The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof. AbdulGaniyu Ambali, has commended the University Registry for its initiative in organising seminars for its members of staff.

Prof. Ambali, who gave the commendation last Wednesday (December 4, 2013) while declaring open the first in the series of the Registry Seminar, noted that the University had an abundance of talents from which it could continuously benefit at no financial cost. He added that it was clear that the university management   would also benefit from submissions at the end of the seminar  given what he had seen at the inaugural presentations of the seminar series.

Represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Management Services), Prof. Y. M. Fakunle, the Vice-Chancellor disclosed that the University management would always support training and retraining of all staff, adding that since training is to help staff improve on their job, the training may not necessarily have to take place in a formal setting but could also be between the boss and the staff member who is assuming a new duty.

Prof. Ambali also noted that the reintroduction of the dispute resolution and career development unit in the university system will be discussed as it will relieve the Vice-chancellor and the Registrar the burden of having to attend to every dispute on campus.

In his own comments, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research, Technology and Innovation) Prof. F. A. Oladele, noted that the role of administrators who  serve on committees was not limited to minutes taking as long as their contributions will not compromise capturing the details of the minutes.

In his remarks on the occasion, the Registrar, Mr. E. D. Obafemi, said that the aim of the seminar was to help the administrative staff to acquire new knowledge and skills such as the use of technology in presentations.

Mr. Obafemi disclosed that the seminar, which he said, was compulsory for all administrative staff, would be continuous, adding that edited versions of the presentations would be made into “A Book of Proceedings” and distributed to all administrative staff members.

The Chairman of the Seminar Organising Committee and Secretary of the Postgraduate School, Mrs. F. M. Olowoleni, commended the presenters for breaking the ground and noted that the programme would continue to improve.

Two major papers were presented at the seminar by Mr. O. G.  Fagbamila, who spoke on “The Role of Administrators in Conflict Resolution in the University of Ilorin”, and Mr T. Noibi, who spoke on “The Condition of Service and of Training of Administrative Staff in the University of Ilorin: A Correction At Play”.

Other dignitaries at the well-attended seminar included the Deputy Registrar, Council Office, Mrs. M. A. O. Oladosu; the Head of Human Resources Unit, Mr. O. Olajugba; the   Faculty Officer of Education, Mr. A. Adam; the Chairman of the University of Ilorin Branch of Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), Mr. M. A. Alfanla and the Chairman of the Unilorin Chapter of the Nigerian Union of Journalists,(NUJ) Mr. Olusegun Mokuolu, among others.  

Governments at all levels have been advised to put in place pro-labour legislations so as to ensure industrial harmony in the country.

Dr. Ebenezer Lawal of the Department of Political Science, University of Ilorin, who gave this advice last Tuesday (December 3, 2013) while delivering a lecture at the Second Annual Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities (SSANU), University of Ilorin Chapter’s Family Get-together, said, “The No-work-no-pay threat anytime there is trade dispute,” for instance, was ill-advised.

The SSANU Day celebration lecture themed “The Perspectives on Politics of Trade Unionism in Nigeria”, took place at the University Auditorium.

The Political Science lecturer called on the government to employ other positive strategies to enhance economic growth and development of the country.

The lecturer also urged the government to cater for the citizens through the provision of employment opportunities and necessary social amenities for good living.

In his address, the Chairman of the Unilorin Chapter of SSANU, Mr. Monsur Alfanla, thanked the University management, under the leadership of Prof. AbdulGaniyu Ambali, for its hard work and wisdom in piloting the affairs of the University.

Mr. Alfanla appealed to the University administration to “please see to the long anticipated thirteenth month package as end of the year package for the University staff.”

The highlight of the occasion was the presentation of gifts to retired members of the Association as well as families of deceased members.

Present at the events were the Principal Officers of the University, members of SSANU and other trade unions from within and outside the University.

The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof. AbdulGaniyu Ambali, has advised political office holders in the country to see themselves as their brothers' keepers by putting in place effective legislation, policies and programmes that would transform the lives of the citizens positively, thereby reducing corruption in the country.

Prof. Ambali gave this advice in a chat with Unilorin Bulletin shortly after playing host to members of the Campus Life Correspondents' Club of the University in his office recently.

The Professor of Veterinary Medicine noted that the best way to stem corruption in the country is to make food available to everybody and guarantee the future of everyone.  

“My advice to political office holders is that they should use their God-given opportunity to change the course of events in this country for the better,” Prof. Ambali said, adding that “they should see the 170 million Nigerians as their brothers and if they do that they would be able to put good legislation and programmes in place to take care of everybody because for you to survive tomorrow, you should have minimum hungry people around you; if not, you are not safe.”

According to the Vice-Chancellor, it is the fear of the unknown that makes political office holders to accumulate illicit wealth while in office. “It is because of the fear of tomorrow because you find out that if you are a political heavyweight today and there is nothing in place to guarantee your minimum survival kit, then the fear of the unknown, the urge to prepare for tomorrow takes over and because you don't know how much you will need to take care of tomorrow, you continue to accumulate  wealth uncontrollably,” he added.

