The Olu of Ilaro and Paramount Ruler of Yewaland, Oba Kehinde Olugbenle, has added his voice to the call for the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), to become a full-fledged conventional University.

Oba Olugbenle, the Asade Agunloye IV, disclosed this recently, while receiving members of the Governing Council of FUNAAB, led by a former Federal Minister of Works and Pro-Chancellor/Chairman of Council, FUNAAB, Senator/Sir. (Dr.) Adeseye Ogunlewe, who paid him a courtesy visit in his palace. According to the monarch, the increasing demand for University education and the challenge of access to such higher education had made the call imperative more than ever before; as he urged the Federal Government to ensure that specialised Universities go conventional without further delay.

The Pro-Chancellor solicited the cooperation of the monarch in ensuring that more indigenes from his domain, which remained a catchment area of FUNAAB, secured admission into the institution. “We want our catchment areas to benefit from the advantages the University possesses for the development of such communities by bringing the academics closer to the people”, he added.

Rt. Hon. Ghali Na’Abba, the former Speaker, Federal House of Representatives, who also spoke at the occasion, noted the importance of Yewaland in the history of Yorubaland and its patriotic and well-educated indigenes, as he expressed his happiness that he could be part of the memorable visitation.

Earlier, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olusola Oyewole, said the Council members embarked on the trip as a follow-up to an initial one made by the Management of the institution, where the Royal Father had shown great interest in moving the University forward. He expressed the determination of FUNAAB to impact positively by touching the lives of the people positively through collaboration.

Professor Oyewole commended Oba Olugbenle for providing adequate security and the enabling environment for students of the University, who undergo the Farm Practical Year programme, under its Community-Based Farming Scheme (COBFAS), which will soon be expanded to cover more locations. He also informed the traditional ruler that prominent sons and daughters of Ilaro were currently serving the University well in various capacities.
The Vice-Chancellor said the University’s Institute for Human Resources Development (INHURD), runs series of courses that will be of interest to young people in the Oba’s domain and expressed the readiness of INHURD officials to visit schools in Yewaland, to avail them of its various admission opportunities. He also informed the gathering that a reasonable number of students admitted into the University came from Yewaland.
Professor Oyewole enjoined the Olu of Ilaro to endeavour to be closer to FUNAAB by regularly participating in its programmes by “getting his subjects to build a big auditorium in the name of Yewaland in the University”.

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Development), Professor Felix Salako and an internal Council member, Professor Lateef Sanni of the Department of Food Science and Technology, spoke one after the other on a number of projects that the University was involved in such as the Cassava: Adding Value for Africa and the Cassava bread initiative, which had been extended to Yewaland since 1999, among others, which could contribute meaningfully to the agricultural component of the transformation agenda of the Federal Government.

The benefits derivable from the Cassava-based projects include constant training of rural farmers, access to soft loans from the Bank of Industry (BoI) and networking with Small and Medium Scale entrepreneurs, for necessary assistance.

While responding to the various speakers, Oba Olugbenle admonished members of the Governing Council to leave behind a good legacy by serving the nation meritoriously in their appointments. He urged the Council to work in harmony with Management in the overall interest of the University and to ensure that an administrative structure was put in place that would facilitate the optimal collaboration between FUNAAB and Yewaland.

The Olu of Ilaro thanked them for paying him homage, which he noted had added value to their existing relationship. He said it was the first time any chief executive of FUNAAB visited him, describing Professor Oyewole as a good team player, going by the enormous success he had recorded within the short spate of time he had been Vice-Chancellor.

He gave his royal blessings for the continued progress and development of FUNAAB, as the Secretary to Council/Registrar of the University, Mr. Mathew Ayoola specially thanked the monarch for the warm reception accorded the delegation.