By Omolola Pedro and Sodiq Lawal
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has approved a N350 million grant for the Ekiti State University (EKSU), Ado-Ekiti, for the institution’s poultry farm. The disclosure was made by the vice-chancellor, Prof. Edward Olanipekun, while addressing newsmen ahead of the 27th convocation ceremony of the institution. According to him, the university was among the few higher institutions that benefited from the scheme, noting that the first tranche of the fund had been paid in preparation for the full commencement of the project aimed at meeting the growing demands of eggs and chicken by people in society.
He added that the university was determined to export from its agricultural produce and earn foreign exchange. He said, “I am happy to report to you that we have secured a grant from the CBN to set up our poultry farm here at the university; we are one of the few institutions that benefitted from the grant. It is about N350 million, and the first part of the money has been paid, and I can tell you that it will start in a matter of weeks. We are about to commence full scale agriculture, and one of the things we are looking at is exporting our produce to bring foreign exchange to the country and the state”.
The intervention began in 2022, when the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had the maiden edition of its Tertiary Institutions Entrepreneurship Scheme (TIES). According to the CBN, the programme seeks to empower Nigerian tertiary institutions with grants to develop award-winning innovations and support research that would birth projects that are commercially-viable and has the capacity to impact the country’s economy. Additionally, the grant aims to support business ideas on agriculture, creative industry, science and technology, and information and communication technology. TIES comprises three components, and the grant money would enable winning institutions turn their ideas into functional businesses that would generate employment for their students as well as the immediate communities.