The University of Ilorin has been adjudged the first among institutions in Nigeria with the best return on investment.

An online publication, Stutern.com, came up with this verdict in its Nigerian Graduates Report 2018, a copy of which was made available to Unilorin Bulletin. The report is the product of a panoramic research on employment in Nigeria and Nigerian universities.

According to the report, the University of Ilorin, with a ratio of 13.75, emerged the first among Federal and State-owned universities, polytechnics as well as privately-owned institutions with the highest Return on Investments.

Stutern, an online job placement platform and skills development organisation, reports that with “with an Average Annual Salary pegged at N883, 922.89 and Average Academic Tuition at N64, 307.50, a student from this school can earn their total tuition fee more than 13 times in their first year of full-time paid employment”.

Closely following the University of Ilorin on the “Return on Investment” ranking is the University of Ibadan with a ratio of 12.24 in the 2nd position. The Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA) with a ratio of 10.82, listed came 3rd on the Stutern Return on Investment ranking.

Other universities featured in the report include the University of Agriculture, Abeokuta with a return on investment ratio of 8.44 (4th); the Federal University of Technology, Minna, with ROI of 8.13 (5th); Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria - 7.85 (6th); the University of Lagos-7.64 (7th); Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife with ROI of 7.2 (8th), Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka-5.46 (9th) and the University of Nigeria, Nsukka with 4.97, occupying the 10th place, among others.

The Stutern Report also featured the employability status of Nigerian graduates, employment status by level of degree, employment status by gender, most employed graduate courses as well as most employable universities where it placed the University of Ilorin in the fifth position.

In a Foreword to the report, the Executive Director, Centre for the Study of the Economies of Africa, Chukwuka Onyekwena, pointed out that the Stutern's Nigerian Graduates Report is “timely” and “offers new insights on the country's employment environment and highlights notable issues that surround employability, especially among youths.”

He added that “this information has the potential to improve the efficiency of efforts in the education system towards improving the stock of human capital in the country. Additionally, the findings can help shape the strategies of a diverse range of stakeholders, including employers in search for talent, job-seekers looking for gainful employment and state actors in designing effective policies.”

The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof. Sulyman Age Abdulkareem, has admonished the newly inducted Nursing graduands of the University to be good ambassadors of the institution, while upholding the moral and professional training they had received.

Prof. Abdulkareem gave the advice last Tuesday (December 11, 2018), while speaking at the 2nd Professional Induction and Admission Ceremony for the 2018 Nursing graduands of the College of Health Science, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, University of Ilorin, held at the University Auditorium. Twenty new Nursing graduands were inducted into the profession at the ceremony.

The Vice-Chancellor advised the graduands to accept the Nursing profession as a calling to change the world, extend sacrifice and service to impact on humanity, adding that "as it is expected of you, utilize conscientiously evidence-based practice to provide selfless and excellent clinical care to all people that will badly seek it from you."

He charged the graduands to treat people with dignity, patience, respect and compassion, which comprise the core values of the Nursing profession and to utilise these values as their guiding principles so that they can be successful in their career.

In his remarks, the Provost of the College of Health Sciences, Prof. Olanrewaju Adedoyin, felicitated with the graduands, their parents and guardians, the elders and nurses present at the event, adding that it has been a long, tortuous and eventful but also an interesting journey.

Prof. Adedoyin told the inductees, “Your set had the benefit of passing through my leadership both as the Dean, Faculty of Clinical Sciences and now as Provost, College of Health Sciences. I have found your set to be of good conduct and well behaved. I consider your set lucky to have graduated at a time when the Nursing science programme is stabilising, having overcome all its teething problems of accreditation”.

The Provost disclosed that this year, the college has transformed from an interim accreditation status by NUC to full accreditation, adding that it has now become a Centre for the Nursing and Midwifery Council examinations apart from maintaining 100 percent success for the second time running in the nationwide Council examina tion. 

In his goodwill message, Alhaji Faruk Umar Abubakar of the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria urged the inductees to understand the psychological and physical factors involved in the promotion, maintenance and restoration of health of individuals, families and communities at large, in the delivery of health care. He also urged them to adhere to the code of ethics of the profession and to always be good ambassadors of the Nursing profession.

