The College of Agriculture and Natural Resources Iguoriakhi is located in Ovia South West Local Government Area of Edo State. The school was temporarily closed down in August 2017 by the Godwin Obaseki-led administration due to inadequate educational facilities and poor standard of learning.
Governor Obaseki while adducing reasons for its closure said: ”I shut down the school to enable me to invest money in it and bring it up to standard. I will revamp the school so that the graduates will be employable.”
Many People would have regarded the above words as mere political statement , but coming from Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki, a man who believes in reformation of the education sector and improving the quality of governance, a man who walks his talk and whom many have come to know as ‘wake and see governor’, his words have come to pass.
From the demolition of old structures to the development of large expanses of virgin land with beautiful structures, the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources Iguoriakhi is set to open for academic activities this September with a population of 2,000 students and a well-qualified workforce employed to man the institution.
Governor Obaseki has left no stone unturned in terms of finance to re- building a world class institution at Iguoriakhi that will turn out quality graduates who have the capacity to be self-employed.
The governor has assured that facilities needed for the smooth take off of the school are on ground. According to the governor, ’We are investing more in facilities, technology, broadband internet connection, fiber optics, and uninterrupted electricity supply’.
Plans, he said, were on the way to expand the Benin- Iguobazuwa road for easy movement.
The new college of Agriculture has three schools namely: School of Agricultural Engineering and Technology, which doubles as the main campus, is located at Iguoriakhi; School of Aquaculture and Marine Studies, Agenebode, and School of Forestry and Environmental Technology located at Uromi.
The physical structures include administrative block, library, lecture theatres, auditorium with a sitting capacity of 1,000 students, and a primary health care center that will attend to the health needs of the school and the community.
The school also boasts of a piggery, poultry, fishery and enough farmland for crop production. According to the Managing Director, Edo State Public Building and Maintenance Agency, it is expected that any student who passes through this institution would develop the requisite skills and capacity to be self employed.
Emphasis, the MD said, would not be based on theoretical knowledge alone but practical knowledge as well. One can categorically say that it is a job creating institution.
Like a man who guides his new bride jealously, Governor Obaseki before now, has been paying a series of visits to the institution in the company of other government functionaries to ascertain the level of work done and to ensure the speedy completion of the project.
The governor also set up a task force committee with the Edo State Head of Service, Anthony Okungbowa Esq., as chairman, to monitor and ensure strict compliance to set quality and standards.
Those who have been privileged to visit the institution, will attest to the fact that what is on ground there can only be compared to what obtains in a world class institution outside the shores of this country.
According to the head of service, apart from the physical aesthetics, the facilities as well as the structures are best-in-class.
While speaking at the pre-opening ceremony of the school recently, Governor Obaseki said Iguoriakhi has some of the best imposing structures and learning facilities compared to what obtains in any other monotechnic or university campuses in Nigeria.
He was quite confident that the accreditation team that would soon be visiting the college in September will approve all the courses in the institution as a result of what is on ground. He was certain that the collaboration with some private investors in the development of the institution would fast track the growth of the agricultural sector in the state and thereby improve its economy.
The Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security, Steven Idehenre while lauding Governor Obaseki for his achievements in the college said, the institution would constitute a magnetic pull of most talented agricultural studies inclined students and faculties of sister institutions in Nigeria.
The consultant to the school, Professor Oluwafemi said the school has acquired teaching and farm equipment worth N625 million. He added that all ICT laboratories in the college are now 24/7 solar-powered.
Fishery and research farms, according to him, are fully developed and that the school will also run a vocational enterprise that will be opened to all categories of people in the society in addition to the 16 programmes of the institution structured into the three schools.
The re-opening of the College of Agriculture Iguoriakhi for academic activities will no doubt create jobs for people and open doors for economic development and growth in the area.
It would be recalled that the College of Agriculture Iguoriakhi was established many years ago by the civilian administration of late Professor Ambrose Folurunsho Ali in 1981.
The school was closed down by the military administration and reopened by the Lucky Igbinedion administration in 2001.
The school has the mandate of awarding National Diploma and Higher National Diploma in Agricultural Technology, Animal Science, Crop Science and Agricultural Extension, among others.