A total of 96 graduands of the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike (MOUAU), Abia bagged first class honours on Saturday during the university’s 9th convocation ceremony.
They were among the total 7,025 students at the graduate and postgraduate levels graduated by the university.
A total of 6,214 were awarded first degree, 160 received postgraduate diplomas, 507 got Master’s degree and 144 bagged doctorate degree.
Also 1,826 graduands passed with second class honours upper division, 2935 with second class lower division, while 1,264 got third class while 93 received pass.
In his address, President Muhummadu Burahi, who is the Visitor to the University, congratulated the graduands and urged them to work harder in order to contribute their quota to the development of the nation.
Buhari, who was represented by Mr Didado Kumo of the National Universities Commission (NUC) said that his administration was committed to the educational advancement of the nation.
Buhari said that the challenges of nation building required universities to be totally committed in moulding students to become strong in their intellectual capacity and character.
He said that agriculture remained a critical sector of the nation’s economy both for reducing her dependence on imported food and stimulating agro-industrial development to create jobs and reduce unemployment.
The President challenged the Universities of Agriculture to scale up activities to transform the nation’s agriculture along chains, while assuring them of the government support.
“I urge you to ensure strong entrepreneurial skills in your training programmes so that your graduates will take advantage of existing opportunities to de-compress and grow the economy to create wealth,” he said.
Buhari commended the university Management for their efforts at mainitaing peaceful and conducive environment favourable for learning.
Also in his speech, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Francis Otunta said that the his administration was focused at maintaining strong academic programme of the university.
He said that all the 12 programmes presented during the the 2018 Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC) accredition exercise bagged full accreditation with not less than 80% score.
He lamented that state of the university’s infrastructure and physical facilities was hindering its commitment to provide quality education.
“There is a crying need for significant infusion of funds for the upgrade of our physical environment, especially when it is realised that this university is among those universities that started with the disadvantage of not having a take-off grant from the Federal Government,” he said.
The university awarded an honourary doctorate degree to Lt. Gen. Azubuike Ihejirike (retd), former Chief of Army Staff.