The United Nations has been commended for reiterating that the fight against hunger is one that concerns everyone and not just the agricultural sector or specialized agencies. The Provost of Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education, Owerri Dr. (Mrs.) Blessing Ijioma made the call during the 2015 UN Day celebrations in her College.
The Provost, in her speech, also held that “As an academic institution that produces agricultural science teachers, we understand the need to imbue our students with knowledge of agricultural entrepreneurship alongside that of teaching them about improved farm yields and responsible farming methods.”
Earlier on, the guest lecturer, Dr. Chijioke Osuji, an Associate Professor of Food Science and Technology in the Federal University of Technology, Owerri encouraged students and young people to get involved in the agricultural value chain process, stating that with more hands engaged in food production and distribution Nigeria will be on the road to Zero Hunger. He made these remarks while delivering a lecture on the theme, Zero Hunger Challenge: United for a Sustainable world.
Mr. Hillary Ozoh from the UNICEF office in Enugu represented the UN Resident Director at the event. The colourful ceremony also featured a Roundtable on healthy soil for healthy life, dance-drama, poetry, music and audience perspectives on hunger and migration.
The UN Day is an annual event in the College in recognition of the technical assistance which the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) provided in 1963 during the establishment of the then Advanced Teachers Training College which metamorphosed into the Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education, Owerri.
It will be recalled that the United Nations celebrated 70 years of existence this year having been founded on 24th October, 1945. Dr. Blessing Ijioma, speaking on the newly unveiled Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) said: “a close collaboration with the UN will enable us to better contribute our quota to Nigeria’s efforts to meet the newly adopted Sustainable Development Goals. The Global Goals no. 4, on quality education, fall under the purview of a college of education like ours which is primarily tasked with the job of producing teachers for the various levels of education; and quality teachers, as we all know, is the fulcrum for quality education and consequently sustainable development.”