The University of Ilorin will, on Monday, October 21, 2013, play host to the former US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Walter C. Carrington, who is billed to deliver the flagship lecture at the University's 29th Founder's Day and Convocation ceremonies.

Mr. Carrington, who was the chief representative of the US President in Nigeria between 1993 and 1997, will speak on the topic ‘On the Dawn of Nigeria's Second Century: Challenges of a New Generation’.

The former envoy, who is married to a Nigerian, is renowned for his power of oratory and his views are well respected in the pro-democracy and civil rights circles in the country.  

The Convocation Lecture, a major highlight of the annual convocation ceremonies of the University, provides a platform for accomplished personalities  in the academia, the polity and diplomatic circles as well as respected statesmen to discuss current and pertinent national and international issues with a view to proffering robust and informed opinions to steer public discourse for the benefits of humanity.

Other activities lined up for the 29th Convocation Ceremonies, according to a statement by the Registrar, Mr. Emmanuel Obafemi, include: the Vice-Chancellor's Press Briefing, which comes up on Monday, October 14; the Convocation Play, entitled 'Adesewa'! The King's Daughter, a Dance Theatre written by J. O. Ojuade, on Tuesday, October 15; and the Convocation proper scheduled for Tuesday, October 22 and Wednesday, October 23, 2013.

A total of 6,713 students will be receiving the first and postgraduate degrees as well as Diplomas in various disciplines at this year's convocation ceremonies. Of these, 5,063 are first degree graduands, 756 are Masters degree graduands, 95 Ph.Ds and 84 postgraduate Diplomas.

Forty-one of the 5063 first degree graduands are passing out with the First Class honours degrees while a total of 1,088 are graduating with Second Class Upper degrees, 2,435 graduands will be awarded the Second Class Lower degree, 1,082 will bag the Third Class degree while 214 will get the Pass grade.

A further breakdown of the performance of the graduands shows that 25 of the First Class graduates are from the Faculty of Science, five from the Faculty of Business and Social Sciences, while four each are from the Faculty of Agriculture and Faculty of Communication and Information Sciences respectively.

The Faculty of Engineering and Technology produced two First Class graduands this year while the Faculty of Law produced one First Class graduate, the first time since the establishment of the Faculty.

The Faculty of Science also produced the highest total number of graduating students - (1,258) followed by the Faculty of Business and Social Sciences (942), the Faculty of Education (871), and the Faculty of Arts (628).

Others are: Faculty of Engineering and Technology (314); Faculty of Communication and Information Sciences (246); Faculty of Agriculture (244); Faculty of Law (210); Faculty of Clinical Sciences (203); the Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences (147) and 687 from the Institute of Education (Sandwich).

 

All newly admitted students of the University of Ilorin will have a PC tablet each to boost the institution's ICT drive and enhance e-communication between the students and their lecturers.

The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. AbdulGaniyu Ambali, disclosed this last Wednesday (October 2, 2013) while answering questions on a special Unilorin 89.3 FM live interview programme, 'Talk to the VC', to mark his one year in office.

The media chat, moderated by Segun Alabi of Unilorin 89.3 FM, has Abiodun Fagbemi of The Guardian, Layiwola Olarenwaju, Daily Sun; Arowona Abdulazeez, Nigerian Pilot; Hammed Shittu, This Day, and Olusegun Adebayo of Youth Spring news magazine, as members of the interview panel.

Prof. Ambali said, “We hope to start a new era with those coming in because we have to empower them to face the challenges of the ICT world,” adding that “all the curriculum and courseware will be on the tablet so that you have the whole classroom on your hand.”

The Vice-Chancellor charged the students to concentrate on their primary reason for coming to the University, which is learning, noting that his administration is committed to providing a comfortable environment for the students with adequate accommodation facilities on campus.

Prof. Ambali also noted that the University was committed to producing graduates endowed with requisite entrepreneurship skills in order to prepare them for the larger society.

The Vice-Chancellor noted that the University, in addition to reviewing its academic curriculum every five years to reflect current trends, is partnering professional bodies and industries to ensure that graduates are exposed to skills that will be of value to them and to the development of the society at large. He disclosed that the Federal Government, through the Tertiary Education Fund (TETFund), has approved funds for the establishment of a permanent Entrepreneurship Centre in the University.