Prof. Ambali explained that most developed nations make provisions for citizens who are without jobs by providing them with food and shelter.

The Vice-Chancellor said, “If you look at the developed world where we have been able to agree that corruption is minimal, food is not their problem; food is available and is affordable, which if you are a citizen of that country and you don't have a job, government provides you with that minimum amount of money to guarantee at least one or two square meals. You may be eating junk and probably not what you will like to eat but at least you will not be hungry. The number of people that go hungry in those countries is small.

“If you have a job, you pay your tax to take care of those that are unemployed because when tomorrow comes and you lose your job, somebody else is there to take care of you. So, when you have all those things in place, nobody will have any reason to be corrupt; the number of people that you will tag as being corrupt will reduce drastically. Because it is the fear of the unknown, the fear of tomorrow, the fear of what am I going to eat this evening that make people to be corrupt, and if you don't have anything in your pocket, it is a  psychological stress. But if the government is giving you or somebody somewhere is giving you something to make sure that you don't go hungry, both social and financial problems will be reduced drastically and that is why I agree with our convocation lecturer this year, the former United States envoy to Nigeria, Walter Carrington, and other scholars, that you can't prevent an hungry man from going for food.”

The University of Ilorin Radio station, Unilorin 89.3 FM, has been nominated for the prestigious award of 'Campus Radio Station of the Year' at the Nigeria Broadcasters Merit Awards coming up in Lagos on Sunday, December 8, 2013.

A crew member of the radio station, Mr. Abdulgaffar Arikewuyo, was also nominated in the Campus Broadcaster of the Year category,

In a letter to the radio station, the organisers of the Award, The Reality Entertainment, said that “the nomination of Unilorin FM  was” as a result of the Radio Station's immense contributions, which have been greatly felt in the Nigerian broadcasting world.” 

The letter, dated November 5, 2013 and signed by the initiator of the programme, Kazeem Popoola, said that the award ceremony, which is the fourth in the series, would be held at  the NECA House, Plot A2 Hakeem Balogun Street, Central Business District, Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos.

Popoola added that the event would be a gathering of veterans and those who matter in the Nigerian broadcasting industry.

Meanwhile, voting has commenced as winners are expected to emerge through voting and assessment. To vote for Unilorin FM, fans can send “NBMA (SPACE) CR (SPACE) UNILORIN FM” to 33680. Fans can also vote for Arikewuyo by sending “CPR (SPACE) ABDULGAFFAR ARIKEWUYO” to 33680.

Friends and fans are expected to vote as many times as possible, as the more the votes, the brighter the chances of winning.

Unilorin Bulletin recalls that Unilorin FM, the well-rated, 24-hour digital broadcast station, known for its high level of professionalism and smooth programming, won the Community Radio Project Award last year while one of its staff members, Arikewuyo, also won the Campus News Bulletin Reader Award.

The Vice Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof. AbdulGaniyu Ambali, has urged new members of academic staff to brace up to the challenges ahead.

Prof. Ambali, who stated this last Wednesday (December 4, 2013) at the University Auditorium during an induction training organised by the University Computer Based Test (CBT) Management Board on the Mex Question Authoring software, urged senior academics to cultivate the habit of proper mentoring so as to enable the young ones learn from them.

The Vice-Chancellor, who was represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and foundation Chairman of the University CBT board, Prof. Bayo Lawal, said as the first university in Nigeria to commence the Computer Based Test, there is need for continuous training so as to improve and surpass others who are coming behind.

Prof. Ambali disclosed that many Universities have been coming to learn from the University of Ilorin, hence the need to improve on the facilities on ground. He said beyond the introduction of the new software there is the need for constant training and re-training.

Earlier, the Chairman of the Unilorin CBT Management Board, Prof. Ezikiel Odebunmi, commended the University management for its efforts and drive to take the institution to greater heights. He said that since the introduction of the CBT, the University management had continued to train and retrain its staff and students.

Prof. Odebunmi noted that the training, which is meant for selected members of academic staff and students, was to get them acquainted with the new software.

While explaining the changes and dynamics of the new Mex Question Authoring software, the Business Development Manager of Electronic Test Company (ETC), Mr. Joe Olutunwase, said that the company deemed it necessary to upgrade from the old method of questioning so as to improve the standard.

Mr. Olutunwase said with the new software, there would be no duplicate options and zero scores while questions would be well aligned, stating that authoring is very simple through the new process.

A Professor of Jurisprudence and International Law at the University of Ilorin, Wahab Olasupo Egbewole, has called on the judiciary to purge itself of corrupt elements if on-going efforts to rid the nation of corruption would make any meaningful impact.

Prof. Egbewole, who gave the advice last Thursday (November 28, 2013) while delivering the 139thInaugural Lecture of the University, also called for a fundamental restructuring of the National Judicial Council (NJC) as well as the pruning of its membership to make the regulatory body of the nation's judiciary more effective. 

