The Vice Chancellor, Federal University, Oye-Ekiti , Prof. Abayomi Fasina, has advised both Federal and state governments to turn all forests to farmlands as a way to end kidnappings in the country.
Fasina gave the advice at a press conference to herald the 8th convocation ceremony of the university scheduled for February 10 in Oye -Ekiti
He said that turning the bushes currently serving as hideout for kidnappers and other evil doers into farm plantations would not only end the menace, but provide job opportunities and create wealth for the nation.
The vice chancellor cited as an example his management team’s green revolution initiative, which has led to the cultivation of many hectares of land for agricultural purposes.
Fasina said that the effort has not only increased the Internally Generated Revenue of the university, but also provided casual jobs for some of its teeming students.
“I want to urge both the Federal and State governments to make good use of our forest and convert it to farmlands.
“We have hectares of land in the forest that can be turned to plantations of maize, yam, potatoes, among other food crops to create jobs for our Nigerian youths,” he said.
Commenting on the forthcoming convocation ceremony, the VC said that 6, 563 students would be awarded degree certificates with 114 in the first class category.
Fasina added that 2,762 would be awarded second class upper degrees, 2,793 with second class lower while 688 had third class.
The VC also revealed that 36 postgraduate students would be awarded doctorate degrees of the university just as 163 would receive masters degree during the convocation ceremony.
Highlighting some of his administration’s achievements, Fasina said that the institution’s bursary had been computerised for effective and efficient service and to eliminate fraud in financial transactions.
He said that the welfare of students and staff had been prioritised hence the procurement of buses to ease transportation and establishment of a career advancement centre for graduating students to get jobs.
Other achievements he listed included the construction of blocks of over 30 classrooms from internally generated revenue to create an enabling environment for teaching and learning.
According to him, the institution established centres in nine towns in Ekiti State where it holds part time programmes, sandwich programmes and the FUOYE business and staff schools among others.
Speaking further, Fasina said the university was currently affiliated with not less than 15 international institutions.
“We have professors of practice tradition in place. We are bringing professionals and practitioners in specific fields into the academic environment so they can use their experience to assist our students.
“We have started branding our university and we have really progressed from five faculties to 14 faculties.
“Our administration has created 30 functional and impactful directorates in managing the university effectively and we have 74 departments.
“Our students’ population has grown rapidly to over 40,000 regular students alone as we have been ranked the fourth most subscribed university in Nigeria by JAMB,’’ he said.
Fasina said FUOYE was best out of nine varsities set up by former President Goodluck Jonathan.
“Our professor of practice initiative has led to the appointment of two giant law practitioners in Nigeria, Chief Wole Olanipekun and Mr Olaolu Alli who are currently teaching our law students free of charge.
“In one year, we have had 10 inaugural lectures and as far as promotion is concerned, hundreds of the staff members have been promoted, most among which are to the professorial cadre.
“I have been using my contacts and relationships to bring great things to the university.
“One of my most cherished achievements is establishing a College of Medicine in FUOYE and we have admitted the first set of students in Medicine for the 2023/2024 academic session,’’ he said.
Fasina said it was not good to be static as a scholar, as a university, and as a nation, adding that, one must constantly think outside the box to find solutions.
The vice chancellor also unveiled his plans for the next two years of his tenure.
He said his administration was planning on building a befitting senate building, renewable independent power station, which would also serve surrounding communities among other projects.