UNN Will Move Nigeria To knowledge Based Economy – VC
By Alexandra Umeh, ABUJA, Nigeria (GVE) – The Vice Chancellor, University Of Nigeria (UNN), Professor Benjamin Chukwuma Ozumba, has said that the Varsity, through its Higher Institution Tractorisation Initiative, is ready to moving Nigeria toward a knowledge-based economy.
He stated this in Abuja; during a courtesy visit to the Voice Of Nigeria Director General, Mr. Osita Okechukwu.
According to him, the initiative would lead to a science park and the production of tractors that will enhance food production and create more jobs for the youths.
He said, “Nigeria needs to move to knowledge based society. It is the only way to rescue our country from collapse and it is the only thing that will save us from youth restiveness.”
On the tractorisation initiative, the vice chancellor said that the university was at the inception stage even though it had some tractors, adding that the university, with campuses in Nsukka and Enugu and South eastern Nigeria, would soon embark on massive production in four months.
“On our tractorisation project, we felt it is necessary for farming to improve in Africa. The project is about using tractors to maximise farming and it operates on technology and research with the use of university academics and staff.
“It will lead to production of tractors that farmers can use, it will end up been a science park where we will assemble tractors,” he added.
On partnership for sustaining the project, Professor Ozumba said the university was collaborating with Israelis, Turkey, Anammco in Nigeria and some German companies.
“There is capacity to destroy obstacles. We will use solar to power the whole science park and automotive research will begin. By then, UNN will be the hub of Agricultural mechnisation and relay center that all kinds of innovation will come.”
“It is possible to use what you have, like our initiative, to increase food production and what will stop youth restiveness is to give our youths, science and technology. Nigeria must take the lead on this.”
Professor Ozumba said Universities were to set the pace for development while the government and the private sectors follow their footstep in the processes for the growth of any country.
“The Nigerian government has already put in mechanisms to support what we are doing through the Single Digit Loan.
“The response of the Nigerian government on our project is positive and what we are doing in UNN is seeking involvement of the AU in what we are doing, in a few weeks, UNN will sign MOU with Michigan University to power our initiative.”
Professor Ozumba disclosed that NEPAD had agreed to use the UNN Incubator project as a pilot program.
The Director General of Voice of Nigeria, Mr. Osita Okechukwu , who said the project was in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s agenda on Agriculture, applauded the initiative and promised the Vice chancellor huge publicity.