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By NBF News
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Yaba College of Technology (YABATECH) and the Songhai Centre based in Porto Novo, Republic of Benin, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to replicate the outfit in one of their schools located at Epe, Lagos.

At the signing of the MoU at YABATECH Conference Room, the Rector represented by the Deputy Rector (Academic), Dr. Nkechi Akubuiro and the Director of Songhai Centre, Father Godfrey Nzamujo, after discussion and exchange of ideals okayed the document which will lead to replication of the center at the School of Agriculture, Epe campus.

The signing of the MoU was witnessed by senior management staff of the college including the Deputy Rector (Administration), Dr. Mobolaji Olaseni, Registrar, B. C. Amapakabo, Bursar, Mr. Olu Ibirogba, Deans of Schools, Head of Department of Biological Science, Mr. Ifeanyi Amachina?

Speaking at the event, the Deputy Rector (Academic), Dr. Akubuiro, appreciated the support and cooperation that had existed between the Songhai Center and YABATECH through various collaborative agreements between the two institutions in the past in areas of education research, capacity-building and experience-sharing.

Akubuiro hoped that the new MoU would further strengthen the relationship between the two institutions in several other areas such as human resources and infrastructural development, student industrial attachment, staff and student exchange programmes, technological transfer and entrepreneurial development.

The former Deputy Rector (Academic) and STEP B Project Manager, Dr. Moji Bello said in line with the World Bank demand for linkage, the college has since two years being looking forward to this kind of collaborative initiative.

Dr. Bello recalled how the collaboration with the Porto Novo center started as one of the institutions selected by the World Bank that visited Songhai in 2008 and lauded the center for supporting its staff during the writing of the proposal for the STEP B.

According to her, the proposal is meant to replicate the center in YABATECH at the School of Agriculture at the Epe campus and revealed that the college is the first institution Songhai Center is collaborating with and added that 'our dream is to replicate all these in our School of Agriculture. The college management is kin on supporting the project. The approval for the model village is approved for Epe campus.'

In his presentation titled 'Songhai business model', the director of the center, Father Nzamujo warned YABATECH not to lose its soul as the Federal Government moves to transform it into a university and urged it to be responsive to the needs of the society by providing solutions to the problems confronting it.

Father Nzamujo said the nation's problem is functional education because 'we have produced people carrying certificates but with the two institutions joining together, the sky is the limit.'

Nzamujo added: 'The collaboration with the center is a licence to key into the huge potentials available in Agro-business. YABATECH has a role to play in the eradication of poverty in Africa by leapfrogging Agric production.' He then assured that the center and the college would combine to produce new things.

The center director warned that Nigeria is dying from its inability to produce food to feed its teeming population and lamented the fact that Agriculture is not attracting investment. He therefore suggested that YABATECH should have a model farm like an industrial farm to produce on a large scale.

The Deputy Rector, Dr. Olaseni, assured him that YABATECH would not lose its soul and noted that the signing of the MoU will act as something of a catalyst and the beginning of new things to happen.