The Federal University Ndufu-Alike Ikwo (FUNAI), Ebonyi is set to collaborate with the West African Institute of Financial and Economic Management (WAIFEM) in providing Econometric Laboratory and Library for the Department of Economics and Development Studies of the University to enhance the capacity of its teaching staff and students.

This was hinted by the Director General of the Institute, Prof. Akpan Hogan Ekpo yesterday during an interactive meeting with the academic staff of the Department of Economics and Development Studies at the Senate Chamber.

Prof. Akpan Ekpo pointing the way forward during the interactive session

Prof. Ekpo noted that WAIFEM has the responsibility of training senior staff of Central Banks in West Africa in microeconomics, debt and financial management to reduce skill gap as the region strives for economic integration. He added that WAIFEM is composed of all English speaking West African countries with Guinea in observatory status.

Responding to the request of the Dean, Faculty of Management and Social Sciences, Prof. Philip Omoke, for the institute to facilitate the provision of training facilities, econometric laboratory and Library for the Department of Economics and Development Studies of the University, the WAIFEM helmsman advised the University to officially write to the African Research Consortium (ARC) requesting them to help the University strengthen its undergraduate programmes through the provision of the critical aforementioned items, and pledged to facilitate the process.

Dean, FMSS, Prof. Philip Omoke, DG, WAIFEM, Prof. Akpan Ekpo and Head, Dept. Economics and Development Studies, Dr. Nkechi Uwajumogu

He explained that both young academics pursuing their Master and doctoral degrees and senior academics of the rank of Reader and above can still apply to WAIFEM for fellowship programmes where successful people would be given 3 and 6 months respectively to research and work in the institute with a good pay worth 2, 000 US dollar and 6,000 US dollar monthly respectively.

The erudite scholar further advised the young academics not to be deterred by the challenges of the present Nigerian University system, urging them to continue pursuing their academic interest. He also stressed the importance of networking and collaboration in attaining academic success, saying “without networking even the best academic cannot go far.”

Group pix of academic staff of Dept. of Economics with Prof. Akpan Ekpo

Earlier, the Dean, Faculty of Management and Social Sciences, Prof. Omoke noted that the foremost Nigerian Economist was invited to the University to spur young Economists and students to take their profession seriously due to the critical nature of their course of study in national development, urging them to take advantage of WAIFEM fellowship programmes to improve their academic and research standing.


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