AN ADDRESS PRESENTED BY THE PROVOST, FEDERAL COOPERATIVE COLLEGE, OJI RIVER, MR. OWAN T. ON THE OCCASION OF THE 20TH MATRICULATION CEREMONY OF THE COLLEGE HELD ON FRIDAY 23RD FEBRUARY, 2018.
The Honourable Minister of Agriculture and rural Development,
The Federal Director of Cooperatives,
The chairman of Today’s Occasion,
Your Royal Highness,
My Lord Spiritual and Temporal,
Our Special Guests,
Principal Officers of the College,
Staff and Students of the College,
Ladies and Gentlemen.
It is with a great pleasure and gratitude to God that I welcomed you all to this 20th Matriculation Ceremony. In fact, today marks yet another milestone in the history of the college as we formally admit our fresh students into the various academic programmes for the 2017/208 session. In a special way, may I congratulate and welcome our esteemed matriculants who are the chief celebrants in this very occasion. I wish you a happy and successful sojourn in this great citadel of learning.
You have already gone through the students’ orientation exercise that is designed to acquaint you with the norms, values and traditions of the college. I believe strongly that every one of you has a copy of the students’ handbook where the rules and regulations of the college are spelt out. We expect you to conduct yourselves in line with the provisions of the handbook. Therefore, you had better acquaint yourself with every detail in the handbook so that you may not get yourself into some avoidable problems.
The college has worked had to procure most of the facilities you see today for your effective learning and development. We therefore expect you to use these facilities with care. The College has been known for high standards and it is our desire not only to maintain these standards but to improve upon them. I therefore call on you to endeavour at all times to sustain this good name which the institution has carved out for itself over the years.
In the course of your students orientation exercise you must have been told the available channels for conflict resolution in the College. I implore you to effectively use these channels whenever the need arises. Our desire is to nurture and refine you so that at the end of your stay you will be found worth both in character and in learning.
As future leaders of our great country Nigeria, you should abhor all forms of hooliganism. Examination malpractices and disobedience to constituted authority. May I at this juncture, state that Federal Cooperative College, Oji River does not condone cultism. During the students’ orientation exercise you were thoroughly briefed on the modus operandi of different cult groups. Well, in your own interest, you are advised to stay clear from these groups. Any student caught engaging in cult activities will not only be expelled, but also hand over to the law enforcement agencies for prosecution. The environment in the higher institution is a little different from that of the Primary and Secondary Schools. This is because you tend to enjoy some sort of freedom from the prying or watchful eyes of your mother and the scolding of your father. How you manage this so called “freedom” determines your success or otherwise in the College.
May I appeal to your parents and guardians as stakeholders in this very important task of molding the character of these young ones that you play your role especially by monitoring the type of company your children keep during vacations. However, these days with available modern technology one can interact with the entire world while staying physically in-doors.
It is proper form in an occasion like this to highlight our programs, challenges, hope and aspirations.
Let me take this opportunity therefore to inform this honourable gathering about the programs of the college as follows.
The National Diploma (ND) Programes, which runs four semester preparing the student for the award of National Diploma in Cooperative Economics and Management.
Students with minor deficiencies in their ND may be admitted for a one year Pre-HND to prepare them for the HND proper.
The HND programe prepares students for the award of HND in Cooperative Economics and Management.
The Professional Diploma is designed for the training and retraining of Senior Staff who are serving in the Cooperative Department or other graduates who intend to pursue Careers in Cooperative.
The College has packaged a weekend programe for the benefit of those persons especially our immediate catchment area who because of their jobs cannot attend the regular campus programmes. This is an intensive six semester programe for the award of ND and HND respectively in Cooperative Economics and Management. All these programmes are fully accredited by the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE).
Also, recently based on the approval of the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development the College has commenced two new programmes. However these new programs, Banking and Finance and Computer Science are still at the ND level.
May I use this medium to appeal to the Ministry to assist the College in addressing her staffing problems. The college had to engage staff over the years on part-time bases. This situation has even become more complex with the introduction the new programmes.
Some of these part-time lecturers have stayed with us for 5-15 years and their appointments are yet to be regularized and they receive stipends as salary. This situation is not good enough and so we earnestly appeal to the Honourable Minister and the Federal Director of Cooperatives to assist us as a matter of urgency.
I have said it before and I will keep say it that for us to be at par our Sister Colleges development wise we do not have to depend on budgetary allocations alone. We therefore need the help of good spirited individuals, philanthropist, and politicians to come to our aid.
At this juncture, I want to thank the Honourable Minister that at last, the reoccurring decimal in our matriculation speeches (our access road) is now wearing a new look. I must say we are really blessed, that from the last matriculation to this matriculation, so many changes have taken place in the college as follows:
- Construction of the college access road;
- New hostel for female Students;
- General Renovation of the College – (classrooms, administrative Block, Hostels)
- A new canteen behind the pavilion;
- The Instruction of Solar Powered electrical system in the Administrative block (24 hours light)
- Stocking of our library with relevant books.
However, a few areas still need attention in the College. Therefore permit me to itemize them thus;
- A classroom/staff room complex for the new programmes.
- Construction of a composite Student Union Complex to house the Students Union Officers, the Senate and an ultramodern consumer.
- 50 seater coaster bu.
- A new administrative block housing all the principal officers of the college.
- 250 Capacity ICT complex.
- 500 KVA generating set.
It is pertinent here to admonish our fresh students and indeed all staff and students over the security challenges facing the country today. We cannot feel at ease, fold our arms thinking all is well in our domain. You are therefore advised to report any strange or clandestine movements and activities to the appropriate quarters.
Ladies and gentlemen, may I use this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to both the teaching and non-teaching staff of the college for their support, cooperation and dedication to duty. I thank you all and urge you not to relent in your efforts to actualize our dream of producing graduates we will be proud of, that will contribute their quota towards the development of our country Nigeria.
Finally, my dear matriculants, I welcome you to Federal Cooperative College Oji River community. I have no doubt in my mind that if you obey the rules and regulations of the College and study hard you will achieve your noble objectives and the desire of your parents will be accomplished.
The Chairman Sir, my esteemed matrciulants, distinguished guest, my highly revered staff and students, Ladies and gentlemen.
I once more thank you for sacrificing your time and shelving your precious engagements to honour our invitation to be part of today’s ceremony.
We are really grateful to you all, and we pray that the Almighty God grant you all His journey mercies back to your respective homes.
Thank you and God bless you all.
Federal Cooperative College,