FUPRE, AFRICA’S FIRST PETROLEUM VARSITY, IS CELEBRATING INNOVATION AND ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE

………….Prof. (Engr.) Akpofure Rim-Rukeh
FUPRE Vice Chancellor

By Wilson Macaulay
The Vice Chancellor, Federal University of Petroleum Resources (FUPRE) Effurun, Delta State, Prof. (Engr.) Akpofure Rim-Rukeh has stated that the unique citadel of learning which is Africa’s first Petroleum varsity 15 years after its establishment in 2007 is already celebrating innovation and academic excellence.
Prof. (Engr.) Akpofure Rim-Rukeh, the Vice Chancellor of the university made this observation during a press briefing held at the conference room on Monday 16th March 2022, as a prelude to mark the 15 anniversary of the university.
According to the academic Don/chief executive officer, though the road has not been without several challenges that threatened our corporate existence as an institution in the past, we have made significant progress over the years that we are celebrating today.
He pointed out saying: “I made bold to say that the occasion of this anniversary is indeed a moment of deep reflections for us as a university, because its offers us the platform to recall some of our remarkable experiences in the past 15 years that have shaped this university over the years.”
Prof. (Engr.) Akpofure Rim-Rukeh who went down the memory lane during the press briefing traced the origin of the university thus: “As a specialized center of learning, the Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun (FUPRE) was founded on 14th March, 2007 to undertake the process of harnessing the potentials of the oil and gas industry towards the overall development of our country”.
Speaking further he added: “As an establishment, the vision of the university was to be the premier international institution with state-of-the-art facilities to provide for the Petroleum and Allied sectors, world-class education, training, research, consultancy and extension service. It was conceptualized as a world-class institution for training top-skilled, globally-rate engineers and scientist for the Oil and Gas industry and other Allied sectors of the Nigeria economy.”
The erudite academic Don disclosed during the media interactive session that majority of the university development occurred after the official visit of the former Minister of State for Education, Chief Kenneth Gbagi to University where he directed that the University be moved to her permanent site, and that location is where we are today.
He explained that statistically, the students population has also grown geometrically over the years. In 2008, the student population of FURE was 47 and today, it has increased to 6020 (both undergraduate and postgraduate) in the 2019/2020 academic session. While, the University staff strength also increased from 5 in the 2007/2008 to 684 in the 2019/2020 session, comprising of 166 academic staff, 433 senior non-teaching staff and 85 junior staff.
While talking about progress made in development of physical structures he said: “In terms of physical infrastructure, FUPRE also moved from zero at inception to the impressive landscape we have today.”
He informed the media team during the press briefing that: “FUPRE ranks 5th best petroleum university in the world as it soars in SPE global competitions”.
He noted that FUPRE student chapter of the society of petroleum engineers (SPE) made giant stride at the Annual Technical Conference and exhibition (ATCE) PETROBOWL competitions for three consecutive years- 2014,2015 and 2016. In 2014, FUPRE emerged first in Africa in the World Petrolbowl competition in Amsterdam, Netherland.
Prof. (Engr.) Akpofure Rim-Rukeh who further stressed on the intellectual depth of the students said: “A team of five students of petroleum engineering FUPRE came first at the inter-university petrol quiz competition of the SPE student technical symposium and exhibition (STSE) 2022 ordained by the Society of petroleum Engineers that held between 2-26 February, 2022 at the petroleum training institution (PTA.)”
Prof. (Engr.) Akpofure Rim-Rukeh who harped on the progress made by FUPRE as a corporate body remarked; “within the past 15 years of our existence, the university has recorded numerous and modest milestones which includes signing of FUPRE establishment bills into law, development of energy- efficient vehicle, ground robotic oil spill surveillance (gross) system, local ventilator, FUPRE won research grant of 140,000 Euro from Royal Academy of engineering United Kingdom, FUPRE won research grant of N 40,400,000 from the central bank of Nigeria, to manufacture an innovative medical device called MEDLINK, Development of modular refinery wholly indigenous, construction and fabrication of pneumatic power generator, production of roofing sheets and interlocking materials made from plastics waste clay and sand, and others too numerous to mention.
While speaking on the need to close the gaps of infrastructural deficit, the Vice Chancellor noted: “Like the proverbial Oliver Twist despite the success we have recorded in the past fifteen (15) years of our existence as a university, we have experienced that the vision for the accelerated growth and development of FUPRE has been greatly constrained by inadequate funding over the years. This has resulted in infrastructural deficit, such as near absence of power supply, inadequate lecture theatres, laboratories and other modern facilities that are required by a world-class specialized university such as ours.”
Prof. (Engr.) Akpofure Rim-Rukeh who spoke about the future prospect of the university said: “with our vision as our guiding light, I am very optimistic that the future of FUPRE will be brighter and our next decade will be filled with expansions as, improvements, resulting in the emergence of great people. As we look ahead into the next decade of service, it is hoped that our capacity academic and innovative excellence will be greatly enhanced, placing us on higher pedestal on thy ladder of success in all ramifications.”
In his summation he stressed that celebrating 15 year of FUPRE is a celebration of stakeholders, our colleagues, community, government, inventions, and partners who contributed towards making FUPRE’s success story a reality.

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