Sunday, October 22, 2017 4:21 pm
By Adejoke Adeleye
* 7,677 students graduate in three sessions
The Obong of Calabar and Chancellor of Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), His Eminence Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi-Otu, on Friday, charged all Nigerians to support the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to reposition the country. The monarch who spoke in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital at the 23rd, 24th and 25th combined Convocation ceremonies of FUNAAB said it was imperative for all and sundry to stand up, encourage and support the government in its change project.
“The importance of education in the life of any progressive nation cannot be overemphasised. That is why we must all join hands with the government to ensure that Nigeria catches up with others in shaping the future of the world. We must all support the government in its effort to reposition the country,” he stated.
The Chancellor insisted that the only way to sustain the economy and truly diversify it, was through agriculture, saying “The way out is to embrace agriculture”. He noted that the Nigerian society would be better off, if government could make research findings from University and research centres available to end users in order to address specific needs of the country. The Monarch however urged the government to do more by investing resources and make funds available for researchers to carry out research in the country. He commended the FG for its timely intervention through Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) and other special Intervention funds, saying it has helped significantly to drive the Universities.
His words: ” The importance of Universities of Agriculture will ever remain relevant in the scheme of things in Nigeria. This is because we have learnt a big lesson that overdependence on a single commodity like oil, as the main source of earning, is a counterproductive”.
“Nigeria should retrace its step by going back to agriculture, the over dependence on oil remained a shame and would continue to fail us as Africa’s most populous country. We must go back to the basics and the way out is to embrace agriculture”
“The efforts of the Muhammadu Buhari led administration to diversify the hitherto monolithic economy is appropriate and welcome”.
The Chancellor called on the government to allow the University to run managerial science courses.
” I wish to join other Nigerians to call on the government to allow specialised Agriculture University such as ours to continue to respond to some societal demands by running related courses that will promote academic and professional development. Accounting and Management, for example, are relevant for Agribusiness and those teaching these courses need to have base departments for their carrier progress,” he affirmed.
The Pro- Chancellor and the Chairman of the Governor Council, Dr. Aboki Zhawa said the management of the school would ensure that the peace of the school would not be disrupted.
He said the council was determined to take the University to another level.
In his own speech, the Vice- Chancellor of the FUNAAB, Prof Olalade Onikuomoehin disclosed for 2013/2014, a total of 1,881 students would graduate, and for 2014/2015, 2,731 would graduate as well as 3, 065 would graduate from their various courses of study for 2015/2016 academic session.
According to him, in all the three sessions, 203 students bagged first class, while 2, 878 got second class upper while 3,602 and 828 others got second class lower and Third class respectively. Only 32 made ordinary pass.
He said it was only his peaceful home that was his surviving grace amidst the just laid to rest crisis of the university.
It could be recalled that the institution recently witnessed some scrutinisation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission over some alleged misappropriation of funds.
His said, “At this point, I must confess to you my Honourable Chancellor and the audience that it is not easy to pride over a convocation ceremony as an acting Vice Chancellor.
“I also want to confess that the only saving grace that have kept me and that has made me to keep coming to work is my peaceful home which has being made enabled by my wife.
“Although she is a very shy woman but you all must just help me appreciate her.”Onikuomoehin added.
The Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun in his own speech assured that the state government would continue to support and cooperate with the institution.
He noted that his government would on regular basis approached the institution for research that would further enhance agribusiness of the State.
Amosun who was represented by the Secretary to the Government (SSG), Mr. Taiwo Adeoluwa said his administration has modernised the agric sector in order to stimulate the interest of the youths to the sector. He disclosed that the State government in it’s efforts to improve the agricultural sector of the state has given every civil servant of the state land to farm.