A University’s bouquet of gifts to Ekiti
Federal University, Oye Ekiti is one of nine newly established universities in Nigeria.
Despite being in the formative stage, the university, headed by Professor Chinedu Nebo as Vice Chancellor has announced how it would impact on lives across Nigeria, beginning from its host state, Ekiti.
In an interview with Daily Independent, Nebo (Pioneering Vice chancellor) reeled out a number of programmes the institution would be embarking on as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to the society.
From making the stable for even the indigent to creating platforms for useful researches, Nebo said, “We intend to offer remedial courses. When we look at the profile of the students who are to come in, we are so pained by the fact that the number of those who cannot get access are plenty, and since our carrying capacity cannot take all of them, we would like to coach them to enable them pass entrance and screening tests to other universities.”
Nebo however noted that the institution is not insisting on keeping those who pass these examinations as he said, “We are not insisting that anyone we groom must come to us. We want to equip them so that they can function well elsewhere. Then in the process, we would have broadened the number of young people who are competent enough to benefit from university education.”
The university is also investing in Small and Medium Enterprises.
“Our block-making industry has created more employment opportunities. The school’s ventures will end up employing plenty of people from the host communities.”
Nebo also disclosed that the institution is channeling efforts in agricultural development at various stages. He said, “We need to use our know-how to mechanise agro-processes around, especially for such a community that is involved in oil-milling.”
According to him, “by mechanising their agrarian output, value is added from research findings to process, to marketing of the products,” adding, “We are also going to leave our doors open to them so that they can come and use our facilities, with regard to internet among others.”
Meanwhile, the University has commenced plans to unearth the untapped resources in Ekiti state, especially in the area of agriculture.
Nebo said, “Their lands are fertile and with our focus on production, food processing, packaging, marketing and export, we will be able to open up the state in a way that we can farm the vast lands and add value via contract farming – allow people to farm and we step in to buy the produce and then self-process them.”
“With our commercial Venture Unit, partnering with banks will allow us float all these. We are also looking to partnering with industries, especially Nestle, that imports Soya beans for Maggi production, from overseas,” Nebo disclosed.
On how to maximise the vast rice potential of Ekiti, Nebo said, “This state has high potential for rice production which has been on a low scale; we intend recovering this area.”
Medicine is not left out in the university’s CSR plans as the VC disclosed. He said, “We are also looking at trying to work with the alternate medicine/herbal medicine practitioners. They are not illiterate people but laboratory scientists. Thus, we can add quality and clout to their products.”
On human capacity development, Nebo said, “We are involved in the area of leadership transformation. We are looking at a program of impacting leadership/governance by holding relevant leadership training programmes at various levels of administration that will bring to bear best practices and motivate them to higher standards.”
“We hope all these would allow us to model what should be in the nation,” Nebo said.