In her lecture at the ceremony, a lecturer of Nursing at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun state, Dr. Adenike Olaogun, called for more inter-professional collaboration among health care providers from different backgrounds in order to improve health outcomes for their patients while working with patients, families, and communities to deliver the highest quality of care.

Speaking on the topic, “Trends in Health Care: Implications for Nursing Education and Practice, the don said that Nursing profession demands that all nurses see their clients in the health system as human beings, as it is a marketing strategy that is very relevant to nursing and the health care system.

No fewer than 18 new Pharmacy graduands were formally admitted into the Pharmacy profession penultimate Friday (December 7, 2018) by the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) at the 3rd Oath-taking and Induction ceremony of the 2018 graduands of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Ilorin.

At the ceremony held at the University Auditorium, the Vice-Chancellor of Chrisland University, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Prof. (Mrs.) Chinedum Peace Babalola, charged stakeholders in the pharmaceutical industry, to always see their roles as very important in addressing the challenges facing the profession.

Speaking on the topic, “The Pharmacy Profession for Better: My Role”, Prof. Babalola, who was the Guest Speaker, expressed the belief that disruptive innovations tend to be produced by outsiders and entrepreneurs in start-ups, rather than existing market-leading companies.

She said, “A disruptive process can take longer to develop than by the conventional approach and the risk associated to it is higher than the other more incremental or evolutionary forms of innovations, but once it is deployed in the market, it achieves a much faster penetration and higher degree of impact on the established markets”.

Prof. (Mrs.) Babalola said, “We must also begin to explore, build quality relationships especially outside healthcare, have mentors, have mentees, keep your current friendships and relationships within the profession, and do more than graduating with a first-class in Pharmacy. Do more and be more”.

Prof. Babalola lamented the challenges facing the pharmacy profession in the country, including lack of enabling environment, poverty, low morale, injustice, cheating, disparity, pressures from other professions, lack of internship placement, poor access to medicines, lack of political will, substandard medicines, low knowledge of the profession, lack of capital, lack of sustainability in practice, etc, saying that these have made it difficult for the profession to stand as expected.

Earlier in his opening remarks at the ceremony, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof. Sulyman Age Abdulkareem, congratulated the graduands and their parents for successfully achieving another milestone in life.

Prof. Abdulkareem appreciated the support of the leadership of the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria and the lecturers at the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences for their commitments and devotion to duty.

The Registrar of the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria, Pharm. N.A.E. Mohammed, who was represented by Pharm. Akai Ali, charged the newly inducted Pharmacists to comply and acquaint themselves with the code of Professional Ethics.

Pharm Mohammed said that the induction of the graduands into the pharmacy profession signifies the completion of the first phase of their training as professionals. He advised them to undergo the one year statutory internship programme, which is the second phase of their training, and compulsory for all Pharmacists in Nigeria.

In her address, the Dean of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Dr. Rasheedat Ayanniyi, revealed that the approval of the Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) curriculum by the Senate of the University at its 267th meeting in December, 2017, paved way for the first set of PharmD students to be admitted in the 2017/2018 academic session.

Dr. Ayanniyi also stated that the University Senate in September, 2018, has approved the curricula for postgraduate programmes for Masters of Science Programmes in Pharmaceutical and Medicinal chemistry, Pharmaceutics and Industrial Pharmacy, Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacy Administration and Pharmacology and Toxicology.

The Dean expressed her appreciation to the University management, the Registrar of the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria, past Deans of the Faculty, and members of staff of the Faculty, for their continuous support and efforts in the development of professional excellence.

Dr. Ayanniyi also paid tribute to the late Dean of the Faculty, Prof. Abdulkarim Agunu, who died on July 15, 2018.

In his valedictory speech on behalf of the 2018 Pharmacy graduands, Mr. Omotesho Quadri Ajibola, who was the best graduating student, thanked God for His sustenance and support for him and his colleagues to witness the induction ceremony.

Mr. Ajibola advised his fellow graduates to take up the responsibilities of their profession and discharge their appropriate functions to the benefit of the society.

The Kwara State Governor, Alhaji (Dr.) Abdulfatah Ahmed, has commended the University of Ilorin for its giant strides in national development over the years.   

Alhaji Ahmed gave the commendation while delivering a goodwill message at the 34th Convocation Ceremonies of the Better By Far University last Tuesday (October 22, 2018).

