The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, (FMARD), Sabo Nanono, says the Federal Government is committed to ensuring the take-off of University of Agriculture, Zuru, Kebbi, in 2020.
Nanono made this known in a statement issued by the Director of Information, Mr Theodore Ogaziechi, on Tuesday in Abuja.
The minister gave the assurance when he inaugurated the Interim Management Committee for the university.
Nanono noted that the university would ensure the introduction of new, flexible and locally relevant programmes toward strengthening the link between Agriculture and entrepreneurship in the country
The minister said "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."
He said the Interim Management Committee was constituted to facilitate the operational commencement of the institution.
He added: "the committee was not to be regarded as a Governing Board but an ad hoc structure, expected to work with the interim vice-chancellor to provide good governance and effectively implement projects and programmes for the smooth take-off of the university pending the appointment of the Governing Board."
The minister tasked the management of the university to harness the talents of the highly experienced individuals selected to serve on this committee for maximum impact for the benefit of the institution and the country.
They minister listed the terms of reference of the committee as follows:
"To lay a solid foundation for the emergence of a unique university that will develop the intellectual capability and skills towards the production of qualitative, entrepreneurial and self-reliant graduates thereby reducing the level of unemployment among graduates.
"To work with Federal Ministry of Education, National Universities Commission, Kebbi State Government, the local community as well as other principal stakeholders in actualising the smooth take-off of the university
"To develop a practicable and acceptable academic brief in line with the aspiration of the present administration four job creation for the teeming Nigerian youths by entrenching entrepreneurship training as a precondition for graduation from the university, among others."
The Permanent Secretary, FMARD, Dr. Mohammed Umar, represented by Director, Special Duties, Zubairu Abdullahi, said " it is my belief with the calibre of eminent scholars and experienced personnel on this committee, Federal University of Agriculture, Zuru, would commence operations on a very sound footing."
The Interim Vice-Chancellor, Federal University of Agriculture, Prof. Bello Abubakar, pledged that the committee would be committed to the task ahead and would deliver on its mandate.
In attendance at the meeting was the Minster of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Mustapha Baba Shehuri, and Sen. Bala Na' Allah.