( Contd. from last week )

Power Supply

Having realised the importance of steady power supply to an academic environment, Professor Ambali, on assumption of duties, set out immediately to ensure that the power supply system on campus was upgraded. His effort in that regard was crowned with success by the utilization of part of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) capacity building funds donated to the University, for the construction of an ultra modern 11KV SM6 distribution panel and supply of 5MVA 33/11KV power transformer.

This was a great achievement. However, in line with Prof. Ambali's penchant for excellence, he was not satisfied with the unsteady nature of power supply from the National Grid through the old 33KV feeder supplying the University and many other towns in Ifelodun and Irepodun Local Government Areas of Kwara State.

The Vice-Chancellor, therefore, challenged the Works Department to advise him on the way out. Towards this end, the upgrading of the old 33KV feeder was suggested. He immediately bought this idea and the old feeder was upgraded to a dedicated feeder taking source from the 330/132/33KV Transmission Station at Ganmo and servicing the University main campus only.

This involved the provision of separate gantry and panel at the 330/132/33KV Transmission Station at Ganmo and the construction/upgrading of the old 33KV lines to the University's 33KV Substation (Central Power Station), a distance of over nine kilometres. The University has since 2015 been enjoying almost 24 hours of power supply daily from the National grid.

In line with Professor Ambali's vision aimed at achieving 24 hours power supply on campus, the 11KV distribution system is currently undergoing further upgrading. This involves the supply and installation of modern 11KV SM6 distribution panel at the Central Power Station and Senior Staff Quarters, respectively.


Water Supply

Professor Ambali ensured that chemicals for the treatment of water at the University Water Treatment Plant are always available while giving routine maintenance of the plant priority attention.


Environmental Beautification

A lover of beautiful and serene environment, Professor Ambali ensured the constant availability of the needed resources for adequate maintenance of environment through well-planned hard and soft landscaping.

No wonder, one of his first assignments, on environment upgrade, on assumption of duty as Vice-Chancellor was the planting of Ashoka tree on both sides of the main road from the gate to the main roundabout, a distance of about six kilometres.

All the car parks, outside those in Blocks 1-10, the University Library, the University Clinic and the Student Village were also constructed during his tenure. Similarly, the University Central Motor Park was also upgraded.

Professor Ambali also carried out massive illumination of the campus with the erection of streetlight from the Jalala Estate junction to the Senate Building Roundabout, a distance of over five kilometres and along many other internal roads in the University.

Maintenance of grounds and lawns was also given priority attention.


The Sit-outs  Initiative

The importance of recreational facilities in an academic environment cannot be over-emphasised. In view of this, Professor Ambali embarked on the construction of modern sit-outs in the various Faculties, where students can sit in-between lectures and do some academic work or relax till the next lecture, instead of hanging around inconveniently. A total of eight of such sit-outs were constructed with each of them having the capacity to seat 150 persons. It is pertinent to add that some universities in the country have approached Unilorin with a view to replicating this initiative on their respective campuses. 

Upgrading of Infrastructural Facilities

During the tenure of Professor Ambali, more than 130 existing infrastructural facilities were upgraded or rehabilitated for better usage. These include the Mini-campus structures that now accommodate the Unilorin International Secondary School that was relocated from the Main campus shortly before Professor Ambali's appointment; upgrading of some structures in the Main campus to accommodate the Ilorin Business School that had just moved from its old location at Sabo-Oke; upgrading of the old structures at Sabo Oke to accommodate the Veterinary Teaching Hospital; upgrading of the Old Convocation Arena to serve as studio for the Faculty of Environmental Sciences; upgrading of Lecture Theatres, Faculty buildings and Laboratories in the Faculties of Physical Sciences, Life Sciences and Engineering and Technology, as well as the remodelling of the Faculty of Agriculture's main administrative building.

The University Zoo was also upgraded and stocked with more animals. Also, the stream running across the Zoo was properly channelized and several conveniences were built for the comfort of visitors.


No Abandoned Project

In line with the tradition and policy of the University's founding fathers, Professor Ambali ensured that all projects he initiated were completed while the ongoing ones are performing. This, no doubt is a result of good planning and effective project management policy.

 Among the ongoing projects initiated by Professor Ambali are the 4-storey Postgraduate School building, the Unilorin Radio/Television complex, several private hostels, etc.


New Multi-functional ID Card

In its sustained drive for excellence and untiring penchant for innovations, the administration of Professor Ambali pulled through another feat with the introduction of the multi-functional staff and student identification card in 2013. The special thing about this initiative is that it is not just the run-of-the-mill means of identification. The new better-by-far ID card is one of the products of the new wave of technological revolution blowing across the University.

The one-stop smart card, with sophisticated features, can be used for financial transactions; to gain access to key facilities on campus, in addition to serving the traditional function of identification of its holders.

The cards were produced for the University by Interswitch and it is the first of its kind by any university in the country. According to Professor Ambali, the introduction of the new smart card was part of the internationalization drive of the University.


Facelift for College of Health Sciences

The College of Health Sciences experienced tremendous transformation during the tenure of Professor Ambali. The landmark achievement has boosted the College's morale and global reputation as a world – class learning environment. The following are the footprints of Professor Ambali in the 40-year old College:

(a)The Clinical Skills and Simulation Laboratory

The Clinical Skills and Simulation Laboratory (CSSL) is first of its kind in the country. It is one of the academic support facilities of the College, where resources are used to assist students to reach competency in the psychomotor and effective outcomes of the different curricular presented at the College of Health Sciences. The laboratory has become a centre of attraction as several medical schools in the country have come to see it with a view to replicating it in their institutions. 

(b)Procurement of a 550KVA Sound Proof Generating Set

A high capacity 550KVA sound proof generator was purchased for the College to curb inadequate power and water supply to the students' hostels and academic environment.

(c)The Link Road

The construction of the 6.5km road linking the University Main Campus with the College of Health Sciences and the University Teaching Hospital is also one of the most significant and memorable achievements in the history of the College. This has reduced the commuting time from the College to the University main campus from one hour to just about ten minutes.

(d)Construction of the College's New Site

During the tenure of Professor Ambali, a new and permanent site for the College was constructed. The new site comprises a modern Library Complex; two Administrative Blocks; two Lecture Halls (300 seaters each); new Faculty Buildings for Basic Medical and Clinical Sciences; and new Student Hostels, among others.

 (e) Procurement of N2 million equipment for the Department of Physiotherap

( To be continued next week )