Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State has said that his government is committed to programmes that will help to alleviate poverty in the State and make life more meaningful for the public.
Governor Uzodimma spoke on Friday at the Executive Chambers of the Government House, Owerri when he received in audience a team of European Union (EU) and University of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, Umuagwo (UAES) who came to brief him on a multi-dimentional agricultural research project funded by the EU with Imo State and UAES considered as partner and beneficiary respectively.
Giving reasons for the establishment of the University as a business-oriented institution, Governor Uzodimma noted that local and foreign collaboration on programmes and researches are in line with the aims and objectives of the tertiary institution.
Governor Uzodimma who maintained that all relevant agencies of government will collaborate and cooperate with the team in the interest of Imo farmers and society at large on the research, commended the Acting Vice Chancellor of the University, ably led by Prof CC Eze, for his efforts in positioning the institution for global competitiveness in critical areas of human needs.
As the Visitor to the University of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, Governor Uzodimma not only thanked the team members for their choice of Imo State and UAES for the pilot project, but wished them well in their efforts to make the best out of the research.
“Take the institution to greater heights in the interest of the State and society,” Governor Uzodimma told Prof Eze.
He further invited other foreign and local agencies to emulate the EU- UAES arrangement and key into programmes in the interest of the society.
Earlier in his brief remarks, Prof. Eze introduced the delegation to the Governor and thanked him for giving the University the enabling environment to succeed.
The leader of the team, Mr. Chri Addy-Nayo thanked the governor for granting audience to the members within a short time and explained that the research team is working to promote digital financial solutions for farmers in remote communities to adapt to climate change.
According to him, the research, he said is in line with the global plan to have members of the African Union and ECOWAS of which Nigeria is one, to achieve food security against malnutrition, climate change, insecurity, self resourceful/sufficiency, among others in 2060, through innovations and new knowledge.
Mr. Addy-Nayo added that “the research is run on technical and financial support of the European Union with local and foreign partners such as, the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), Al-Hikman University (HUI), Ilorin and Start-up European Regional Network (SERN) of Belgium.”
He said that Imo State and the UAES were chosen to be part of the current phase – the pilot phase – and assured the Governor that the project will succeed and attract more support for the Institution.
However, he maintained that though the research places big responsibility on the partners and beneficiaries, he added that the benefits will manifest within three years and can attract more EU interventions.
The African facilitator for the research, Mr. Oliver Nwankwo, also spoke on the benefits of the programme to the State and the society and thanked the Governor for finding time to meet with them and assuring them of his commitment to the programme.
On the entourage of the EU- UAES team were the Registrar, Prince Edward Njemanze, Bursar, Mr. Robert Anikputa, University Librarian, Prof Chidi Nwosu, Deputy Registrar, Dr Emma Uzodimma, Ag. Director ICT, Dr. Leo Orji and the University PRO, Mr Ikechukwu Ogbonna.
The Deputy Governor, Prof Placid Njoku, the Secretary to the Government of Imo State, Chief Cosmos Iwu, the Chief of Staff, Barr Nnamdi Anyaehie, Commissioners and other top functionaries of government joined the Governor to receive the visitors.