The Chancellor of the University and the Obong of Calabar, His Eminence, Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi-Otu V, has assured members of the University community that better days are here. His Eminence gave the promise during the visit of University Management to the monarch in his palace in Calabar, Cross River State. Leading the team was the Acting Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ololade Enikuomehin, who intimated the Royal Father on the state of affairs in the University, as well as preparations towards his investiture as the fourth Chancellor of the University.
His Eminence disclosed that he was indeed delighted that FUNAAB had overcome its internal challenges and that the current administration, led by the Acting Vice-Chancellor, was settling down fast, while urging the University Management to ensure speedy reconciliatory efforts, aimed at restoring enduring peace on campus. The Chancellor, who expressed his joy that the University was now under the direct supervision of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMA&RD), noted that running of programmes in the College of Management Sciences (COLMAS) of the University was a good initiative, which should not be scrapped. “Your management science programme is a good initiative. We cannot do away with it. We will sit down with the relevant stakeholders and discuss, with a view to returning the courses back to your institution”, he stated.
The Obong of Calabar expressed his support for the Federal Government’s move to diversify the nation’s economy and return to agriculture, saying the sector holds the key to unlock the various potentials God had endowed the country with. He added that graduates from universities of agriculture, such as FUNAAB, were expected to be employers of labour because they should have been properly equipped with the skills and competencies that were required to be successful farmers and entrepreneurs.
The Chancellor lauded the University Management, which he said, was made up of hardworking, dedicated and trusted people while also reiterating the importance of cordial and robust working relationship in any organisation. “Since my interaction with the new Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council, Dr. Barr. Aboki Zhawa, good relationship has returned. Let us pray to God to lead us aright. We will work together to take FUNAAB to the next level”, he assured.
Earlier, the Acting Vice-Chancellor had informed the Chancellor that the visit was to show the total commitment of University Management to ensuring peace and tranquility, and to inform the Obong of Calabar about the level of preparedness to install him as Chancellor of FUNAAB. He added that the University had set necessary machinery in motion to appoint a substantive Vice-Chancellor, Registrar and Bursar. Professor Enikuomehin revealed that normal academic activities had been restored in the University, urging the Chancellor to intervene on the policy of the government to stop programmes in the College of Management Sciences (COLMAS).
“They say COLMAS is an aberration, but we don’t believe it is true. Our belief is that graduates of the College are managers of resources because they have been trained to be.
The Acting Vice-Chancellor lauded the desire of some members of the Etubom Traditional Council to partner FUNAAB on agricultural initiatives such as student exchange programmes that could contribute to raising the bar of excellence in the University and also improving the economy of Nigeria. At the occasion, the chiefs made useful contributions that could bring about positive transformation of the University. They further noted that Nigeria had always paid lip service to agriculture and that practical implementation of agricultural policies had left much to be desired, calling on Nigerians to go back to farming.
They charged Nigerians to always grow what they eat, urging the University to further improve its Town and Gown relationship with enterprises that would further boost research and ensure food security in Nigeria. While charging the authorities at the federal level to change the image of agriculture, through infrastructural revolution, as panacea to encouraging youths to venture into agriculture and by that, Nigeria would have no reasons importing food. The Acting Registrar, Dr. (Mrs.) Linda Onwuka, while giving the vote of thanks, rekindled the hope that the University was on the right track and commended the Chancellor for his goodwill and interest at ensuring that FUNAAB remained a leading University.
Meanwhile, the University officials that accompanied the Acting Vice-Chancellor include the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Professor Oluyemisi Eromosele; Acting Registrar, Dr. (Mrs.) Linda Onwuka; Acting Bursar, Mrs. Oluremi Oyewunmi; University Librarian, Dr. Mulikat Salaam; Deputy Registrar II (Vice-Chancellor’s Office), Mrs. Oluwatoyin Dawodu; Head, Directorate of Public Relations, Mrs. Emi’ Alawode and Assistant Director, Protocol and Passages, Mr. Adewale Kupoluyi.