(fmard) Nigeria’s Federal Universities of Agriculture have been returned from the supervision of the Ministry of Education to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural development – Chief Audu Ogbeh who made the disclosure at a recent stakeholders meeting with Vice Chancellors and Governing Boards of the universities in Abuja, said returning the universities to their original supervisory ministry was aimed at refocusing the institutions to fulfil their core mandates.
Describing the move as one informed by sound reasoning and logic, the minster stated that the universities are expected to train Nigerian youths in agriculture, help to move agriculture forward and proffer solutions to the challenges faced in the sector especially in the area of research.
Chief Ogbeh regretted the long departure of the universities from agricultural disciplines to non-agriculture courses such as accounting, engineering and medicine etc. which were being thought in the schools and directed that only agriculture-related disciplines be thought, assuring of government’s provision of funds and grants for research.
“Your return will effectively help us to reposition the three universities of agriculture as centres of excellence for the rapid development of the agriculture sector. There is no place where the competence and capacity to drive agriculture resides outside the Universities of Agriculture. We need to achieve a hunger-free Nigeria. Henceforth, students who are not interested in becoming farmers should be made to seek admission elsewhere. We are determined to offer you the necessary support for your transformation, for research for a healthier realm of discovery and self-actualisation’’ Chief Ogbeh said.
Chairman, House Committee on Agricultural Production and Services – Hon. Mohammed Munguno pledged the support of the National Assembly through relevant amendments to ensure proper domiciliation of the institutions in the ministry of Agriculture.
Vice-Chancellor, Micheal Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia – Prof. Anya O. Anya, who spoke on behalf of his colleagues applauded the Federal Government’s decision and expressed the hope that the domiciliation of the universities in the ministry would help revamp the agricultural sector.