Civil societies have obligation in alleviating poverty - Prof Mundi
Following the series of Inaugural lectures of the National Open University of Nigeria, the Dean, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, Prof. Nda Mundi, presented the ll'h Inaugural Lecture of the University titled, "Agricultural Innovations and Rural Poverty Alleviation in Nigeria."
The lecture, which was the first of its kind from the Faculty since the university's inception, was focused on the importance of farmers' accessibility to affordable credit facilities in order to enhance their productivity.
Mundi stated that the provision of facilities such as farming innovations and improved extension services would help in addressing the issue of poverty in the rural areas of the country; as 56% of Nigerians live below the poverty line. He added that there was a large income inequality between the urban and the rural population.
He said: "Suitable recommendations, exclusively for small and marginal fammers, should be brought to focus to help them for minimising the gap of poor and rich people.
"There is need to increase the level of awareness of rural populace to the importance of education as majority of rural women are not educated. This will make the rural women to use the various opportunities that may open to them to get out of poverty."
The Dean said credit facilities through banks and cooperatives should be made available well in advance to the farmers and the procedure in getting them should be made easy for them. He called on the various levels of government "to also make provision for good roads, marketing channels and reliable public transportation to enable rural dwellers to convey their goods and farm produce easily to the market."
He stated that civil societies have an obligation in alleviating poverty by organising programmes, especially for those in the rural areas.
He noted that innovation and education are very important factors in boosting the yields and productivity of farmers.
The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Abdalla Uba Adamu, who chaired the event, in his remarks stated that the topic was apt as agriculture plays a vital and important role in the country's development.
He emphasized the importance of inaugural lectures to the life of any university; and challenged other professors in the university that had yet to deliver inaugural lectures to come up with topics that will effectively educate staff and students of the university.
Adamu reminded them that "their professorship is incomplete until they conduct their inaugural lecture, which is the norm." He added that "professors, who are yet to fulfill the obligation, are proud with their status and expect people to continuously respect and attach the title professor to their names".
The Vice-Chancellor expressed disappointment that despite the number of professors on the university's payroll, the university was still struggling to conduct its 11th inaugural lecture despite several encouragements by the VC's office and the management.
He said: "As the Vice Chancellor of NOUN, I am not happy with the development. We ought to have gone beyond where we are. We have the capacity to hold inaugural lectures every month and I have consistently encouraged the professors to invite us for their inaugural lecture, but otherwise seems to be the case.
"I have tried as much as I could to encourage them and had even promised them that the school will finance the inaugural lecture, but fear has apparently held them down. I have decided that NOUN would soon begin to slash the salaries of these professors who are yet to have their inaugural lecture. That might probably force them to take the bull by the horn."
He, however, commended Mundi for the thorough research and justice done on the topic, as well as his courage in the presentation. He suggested that a seminar should be organised for interested members of the public who might have questions and clarification on his research result so as to get their questions answered
11th Inaugural Lecture Programme Photo Caption
Story by Ijapari Ben-Hirki
Source: NOUN News Magazine Vol. 26 No. 5 June 2017