In the lecture, entitled “Judex: Hope for the Hopeful and Hopeless”,  Prof. Egbewole said, “From the present composition of the NJC, it is not possible to get the kind of corrupt-free judiciary of our dream.  This is because the way people get to office has a way in the manner they discharge the duties of the office.”

The Law Professor, who noted that although the present approach of the NJC in its bid to reduce corruption in the judiciary is commendable and salutary, it “appears cosmetic and superficial.” He then suggested that any judicial officer caught for corruption should be tried and jailed without any option of fine.

In order to achieve a corrupt-free judiciary, Prof. Egbewole said that the judicial officers should  be made to work under a very conducive environment that will not expose them to corruption in any form, adding that “after all, opportunity makes the thief. To this end, the governments at various levels, especially state governments, should look into the issue of funding of the judiciary and make them self-accounting as against the present regime of having to go to government for all their needs.”

Prof. Egbewole, whose Inaugural Lecture was   the second to be held since the establishment of the University of Ilorin Faculty of Law, said, “We have had enough appointment of the sons, daughters, cousins, in-laws, brothers and sisters of judicial officers (into the NJC).” He added that “it is time to appoint truly deserving people to judicial offices and not the prevalent approach of lobbying and 'who you know', therefore, for the judiciary to effectively live up to its name as the hope for the hopeful and the hopeless, there cannot be 'no go areas' in adjudication.”

In the well-attended lecture, Prof. Egbewole noted that all decisions taken by judex must be according to the law and nothing else and “if any extraneous factor like filial relation, monetary consideration or social influence has a place in the determination of issues brought before the court; then, the judex will lose its potency, relevance and place in the governmental scheme and indeed the society at large”.

The don also called for the decentralisation of the nation's judiciary, saying that “each state should have a level of autonomy and control over its judiciary as it has on the legislative and executive arms. The present arrangement of centralisation is not good for us and it should be unbundled.”

Prof. Egbewole also recommended an amendment of the constitution to reduce and narrow down the type of cases that can go on appeal. “In fact, any case that is not stating any new principle, however important, should not go beyond the Court of Appeal and any issue that has been pronounced upon by the Supreme Court should never go beyond the Court of Appeal,” he submitted.

The don also advised lawyers against unnecessary litigation, saying, “There is need for us as legal practitioners to change our attitude and learn to appreciate that we cannot win all our cases. You win some, you lose some.”

Prof. Egbewole, who is also the Chairman of the University of Ilorin Chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) said, “If the judex must be the bastion of hope for all people, it cannot continue to act less concerned about the plight of the people it is to rescue from oppression, hunger and ignorance. The big question however is how equipped is the judex to discharge this onerous responsibility in Nigeria in the light of the perception of the judiciary as a corrupt and inept institution?”

The don noted that in order to discharge its function as the last hope of the common man, the judicial oath imposes this duty on all judicial officers and “I dare to say that judiciary is the Hope of the Common Man and Delay in Adjudication and, indeed, the hope for the hopeful and hopeless.”

The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof. AbdulGaniyu Ambali, has disclosed that the University would soon begin a degree programme in Entrepreneurship Studies.

Prof. Ambali made this known last Thursday (November 28, 2013) during the launch of a book, “Management and Entrepreneurship in Societal Transformation: Perspectives from Africa”, in honour of the Dean of Management Sciences, Prof. Jackson Olujide.

The Vice-Chancellor also disclosed that plan was underway to reform the Technical and Entrepreneurship Centre (TEC) of the University.

The book, reviewed by the former Dean, College of Social and Management Sciences, Landmark University, Omu-Aran, Prof. S. O. Otokiti, is a compilation of 14 research papers written by Prof. S. A. Adebola, the honouree, Prof. Olujide, and several  post- doctoral  and PhD students of Prof. Olujide.

The book reviewer noted that out of the 126 Universities in Nigeria, only Joseph Ayo Babalola University (JABU), Ikeji- Arakeji, Osun State, currently runs a degree programme in Entrepreneurship Studies, asking that “if 18 of the 26 researchers who wrote papers in the book are from the University of Ilorin, why can't the University start a degree programme in this discipline?”

Launching the book, the Chairman, Biodun Group of Companies, who is a  former Commissioner in Kogi State, Chief Abiodun Ojo, commended the honouree, who he described as his elder brother. He later launched the book with N500,000.

 Other launchers were Dr. Awa Ibrahim, N500,000; Engr. Saliu N100,000; University of Ilorin, N100,000; the Business Manager of Power Holdings Company of Nigeria, Ilorin, Engr. Adeniyi Fatai N50,000; Dr Isa from Kwara State University N100,000 and several lecturers, Deans, student groups and even the daughters and grandchildren of the honouree who made donations ranging from N10,000, N20,000 to N40,000 and N50,000.

In his remarks, Prof. Olujide expressed gratitude to those who attended the book launch, saying, “I must confess that I am deeply touched by what you have all done for me. I thank the University, the chief launcher, my students and my ex-supervisees. “

Prof. Olujide said, “The book is important because it will impact on so many people, young, old, male and female…..It will improve performance of business enterprises, create jobs and help break the cycle of poverty.“