The Governor, who is also an alumnus of the University, disclosed that he was always very proud of Unilorin for its meaningful contributions in making him what he is today ..

Governor Ahmed praised the University for consistently being the nation's most patronized University and for running an impactful, smooth and consistently productive academic calendar in the last two decades which, he said, has positioned the University to repeatedly churn-out highly-trained and competent manpower who are glowingly contributing their quotas to human progress in various spheres of life.

He also expressed delight with Unilorin for simultaneously producing two Senior Advocates of Nigeria in a single year. He pointed out that the uncommon development has gone a long way in re-establishing the incontrovertible status of the University as a true center of academic and professional excellence, which type is rare to come across among its peers. 

 The Governor assured members of the University of Ilorin community of the commitment of his administration to continue to partner with the institution in making life more abundant for the students and staff of the University and their host communities as exemplified in the erection of solar-powered streetlight from the University gate into the town among other developmental efforts.

As part of the activities marking this year's Christmas celebration, the Christian Community of the University of Ilorin has held its 2018 Joint Christmas Carol, which featured melodious rendition of different songs and admonitions.

Themed "The Heavens are telling the Glory of God", the Carol, which held penultimate Sunday (December 9, 2018) at the University Auditorium, was hosted by St. Thomas Aquinas' Catholic Chaplaincy, University of Ilorin.

Speaking on the topic "Christ the Light of the World that is to be born", the Coadjutor Bishop of the Diocese of Ilorin, Reverend Father Adegboyega Olawoore, admonished the congregation to “rejoice and celebrate in the birth of Jesus Christ, who is the light brought to the world to enlighten the heart of men and show the way to salvation”. He urged the congregation to celebrate the birth of Christ with the understanding that the main celebration lies in the preparation for his second coming.

In his remarks, the Acting Chaplain in charge of the Chapel of the Light, University of Ilorin, Venerable (Dr.) J.O. Osaji, thanked God for the  University management, led by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Sulyman Age Abdulkareem. He also prayed that God will help the administration of the Vice-Chancellor to continue to bring joy to the University Community.

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Prof. Sylvia Malomo, took the reading of the Bible from the second chapter of the Gospel of Matthew. Other readings of the Bible from the Gospel of Luke and Isaiah were taken by the Registrar, Dr.(Mrs) Folaranmi Olowoleni, and the Chaplain of the Chapel of Light, University of Ilorin, Reverend Dr. C. O. Ogunkunle.

The Mass Choir, which was conducted  by the Music Director of the Chapel of the Light and the former Provost of the College of Health Sciences, Prof. A.B. Omotoso, rendered symphonic and well-tuned Christmas songs, ranging from  the popular "O Come All ye Faithful" to different Christmas songs, arousing a feeling of euphoria on the congregation. There were also beautiful presentations from the children unit of the Christian community.

Among the Christian leaders that attended the Carol were the Catholic Bishop of Ilorin Diocese, Most Rev. (Dr.) Ayo-Maria Atoyebi; the Chaplains of St. Aquinas Catholic Chaplaincy, Rev. Fr. Augustine Katuka Isa and Rev. Fr. Rowland Chukwu Nwosu; Sister Angela Obiamuju Asogwa, the immediate past Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research, Technology and Innovations), Prof. Gabriel Olatunji,  the former Dean of the Faculty of Physical Sciences, Prof. Uche B. Eke; the former University Librarian, Prof. M.I Ajibero, members of staff of the University and Students.

Contrary to the entrenched perception among most Nigerians that there is paucity of space for qualified candidates into the nation's universities, the Registrar/Chief Executive of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Prof. Is'haq Olanrewaju Oloyede (OFR), has said that the available space of 600,000 in over 150 universities across the country is big enough to accommodate the greatest percentage of admission seekers.    

Prof. Oloyede made this observation last Thursday (December 13, 2018) while addressing a special forum of top officials of the University of Ilorin on the on-going 2018/2019 admission exercise.

Prof. Oloyede pointed out that while about 700,000 candidates have a minimum of O' level Credits in five subjects, including English Language and Mathematics, which is  a statutory prerequisite for admission, it is clear that the discrepancy does not justify the call for the establishment of more universities that will, in the long run, suffer perennial under-funding.  

 The renowned scholar of Islamic Studies said that the establishment of more universities, particularly by state governments, will create more problems than they are meant to solve.

