By Our Correspondent
Students of the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike (MOUAU), have been advised to explore their environment, to find solutions to problems, as a way to add value to the society and to themselves.
The Director of the Centre for Entrepreneurial Development (CED) at the University, Prof. O.O Ekumankama, gave this advice, on Thursday, at a lecture to mark the kick-off of the 4th Annual Entrepreneurial Week of the MOUAU Entrepreneurial Club, held at the ICAN Hall of the University, with the theme, “Expanding the Frontiers of Entrepreneurship”.
According to Prof. Ekumankama, who represented the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Madu Ofo Iwe at the event, a critical study of the world proves that entrepreneurs are key players in economic growth, as they are individuals who look inwards and deploy their skills and energy in developing products that meet human needs in their locality and beyond.
Speaking further, Prof. Ekumankama urged students of the University to strive towards self-sufficiency by identifying and finding solutions to human needs in their immediate environment.
He also advised the students to key into the opportunities availed them by the Centre for Entrepreneurial Development at the University, to receive the training that would equip them with the needed entrepreneurial skills.
In her lecture on Bio-entrepreneurialship, Prof. Ifeoma Irene Ijeh, the Chief Resource Person at the event, stated that young people must harness the potentials of bio-economy by adding value to raw materials, to meet societal needs.
Delivering the second lecture titled, “Enterprise Fundamentals; the Keys to Expanding the Frontiers of Entrepreneurship, Dr. Chikamnele Tochukwu Amanze, an expert in entrepreneurial development, discussed the four components of business planning.
According to the resource person, these components which include goal, strategy, schedule, and feedback are prerequisites for successful businesses.
Other resource persons who spoke at the event include, the Manager of Bank of Industry (BOI), Abia State, Mr. Anthony Aleagor, and Mr. Wofai Etimita, from Cross River University of Technology, CRUTECH, who lectured the students on practical steps towards successful business startups.
The event also featured an award presentation to distinguished personalities among whom were Prof. Irene Ijeh and Mr. Ifeanyi Martin Luther Ugwu, a maritime expert and alumni of the University.
Others were Sir. Benard Chukwudi Oguzie (KSM), Chairman Seedlings & Sure-Bet Investment Nig. and Pst. Lawrence Chinatu Ph.D, the first SUG President of MOUAU, amongst others.
Earlier in the day, the Director of the Centre for Entrepreneurial Development, Prof. Ekumankama, led a delegation consisting of the staff advisers of the entrepreneurial club and some of the resource persons, on a visit to the Vice-Chancellor of the University.
During the visit, Prof. Ekumankama disclosed that the objective of the entrepreneurial week was to encourage more staff and students to be creative in thinking, for ideas and innovations on how societal needs would be met, even in the pursuit of their academic careers.
The CED boss disclosed that since the inception of the Centre in 2011, the focus has been to train students of MOUAU to graduate with various entrepreneurial skills, and pioneer entrepreneurship in different spheres of life.
In his response, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Prof. Udo Herbert, who represented the Vice-Chancellor, thanked the group for coming, adding that he is impressed with the level of success recorded by the Centre in the field of entrepreneurship. He urged the visitors not to relent in tutoring the concerned students to become self-sufficient graduates, in line with the vision of the present administration.