FG To Build Dam, Provide Tractors In FUNAAB

Audu Ogbeh Photo

Audu Ogbeh

Audu Ogbeh, minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, has  promised to build a dam in Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, FUNAAB. He said this on Thursday, while delivering a lecture to mark the 23rd, 24th and 25th combined convocation ceremonies of FUNAAB at the school’s ceremonial Building.”We shall provide mini tractors we have developed, help you build a dam and develop your seed facilities. You can make tons of million in selling seeds alone,” he said. The  minister also  promised to provide other necessary assistance especially in the area of hostel facilities for students of the university. This, he believes, will help the institution live up to expectation in regards to  promotion and sustenance  of food security in the country.
The convocation  lecture was well attended by  students, lecturers, teaching and non-teaching staff, representatives of Ogun state government and members of the academia from other higher institutions.
The minister who spoke on the topic, Food and the Future, urged Nigerian  youths especially‎ graduates of Agriculture – related disciplines  to engage in farming in order to secure the future of Nigeria as a nation. “Considering the available resources there is no reason for Nigeria to be in this situation. If you the youths can take agriculture seriously, you will be taking control of the destiny of this country. No substitute for food. If we fail to feed ourselves adequately now, there will be crisis that we may not be able to solve in the future.” While speaking on the importance of food to human existence, the minister said stomach is the only “powerful chamber in the world, not the national assembly or the house of commons, everybody listens to it and you do its bidding.” He added that, aside religion, hunger is one of the key reasons many Africans surrender to the dictates of their politicians because they depend on whatever that’s being thrown at them. “Hunger makes people do the unthinkable  anytime no matter your status. Hence agriculture institutions like this should do more in providing food for the people,” he said, adding that the government will continue to play major roles in assisting the farmers and schools. “I know that one of the major problems of agriculture in Nigeria is easy access to loan, but we are restructuring banks of agriculture to bring interest to 5 per cent. Farmers too should also come into groups like co-operatives  for easy access to loans and other benefits. We are also training farmers to know what to plant, kind of soil to use and how to use machine. On processing, we also have machines we sell to people at 60 per cent discount,but the problem is our people must swear to God that when they begin to succeed they will pay. If you refuse to pay the programme will fail.” He pointed out that another challenge impacting the sector is electricity as that means that one should be close to where he or she can tap light or get a generator.
In his remarks,  professor Ololade Enikuomehin, FUNAAB  acting vice -chancellor, after highlighting the achievements of the university in recent years, said the institution  will continue to maintain high quality education.
According to the vice-chancellor, a total of 1,881 students graduated in 2013/2014 session under the full time programme.  There was, he said,  a progressive increase in the number of graduands in 2014/2015 (2,731) and 2015/2016 (3,065).  The part time programme produed a total of 135 and 151 graduates in 2010 -2013 (combined) and 2015/2016 sessions, respectively.
Giving insight to students academic performance, Enikuomehin said a total of 71, 75 and 57 First Class graduants were produced in 2013/2014, 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 sessions respectively.
“For the postgraduate school, the total number of graduating students in PhD, Master’s and postgraduate diploma for the 2013/2014 academic session amounted to 516, for 2014/2015, the total is 422 while the figure for 2015/2016 is 504, which add up to 1,442 in all,” he said
The convocation ceremony also  featured the installation of Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi-Otu, the Obong of Calabar, as the 4th chancellor of the University.
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