FUNAAB chancellor, Otu, tasks researchers on groundbreaking researches
Chancellor, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB) and the Obong of Calabar, His Eminence, Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu (V), has challenged Nigerian researchers to embark on researches that are developmental-based and capable of bringing about a turnaround, and giving the country’s economy the needed verve.
Otu, who is also the Grand Patriarch of the Efik Eburutu Kingdom, said now that it has dawned on the country’s leaders that oil resources could no longer sustain the nation’s economy, it was imperative for researchers to contribute their quota to boosting the economy.
The monarch who was on his maiden visit to the institution said, “For so many years now, well-meaning Nigerians have been telling the leaders of this country not to depend on oil, but we spent all our time depending on it because it was easy to come by and nobody wanted to see where this money was actually invested. All they claimed was that we were representing the people and were acting in their interest. But today, we have found out that it is not so. Everybody, who went there went there to enrich his or her pocket. So, there is the need for us to look inwards now. And where do we go to now? It is agriculture,” he stated.
He said, “This institution (FUNAAB) has to play a very major role in the development of agriculture, and I am happy that looking at its structure, it embodies everything we can actually use to facilitate our growth. The entrepreneurial side of it can actually train our people and go out to the field to make sure that farming actually affects the people. We need to develop this university to make sure that it affects the people and not just by making researches that are not made use of.
He continued, “We need to look inwards, and this time around, we need to tie the government, hold them and drag them down to the positive side by investing in an institution like this, and following it up by bringing out graduates that will go straight to doing what they are supposed to do, and who should not be those who are merely looking for employment that will never come.
“We will see what we can do and follow it from every angle to make sure that this development happens soon because if we look at the terrain, we should not be buying food from anywhere. We are blessed in this country. We don’t need to just produce materials and then they are gone. We need to preserve what we have, and how do we do that? It is by having stable electricity…,” he added.
The chancellor called on the governing council, management, staff, students and other relevant stakeholders to close ranks in other to take the university to greater heights, even as he commended cordial relationship between all stakeholders, including the staff unions.
Vice chancellor of the institution and President, Association of African Universities (AAU), Professor Olusola Oyewole, appreciated the chancellor for taking time out to visit, stressing that the school was on track to fulfill its mandate, while the Pro-Chancellor/Chairman, Governing Council Senator Adeseye Ogunlewe, expressed appreciation to the Federal Government for giving the university a chancellor of great pedigree.
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