Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Australian Government Partners OAU In Agriculture And Mining

The Australian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Jonathan Richardson, has expressed the readiness of his home government to partner with the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, in the areas of Agriculture and Mining.

Mr. Richardson said this when he paid a courtesy visit to the Vice-Chancellor of the Institution, Professor Bamitale Omole, in his office.

The Ambassador emphasized the importance of OAU to the overall success of the programme, believing that the 1,240 hectares of land on which the OAU Teaching and Research Farm sits could be of judicious use for the implementation of mechanized farming that would further boost food production.

He commended the University management for having a curriculum that made it compulsory for all part four (IV) students in the Faculty of Agriculture to be on the Farm, thus exposing them to the beauty and gains of farming, thereby sharpening their entrepreneurial skills.

Mr. Richardson disclosed that the Australian government was ready to give scholarship to students who would be willing to go to Australia for their Postgraduate studies in Agriculture and Mining, adding that more than 200 students of Nigerian descent have benefitted from the scheme since its introduction in 2010.

According to him: “Thousands of Nigerians are already in Australia making waves in their chosen fields, particularly in Mining and Agriculture, thereby contributing their own quota to the economy of both Australia and Nigeria. He applauded the administrative expertise of the Vice-Chancellor
in making sure that his (Professor Bamitale Omole's) administration maintained high moral and academic standard, which was in fulfilment of the aspirations of the founding fathers of the University . In his own contribution, a 1979 alumnus of the University and the immediate past Nigeria Ambassador to Australia, Mr. Ayo Olukanni, who was on hand to also receive Mr. Richardson, lauded the Vice-Chancellor for doing a good job on the campus.

He stated that in considering the vast deposits of mineral resources in Nigeria, and the University which has a large expense of land and highly competent manpower, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) is the best place to go for collaboration by the Australian government.

He urged Professor Bamitale Omole to keep the flags of the country and that of OAU flying, praying to God to reward him for his selfless service to humanity in general and Nigeria in particular.

Responding, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Bamitale Omole, thanked the Australian Ambassador for finding time to come to OAU despite his busy schedule. He then promised to do all within his power to provide every necessary logistics for the smooth implementation of the partnership between OAU and Murdoch University, Western Australia which is being funded by the Australian government.

Basking in the euphoria of leading OAU to its fourth first consecutive position among more than 100 Universities in Nigeria, Professor Omole assured the Australian Ambassador that his administration would not rest on its oars in providing quality leadership and adequate welfare to both staff and students, vowing to make training and retraining of staff his topmost priority so that they could be current and conform to the dictates of the 21 Century University administration.

The Ambassador was later led to the University's Teaching and Research Farm where he was conducted round by the Director, Professor Sola Ajayi before he came back to the Oduduwa Hall of the University, where he gave a lecture to the students and staff on the topic: “Australia's Place in the World and its Bilateral Engagement with Nigeria”.

Source: OAU News Bulletin, Issue No. 353
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