The Provost of Federal College of Agriculture, Akure (FECA), Dr. Akinyemi Fadiyimu, has raised the alarm of incessant attacks on students and members of staff of the institution by land speculators who encroached on the land of the school.
This was disclosed by Dr. Fadiyimu, while speaking with the leadership of the Correspondents’ Chapel of Nigeria Union of Journalists when it pays him a courtesy call in his office on Thursday.
He expressed concern over some persons claiming to be the original owners of the land acquired by the Federal Government in 1966 when the institution was established.
He therefore called on the Federal Government to save the school from the hands of the invaders who are currently striving to take three quarters of the institution’s land by force.
He disclosed that the college had been sued to court by five different individuals laying claim to the land belonging to the institution.
The Provost also revealed that the security risk being faced by students and members of staff of the college due to attacks by land grabbers, has been causing distraction for the institution.
He said: “Our greatest threat here is the issue of land grabbing. Land grabbers want to forcefully encroach on our land. We are facing five litigations from people who are trying to lay claim to this college. On several fronts, different persons are laying claim to our land. The issues are so serious.
“If perchance we should lose those cases, the land available to this college will be reduced by three quarters. Only one quarter will be left for us to operate. They come in all the time to attack our staff and students. It is a lot of security risk for staff and students.
“The location of the college is attractive to land speculators. They should leave us alone to develop and be able to serve society.”
Moreover, Dr. Fadiyimu lamented that the institution is facing a serious infrastructure deficit due to paucity of funds.
He explained that the removal of Colleges of Agriculture from the list of institutions that can benefit from Tertiary Education Fund (TETFUND) contributed immensely to ‘serious infrastructural deficit in the institution.’
Dr. Fadiyimu lamented that the institution has not been receiving the needed support from both the state and the Federal Government.
He said: “There are a lot of developmental project activities lacking in the institution. There is a dearth of infrastructure.The FG has been shortchanging us since 2010.
He noted that the government had stopped the establishment of the College of Agriculture due to the removal of TETFUND support.
“We were removed from benefiting from TETFUND. In 2010 all Colleges of Education were exempted but state universities are benefiting from it. State governments are not establishing a College of Agriculture because they will not have access to TETFUND.
“We are talking about food security and agricultural development. Our graduates are able to ensure we achieve technological advancement. We are critical stakeholders in agricultural development in this country.”
The Provost, however, appealed to President Tinubu and the Minister of Education to reinstate Federal Colleges of Agriculture in institutions that benefit from TETFUND.