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98 get first class at Michael Okpara varsity as Otunta renders account of stewardship

Vice Chancellor, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike (MOUAU), Prof. Francis Ogbonnaya Otunta, has assured that the institution will continue its strong showing in academic performance.

Speaking at the institution’s eight convocation, in which 98 out of 4,958 students, made first class, Otunta stressed that achieving excellence in all its programmes is his utmost priority as the institution places much emphasis on human capital development.

The event, which also featured the silver jubilee of the university, witnessed the conferment of honorary degrees on two eminent Nigerians who gave their best to the development of the institution.

Premier of the Eastern Region in the first republic, late Dr. Michael Iheonukara Okpara was conferred with the posthumous Award of Doctor of Science (D.Sc.) in Agriculture, while former President, Ohaneze Ndigbo, Prof. Ogbonnaya Irukwu, was conferred with the award of Doctor of Science (D.Sc.) in Business Administration.

Otunta, who used the occasion to give account of his stewardship since March 1st, 2016 when he assumed office said his tenure commenced with the bold and transparent process of achieving more efficiency and a better spread of responsibility through the establishment of two deputy vice chancellors, for administration and Academic.

“This greatly eased the growth of the colleges in the university from six to 11 in spite of the acute shortage of funds experienced since 2016. Also 25 uncompleted projects have been revived through concerted efforts that achieved the release of a second tranche of funds, constituting 40 per cent of the 2013/2014 Needs Assessment Fund which was due to the university. However, work in progress at some project sites is hampered by the upward variance in costs resulting from the fall of the naira,” he said.

Noting that his administration considers accreditation of courses as very important as it connotes the climax of the university’s purpose and creed, he added that the management spared no effort in ensuring that the human and material resources meet up the standard set by the National Universities Commission. He revealed that in November 2016, the university was granted accreditation in all but one of the 21 programmes on offer.