By Abiodun Lawal
Abeokuta – The Obong of Calabar and Chancellor of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), His Eminence Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi-Otu, has urged Nigerians to support President Muhammadu Buhari to reposition Nigeria.
The monarch spoke in Abeokuta on Saturday at the 23rd, 24th and 25th combined convocation ceremonies of the university.
Abasi-Otu said that it was imperative for all and sundry to encourage and support the government in its change project.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the graduating students were those who completed their courses of study between 2013/2014, 2014/2015/and 2015/2016.
The chancellor said that the only way to sustain the economy and truly diversify it, was through agriculture, saying “the way out is to embrace agriculture”.
He said that the Nigerian society would be better off, if government could make research findings from the universities and research centres available to end users to address the country’s specific needs.
The monarch, however, urged the Federal Government to do more by investing in resources and made funds available for researchers to carry out research in the country.
He commended the Federal Government for its timely intervention through the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) and other special intervention funds, saying that it had helped significantly to drive the universities.
Abasi-Otu said: “The importance of Universities of Agriculture will ever remain relevant in the scheme of things in Nigeria.
“This is because we have learnt a big lesson that overdependence on a single commodity like oil, as the main source of earning, is counterproductive.
“Nigeria should retrace its step by going back to agriculture; the over dependence on oil remained a shame and will continue to fail us as the Africa’s most populous country.
“The efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to diversify the hitherto monolithic economy are appropriate and welcome.
He called on the government to allow the university to run its managerial science courses.
In his remarks, the Vice-Chancellor of FUNAAB, Prof. Olalade Onikuomoehin said that a total of 1,881 students graduated for the 2013/2014 session.
“For 2014/2015 session, 2,731 graduated and 3, 065 graduated from their various courses of study for the 2015/2016 academic session.
“In all the three sessions, 203 students bagged First Class, while 2, 878 got Second Class Upper, while 3,602 and 828 others got Second Class Lower and Third Class respectively, with only 32 made ordinary pass.
Gov. Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun, in his goodwill message, assured the university of the state government’s continued support and cooperation.