The University of Ilorin says it has earmarked 5,000 hectares from its 15, 000 hectares land mass for allocation to interested staff and students for commercial farming.
Sulyman Abdulkareem, vice-chancellor of the university, made the disclosure in Ilorin on Tuesday at the official presentation of items purchased by the 1988 University set of the Faculty of Agriculture.
Mr Abdulkareem said the contribution was a bid to key into the federal government’s efforts to make Nigeria a food basket of Sub-Saharan Africa.
He said that the university had begun the process of accessing loan facilities of about N2 billion from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to drive the farming scheme.
He also explained that the institution was currently using just five per cent of the total 15,000 hectares of its land mass.
The vice-chancellor said that the initiative would not only put the land up for productive use but also boost the country’s economy.
He gave assurance that the university would also key into the federal government’s ranching programme, as a way of finding a permanent solution to the herdsmen/farmers’ clashes in the country.
Mr Abdulkareem commended members of the 1988 set, for procuring items worth one million naira for their faculty and appreciated them for the sacrifice.
The vice-chancellor, who was represented by Mikhail Buhari, the deputy vice-chancellor, Research, Technology and Innovation, described the 1988 set as `good ambassadors’ of the university.
He said that the institution had begun the compilation of names of its alumni, home and abroad for possible connection and synergy between it and their respective places of work.
Olajumoke Ojo, president of the set, who presented the items to the dean of the faculty, Gbadebo Olaoye, said the gesture was to contribute their quota toward the development of their Alma Mater.
Ms Ojo said that the fund used to purchase the items was contributed by all members of the set.
She thanked the university authority for its effort in making the university play a dominant role in the country’s education sector.
The items presented are a generator set, three sets of public address system, incubator, deep freezer, table, executive chairs and Water Acid Tester.
Receiving the items on behalf of the Faculty, Mr Olaoye thanked the members of the 1988 set for the gesture and pledged that the items would be used judiciously.