Nnaya Eziyi, Umuahia
Ninety eight students will graduate with First Class Degrees from different colleges from the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike (MOUAU) during its 8th Convocation ceremony which will also mark its 25th anniversary on Saturday.
Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof Francis Otunta stated this while briefing newsmen ahead of the ceremony at the University’s conference hall, adding that the students were among 4, 958 others who would be participating in the ceremony.
Otunta said 1,437 made Second Class (Upper Division), 2,111; Second Class (Lower Division), 1,276;Third Class, while 36 earned Pass Degrees, adding that within the period under review, the colleges of the University grew from six to 11.
“As we send these graduates out into the labour market, I am confident that they will bear the name of the University in good light and set good example for those coming behind to follow,” according to Otunta, a First Class Mathematics graduate.
He said since he took over the office on March 1, 2016, the University had suffered severely from lack of funds and had consoled itself by thinking that the NEEDs Assessment Fund funded projects which litters the campus were progressive developments.
“I spent sleepless nights making concerted efforts to achieve the release of a second tranche of the funds, constituting 40 per cent of the 2013/2014 NEEDs Assessment Fund which is due to the University,” according to the 5th head of the University.
He noted that there were also projects that were funded by the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR),which he said were plagued by too many irregularities, ” For example, contracts were awarded without due process.All these have greatly threatened the progress of this administration.”
Otunta expressed gratitude to the Central Bank of Nigeria for building an ultramodern complex that houses the University’s Centre for Entrepreneurial Development, describing it as part of its efforts to promote skills acquisition as a tool for self-development.
He said in February 2017, a similar project was donated to the University by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), adding that in the area of information dissemination and communication, the University had revamped its FM Radio Station.
Commending the management of the University for their support, cooperation and loyalty to him, Otunta added that the students had not been left out in their quest to make it better than he met it by excelling in both academic and extra curricular activities.