of reference for the Committee include to investigate the acquisition process and confirm the appropriate guidelines to follow in resolving the dispute.
The Vice-Chancellor Prof. Francis C. Eze in his response welcomed the Committee and said that what is happening in FUTO is due to misinformation by rumour mongers and a handful of people benefiting from selling FUTO land. He informed the Committee that the traditional rulers of the host communities know the boundaries of FUTO and their communities.
He reiterated that the University serves as a developmental agency to the communities adding that virtually all the universities in Nigeria have common boundaries with their host communities, maintaining that FUTO had continued to show love to its host communities by creating job opportunities, embarking on outreach programmes and many more which have been beneficial to them. The Vice-Chancellor appealed to the Committee to call for a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to bring the university and its host communities together again promising that any document needed would be provided them.