A graduate from the University’s Department of Plant Breeding and Seed Technology, College of Plant Science and Crop Production (COLPLANT), Mr. Azeez Salawu, has bagged the 2017 Federal Capital Territory (FCT) State Honours Award, as “the most outstanding National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) member in the FCT, Abuja”. Azeez was awarded for his meritorious service to his country and the host community during his NYSC programme.

According to Azeez, a 2015 graduate of the University, who served with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) Kubwa, Abuja under the Agricultural Transformation Agenda Support Programme, Phase One (ATASP-1) project, during his Service Year, participated actively in all his Platoon activities and also joined the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) training, which was led by SDGs advocates from the United Nations, where he presented a paper on how it was possible for SDGs to achieve its goal of ‘No Poverty’ and ‘Zero Hunger’, through the Aggressive Involvement of Youths in Agriculture, as part of the Transformation Agenda of the Federal Government. The former student of FUNAAB, stated that he had succeeded in putting in practical, the project during his tenure as the SDGs Agro-Allied Sub group President and was able to lead his colleagues to initiate and champion the projects, which included a visit to the Peygi Internally-Displaced Persons (IDPs) settlement maize farmland in Kuje Area Council, where his group taught the IDP farmers on the importance of agriculture and how to maintain and also make good yields on their maize farms; motivated his Community Development Service (CDS) group to visit Ushafa farmers in the Bwari Area Council, FCT, where they sensitised the farmers on how to make good use of fertilizers for increased yield and optimum productivity; as well as assisted Ushafa farmers that complained about their inability to access fertilizers, to link up with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development Co-operative Society, making them to have easy access to fertilizers, through the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) Co-operative society, while the CDS group also donated some bags of NPK fertilizers to the farmers.

Other activities embarked upon by the alumnus of the University included championing the movement of his CDS group to acquire five hectares of farmland from the NYSC Kwali farmland for the SDGs Agro-Allied CDS; acquired two demonstration vegetable farmland in Government Secondary School, Jabi and Government Secondary School, Gwarimpa, where the CDS group trained the JSS students on the theory and practical demonstration of land preparation and management for vegetable production; served as an advocate of SDGs in the mandatory SDGs training for 40 secondary school students from Government Secondary School Jabi; and also initiated his CDS Group to the International Institute of Agriculture (IITA), to train the IITA Youth Agriprenuers on Agribusiness and Sustainability, among others.

For the University, the alumnus recommended that “the University Management should also key into the 2030 Agenda of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with more focus on the 1st and 2nd Global goals, through various sensitisation programmes, capacity building and training by partnering with the various international organisations like the United Nations (UN), European Union (EU), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (UNFAO), IITA, AfricaRice and African Development Bank (AfDB), among others, to end hunger and eradicate poverty in Africa.

Azeez, who had served in various capacities during his undergraduate days, such as President, Plant Breeding and Seed Technology Students Association; Public Relations Officer, FUNAAB Students Union Government; Ag. Public Relations Officer, National Association of Nigerian Students, Ogun State Chapter; Public Relations Officer, Plant Breeding and Seed Technology Students Association; Member, University Electricity Monitoring Committee in FUNAAB, headed by the Dean of Student Affairs; and Publicity Secretary, ‘FUNAABSUG at 25 Commemorative’ Programme, called on the University Management, to ensure that student union elections were held, very soon.