The current Provost of Federal College of Agriculture, Ishiagu is Dr. Michael Okechukwu Okoronkwo. He assumed office in August 2020 as the 13th substantive Provost of the Institution.
Dr. Michael Okechukwu Okoronkwo hails from Ndiakeme Village Aro-Okigwe, Okigwe Local Government Area of Imo State, Nigeria. He was born into a Christian family of Mazi Billy Nwosu Okoronkwo and Senior Deaconess Gladys Ucheju Okoronkwo.
While he was growing up, young ebullient Okey exhibited great signs of candour, courage, charisma and sound judgment. Hence, his parents respected his opinion and trusted his judgment. There is no better way to paint a vivid picture of a growing phenomenon of a man called Dr. Mike, Nigeria’s outstanding professional who has consistently remained an epitome of humility, intelligence, brilliance and discipline.
Mike was educated at a young age as he attended School Road Model Primary School, Umuahia and passed the First School Leaving Certificate with Distinction in 1976. In 1982 he sat for West African School Certificate Examination O’ level and came out in flying colours. He proceeded to Federal School of Agriculture, Umudike: now, (FCA, Ishiagu), between 1983 and 1984 where he passed Ordinary National Diploma (OND) in General Agriculture with Upper Credit. After his One year Industrial Training (IT) programme, he went back to the same school where he obtained his Higher National Diploma (HND) between 1986 and 1987 with Upper credit in General Agriculture.
In 1994 Dr. Mike advanced to the prestigious and foremost University in Nigeria, University of Nigeria Nsukka, where he obtained a Post Graduate Diploma (PGD) in Agricultural Economics with Distinction (4.86 GPA) in 1995.
This epitome of humility because of his ambition to be an academic icon with a touch of class, proceeded and obtained his Master’s degree and Ph.D in Agricultural Economics in 1999 and 2013 respectively. This divinely inspired intellectual colossus, an example par excellence, a towering pillar of academic occupied top positions/awards in the social world which never got him distracted such as Director of Sports at F.S.A Umudike in 1984, Best Goalkeeper of the year, East of the Niger in 1984, the position he maintained all through until 1987 when he was acclaimed “PINA”, an outstanding ball magnet of the year, Director of Social and Welfare at UNN in 1997 among others.
Dr. Michael Okechukwu Okoronkwo, a leading authority in Agricultural Economics, widely recognized today as a doyen of Agricultural Economics whose work span teaching, research, consultancy, advisory, management and administration started his teaching career as a Lecturer III officer in the Department of Agricultural Extension and Management in 2002 at Federal College of Agriculture Ishiagu where he rose through the ranks to the grade of a Principle Lecturer in 2018. Since he joined the college, he has held several administrative positions including Director, Planning, Budget and Training division of the College; College Budget Officer; Chairman, CONHESS and CONMESS Harmonization Committee; Secretary, Project Task Team Committee; Member, Procurement Planning Committee (PPC); Member, Tenders Board Committee; Member, College Appointments and Promotions Committee; Member Think Tank Committee; Member, Market and Price Control (MPC) Committee; Member, Editorial Board Committee; Member, Vocational Training of Farmers in Tree Crop among others.
Dr. Okoronkwo has participated in both national and international conferences and workshops on Farm Management and Production Economics. He has successfully supervised numerous students’ research projects both National Diploma (ND) and Higher National Diploma (HND). He has published over 35 research papers, both nationally and internationally, including several textbooks authored and co-authored. Through the numerous publications, he has and still contributing to knowledge that border on women, children, youth and gender towards the development of agriculture and improvement of socio-economic status of the Nigerian farmers.
The recognition of his intellect, dedication to duty, personal integrity and numerous contributions of Mike to the college and in Nation building as an intellectual bank of ideas led to his appointment as the Chief Executive Provost of Federal College of Agriculture Ishiagu, Ebonyi State on 24th August 2020 making him the youngest to assume the position ever since the history of the College. Dr Okey on assumption of office had an interaction with all the labour union leaders in the college with the IMCC members by his side, he informed the house that the last administration revolutionized the infrastructural and academic worldview of the college, that he is going to sustain the legacy with his proposed 5-years developmental agenda codenamed “VISION 2025”, to take the college to the next level using a 5R-model that comprises ; RECONCILIATION, RESTORATION, RECONSTRUCTION, RE-ALIGHNMENT and REPOSITIONING. His vision is hinged on sustainable infrastructural development and maintenance; effective training and capacity building of the college personnel, increased staff welfare and quality academics.
In all this servant master called Dr. Mike has positively affected the Nigerian Firmament in many ways and he remains an indelible force on all fronts. He is a Christian par excellence and married to his heart throb, Deaconess Olufunke Arinola Okoronkwo and they are blessed with three sons.
Compiled by Dr. T.C Nwaneri (College Orator)