Governor Okezie Ikpeazu says that the Abia State Government will sustain its partnership with the Micheal Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike in working towards creating a more robust economy for the grassroots with women and youth inclusion in focus.
Governor Okezie Ikpeazu stated this on Wednesday, while receiving a delegation of the Vice-Chancellor of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Professor Maduebibisi Iwe and his management team who called on him in Government House, Umuahia.
He said it is as a result that the administration is bent on setting up agro-based cottage industries in the 17 LGAs, especially in the areas of palm kernel oil processing, cassava processing and rice milling. According to him, 6 LGAs have been selected for the pilot scheme which would soon take off, while equipment for the industries have since arrived in the state from India.
Governor Ikpeazu said that the State government will be open to partnership with the University to see how to do reverse engineering on the possibility of fabricating and producing agro-equipment, such as the ones imported from India. He noted that the greatest challenge of the Nigerian Universities is how to bridge the gap between research findings and actual inventions to put them to everyday use.
The Governor said his government will be willing to support the patronage of the inventions of MOUA as the State yearns for economic development. He also assured that the government will give the Visitation Panel the enabling environment to do their job. He congratulated the new management team of the university and directed the SSG to take up the issue of the Certificate of Occupancy of the school which they said has been outstanding while commiserating with them on the loss of the former Vice-Chancellor, Late Professor Otunta.
Earlier, the Vice-Chancellor of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Professor Maduebibisi Iwe said the visit was to present himself as the 6th Vice-Chancellor of the University, his management as well as presenting the Presidential Visitation Panel of the school to the Governor. He requested the Governor to continue to extend his goodwill to the school as it is the only specialized university of its kind in the South East and South-South area.
He thanked the Governor for his encouragement and support that led to his emergence as the new Vice-Chancellor and expressed their readiness to partner with the State in the area of agriculture. He reminded him that the land allotted to the University since 1994 has not been properly documented by the State.
Contributing, the Chairman of the Visitation Panel, Professor Suleman Adeyemi said, the purpose of constituting the Visitation Panel by Mr. President, is to review performance of the university in governance, academic standard, management of finances, staff and students relationships among others.
Deputy Governor Sir Ude Oko Chukwu, Secretary to Government, Barrister Chris Ezem, Honorable Commissioner for Finance, Dr Aham Ukoh, State Head of Service, Sir Onyi Onyii Wamah and Deputy Chief of Staff in the office of the Deputy Governor, Sir Don Ubani were amongst top officials of the State Government who witnessed the event.