From Idongesit Inyang
A university don has stressed the need for the Nigerian government to put a lot of funds, energy and ideas into agriculture and education.
This is to ensure that there is the desire to get to where other nations in other parts of the world like the United States of America and India are in terms of agriculture, according to the vice chancellor of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia State, Professor Maduebibisi O. Iwe, CFS.
Iwe, who was speaking to newsmen in Calabar, shortly after delivering a lecture at the 176th Anniversary and 25th General Assembly meeting of the Presbyterian Church of Nigeria, which took place at the Hope Waddell Training Institution, Calabar.
According to him, funding universities of agriculture and other universities that have colleges and faculties of agriculture, agricultural institute and agricultural colleges here and there, is of advantage to the economic growth of the nation.
He said, “We need to encourage agriculture. Agricultureneeds a lot of funds, especially the initial funds,” regretting that the aim of establishing three universities of agriculture in the middle of the 1980s, was defeated due to importation.
“This was to create the desire among Nigerians to put something in the soil and after sometime, harvest it, process it, package it and send it into the world market,” Iwe added,assuring that Nigeria can change the narrative if it so desires.
Iwe added, “For example, in the last three years, due to COVID-19 and strikes, nobody has farmed in any of the universities and many of the farms in the universities are collapsing. This is what the academic staff is asking for. Fund the universities so that the universities can produce not only human capacity but also productive capacities.”
On education, Iwe expressed the hope that the leaders of the country will lend ears to the request of ASUU and all those asking for more funds to be channelled into the educational sector as education, according to him, is “the baseline of every life we are living.”
Earlier in his lecture, Iwe had said that Christians are kings as well as priests, noting that they are kings in the sense that Jesus said we should go to the world and make disciples of all nations and that he is with us till the end of age.
Speaking on the theme, “Royal Priesthood,” Iwe charged Christians not to fear anything in proclaiming Jesus as Lord,adding that it is what every Christian should do in Nigeria because God is the owner of the whole earth.
He said, “Then as priests, we need to engage our members, provide for them a direction, show them love and build their faith in a way that they would be able to understand God and believe in him.”
Describing Nigeria as a great nation, he said, “some of are not so happy with the way Nigeria is going and our wish is that God should reverse the situation so that the greatness of Nigeria will become evident to everybody irrespective of the region we come from.”
He, however, warned those who lead the church to respect their positions and make sure that the other side of priesthood,which is to strengthen the weak and the strong among the brethren is taken good care of.