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FUNAAB: How FUNAAB produced 39 first class graduands – Vice-Chancellor
How FUNAAB produced 39 first class graduands – Vice-Chancellor
Out-going Vice-Chancellor, Federal University of Agriculture, Prof. Olaiya Balogun has said that the university produced no fewer than 39 first class graduates out of 1,355 graduating students from eight colleges for the 2010/2011 academic session.
He stated this in his valedictory speech at the 20th convocation ceremony of the university, which he linked to enabling environment for the students.
Olaiya further said that 473 of them bagged second class (Upper Division), while 607 students made second class (Lower Division) and 191 students are in the third class Division just as the remaining 17 had ordinary pass degree.
According to the vice-chancellor, the institution is currently ranked the best University of Agriculture in Africa by the India Partnership Summit’s Le Matina Educational Excellence Awards, while a research group, Cybermetric Laboratory in Spain has ranked the university second best in Nigeria and 35th in Africa.
Ex-Vice-President, World Bank (Africa), Mrs. Obiageli Ezekwesili, Governor, Jigawa State, Alhaji Sule Lamido and Chief Jonathan Olopade were conferred with honourary doctorate degrees (Honoris Causa) in science, agriculture and engineering by the institution.
Represented by the Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqayyatu Rufai, President Goodluck Jonathan charged the graduating students to be good ambassadors of the institution and restore agriculture to its pride of place.
“The Federal Government is putting an initiative in place to enable the three existing universities of agriculture in the country establish Departments of Technology Transfer and Acquisition as part of their curricula. When established, they would be expected to facilitate the development of appropriate technologies for eventual transfer to our farming communities which account for about 85 per cent of the nation’s population.From left: Education Minister, Prof. Ruqayyatu A. Rufai, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and Jigawa State Governor, Alhaji Sule Lamido, during the 20th Convocation/Awards Ceremonies of Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta, FUNAAB held recently.
“We have already put in place mechanisms to ensure that each state focuses on crops, fisheries and livestock of comparative advantage. In addition, government plans to expand incentives for farmers and the private sector as we expect to create 3.5 million jobs in the agricultural sector alone by 2015.
“I do expect our university management and faculties to embark on innovative and creative means of complementing government’s funding efforts. This is the only way that we can effectively enhance the quality of university education in Nigeria and meaningfully tackle the challenge of the poor international ranking of our universities.”
In his speech, the Univer-sity’s Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Governing Council, Lawrence Ayinde Olakunle Osayemi, appealed to the Federal Government to release its take-off grant, since its establishment in 1988.
Osayemi who recalled that the Federal Government’s visiting panel to the institution had made the recommendation during its visitation to the school said: “We plead with our highly considerate and kind-hearted visitor (President Jonathan) to approve the much-needed grant, especially now that government is considering giving it to the new universities. The grant, will no doubt, boost our academic and infrastructural base.”
Delivering his acceptance speech on behalf of other awardees, Governor of Jigawa State, Sule Lamido, appreciated FUNAAB for the awards, pledging to continue contributing to the development of the university.
He, however, expressed fears over the degenerating security situation in the country, saying the situation has further compounded the poverty level amongst the people.
Lamido further blamed the leaders of the country for the high rate of poverty and insecurity in the country, saying the worsening insecurity situation has placed a burden of woes on the younger generation. According to him, the older generation has criminally neglected the younger citizens of the country by withholding their support for them.
“I think we need to ponder, yes, if only we can ponder and self-interrogate. What have we done wrong? If only we can individually resolve to do right, may be and may be. Shouldn’t our young graduands and the generation before them be optimistic of a better future for us and our children?”
Lamido also decried a situation where the majority of Nigerians live in abject poverty in the midst of the extreme affluence displayed by the few rich. He argued that with the natural endowment bestowed on the country by God, no Nigerian should be poor.
“We have people who have excelled in all human endeavours, the best professors in Africa as well as the richest man! The sum total of all these is that Nigeria has no business with poverty and yet it is the defining feature of the lives of the majority of our peoples. It is also a country of competing extremes, extreme poverty and extreme affluence.
“While the rich live life as an art, the poor live life of misery and agony. The riverine man in Bayelsa lives in the creeks with huts on water made of planks and leaves, the poor man in Jigawa lives in a house made of corn stalks and grass, a vulcanizer works under the scorching sun to make a living, the poor woman roasts ‘i or dundu” in the sun with umbrella only as shelter!
“Add all these to the climate of insecurity which has enveloped the country, yet we are today releasing these children who have graduated into this environment called Nigeria as our future leaders,” the governor added.
Other dignataries who attended the occasion were former President Olusegun Obasanjo, the Asagba of Asaba and Chancellor of FUNAAB, Chike Obi Edozien, the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo, and all the members of the Jigawa State cabinet, the three senators from Jiwaga State and members of the Jigawa State House of Assembly.
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