The Professor of Veterinary Medicine identified improved security on campus, staff development, infrastructural developments, and improved internet connectivity as some of the achievements recorded in the last one year under his leadership.

Prof. Ambali also noted that significant steps are being taken to boost the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the University through such ventures as the University Plantation and the Zoo as well as through alumni contributions.

The Vice-Chancellor then expressed appreciation to staff members of the University for their commitment and dedication towards the development of the institution.

Describing the journey so far as “a good experience”, Professor Ambali appreciated God for making it possible for him to have been able to make a difference in the lives of staff and students of the University.

The Vice-Chancellor, who described leadership as living by example, attributed the peaceful atmosphere that pervades the University campus to the transparency in the management of the University affairs and the fact that the authority always carries all stakeholders along in all its dealings.

Prof. Ambali pointed out that the contributions of the University of Ilorin has been widely acknowledged in terms of research output, stable academic calendar, and the production of highly skilled and disciplined graduates.

He noted that in the last 12 months, security of lives and property has been improved upon, and, as such, people can move around freely while members of staff can comfortably stay in their various offices and laboratories without fear of any security threat.

The Vice Chancellor submitted that the University has been able to sponsor staff to conferences, improve on the access to internet connectivity as well as support the students in carrying out their educational and social activities, adding that the University is working to be one of the topmost Universities in the world.

Projecting into the future, Prof. Ambali pledged to continue to support staff welfare, security of lives and property on campus, and provision of a favourable environment for learning and research, and improvement on lecture delivery by providing better lecture rooms.

The Managing Director of Splendid Microfinance Bank Limited, Abuja, Mr. Abiodun Saka Yusuf, has been appointed the new Bursar of the University of Ilorin. He takes over from the former Bursar, Mr. Ayo Sijuwola, who completed his tour of duties in August.

Mr. Yusuf's appointment, which followed the recommendation of the Selection Board constituted to assess applicants for the position of Bursar, was one of the major decisions taken at the 139th Meeting of the University Governing Council last Wednesday (September 25, 2013.

A First Class Honour Accounting graduate  and Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), the new Bursar is bringing into the job 28 years of experience in external auditing, management and financial consultancy and banking.

Mr. Yusuf , who was the Bursar of Kwara State College of Education, Ilorin, between 2005 and 2008, had also served as Senior Manager, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (1993 – 1998); Assistant General Manager, First Atlantic Bank Plc (1999 – 2002); and Executive Director, Mcford Consulting Limited (2002 – 2005).

Born on January 16, 1961, the new Bursar graduated from Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria with a First Class Honours degree in Accounting in June 1984. Before then, he had attended the then School of Basic Studies, Kwara State College of Technology (now Kwara State Polytechnic) between 1978 and 1980 for his G.C.E. Advanced Level and Ansarul Islam Grammar School, Ijomu Oro, between 1973 and 1978 for his School Certificate.

Mr. Yusuf qualified as a chartered accountant in 1989 and became a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) in 1999. He is also an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria, a Fellow of the Business Recovery and Insolvency Practitioners Association of Nigeria as well as a Microfinance Certified Banker.

In 2007, when the idea for the establishment of a state university was mooted by the Kwara State Government, Mr. Yusuf was one of the members of the then Technical Committee for the proposed Kwara State University. He was also a member of the Implementation Committee for the University from January 2008 to January 2009. When the University was finally established, he was appointed one of the members of the Interim Governing Council between April and June 2009.

Mr. Yusuf, who is married with children, loves  travelling, reading and  playing tennis.                

All classrooms in the University of Ilorin will soon be equipped with the latest smart boards in line with global best practices to ensure effective teaching.

The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. AbdulGaniyu Ambali, revealed this last Tuesday (September 25, 2013) during a meeting with members of a National University Commission (NUC) team that visited the University on resource verification exercise.

“All classrooms shall be ICT compliant. Smart boards and latest classroom technology shall be put in place. You will see a new Unilorin in terms of teaching facilities”, the Vice-Chancellor disclosed.

