MOUAU Graduates 8,369, Begs FG to Release N10bn Take-off Grant 

Emmanuel Ugwu-Nwogo in Umuahia 

The Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike (MOUAU), Abia State, recently held its 11th convocation ceremony, which produced 8,369 graduates at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. 

The convocation involved four sets of undergraduate and postgraduate students who completed their programmes in 2019/2020, 2020/2021, 2021/2022, and 2022/2023 academic sessions.

Giving the breakdown of the graduates, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Maduebibisi Ofo Iwe, said that those that obtained bachelor’s degree numbered 6,917; master’s degree, 802; doctorate 491, while postgraduate diploma completed the list with 159. 

He further stated that out of the 6,917 first degree graduates, 121 obtained first class, 1,941 got second class upper division, 3,063 got second class lower division, 1,121 received third class, and six graduated with a pass degree. 

The 11th convocation was an opportunity for management to renew its appeal to the federal government to release the institution’s take-off grant. 

The demand for the release of the take-off grant, estimated at N10 billion, has become a recurring decimal at every convocation ceremony of the institution since its inception 30 years ago.

But with the new administration of President Bola Tinubu, the MOUAU management needed to bring the issue to the front burner again and renew the appeals. 

“Paucity of funds has been a major brick wall which presents a critical need for substantial financial support to improve our environment. It is important to reiterate that our institution is one of those that commenced operations without an initial government grant, magnifying the urgency of funding,” the VC said. 

He stated that the visitation panel of 2016 to 2020 had “clearly stated that MOUAU seems to be the only university that has not benefited with the take-off grant that will easily allow it to embark on the development of its permanent site.” 

The visitation panel had consequently recommended that the federal government “as a matter of necessity grant the university a take-off grant of about N10 billion for that purpose.”

Iwe appealed to the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Senator Abubakar Kyari to assist MOUAU in getting the long overdue take-off grant released by the federal government. 

He also appealed to the government to restore the five courses delisted in the College of Management Sciences five years ago, adding that “our university was established to groom students in agriculture and allied subjects, including management sciences relevant to agriculture.” 

In its report, Iwe noted that the last visitation panel had highlighted “the need for the issue of the delisting of the Management Science programmes to be revisited” for the National Universities Commission (NUC) to reinstate the delisted courses. 

Despite the daunting challenges, the MOUAU VC insisted that the institution has continued to live up to expectations in contributing to national development. 

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