The Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta (FUNAAB) on Friday graduated 3,548 students amid renewed calls on the Federal Government to restore management science courses in the institution.
The Chancellor of the university and Obong of Calabar, Edidem Ekpo Okon, and the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Governing Council, Dr Aboki Zhawa, made the plea for the restoration of the courses at the 26th convocation ceremony of the instution on Friday.
In his address, Okon called on the Visitor to the university, President Muhammadu Buhari, “to magnanimously restore our courses in the College of Management Sciences that were delisted since three years ago.’’
He recalled that the establishment of the college was borne out of the call for diversification of academic programmes in specialised universities with the assurance to retain agriculture as the flagship in the school.
“The purpose of this pronouncement on diversification was to allow greater access to higher education by an ever-increasing pool of eligible candidates who are unable to access higher education due to insufficiency in numbers to care for their admission capacities.
“It is therefore important that the college, which has enjoyed full accreditation status, should be allowed to continue its contributions in the academic toward meaningful national development,’’ he said.
Also speaking, Zhawa appealed to the president to restore the College of Management Science which he said for two consecutive academic sessions had been delisted from JAMB Brochure.
“The Governing Council believes that whoever opens the gate of a school closes the door of prison while a nation that toys with education of its citizens is only preparing its posterity for penury.
“I beseech Mr President to prevail on the agencies and individuals that may be thwarting the efforts of restoring this all-important college to put the future of the teeming youths above all other considerations,’’ he said.
Giving a breakdown of the graduands, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Kolawole Salako, said 113 graduated with first class honours, 1,327 second class upper division and 1,533 second class lower division.
The vice-chancellor, who was hosting his first convocation since he assumed office on Nov. 1, 2017, described the graduating students as the best and their degrees well deserved.
He urged them to uphold the university’s core values of academic and moral excellence, pointing out that “these will distinguish you among your peers and make you very good ambassadors of the university.’’
Recalling her journey to the top of her set, the overall best graduating student, Akinyele, Olutobiloba, said “I knew from the start that it wasn’t going to be easy considering the fact that I crossed from Agricultural Technology to Nutrition and Dietetics through Direct Entry.’’
She urged youths to constantly set goals for themselves, reset them if need be as well as work and pray towards achieving the them.