Jubilation in Iguoriakhi as Obaseki Reels out benefits of College of Agriculture to Host Community
By Nosakhare Agbonigiarhuoyi
There was huge excitement in the atmosphere in Iguoriakhi Community, Ovia Southwest, Local Government Area of Edo State on Tuesday, March 21, as the Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki dialogued with the residents and explained the impact of the new College of Agriculture to its host community.
Accompanied by the Chairman of the Edo State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr Tony Aziegbemi, his Chief of Staff, Hon. Toni Iyoha, the Head of Service, Anthony Okungbowa Esq, commissioners, and traditional leaders, Obaseki informed the community that so far, the administrative blocks, academic blocks, library, and hostels have been completed, adding that enrolment is expected to commence in September 2023.
He listed jobs, skills, improved livelihood, technology transfer for effective food production, and development of the physical space as some of the benefits they stand to enjoy when the school commences full operation.
Obaseki said the school will operate differently from what is attainable across the country as it will have a proper governance structure to go with the state-of-the-art infrastructure, with a highly qualified faculty and key stakeholders, to ensure a robust learning experience for students.
“We are investing a lot in the facilities, and technology we’re bringing in here. We have fibre optic broadband connection and 24/7 electricity, but we’re insisting that the faculty must be a first-class one to ensure that we produce quality graduates,” he said
He said that the target for the institution is to prioritize technical know-how over academic qualifications, and hence, emphasis will be placed on making graduates of the college fit to take up jobs with multinationals or start up their own businesses.
“Emphasis is not going to be on certificates. So we’re lucky that we have companies like Presco, Okomu, Rubber Estate, and several other multinationals who are partnering with us and will sit on the council of the school to ensure that the curriculum is designed to fit the market purpose.
“So by the time you are leaving this institution you already have work. You’re trained to get work either by working with large estate farms, small farms, or working for yourself. That is the orientation of this school.” Obaseki said.
The Governor, who led the host community to inspect the completed part of the project, said that, with the school set to commence full operations in September 2023, the community is expected to participate fully in the enrolment and staffing of the school, a complaint he said had been mentioned in a recent letter the community sent him.
The highlight of the inspection was when the women and youths broke into songs, expressing their joy and praising Mr Obaseki for the project which will enroll 2000 students in its first intake.