President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has again, hinted that some local refineries would soon begin production of petroleum products.
Recall that the President had shortly after assuming office, declared that the Port Harcourt refinery would resume operation by December 2023.
The President who gave the hint weekend during the 11th Convocation ceremony of the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike, (MOUAU), said that the current exorbitant price of fuel would crash when the local refineries come on stream.
“Very soon, some of our local refineries will start production and the current exorbitant prices of fuel energy will be greatly reduced,” he said.
The President who was represented by the Executive Secretary, Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria, Professor Garba Sharubutu, acknowledged the prevailing economic hardship in the country but assured that it would soon subside.
He appealed for patience and continued support of Nigerians for his administration as efforts were made to address the challenges in the country.
“Bear with us and remain resolutely in support of this administration as we would leave no stone unturned in reversing the severe hardships that our people are currently passing through.
“Part of the supplementary budget that the Parliament has approved will be applied to bring interventions at critical segments of the agricultural sector.
“The burden of insecurity is clearly a major challenge in Nigeria, but I assure you that in no distant time, it will become history.”
The President tasked universities of Agriculture in the country to rise to the challenges of food scarcity.
“As a nation, we are looking up to the Universities to innovatively drive the transformation of our Agricultural sector to achieve food security and the Sustainable Development Goals.”
He promised that his administration would continue to provide the needed support to specialized universities and agric-related institutions to fulfill their mandate.
The President encouraged private organizations to join hands with Universities of Agriculture in forming partnerships and linkages to scale up agricultural research findings with a win-win target.
President Tinubu noted the multiplicity of Nigeria’s challenges but said he was making spirited efforts to solve them.
“This administration is aware of the myriad of socio-economic and political problems that the citizens of our nation are passing through. We are, however, determined to find a lasting solution to the tough times”, Tinubu said.
“Our policy instruments are currently being fine-tuned with the view to dealing firmly with the causes and not the symptoms of the problems.
Tinubu wished the graduands well and urged them to “help fast-track the rapid development of our country.”
He assured of his government’s continued support in the provision and improvement of infrastructure in tertiary institutions.
Meanwhile, 121 out of the total 8,369 graduands, bagged First Class while 1941 made Second Class Upper Division.
Among the graduands, 3063 made Second Class Lower Division, 1121 Third Class, and six got Passes.
The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Maduebibisi Ofo Iwe further gave the statistics of the graduating students as : Bachelor’s degree -6,917; Post Graduate Diploma – 159; Masters degree – 802; and Doctorate degree – 491.
He reiterated the commitment of the university to fulfilling its core mandate, disclosing that it products and staff have continued to make waves in research and job creation.
In his valedictory speech the Best Graduating student, Ikechukwu Nicholas Chukwuka ( Computer Engineering), thanked God for the grace to emerge best overall.
Chukwuka who made a 4.90 Cumulative Grade Point Average ( CGPA), said he had wanted to read Law but his passion for Computer Engineering made him change his mind.
Former Minister for Education, Professor Ihechukwu Madubuike, chaired the pre-convocation lecture delivered by former Vice Chancellor of Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, Professor Joseph Ahaneku.