The White Paper on the last Presidential Visitation Panel led to the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), is out. The official White Paper returned a verdict of outstanding excellence to the University in all the nine areas of reference, which include relationship, leadership, financial management, application of fund, staff development and security among others.
It will be recalled that a Visitation Panel, led by a former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Jos, Professor Ochapa Onazi, was in the University last year June, to ascertain the state of affairs in the University and determine its adherence to the purpose of its establishment, covering the period of 2004 – 2011.
The Report which also examined the University’s academic programmes, commended the standard of the institution’s academic staff, observing that “the academic staff number and quality is very high”, while it noted good compliance with the directive for all teaching staff to obtain Ph.D degrees within a specified period.
The University was also commended for adhering to the average Teacher/Student ratio of 1:20 as stipulated by the National Universities’ Commission (NUC). The Report noted that “the average student ratio is generally 1:21. The NUC ratio is 1:20 for Agricultural Science except in Veterinary Medicine where it is 1:10. The ratio falls within the NUC guidelines”.
Noting the quality of the University’s College of Engineering, the White Paper urged the Visitor to “financially enable the three Universities of Agriculture to establish effective and reliable Departments of Technology Transfer and Technology Acquisition”.
This according to the Paper, will facilitate development of appropriate technologies for transfer to the farming communities, which it says make up of about 85% of Nigeria’s population. The White Paper was also very eloquent of the calibre of the University’s Governing council members, noting that most of the external members being highly educated citizens, “mostly with second degrees, professionals in their own rights and holding top ranking positions in their places of work”.
The Paper therefore recommended to the Visitor, to consider a special fund for the University, to compensate for the take-off grant that the University did not receive at inception.