THE NEED TO TRANSFORM THE MICHAEL OKPARA UNIVERSITY OF AGRICULTURE UMUDIKE TO A CONVENTIONAL UNIVERSITY. BY NNAEMEKA NWOKOCHA

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The Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike was established in 1992 but began academic activities in the 1993/94 academic session.(source:www.mouau.edu.ng).

The university was established for the purpose of delivering specialized education in Agriculture to boost food and fibre production and self employment. How much these have been achieved is left for the graduates of the institution over the years to testify.

However, from the point of view of we laymen, we can quite easily say that these aims are still far from being realised after nearly thirty (30) years of the university’s life. The reason for this position is not farfetched.

First, in spite of the institution”s existence and operations, Nigerians, including the graduates of MOUAU are still massively unemployed. Secondly, food production is still in extreme deficits as the prices of food continue to rise.

For me therefore, it is a waste of land space and resources and an inhibition to the massive education of our people to continue to limit the capacity of this university based on the above reasons. Indeed, other conventional universities also operate faculties of Agriculture and anyone can enroll in any of them and study agriculture.

Therefore, the time has come for an amendment of the act establishing MOUAU, to allow it admit students to study Education, Law, The Social Sciences, Arts, Medicine and so on. So many potentials are wasted as students who should be admitted to study in this institution are roaming about for lack of an opportunity to study.

The next Abia State Governor should therefore be someone that is passionate about transforming this institution. He or she should be someone that has the will to coordinate the members of the National Assembly representing Abia State, to propose the necessary amendments, reach out to their colleagues in other parts of the country and lobby them to support this amendment.

Indeed, MOUAU needs to be made available to teeming Abians who wish to go into Undergraduate and Postgraduate studies in any discipline of their choice, not only agriculture. It needs to equally be available to qualified Abians who could be employed as academic and non academic staff in the new departments to be created through the amendment.

NNAEMEKA NWOKOCHA
12TH JUNE, 2021.


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