121 bag first class as Okpara varsity graduates 8,369 students | #NwokeukwuMascot
|Photo: MOUAU School Gate.
Not less than 121 students, Saturday, bagged First Class at the 11th Convocation ceremony of the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike, MOUAU.
This is as President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has again, assured that local refineries would soon begin production.
Vice Chancellor, Professor Maduebibisi Ofo Iwe, gave the total number of graduating students as 8,369.
According to him, 1941 made Second Class Upper Division, 3063 got Second Class Lower Division, 1121 Third Class, and six Pass. He further gave the statistics of the graduating students as Bachelor’s degree -6,917; Post Graduate Diploma – 159; Masters degree – 802; and Doctorate degree – 491.
The VC charged the graduands to remain good ambassadors of the university in the larger society and to deploy the knowledge they acquired in solving the numerous challenges confronting the country and creating job opportunities.
He rested the resolve of the university Management to transform the institution despite its challenges.
Professor Iwe had during a pre-convocation press conference, noted that while universities in the country were yet to recover from the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the eight-month strike by the unions, MOUAU had been making efforts to navigate through its challenges.
He disclosed that the university would start producing animal feed both for internal use and commercial purposes in two months’ time.
The feat, according to him, is one of the conscious efforts of the institution to fulfill its core mandate and shore up its internally generated revenues.
“Universities are yet to recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and eight months of strike by the unions. However we have tried to navigate through this challenge by combining two academic sessions in the last session to make sure that we graduate more students.
“Despite the brick walls, I am pleased to let you know that we have continued to make remarkable headway in various Key areas. For instance, we are succeeding in making MOUAU an entrepreneurial University in line with our dream of ensuring it attains a level of enterprise that would enhance its resources. Our bread and biscuit factory, as well as our water factory are growing exponentially.
“All our Colleges are also thriving. Our College of Animal Science and Animal Production (CASAP); and the College of Crop and Soil Sciences (CCSS), for instance, are vigorously driving a level of animal and crop production that is consistent with our vision.
“Within the next two months, our feed mills will be functioning. We will have enough feed for our animals and excess to sell for profit. Additionally, we are working hard on getting feed internally for our fishes so we can boost fish production to generate more revenue.
“Professor Iwe said that the university had continued to break records in research findings, human capital development as well as community development.
“Our graduates are part of the manpower that has been contributing immensely towards the socio-economic and political development of our nation.
“Many of our products have become established farmers, employers of labour and major contributors towards ensuring food security in Nigeria.
”Many of our staff have carried out cutting-edge research, won national and international awards for community service, and obtained fellowships from institutions and professional organizations”.
The VC, however, identified the non-release of take-off grants by government, inadequate physical facilities, poor funding, bad road and high demand for amenities and public utilities as some of the major challenges of the university.
In a remark, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu tasked universities of Agriculture in the country to rise to the challenges of food scarcity.
Tinubu who was represented by the Executive Secretary, Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria, Professor Garba Sharubutu,promised that his administration would continue to provide the needed support to specialized universities and agric-related institutions to fulfill their mandate.
“As a nation, we are looking up to the Universities to innovatively drive the transformation of our Agricultural sector to achieve food security and the Sustainable Development Goals.”
The President encouraged private organizations to join hands with Universities of Agriculture in forming partnerships and linkages to scale up agricultural research findings with a win-win target.
President Tinubu noted the multiplicity of Nigeria’s challenges but said he was making spirited efforts to solve them.
”This administration is aware of the myriad of socio-economic and political problems that the citizens of our nation are passing through. We are however, determined to find a lasting solution to the tough times”, Tinubu said.
“Our policy instruments are currently being fine-tuned with the view to dealing firmly with the causes and not the symptoms of the problems.
”Very soon, some of our local refineries will start production and the current exorbitant prizes of fuel energy will be greatly reduced.
“Part of the supplementary budget that the Parliament has approved will be applied to bring interventions at critical segments of the agricultural sector.
“The burden of insecurity is clearly a major challenge in Nigeria, but I assure you that in no distant time, it will become history.
“Bear with us and remain resolutely in support of this administration as we would leave no stone unturned in reversing the severe hardships that our people are currently passing through.
“Tinubu wished the graduands well and urged them to help fast-track the rapid development of our country. “
He assured of his government’s continued support in the provision and improvement of infrastructure in tertiary institutions. In his valedictory speech the Best Graduating student, Ikechukwu Nicholas Chukwuka ( Computer Engineering), thanked God for the grace to emerge best overall.
He said he had wanted to read Law but passion for Computer Engineering made him veer into a new discipline.
He acknowledged the contributions of his parents, lecturers and others in his feat while urging people never to joke with their passion.