The week long activities marking the 10th convocation program of the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, MOUAU, in Abia state ended November 27, with 92 students graduating with first class degrees.
By Bruno Uche
Maduebibisi Ofo Iwe, Professor of Food Science and Vice Chancellor of the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, MOUAU, in Abia State was all smiles last week, when the 10th convocation ceremony of the University was declared closed in the evening of Saturday, November 27. He had reasons to be happy.
For one week, he had remained restless, holding meeting making calls across the country and supervising multiple pre-event activities to ensure that programs ranging from press conference, convocation lecture, prayer sessions, were well organized and held as scheduled . The highpoint of the 10th convocation ceremony, the first under his leadership as Vice Chancellor, was a huge success. All invited dignitaries attended, in person or through representation.
The University also had impressive academic performance to showcase. The University graduated a total of 6606 students with 4115 belonging to the 2018/2019 academic year at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
Of the 5815 first degree graduands, 92 obtained first-class honours. 1775 passed with second-class honours (Upper Division) and 2905 passed with second-class honours (Lower Division). In addition, 1226, graduated with third-class honours, while 18 had pass degrees.
President Muhammadu Buhari, the Visitor to the university was represented at the occasion by Dr. Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar, Honourable Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development who read the Visitor’s speech at the occasion.
In his address, President Muhammadu Buhari described Nigerian Universities of Agriculture as cardinal tools for rapid transformation in agricultural sector and urged them to collaborate with the National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA), to ensure increase in the production of food and raw materials. He stated that efforts are being made by Government to put in place policies and programmes to strengthen agencies in order to provide enabling environment for increase in the production of food and raw materials for economic diversification.
In his opening remarks, the Chancellor of the University, Shehu Abubakar Shehu III applauded the developmental strides of the Vice-Chancellor of MOUAU and congratulated the graduating students who he described as indispensable agents in the transformation of the nation.
The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Maduebibisi Ofo Iwe, in his welcome address, thanked the president for his support to the University system. He used the occasion to reel out achievements his administration has recorded in areas of infrastructure development, staff and students’ welfare, research and innovation as well as the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) and National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA).
In his remarks at the occasion, the Governor of Abia State, Dr. Okezie Victor Ikpeazu, who was represented by his deputy, Rt. Hon. Ude Oko chukwu appreciated the tremendous efforts made by MOUAU in the area of research and innovation. He used the occasion to appeal to the government to restore the courses delisted from the university curriculum in order to create more admission opportunities for teeming applicants in the State.
The University at the ceremony conferred honorary degrees on four distinguished personalities including HRM Alayeluwa Oba Akeem Olusayo King Ogungbagbe, the Ajagbusi-Ekun VI Owaloko of Iloko-Ijesa; the President/CEO of Coscharis Group, Dr. Cosmos Maduka; the MD/CEO of UYK Nig. Ltd. and the President of Yahaya Kansila Foundation, Alhaji Usman Yahaya Kansila and the Group Managing of Eunisell Group, Mr. Chika Ikenga.
The occasion attracted the Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Uche Sampson Ogah, other top government officials, academics, traditional rulers and well-wishers of the University drawn across the nation.