James Sowole in Akure
The Provost of the Federal College of Agriculture, Akure, Ondo State, Dr. Samson Odedina, has expressed concern that the non-inclusion of the college as part of beneficiaries of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) has been having negative impact on the activities of the college particularly efforts to engage the youths through agriculture.
Odedina, who said this at the diamond jubilee lecture of the institution, stressed the need to amend the act of parliament that established TETFund so as to accommodate colleges of agriculture in Nigeria.
According to him, the college has trained over 2,000 unemployed graduates in vocational programmes and many infrastructural projects have been executed on campus, but the college would have done more if it had been part of TETFund’s beneficiaries.
“It is sad excluding all colleges of agriculture offering national diploma and higher national diploma like the polytechnic from the TETFund by act of parliament.
“It takes time to amend parliamentary acts, but in the interest of agriculture and youth embracing it, there is need for deliberate funding of all federal colleges of agriculture in Nigeria since TETFund has kicked them out.”
Odedina stated that in spite of the development, the institution has trained many youths who have been creating jobs by innovative ideas from the college’s value chain project concepts.
In his remarks, the Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbe said the ministry would do its best to ensure that colleges of agriculture are included among TETFund beneficiaries.
Represented by the South-west Regional Director of the ministry, Mr. Joseph Adeniyi, the minister, who commended the provost for various achievements on the campus, noted that the college, among other colleges were removed from TETFund by previous administrations, maintaining that the institutions would be returned.
“We shall continue to work with legislators and other stakeholders in returning all federal colleges of agriculture to TETFund funding, from which they were removed some years back before the commencement of this administration.”