 Prof. Oloyede also explained the series of technology-driven innovations he has brought into the operation of JAMB, which, according to him, has actually returned the power of admission back to institutions of higher learning. He assured that for as long as such institutions adhere strictly to statutory regulations, the hi-cups often faced by some universities in processing the admission of their intended students would become a thing of the past. 

The JAMB Registrar, who is also the Secretary-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council For Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), responded to various questions raised by the members of the audience on the admission issue, as he also applauded the glowing reputation of the University of Ilorin as the most subscribed, most internationalised and most peaceful in Nigeria whose contributions to human capital development are being felt across the globe.

  Prof. Oloyede commended the management and staff of the University of Ilorin for the support his Board has enjoyed from them at improving the credibility of the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations since he took-over the leadership of JAMB.

  While disclosing that JAMB had sought approval to use part of its annual revenue to support universities' developmental efforts based on certain parameters, the JAMB Registrar encouraged the University of Ilorin not to rest on its oars as sister universities are working assiduously to upstage it in several areas where it is currently leading.

 Earlier while welcoming Prof. Oloyede to the forum, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof. Sulyman Age Abdulkareem, thanked him for his relentless support for the growth of the University.

  Prof. Abdulkareem added that the University of Ilorin is always proud of the industry, integrity, accomplishments and rising profile of Prof. Oloyede as he assured him that the University will continue to work with JAMB to avert some of the identified inadequacies, in the on-going admission process in several universities.

  The event was attended by the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council, University of Ilorin, Dr. Abdullah Jibril Oyekan (OFR), all the Principal Officers, Deans of the various Faculties, the Chairman of the University Admission Committee, staff of the Admissions Office, and other top officials of the University.

As the 2019 general elections approach, a former United Nations Under-Secretary General, Prof. Ibrahim Agboola Gambari (CFR), has appealed to Nigerians to insist on and work for a peaceful, free and credible contest that will eventually engender good governance.   

Prof. Gambari, who is also a former Minister of Foreign Affairs, made the appeal in Ilorin last Tuesday (October 23, 2018) while addressing guests at the 34th Convocation Ceremony of the University of  Ilorin.

 The consummate diplomat, whose address was entitled "Education for Peace, Democracy and Development", called on the Federal Government and all stakeholders to support the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and other relevant institutions to organise impeccable elections that will be devoid of crisis and which will promote the global image of Nigeria as a democratic nation.

Prof. Gambari advised Nigerians "to rise above parochial and exclusionary situations in our growing democracy", stating that the electorate have a lot of role to play in building an enduring democratic governance through their dispositions and organizational ability which, if properly channeled, will compel those who are entrusted with political power to offer qualitative leadership.  

    He added that Nigeria should do everything not to disappoint members of the international community who are now focusing their rapt attention on the country, not only because they believe that the Nigeria has what it takes to occupy a respectable position in international politics but because of the imaginable cost the disruption of peace in Nigeria would inflict on the Western World, particularly, Great Britain, where more than two million Nigerians hold citizenship.

   Prof. Gambari, who was also the longest-serving Nigeria's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, contended that for the country to experience all-round development, there is the need for proper and adequate political education of the citizenry for them to appreciate their inalienable rights and duties to the State. He added that this admirable condition can only be brought about when the voting population is given sound education through adequate and relevant tutelage right from the school.

 The renowned diplomat expressed the conviction that peace and development will only be firmly rooted in the polity when political power is entrusted in those who possess sophisticated knowledge of the hitherto and recurrent internal and global dynamics in governance, politics, peace-building and socio- economic environment.

The former Minister of Foreign Affairs paid glowing tributes to the authorities of the University of Ilorin for their cumulative contributions, which effectuated in the glittering heritage of the University as a peaceful "place of excellence and great achievements", which turns out finest products on annual basis and who are doing very well in their various callings.

While commending the University for establishing the Centre for Peace and Strategic Studies (CPSS) and sustaining the academic programmes of the Centre, Prof. Gambari enjoined the graduands and youths across the country to embrace the culture of peace and "never allow yourselves to be used to do bad things”.

 He said that no effort should be spared by the concerned stakeholders to avoid the repeat of the conflagrations which followed the 2011 general elections during which several lives and property worth millions of Naira were destroyed in certain parts of the country.