Gov. Bello Approves Upgrade of College of Agriculture, Ochaja, to Diploma Awarding Institution
By Stephen Adeleye
Lokoja, Sept. 2, 2020
Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi has approved the upgrade of College of Agricultural, Ochaja, in Dekina Local Government Area, to diploma awarding institution in agricultural areas.
The governor disclosed this in Lokoja, when he inaugurated a 7-man Steering Committee on the implementation for the commencement of Diploma Programmes at College.
The State’s Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Hon. Wemi Jones, FCIB, who performed the inauguration on behalf of the governor, urged the committee to immediately hit the ground running and submit their report within six weeks.
The commissioner noted that the governor had on June 2, 2020, approved the commencement of academic programmes leading to the award of National Diploma in various agricultural areas at the College of Agriculture, Ochaja.
He noted that the approval could not takeoff because of the Covid-19 restrictions and other attendant issues, and was relaxed till now.
”Today, we are inaugurating the Inter-Ministerial Steering Committee to midwife the commencement of lectures and other academic activities in agricultural areas at the college for the benefit of the people”, he said.
Jones said the Terms of Reference (ToR) of the Committee was to ascertain the level of the present infrastructure in the institution, non-academic staff, need for pooling staff from the Ministry of Agriculture and other related Ministries.
Other responsibilities are: admission of prospective students, sales of Admission forms, the status of laws establishing the upgrade of the institution, and other related issues.
”His Excellency is so desirous of leaving legacy projects in all parts of the state, and if you do this very well, the College of Agriculture, Ochaja, will be one of those legacy projects the governor will be leaving behind.
”I count it as a rare privilege and honour for all of us to be part of this dream. The people of Ochaja are anticipating the commencement of academic activities at this institution.
”So, this is task that must be done very well, and you have just six weeks to submit your report”, he said.
Responding, the Committee Chairman who doubles as the Perm. Sec. MOEST, Pastor Emmanuel Idenyi, thanked God that the inauguration and implementation was coming under the present administration.
Idenyi assured the commissioner that the work will be effectively carried out and delivered within the time frame.
Idenyi, on behalf of the Committee appreciated and congratulated the governor for his recent victory at the Supreme Court, while pledging their loyalty at all times.
The Principal of the College, Mr Tijani Michael, noted that the college was established in 1961 as Agricultural Institute, and later converted to Agricultural Training Centre in 1964, and had been running certificate courses since then.
Michael expressed his gratitude to the governor for approving the upgrade of the school to College of Agriculture, while thanking the commissioner for his effort.
The committee members were drawn from both ministries of Agriculture; and Education, Science & Technology, while Mrs Kate Fiki, the Director Admin and Finance (DAF) of the agriculture ministry, would act as the committee Secretary.
Other members of the Committee are: Mrs Hannah Odiyo, Perm. Sec. Agric; Mr Ichiaka Okolo, Director Agric Services; Mrs Clara Bolu, Director Tertiary and Continuous Education; Mr Dipo Aiyenibe, Director Science & Technology; and Mr Tijani Michael, the College Principal.