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Faculty Of Agriculture Organises Graduate Homecoming Towards Launching Five Billion Naira Infrastructure Fund

The Vice Chancellor, Ahmadu Bello University, Professor Ibrahim Garba, has called for concerted effort by the University Alumni to help sustain the University in the era of dwindling government subvention in the educational sector.

Professor Garba made the call at the occasion to mark the Homecoming and agricultural expo, organised by the Faculty of Agriculture and the launching of five billion naira appeal fund for the new Agricultural Complex and Agricultural Village in the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.

The Vice Chancellor who was represented by the Director, Directorate of University Advancement, Professor Ahmed Adamu, stated that with the current drive of nations University System for autonomy, no university can survive and sustain its students and staff enrolment without the ardent support of its Alumni. According to him, Homecoming of that nature would not only set the pace for improving infrastructure in the University, but also ensure effective and conducive learning for students and the lecturers, in order to boost research activities in the Agricultural Complex and the University as a whole.

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Professor Garba maintained that, it was no longer news in the Country that over the years, budgetary allocations to the educational sector, especially to the universities, had been dwindling at catastrophic speed, noting that no nation in the world had developed without paying the price of adequate funding to research as a spring board for national development. According to him, the case of the Ahmadu Bello University could not be different for it to remain in the world map of science and technology, urging for concerted effort towards improving the educational sector.

The Vice Chancellor maintained that, for the University to remain resolute to its vision of being a world-class cosmopolitan University in South of the Sahara as well as producing quality graduates that will meaningfully contribute to the growth of Nigerian economy, it was pertinent for her graduate at home and in diaspora to join hands with the current Administration drive to sustain the vision, while expressing gratitude to those who responded to the clarion call of the inaugural Faculty Alumni Association. Professor Garba appealed to them to always remain as worthy ambassadors of their Alma Mater.

In a welcome address, the Chairman of the event, Professor G. S. Bawa, stated that the Agricultural Faculty had made a giant stride into the vision of making the University greater through the launching of the five billion naira infrastructural funds. He decried the decay of infrastructure in the Faculty, and appealed for generous contribution from Alumni and friends of the Faculty to resuscitate the decay.

Speaking earlier, a pioneer agriculturalist and a one-time Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Ango Abdullahi, mentioned that it would be difficult to detach the University from agricultural extension history which were put together by the Founding Fathers of the University to check the numerous challenges of the agricultural sector.

He added that there were multiple dimensional factors which qualify the Ahmadu Bello University as the Premier Institution in West Africa. According to him, ABU surpassed any other university in Nigeria in terms of socioeconomic capabilities, noting that, Agricultural Schools such as Kabba, Bakura and Kaduna were spring off the Ahmadu Bello University Agricultural Colleges.

Professor Abdullahi maintained that universities in Nigeria could not realised their food production potentials without investing massively in the research aspect of food production, while decrying the decay of research facilities in most research institutes. Professor Abdullahi appealed to the agricultural graduates to make concerted effort towards resuscitating the facilities in the Faculty to attain maximum results.

He further challenged agricultural experts to wake up to the challenge of producing qualitative research outcomes, which would be productive and clear, in terms of setting the research policy document.

In a speech, the Chairman, House Committee on Food Security, Hon. Tahir Monguno, who was represented by the Deputy Chairman, House Committee on Labour, Hon. Manir Babba Dan-Agundi, pledged the House commitment to support any course that would lead to the advancement of Ahmadu Bello University. According to him, the House Committee on Food Security was exploring means of identifying areas of intervention in the Faculty with a view to facilitating a legislative action that would advance the University.

Hon. Monguno further charged the academics and their non-academic counterparts to chart a new course in conducting research of other diverse areas of interest with potentials of making impact to the immediate community, and to stop foreigners from taking away the results of their activities. While urging them to explore other areas of research in the educational sector, he advised the professionals to always breakdown their research findings into simpler and understandable packages for easy legislation.

Speaking also, the Executive Secretary, Tertiary Education Trust Funds (TETFUND) Professor Suleiman Bogora, who was represented by the former Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic, Professor Moses Adamu, expressed his readiness to partner with the Faculty in the areas of provision of the necessary assistance that was required towards making the Faculty greater.

In a keynote address, the Dean, Faculty of Agriculture, Professor Akpa, stated that the motive behind the event was to explore other alternatives of raising funds outside the University for the purpose of constructing additional infrastructure for the Faculty as well as an Agricultural Technology Village. He said that the efforts of the ABU Alumni Association, which started in 2011, was focused towards revival and formation of Faculty-base Alumni Association and was being realised after four years later. He commended the Executive of the Association for the foresight and thanked the University Management and the Directorate of University Advancement, for making the event a success and pledged to work in collaboration with the National Alumni Association towards the development and promotion of learning and research in Ahmadu Bello University.