The Long awaited hour came and over six thousand (6,000) students from all Ten(10)colleges of the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi were gathered in the Famous,
James Ayatse Convocation Square in the South Core wing of theUniversity awaiting the kick off of what has been tagged
“UAM’S Maiden Edition of a Town Hall meeting between Prof. E.I Kucha(Vice Chancellor) and the entire Students body of Benue’s Premier University”.
Enthusiasm kept rising as Students kept flooding the venue of the academic family meeting hoping and wishing to have their opportunities and privileges to task their Academic Pilot (Prof. E.I Kucha) with questions on why the University was at its current status in areas of
-Scholarships for Students
-Health amongst other critical areas of student welfare.
The Vice-Chancellor finally came on board and Great Makurdians had their Chance at engaging their host on most of the issues highlighted above, most students proffered solutions and suggestions which received much applause as to how most of the issues raised could be effectively handled to give Great Makurdians and the University Administration a fair platform to co-exist.Some of the Issues that received a lot of attention included:
- Tuition – The Vice Chancellor complained bitterly about Over five thousand(5,000) students still defaulting in payment of their charges in his opening speech and gave an ultimatum of Nov. 30th 2016 as a deadline for compliance or Students found wanting would be required to defer the semester and stay away from examination halls.
This resolution was highly contested by the students as each speaker blamed the non payment of charges on the current economic challenge of the country and its stiff bearing on the state(Benue) and further prayed the Vice Chancellor to reconsider a review and removal of the embargo on Instalmental payment of school fees thus allowing students pay their charges on the scale of a 60/40% payment plan, a resolve many believe would make the payment more effective and efficient.
Others were still of the view that the ultimatum be extended to give parents/wards the opportunity to raise money to foot charges for their children.
- Welfare of Students: This was another area that had alot of question traffic in the discussion today. Issues bothering on incentives for students were raised and the Recognition of one of our students,
SEN. Michael Blaise Ngutor was iterated with regards to his outstanding performance at
the just concluded Gov. Samuel Ortom Public Speech Contest as well as a prior brilliant performance at the University of Nigeria Nsukka,
Enugu State where he had won honours with a delegation of students at another public speech contest. Other issues on welfare raised included Transportation,
Accommodation, Health, Social Services, conduisive learning environment.
- NUGA Games:
The Nigerian Universities Games have suffered several postponements after our University acquired hosting rights in 2013.
The Vice Chancellor took time to explain the challenges that translated to the slow pace of work towards hosting the games but reaffirmed the University’s preparedness to host the games in the first quarter of next year(2017) siting the months of February and March as possible options for the Games.
The Vice Chancellor in his response session and closing remarks promised to in unison with his administration have a critical look at most of the issues raised and attend to them.
He particularly referenced the non payment of school fees as a serious issue he was going to contain the plea of the students on,
He went further to accent to the partial plea of the students in this area by extending the ultimatum to January, 2017 for school fees to be paid, after which all defaulters would be required to face the afore mentioned penalty.
The resolve to reconsider the review of the 60/40% payment plan for school fees was non
attended to by the Vice-Chancellor.
After an activity filled interaction between the Students of our amiable University(UAM) and
her academic pilot( Prof. E.I Kucha), it was obvious that the students had scored the Administration of Benue’s Premier University under the leadership of Prof. E.I Kucha on Average…more is expected as he undergoes the last lap of his administration.
Come the 18th Day of November, 2017, Great Makurdians hope to reconvene to send forth a Vice Chancellor who has not taken the wealth of ideas gathered here today for granted, but who
through the ambience of the changes we would be able to see and touch on our campus be rated as the genuine re-Engineering
Captain his Blueprint labelled him.
I wish to in conclusion specially thank Great Makurdians for defying the odds and coming out in their numbers to support the Voices and Gestures that would inspire the Change we want in our University.
This expression of hope and promise has reaffirmed your commitment to leaving this
Campus better than we met it.
Thank you and God Bless You.