The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Kolawole Salako has once again called for the restoration of the College of Management Sciences (COLMAS) at the Honourable Minister of Agriculture’s briefing with Vice-Chancellors of Universities of Agriculture in Nigeria, held at the expansive Minister’s Conference Hall, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), Abuja.
Professor Salako who likened the overseas specialised Universities with their counterparts in Nigeria, declared that those Universities abroad still run courses outside their focal area.
According to the Vice-Chancellor, the current Nigeria Agriculture Promotion Policy (2016-2020), stated that Management Courses were pivotal to achieving the goals of FMARD and the Federal Government in ensuring food security as well as making Agriculture a business venture.
He highlighted the sterling achievements of the College, saying that Accounting, Business Administration and Banking and Finance Departments received full accreditation in 2015, adding that Entrepreneurial Studies and Economics Programmes got the National Universities Commission (NUC)’s full accreditation in 2017.
Citing more achievements of the College, the Vice-Chancellor stated that FUNAAB’s Accounting Department was the only Department in Southwest Nigeria that was granted full accreditation by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) in 2017, adding that the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) also granted full accreditation to the Accounting Department. According to the Vice-Chancellor, “Banking and Finance got full accreditation of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) in 2019”.
Professor Salako declared that FUNAAB has continued to build on the Agricultural Transformation Policy 2010-2015, inclusive of the Nigeria’s Agricultural Promotion Policy 2016-2020 under the GREEN ALTERNATIVE of FMARD to contribute towards the attainment of food security, import substitution, job creation and the Federal Government’s economic diversification.
He, therefore commended the Federal Government through FMARD for the increased allocation to FUNAAB on the Capital Project Fund, noting that mechanised farming equipment, block-making machine for entrepreneurship and mobile seed processing equipment were purchased. According to him, other sources of fund for agricultural development in the University were from the World Bank, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Natural Resources Institute (NRI). United Kingdom.
Others are the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and Raw Materials and Research Development Council (RMRDC).
Professor Salako, who is a Fellow of the Soil Science Society of Nigeria, while flaunting the certificate issued by the National Centre for Genetic Resources and Biotechnology (NACGRAB), to FUNAAB Alpha Chicken in the slide presentation, stressed that Professor Olufunmilayo Adebambo has been on the research for decades.
He, however, reeled out some of the challenges facing the University ranging from inadequate funds, staff needs to meet NUC standard, inadequate electricity supply and potable water as well as security threats. He added that the University needed to develop ranching for 5,000 to 10,000 cattle if supported with fund for Animal Husbandry-Ranching.
On his part, the Vice-Chancellor, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture (MOUA), Umudike, Professor Francis Otunta chronicled the eventful years of the University, saying that dearth of funds was the biggest challenge to research activities.
In the same vein, the Vice-Chancellor, Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi (FUAM), Professor Richard Kimbir solicited for increased funding to bridge the gap in research activities.
Responding, the Honourable Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Sabo Nanono encouraged the Vice-Chancellors to attract the private sectors to their research activities, adding that Public Private Partnership was the way to go.
Alhaji Nanono lamented the challenges of agriculture in the country, noting that with the abundant expertise in the field, the country ought not to rely on food importation. He stressed that the cocoa plantation business of the southwest needed to be revived, saying that every part of the country has something to offer as regards agriculture.
The Honourable Minister further stated that the nation is blessed with abundant human, financial and material resources, stressing that what the nation needed was to be focused and organised to discontinue food import and save foreign exchange. He stated that the next briefing would be jointly attended by the Pro-Chancellors and Vice-Chancellors of Universities of Agriculture in Nigeria.
Present at the briefing were the Honourable Minister of State, Alhaji Mustapha Shehuri; Director of Community-Based Farming Scheme (COBFAS), Professor Sunday Adigbo and other Directors at FMARD.