Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike, MOUAU, will, in two months time, begin commercial production of animal feeds, the management of the institution has revealed.
Vice Chancellor, Professor Maduebibisi Ofo Iwe who disclosed this during a pre-convocation press conference, said the feat was part of conscious efforts to fulfill the core mandate of the institution and shore up its internally generated revenue.
He noted that while many universities in the country were yet to recover from the set-backs of the COVID-19 pandemic and eight months strike, MOUAU had since moved on.
“Universities are yet to recover from the impacts of COVID-19 pandemic and eight months of strike by the unions. But we have tried to navigate through this challenge by combining two academic sessions in the last session to make sure that we come up and graduate more students.
“This was so demanding in the way of funding but we thank the Almighty God that we were able to end so successfully. I appreciate the University Management, Senate and Lecturers for their commitment, doggedness and for going extra miles to ensure that this was accomplished.
“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 have 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 organidations.”
Professor Iwe identified non-release of take-off grant 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.
The VC disclosed that no fewer than 121 students of the institution made First Class Honours, and would graduate during the university’s 11th Convocation ceremony tomorrow (Saturday).
According to him, 1941 out of the total 8,369 graduands made Second Class Upper Division, 3063 got Second Class Lower Division, 1121 Third Class, and 6 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.