The Igbinedion University, Okada, has secured a N500 million Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) facility to resuscitate and expand its existing oil palm plantation.
The university’s Vice-Chancellor (VC), Prof. Lawrence Ezemonye, made this known on Friday in Okada, Edo, in his address at the 19th Convocation ceremony of the institution.
Ezemonye said that the project, secured under the CBN’s diversification programme was part of the strategic plan of the university.
“The project also includes the procurement and installation of semi-industrial mill.
“Besides producing palm oil and other allied products, the project is expected to enhance teaching and research in Agriculture, leveraging on the largely agrarian Okada community,” he said.
Ezemonye recounted series of achievements recorded by the university under his watch, one of which he said was the full accreditation of all the 49 programmes run by the institution.
He said that plans were ongoing to introduce new programmes at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
The VC said the programmes included Cyber Security, Mechatronics Engineering, Agricultural Engineering, Geology, Geophysics, Software Engineering and Industrial Chemistry.
“If approved, it will bring the total programmes in the university to 56.
“The postgraduate programmes are in Chemistry, Civil Engineering, Petroleum Engineering and Geography, Regional Planning and Sociology respectively.
“All the programmes are awaiting resource verification by the National Universities Commission to take off next academic session,” he said.
He also said that the institution would soon begin the Open and Distance Learning programmes in line with the University’s Strategic Plan and Academic Brief.
He said that the university remained resolute in extending opportunities to students willing to benefit from its rich and qualitative academic programmes.
“As a first step, the university recently hosted a week-long Open and Distance Learning Skills Development Workshop organised by the Regional Training and Research Institute for Distance and Open Learning (RETRIDOL) at the National Open University of Nigeria in collaboration with the Commonwealth of Learning based in Canada.
“This is a very significant landmark in our effort to accommodate students who are unable to join the regular programmes due to want of time or convenience.
“As I speak, all machineries have been put in place to kick start the ODL Programme at the university.
“This is also in sync with best practices in digital education,” Ezemonye said.
He also said that the institution would soon establish Executive Business School in partnership with the Rosula Foundation.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the convocation ceremonies would end on Saturday with conferment of honorary doctoral degrees on Chief Adebisi Akande, former governor of Osun.
Honorary degrees will also be conferred on retired Lt. Gen. Jeremiah Useni and Dr Abubakar Isa by the university for their contributions to the society.
NAN also reports that the privately-owned university turned out 475 graduands for its undergraduate programmes including 16 First Class Honours and 123 postgraduates in the 2020/2021 session.