From Okey Sampson, Umuahia
Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike (MOUAU) today held her 10th convocation ceremony, with President Mohamadu Buhari tasking universities in the country to brace up to the challenges posed by food shortage in Nigeria.
To this end, President Buhari said it would be imperative for MOUAU to apply mechanised system of farming to produce enough food not only to help in feeding the nation, but also assist in surmounting the challenges of unemployment in the country.
Represented by the Minister of Agriculture, Dr Mohammed Mahmood Abubakar, Buhari stated that it will not be therefore out of place to task the university to help in reversing Nigerians heavy dependence on imported foods by using modern technology to produce food that would be enough to feed the populace of the country.
He urged the graduands to remain good ambassadors of not only the university, but the Nigerian society at large.
Abia State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, represented by his Deputy, Udo Okochukwu commended the federal government for the establishment of the university in the state.
Ikpeazu requested for the return of courses that were taken away from the University, which he said has affected the institution adversely.
The Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof Maduebibisi Ofo Iwe showered encomiums on President Buhari for his continued support to MOUAU.
Prof Iwe assured that the university under his watch would work hard to actualize federal government’s policies in agricultural revolution and food security.
This he said, included the signing of land deals for agricultural revolution between the school and National Land Administration and Development Agency (NALDA) and called for support from national and international partners.
He disclosed that the university would continue to produce quality graduates who would positively impact the society, adding that staff and students’ welfare would remain paramount to his administration.
The Vice Chancellor noted that several abandoned projects in the school were undergoing reactivation as contractors had been brought back to sites even as a solid partnership had also been sealed between the MOUAU and Abia State government.
The institution, according to the V-C maintains zero tolerance to cultism, even as he announced that adequate security arrangements had also been sealed between his school and the Abia State Police Command and other security agencies towards a better secured school environment.
Prof Iwe however regretted the challenges of poor physical infrastructure and appealed for help from Nigerians.
Minister of State for Mines and Agriculture, Dr Uche Ogah and other dignitaries attended the convocation.
During the10th convocation, 5,817 graduands received first degrees, 92, diploma certificates, 454, Masters degrees and 243, doctorate degrees.