IT was celebration galore as the Provost of Federal College of Agriculture, Akure (FECA), Dr. Samson Adeola Odedina, bagged the 2017 Pacesetter in Education for African Renaissance and Leadership (PEARL) Award from African Stride International.
The Project Director of the reputable organisation, Mr. Henry Ogunjumelo, at the official investiture and conferment at FECA campus on Monday, noted that the Provost had achieved numerous hallmark achievements in the college.
Ogunjumelo also pointed out that since the institution was established in 1957, the two and a half years stewardship of Odedina as provost had not only brought the school out of oblivion but also expanded its frontiers internationally.
He, however, mentioned that the provost earlier turned down the award on the ground that he didn’t want distraction, “but we had to intensify more pressure till he succumbed to our bid to celebrate excellence, acchievements and hard work.
According to him, “Aside being the first alumnus of the college to become the Provost, Dr Odedina has brought series of innovations to the agricultural institution, giving it an enviable status among its peers.
“When you talk of agriculture in this country, you have to mention FECA in terms of natural and human resources development and creativity. He is identified among the assembly of leaders and trailblazers in the country,” he said.
The international organisation lauded the institution for its agroshop, biofort restaurant, adopted villages, young farmers club in secondary schools, value chain opportunities, biofortified vitamin A cassava and maize initiatives, which are impacting positively on the students and community at large.
The recipient, Odedina, assured that the college would not relent in supporting Federal Government interest and investment in agriculture in the areas of job creation and wealth creation for youths and farmers.
He added that FECA would constinuously provide support on the value chain curriculum that was just approved by National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) for colleges, polytechnics and other institutions offering agricultural courses.
“This new curriculum is a result of our innovative approach to training along value chains in college, which was used as a case study. Since we started, more than 20 organisations have approached us voluntarily for training, partnership, lectures, etc.”
The Provost, who said the school still had over 1,000 hectares of land when he was still FECA students in 1984, kicked against the court verdict that reduced the land to 375 hectares on assumption of office in 2015.
“We started this litigation about two years ago, this is the first time a sitting governor, Minister of Agriculture, alongside top government functionaries and the Deji of Akure, Oba Aladelusi Aladetoyinbo, will intervene in the land matters.”
Odedina noted that their intervention had put an end to the recurrent land grabbing incident, attacks and destruction of government properties on the campus which included the Provost’s lodge, guest house, two dams, coffee plantations to mention few.
“The current management instituted an appeal process immediately I assumed office, and the current status is that the case is now safely in the Appeal Court with injunction pending appeal and stay of execution pending appeal,” he said.
Akingboye Joseph Oluwaseun