From Chijioke Attah, Nsukka
he Dean, Students Affairs of University of Nigeria, Nsukka(UNN, Prof. Edwin Omeje, has muted the idea of a introducing free feeding programme for students in the institution.
This he intends to achieve by getting various departments in the agricultural value chain to produce food for community consumption.
According to him, the Professors in Agriculture should be able to produce yam and rice for school feeding, while their counterparts in Animal Science should produce protein.
“We can produce ten tons of rice annually and produce in between seasons”, he enthused.
This, he said would create employment and the Central Bank of Nigeria could be gotten to fund the project and students would have cheap rice to eat.
Omeje noted that tomatoes, carrot, cabbage and other crops were now growing in Nsukka and there was no reason why the University cannot tap into these potentials to feed the students well.
He assured that with the free feeding programme the school’s moribund refectories would be reactivated.
The professor of pharmaceutical and medicinal chemistry said if the University’s refectory in loan to a private investor and it’s making profit, there was no reason the University cannot make profit with the free feeding programme where students pay a token abd feed well.
He maintained that Professors of the University must develop programmes and researches that would address the local needs of the community.
“Students are coming back and they have to eat, if you don’t have a place for them to eat, they become restive”.
Omeje assured of the University’s readiness to take in returning students after the coronavirus pandemic lockdown.
According to him, the Vice Chancellor of the University had set a post covid response team with eleven sub committees working to ensure a seamless resumption.
The dean pointed out that he had procured temperature checks for the hostels while appealing for donors since the University needs over fifty to cope with the students’ population.