Daniel Kanu

The Executive Secretary of Tertiary Education Trust Fund, (TETFUND), Arch Sonny Echono, has pledged the fund’s assistance towards promoting and strengthening the Agribusiness Incubation Centre at Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike.

He said he was impressed with the progress made by the Centre in so short a time and therefore deserved to be assisted by TetFund to flourish and perform better.

Arch Echono spoke on Tuesday when the Vice Chancellor of MOUAU, Prof Maduebibisi Ofo Iwe led his management team on a courtesy visit to the Executive Secretary in his Abuja Office.

He noted that the agribusiness Incubation Centre at MOUAU is what the country needs in its bid to tackle food insecurity, especially in creating livelihood for youths and women in the Agricultural sector.

Arch Echono disclosed that TetFund will do its best to assist the Centre not only in terms of facilities but also in sending academic staff from other institutions to MOUAU for training in the agribusiness value chain.

Echono advocated modernisation and commercialization of the centre in line with modern methods.

He was happy that MOUAU has led the way in the quest to curb hunger through Agriculture, and gave an assurance that TetFund will help to equip the centre as well as set up a pilot farm there for the training of the rural people.

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Earlier in his address, Prof Iwe said they were in TetFund to solicit its assistance to boost the Agribusiness Incubation Centre by way of equipping it as well as sending lecturers to it for training.

The Vice Chancellor disclosed that the ABIC in MOUAU has received an overwhelming endorsement from its catchment areas with many clamouring for its services.

He noted that although the federal government built the centre, it was yet to equip it optimally, thus necessitating the plea for assistance.

Prof Iwe disclosed that MOUAU ABIC has the best staff one could find in the field, saying that the Director, Dr Philips Nto, a former Commissioner and former Provost of Abia State College of Education, Technical, Arochukwu, has the vast administrative and technical experience to lead the centre offer first-class services to stakeholders.

The Vice Chancellor requested collaboration with TetFund in its bid to train staff of other institutions as well as those from various communities.

He commended the management of TetFund for its doggedness in transforming the infrastructural landscape in institutions of higher learning in Nigeria as well as upgrading the academic staff.

Among those who accompanied the Vice Chancellor for the visit were Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academics, Prof. Udo Herbert; Deputy Vice Chancellor, Administration, Prof Elechi Asawalam; Registrar, Dr (Mrs ) Nkeiru Mbanasor; University Librarian Dr Isaac Ogbonna; Director Agribusiness Incubation Centre Dr Philips Nto.

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