BY PETER OKUTU
ABAKALIKI – Provost, Federal College of Agriculture, Ishiagu, Ebonyi State, Dr. Paul Ajah, yesterday, called on the Federal Government to direct its resources towards the development of farming by empowering agriculture institutions in the country.
He noted that if the capacity of the institutions was properly harnessed by the government, Nigerians did not need to “waste money” going to Songhai in Benin Republic for agricultural purposes.
The Provost, who made the call at Ishiagu, lamented that one of the challenges facing Federal Colleges of Agriculture was the manner the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB, placed the colleges in its brochure for students.
He said: “The infrastructure we need are in place, but people who have come in here have got to realise that this is where it is happening; because this is the main thing the country needs now for agriculture to survive.
“If we continue to depend on oil, one day it will dry up. But agriculture will keep on. So, the Federal Government must place more emphasis on agriculture and encourage people on the need to go and read agricultural courses.”
He said: “It is here you have people who are practically-oriented, the new agriculture is being taught and those who have come have really imbibed it and can show for it. We are very productive.
“However, the problem of people coming to study in this college is JAMB, the way they represents or provide information about the college is too poor for our liking.
“Last time, the state government gave vehicles to universities but did not remember colleges and polytechnics despite that we have the same criteria for admission. It is not fair that they didn’t put us in PTF even ITF programmes. The allocation they give to universities and polytechnics is just a drop , compared to what they give to colleges of agriculture.”