Members of the newly-formed Committee of Pro-Chancellors of Federal Universities of Agriculture in Nigeria (CPFUAN) have agreed to work harmoniously for the benefit of the country in transforming agriculture from theoretical, into the practice level, with a call for the restoration of management sciences to Universities of Agriculture in the nation. Members of the committee were drawn from the topmost echelon of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB); Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi (FUAM); and the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike (MOUAU).
Speaking at the committee’s maiden meeting, the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council of FUNAAB, Dr. (Barr) Aboki Zhawa, stated that universities of agriculture in Nigeria should be at the forefront in formulating policies for the advancement of agricultural development in Nigeria. The Pro-Chancellor, who is also the Chairman of the Committee, stated that the universities could exert such influence through their impacts and output of researches.
Making a slide presentation on behalf of the Vice-Chancellor of FUNAAB, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Prof. Morenike Dipeolu disclosed that agricultural programmes cannot exist in isolation of other disciplines, noting that every human development programme is required in an agrarian community. According to her, “If agriculture must be a business to provide employment for a huge part of our population, then programmes, which play roles in value-addition of agricultural products, must be included in our curricula”.
She, therefore, stressed in unison with other sister universities that the restoration of management courses was a task that must be accomplished. Prof. Salako identified cassava as the comparative advantage crop that FUNAAB had over other sister agricultural universities, stressing that it would also serve as the research focus of the University. On the other hand, FUAM and MOUAU’s research focus are on selected rice production and palm oil, respectively. Highlight of the meeting was the constitution of a 9-member Technical Committee with Prof. Kolawole Salako, as its Chairman while other members include the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Registrar, and Director of Academic Planning from each of the three universities.
The Technical Committee has, as its terms of reference, the creation of a policy paper for consideration at CPFUAN’s next meeting. The meeting had in attendance the Pro-Chancellor, FUAM, Prof. Alkasum Abba; Pro-Chancellor, MOUAU, Rt. Hon. LawalZayyana; Vice-Chancellor, FUAM, Prof. Richard Kimbir; Vice-Chancellor, MOUAU, Prof. Francis Otunta; DVC (Academic), FUAM, Prof. Nicodemus Agbulu; and the DVC (Academic), MOUAU, Prof. Madu Iwe. Others are the Registrar, FUNAAB, Dr. ‘Bola Adekola; Registrar, FUAM, Mrs. Helen Nyitse; Registrar, MOUAU, Mrs. Jacinta Ogwo-Agu; FUNAAB’s Dean, College of Management Sciences (COLMAS), Prof. Akeem Salami; Dean, College of Animal Science and Livestock Production (COLANIM), Prof. Olusiji Sowande; Dean, College of Plant Science and Crop Production (COLPLANT), Prof. Mufutau Atayese; Director, Directorate of University Farms (DUFARMS), Mr. Joseph Olobashola; Deputy Registrar II, Council Affairs, Mr. Moses Ayanda; as well as principal and top officials from the sister universities.