Prof. Eyitope Ogunbodede, the Vice Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile Ife, has urged Nigerian universities to explore and harvest resources lying fallow in society.
Ogunbodede stated this at the 11th Anniversary Foundation Lecture of Achievers University in Owo, Ondo State.
The lecture was entitled: “University Education in Nigeria:Matters Arising.”
He said that OAU was taking the lead in this direction in spreading its tentacles and extending invitation to all those who wished to sow their knowledge and experience in the development of the university system.
“It must be noted that each university must carve a niche for itself, achieving some uniqueness, if it must enjoy national and global recognition.
“In a fast changing and challenging world ruled by vision, clarity of mission and creativity, developing efficient, relevant and functional education system has become the linchpin of socioeconomic development.
“There is a retinue of skills, knowledge and experience outside the university that can be tapped, “he said.
According to him, enterprising from primary school to tertiary education should not be taken lightly.
“How will you graduate and you cannot do something on your own for survival?
“Our universities should change the orientation of our education and be proactive ,”he said.
He decried the use of archaic curriculum, saying it would not work in present day Nigeria.
Ogunbodede also enjoined the Federal Government to include private universities in allocation of TETFUND funds, saying that the students there were Nigerians as well.
“Government will be caught unawares if it is not sensitive to this move.
“The decay that affects public primary and secondary schools is now rapidly creeping into our public tertiary institutions.
“This aberration should never have been allowed in the universities.
“A university is meant, among others, to generally cultivate the mental skills of both staff and students, to symbolise and maintain in the society the respect for intellectual excellence, truth, honesty, curiosity and inquisitiveness,”he stated.
He noted that it would be deceitful for the educational system to achieve its optimal level without attaining sanity in the general society.
Earlier, Prof. Tunji Ibiyemi, the Vice Chancellor of Achievers’ University, said that the institution currently had 1,700 students with 13 professors and three readers.
Ibiyemi added that the university had graduated eight sets, with 11 courses fully accredited while Nursing Sciences and three courses werer temporarily accredited.
According to him, the institution started officially in 2008 with two colleges, adding that it now has College of Law and three others as well as School of Postgraduate Studies.
The Chairman of the occasion and Archbishop of Ondo Ecclesiastical Province, Prof. George Lasebikan, said that the university was bound to be successful because it was founded on Christian faith and belief.
Dr Bode Ayorinde, the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Governing Council of Achievers’ University, said that he sited the institution in his country home for the love he has for Owo.
He added that only two individuals from the community had extended financial help to the school, urging Owo and other indigenes of the state to come to the aid of the institution being the first private university in the state.
Ayorinde said that the focus of the institution was to improve its facilities and compete favourably on researches and quality output with first generation private universities in the world.
According to him, many academic programmes of the school are run in the postgraduate studies of the institution.
“We have tremendous support from the community, staff, the students and most importantly from God.
“Our developmentmental plan for our 15th anniversary is to start doing more research to compete with first generation world private universities.
“Currently, we are running postgraduate school studies because at 15, we are rolling out the drums to ensure achievement of the National University Commission’s mandate.
Palestinian farmers collect corns during harvest season in Gaza strip city of Khan Younis
Cherry harvest season begins in Uzbekistan
Afghan farmer harvests wheat on outskirts of Kunduz city
A farmer harvests wheat on the outskirts of Kunduz city, northern Afghanistan on May 30, 2020. (Photo by Ajmal Kakar/Xinhua)
Farmers harvest wheat in the countryside of Sale, Morocco
A farmer drives a harvester to harvest wheat in the countryside of Sale, Morocco, on May 28, 2020. (Photo by Chadi/Xinhua)
Rose harvest in Syria
A Syrian man takes part in the picking process of the famous Damask, or Damascene Rose, in the town of al-Marah, north of the capital Damascus, Syria, on May 27, 2020. (Photo by Ammar Safarjalani/Xinhua)
Turkish tea producers allowed to travel for harvest amid COVID-19 restrictions
Hundreds of tea producers on Wednesday departed from Turkey’s biggest city Istanbul to their fields in other provinces for harvest amid COVID-19 restrictions, local media reported.
