Posted by Boniface Okoro, Umuahia | 14 December 2015 | 3,490 times
President Muhammadu Buhari says for Nigeria to realise her dream of becoming one of the world’s largest economy by 2020, emphasis must be placed on improving the agricultural sector of her economy.
“It is no longer viable for Nigeria to depend on crude oil and gas exports as the country’s major revenue earner,” Buhari said Saturday during the 7th Convocation ceremony of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike (MOUAU).
Represented by Minister of State for Education, Prof. Anthony Anwuka, Buhari said he was happy that specialised universities like MOUAU was producing young Nigerians who specialised in Agriculture, noting that the hope on the better future of Nigeria depended on good quality and high standard of education given to her children.
He, therefore, urged private organisations to join hands with the federal government “in forging partnerships with the universities, especially in funding for research and scholarships,” assuring of the federal government’s resolve to work with all relevant stakeholders to improving the education sector.
Buhari professed his hope in the Nigerian youth, saying: “I believe that with proper parental, communal and government support to them, our youths will not only excel academically, but will also flourish in their chosen professions and help contribute to the rapid development of our dear nation.”
He promised that his government would sustain the Needs Assessment which has ensured better funding of universities while commending the Prof Hilary Edeoga-led administration of MOUAU for recording giant strides in academic expansion and infrastructural developments, attributing the feat to prudent management of resources.
New Chancellor of MOUAU and Emir of Gombe, His Royal Highness, Abubakar Shehu Abubakar, said the university management looked forward to a fruitful collaboration with the federal government in tackling problems facing the institution and charged the graduating students to show themselves worthy of the pains of their training and imbibe the principle of service to mankind as they step into society.
Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of MOUAU Governing Council, Prof Anya Oko Anya, identified mutual respect and confidence of management, staff and students as the major factor responsible for tremendous progress the university recorded in the past five years under Edeoga.
“Since the present Governing Council came on board, we have not received any reports of internal strife or any upheavals between the management, staff and students,” Anya said.
Out-going Vice Chancellor, Prof Hilary Edeoga, enumerated the numerous achievements of his administration which included introduction of new academic programmes, construction of world class Central Laboratory, new lecture halls, hostels, among others, and called on the federal and Abia State governments to tackle the problem of land encroachment by the host communities.
Best Graduating Student, Mr Ede Ezekiel Chukwudi, in his valedictory speech, expressed gratitude to God for seeing them through their years of studies and charged his colleagues to be good ambassadors of MOUAU.
A former governor of Enugu State, Dr Okesilieze Nwodo, was awarded honorary Doctor of Science during the convocation ceremonies.
•Photo shows President Buhari.
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