FUNAI to Hold Research Exhibition; as Abakaliki Rice, Yam become Official University Food

The Federal University Ndufu-Alike Ikwo (FUNAI), Ebonyi State is to hold a research exhibition where all concluded and preliminary findings of ongoing research works of staff and students would be showcased to the public.

This was made known by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Chinedum Nwajiuba during the 5th FUNAI Lecture held recently in the University. The University is also to participate in the National Research Expo scheduled for Abuja in March 2018. Consequently, the Vice-Chancellor directed the Director of Research and Development in the University, Professor Onuegbu O. Ugwu and the Director of Center for Development Assistance Management, Partnership and Training, Mr. Chris Uwadoka to inform and galvanize all academic staff to be part of these exhibitions.

VC, Professor Chinedum Nwajiuba espousing the importance of innovation, research and development in Nigeria development

According to the Vice-Chancellor, the essence of the exhibition is to make research innovative and production-driven in the institution, not just a mere academic exercise used to gain promotion. He further decried the poor research attitude of many Nigerian academics, who he noted were mainly interested in money and enjoined them to take research seriously in order make the country productive and self-reliant.

Meanwhile, Abakaliki rice and yam have been declared the official food of the University. This was also part of the decisions made by the Vice Chancellor at the 5th FUNAI lecture.


Bags of Abakaliki rice on display

Consequently, he has directed that all food to be cooked and sold in the University during such events like matriculations, convocations and the likes be strictly local products from Abakaliki, the host town of the University. This policy is to come into effect starting from the 6th matriculation ceremony of the university scheduled for 8th February, 2018. The Deans of various faculties, Acting Director of FUNAI Outlook and campus food vendors were ordered to abide by the decision in all their entertainment and cafeteria activities.

Similarly, the Vice-Chancellor has also approved the production of ‘akwete’ in the University. ‘Akwete’ is a local fabric indigenous to the Igbo people of south eastern Nigeria. The establishment of the ‘akwete’ fabric industry in the University would expose its students to entrepreneurial activities in that line of business; create opportunities for both job and additional income for members of the university community as well as drive the local economy to prosperity. On that note the Vice-chancellor equally directed the department of Fine and Applied Arts to ensure the venture takes-off immediately.

A Woman weaving akwete fabric

These three executive orders from the Vice-chancellor are in direct support of the federal government policies on economic diversification, ease of doing business and local content policy. Its positive spillover effect on the University staff and students, its host community and Ebonyi state in general are enormous and unquantifiable. It will definitely boost the local economy and more importantly promote the clamour for made-in Nigeria goods in this part of the country. Therefore, all hands must be on deck to ensure that these objectives are pursued and achieved, making FUNAI a trail blazer among the comity of Nigerian Universities in the promotion of economic diversification and local content policies of government.

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