Abuja — The Federal Government, Monday, inaugurated 19-man Interim Management Committee of the Federal University of Agriculture, Zuru, Kebbi State, for the smooth take-off of academic activities.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Muhammad Nanono, inaugurated the committee chaired by Prof Bello Zaki, who also doubles as Interim Vice-Chancellor of the University.
Nanono who expressed optimism that the university will add value to the effort of the Ministry in terms of boosting human capacity to boost food security said there is no better time than now to inaugurate the committee.
He also thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for assenting to the Bill establishing the first Agricultural University in the North-West geopolitical zone and the fourth Federal University of Agriculture in the country.
Part of the functions of the committee include laying solid foundation of the university, work with federal and state education authorities and other principal stakeholders, develop practical and acceptable academic briefs, oversee and manage personnel of the university including recruitment, selection, placement, training, discipline and welfare issues, to ensure take-off of academic activities by September 2020.
Meanwhile, sponsor of the Bill to establish the Federal University of Agriculture, Zuru, Kebbi State, Senator representing Kebbi South Senatorial District, Bala Ibn Na'Allah, and Emir of Zuru, Alhaji Muhammad Sani Sami, who was represented by former Postmaster General, Ibrahim Mori-Baba, expressed gratitude to the President Muhammadu Buhari for graciously approving and assenting to the Bill and said the agricultural sector will be galvanized with this new agric varsity.
He said: "It becomes imperative for the Ministry to constitute this Committee considering the need for the smooth take-off and early commencement of the operations of the university following the assent to the bill for the establishment of the university by Mr. President.
"Let me use this auspicious occasion to thank the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, for assenting to the bill that establishes the first Agricultural University in the North-Western part of the country. There is no doubt in my mind that the establishment of this university is a great addition to the fortunes of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development as it will tremendously add to the national capacity in Agriculture and food security.
"We have carefully selected eminent scholars and professionals with proven background in Agriculture in agriculture, fiancé and budget, administration and ICT to expedite early delivery of results from the University's core mandates.
"The Federal University of Agriculture, Zuru is designed in a manner that would ensure the introduction of new, flexible and locally relevant programmes for the strengthening of link between agriculture and entrepreneurship in order to permit growth and development of agripreneurship in the catchment area, the nation and beyond."
Meanwhile, the Minister urged the management of the university to harness the talents of highly experienced individuals selected to serve in the committee for maximum impact.
However, the Minister said the interim management committee is constituted to facilitate the operational commencement of the university and not to be regarded as Governing Board, "but an ad-hoc structure that is expected to with the interim Vice-Chancellor to provide good governance on one hand and effectively implement projects and programmes on the other hand for the smooth take-off of the university pending the appointment of the Governing Board."
Meanwhile, the Interim Vice-Chancellor, Prof Bello Abubakar, on behalf of the committee thanked the Minister for appointing and inaugurating them to serve in this capacity as interim committee members of the university.
Abubakar also assured the Minister that, "No doubt the new agric varsity will move from knowledge to entrepreneurial skills for gainful employment, and will make sure become a force to be reckoned with in skillful agriculture according to global best practices that would drive self-sufficiency and sustainability.
"Our approach to issues most especially the curriculum content, structures, and learning environment generally would be tailored towards reflecting the current realities of our agricultural needs in tandem with yearning and aspirations of our teeming farming population.
"The University, by this development will differ radically among other sister universities in structure and content. We are also absolutely committed to leaving above board in building a university whose philosophy, mission and vision would be in line with global best practice."