The Hurriyet daily shared a video showing the aerial view of many buses leaving the main bus terminal in Istanbul in the morning with tea producers on board.
The Turkish government earlier announced that it would ease the domestic travel restrictions for those who have registered tea fields, which are mainly located in the Black Sea region.
Their journeys will last around 18 to 20 hours by buses, Hurriyet said, noting that they will be put under quarantine for 14 days in their respective provinces.
Post-COVID-19: Farmers seek availability of farm inputs to enhance harvest
According to him, farmers are looking for better inputs to shore up their harvest to meet market demand of agricultural produce.
He said that the closure of land border since the third quarter of 2019 had increased pressure on the nation’s farm output.
Akinsoji said since then farmers had been struggling to meet up with local demands because of the embargo on smuggled food items.
“The exportation of our produce will be an added advantage to the economy and to our farmers.
”But farming season has begun in earnest and majority of our farmers still do not have access to improved seedlings, fertilizer, tractors and soft loans to enable them enhance harvest.
“If we must move from this substance level to export level, government should assist farmers to become mechanised, make land available, acquire tractors and improve seedlings that have good yield to meet up domestic and export needs,” he said.
Akinsoji also decried the low maize yield in the country, saying that the yield had not equaled local demand of corn for years.
He called for a liaison between research institutions and farmers for better farm output.
Mrs Bisi Alao, a poultry farmer said that cost of feed concentrates and the overhead cost to produce good feed to grow livestock were high.
According to her, reduction in the high cost will lead to improve feed that will result to improved stocks that will be acceptable locally and internationally.
Alao, while speaking on farm inputs, called on government to subsidise agricultural equipment and inputs to enable farmers have access to them and enhance output.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Federal Government on May 15, ordered Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service to issue produce export license to facilitate export to earn foreign exchange to boost the economy.
Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Grace Yussuf (NAN)
Farmers harvest garlic in countryside near Damascus, Syria
Farmers harvest garlic in the countryside near Damascus, Syria, May 19, 2020. (Photo by Ammar Safarjalani/Xinhua)
Feature: Tea producer in Turkey develops new harvest plan amid COVID-19
Every year in May, hundreds of Georgian seasonal workers are used to flock into Balaban’s little village Muratli located at the northeastern corner of Turkey bordering with Georgia.
However, this time around, the pandemic has put the villagers in a tough position as the border gate between the two countries was closed in line with the measures to restrain the spread of the coronavirus.
Each household in Muratli, having a population of 350, owns small or medium size of tea fields, and they are all dependent on seasonal workers for the harvest as young generations have left the village to work in big cities.
Balaban’s field requires at least 10 days of hard work of five workers to collect the leaves. The clock is ticking for him and others as they have no workers at hand to harvest their products.
“I have 20 more days to collect my tea leaves,” Balaban told Xinhua, with a sound of despair. “Starting in June, they will get dried and lose their quality.”
Most of the young people in the village decided to leave their hometown after several timber factories have closed their doors due to the economic downturn, according to Balaban.
Additionally, the nearby copper mill, which was previously run by the state, was no longer offering good working conditions after it became privatized, he said. “Job opportunities here became limited for our sons and daughters.”
Balaban and other farmers have long been trying to develop a new plan in case the border gate will remain closed.
“We finally came up with the idea that the remaining young people in the village whose number is almost 10 would come together and start collecting the leaves,” Balaban said. “They will do their best to harvest all the fields one after another.”
If things go well, Balaban expects to get around 5 to 10 tons of tea leaves and gain 3,400 Turkish liras (489 U.S. dollars) per ton.
Meanwhile, the Turkish government has recently decided to ease the domestic travel restrictions for those who have registered tea fields.
According to the new regulation, the tea field owners would be able to travel to their provinces upon their requests.
But this would not solve the problem of the farmers in Muratli as it didn’t cover seasonal workers.
“We heard that the government would open the border gate with Georgia soon,” Balaban added. “If our boys cannot harvest them all, I hope Georgian workers will make it in time.”
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