By Felix Khanoba
Determined to make its campus more environment-friendly, University of Abuja (UniAbuja) has planted 1,503 seedlings of date palm on 12 hectares of land within its premises.
Flagging off the planting exercise at the main campus of the University in Abuja, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Abdul-Rasheed Na’Allah, said the move was part of the institution’s effort to create a green campus and contribute to economic development of the country.
A statement made available to The AUTHORITY in Abuja on Sunday by the University, said the cultivation of the date palm seedlings was made possible through the collaboration of Nigerian Institute for Oil Palm Research (NIFOR).
The statement quoted the Vice Chancellor as expressing delight over the development and assured of his readiness to leverage on the abundant land in the University to improve the nation’s economic fortunes.
His words: “We are delighted for the opportunity to formally launch this plantation of date palm on our campus. We want to have a green campus. I believe that there is no greater wealth than land. The University believes in the potential of agriculture not only as a source of revenue generation, but to also help change the fortunes of this country.”
The Vice-Chancellor said students of University and many other Nigerians will benefit massively from the plantation as it would not only aid teaching and research but also alleviate poverty and ensure food security in the country.
Speaking further, the VC said the University is well-positioned to be a front-runner in agricultural research and development, adding that his administration would ensure that the institution continues to give maximum support to research.
He revealed that UniAbuja will also embark on planting more economic trees, including teak, oil palm, mahogany, among others, in not too distant time.
Prof. Na’Allah was accompanied to the planting exercise by Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) Professor Clement Alawa; Registrar, Malam Yahya Mohammed; Dean of Students Affairs, Dr Abubakar Umar Kari and other senior staff of the University.