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Tuesday, October 30, 2018


Promise Etim

Firstly, let me congratulate the Government and People of Akwa Ibom State and Nigerians at large on the celebration of  successful years of Democratic Governance.

Knowing we are back to business on Tuesday, i would have ordinarily opted for another cup of coffee this lovely Monday evening, but at the risk of not being selfish, I have decided to bring to your notice some laudable projects His Excellency, Governor Udom Emmanuel Commissioned at my Primary Constituency, Akwa Ibom State University.

Devoid of politics, the Governor has done incredibly well in my Primary Constituency (AKSU). Most amazing is the fact that the projects recently inaugurated by his administration at both campuses of the University will have direct impact on staff and students of the Institution, and further position them to compete favourably with their contemporaries in other higher institutions of learning within and outside the country.

The Governor commissioned a couple of life touching projects, that will directly be used for training and re-training of staff and students of the Faculty of Agriculture and the University at large.

Permit me to exclusive​ take you through some of the projects:

1. AKSU Commercial Farms: 

The commercial farm inaugurated at the Obio Akpa Campus of the University, will not only be a basis for practical training of students of the University, but in the near future will be a genuine source of revenue (IGR) for the University, hence reducing the burden on Government, in terms of payment of staff salaries and allowances. This will also be a credible platform for linkage between farmers and the academia, to strengthen research and collaboration, to help solve real time problem farmers in the state and beyond face in various areas of Agricultural Production and Value Addition.

2. AKSU Commercial Feed Mill:

Interestingly, the state is without any known Mechanization mill for production of Animal feed. This is largely responsible for dependency on sister states for animal feed to run fisheries and other livestock businesses in the state, even at a small scale basis. The Feed Mill will provide an opportunity for addressing this concern, at least for peasant framers within the locality, as well as training of students who maybe interested in venturing into various agro based businesses in the future. 

3. AKSU Commercial Palm Oil Mill:

Palm Oil is one of the Agricultural produce the state has comparative advantage. Processing is one core value addition process that guarantees acceptability and marketability of palm produce both in the local and international market. Determined to boast production of palm oil in the state, the management of the University, with the help of the State Government has revamped an abandoned Oil Palm of unprecedented capacity. This will not only contribute to the local economy, but will by extension cushion the effect of high cost of the commodity at least for the locals.

4. Vegetable Screen House: 

​Screen houses are used for the propagation of mother plants for varietal resistance studies. Apart from enhancing growth of plants, it also prevents insect and pest attack, particularly at the early stage of growth. This is a modern technology used in many developed and developing countries for increased yield.

Interestingly, very few institutions within the country can boast of​ such modern facility, for training of their students. This is largely due to high cost of installation. In a bid to ensure students of the Institution are at par with the colleagues globally, Governor Udom Emmanuel on the occasion of the 2nd and 3rd convocation of the University, inaugurated the University's first ever screen house, with a view of more in the coming months. This according to majority of the students, who are direct beneficiaries is evergreen.

5. Ultra Modern Mass Communication Studio:

For an average graduate who is in for a job interview, an employer who is interested in productivity and  breaking even, does not necessarily get enticed with where such individual got educated, but rather on how best such a person was practically trained and equipped with basic skills to get the job done. Mass communication is a practical oriented course, which most of the jobs are done on the field and continuous interaction. This is the basis which the management of Akwa Ibom State University amazingly set up an Ultramodern Studio​ for students of the Department of Mass Communication and the University Community at large. During the last NUC visit to the Institution, the panel got amazed by what was on the ground at a young University just beyond five years of commencement of academic programs and further recommend the AKSU Radio and TV studios as model/benchmark for other Institutions in the country. This is a testament to the fact that the state is not only interested in education, but qualitative education with the best of infrastructures. The broadcast studio will also serve as a means of training students and informing the University Community of major developments in the political, sports, education and other sectors of the economy.

6. Standard Performance Theater:

This is another massive project commissioned by the Governor during the convocation ceremony. A five hundred capacity theater that will not only serve as the cultural center for the University, but a platform for hosting of several laudable local and international events that will promote the culture of the state. 

7. New Administrative Block:

The new Administrative Block of the University commissioned by the Governor is a three story building that houses; The Senate Chambers, Deputy Vice Chancellor's offices, Registrar's office and the Vice-Chancellor's office. According to the Governor, the building which had it's  a foundation laid in December 2016, is temporarily administrative block, even as he promised to build a permanent administrative block at the University's permanent site.

The Governor also innaugurated, an Ultra Modern Digital Language Library and took a tour of the University's permanent site, which afterwards promised to build a befitting structure for the Faculty of Engineering. 

The effort of the State's Commissioner for Works, Akparawa Ephraim Inyang, towards the successful completion and commissioning of the aforementioned projects cannot be overemphasized, but the leadership capacity of the institution's Vice-Chancellor, Professor Eno Ibanga, is second to none. 

Despite dwindling resources, Governor Udom Emmanuel through the University's Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Ibanga, has demonstrated excellent leadership in the educational sector, this evident in accreditation of all 35 courses offered by the University by the NUC and prompt payment of staff salaries and allowances. 

God bless Akwa Ibom!

Etim is a lecturer at the Akwa Ibom State University

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