The NUC team was in the University to verify resources put in place for by the University for the take-off of newly established Faculties, Departments and splitting of some existing Faculties. The new Departments include: Department of Architecture, Department of Quantity Surveying, Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Department of Water Resources Engineering, Department of Marketing, Department of Surveying and Geo-Informatics, Department of Psychology and Department of Social work.

Others are: Department of Agriculture Education, Department of Business Studies, Department of Igbo and Department of Hausa.

The proposed Faculties are Faculty of Social Sciences, Faculty of Management Sciences, Faculty of Environmental Sciences. Also, the Department of Arts and Social Sciences Education is to be split into two, the Department of Arts Education and Department of Social Science Education while the Department of Educational Technology is to be excised from the present Department of Science Education

Prof. Ambali thanked members of the resource verification team, led by Mr. Sam Ukani, and assured them that the University takes their comment seriously, adding that their observations would be implemented to the letter.

The Vice-Chancellor said, “Your words have been encouraging to us. We shall beef up areas that are inadequate. We shall aggressively pursue and recruit more staff. Offices and laboratories for new departments shall be sorted out before December.”

Prof. Ambali further thanked the team for what he called their “objective observations and  compliments”, noting that “this is line with observations made by previous high calibre visitors to the University including members of the Senate and House of Representatives Committees on Education.”

The Vice-Chancellor also expressed happiness that the resource verification team agreed with the University management on the need to introduce new programmes and split some existing ones.

Briefing the University management earlier, the team leader, Mr. Ukani, said that having gone round the facilities put in place in preparation for the take-off of the proposed programmes, members of the team were “very impressed with what we have seen.”

He stressed that the Library is up-to-date and that the e-library is one of the best in the country with subscriptions to relevant journals.

The team leader also observed that the University staff are highly dedicated, motivated and interactive, stressing that the new programmes are well prepared for take-off.

Earlier during a courtesy call on the Vice-Chancellor in his office, Mr. Ukani disclosed that the NUC had constituted four resource assessment teams to ascertain the University's readiness to start the new programmes that have been requested.

He explained that being a quality assurance regulatory body, the NUC was bent on ascertaining that all academic programmes should be started on a good platform. 

The team leader however stated that the team is a partner in progress and not one on a mission to pull the University down.

Other members of the resource verification team on the visit were: Prof. S. Mustafa, Prof. M. Karaje, Mr. Idris Ibrahim, Prof. B. M. Ndoni, Prof. James B. Olaleye, Prof. Oyaziwo Aluede and Prof. Gray Goziem Ejikeme.

Others were: Prof. Timothy C. Mogbo, Prof. A. O. Olotuah, Prof. Obina Enukolia, Mrs. Justina Emerole, Mr. Adamu Mohammed, Mr. Theophilus Ogbor and Prof. Theresa O. Odumuh.

The First Bank of Nigeria Ltd. has donated a sum of N5 million to the University of Ilorin towards the success of its forthcoming 29th Founder's Day and Convocation Ceremonies.

Presenting the cheque for the amount to the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. AbdulGaniyu Ambali, last Friday (October 4, 2013) on behalf of the bank's management, the Group Head, Public Sector, Mr. Babatunde Salami, said that the bank was “happy to be a major partner in the success of the annual Convocation of the University and we would always be willing to support the University in her landmark and developmental projects towards the development of the institution as we are currently doing in other institutions.”

Mr. Salami thanked the University management for allowing the bank to render financial services to the institution, saying, “We believe that this symbiotic partnership will engender excellent financial services to the entire University community.

He however disclosed that First Bank was seeking further partnership with the University in developmental projects such as infrastructure and welfare loan for staff mortgage financing.

In his response, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Ambali, thanked the bank for consistently supporting the University, saying,“You are always the first to call on us and offer support especially during our Convocations. You have been and continue to be a good friend of the University. We appreciate what you have given to us.”

Assuring the bank that the money would be properly utilised, Prof. Ambali commended the proposed mortgage finance package put in place by the bank, noting that the University places high premium on staff welfare.

Other members of the bank's team that visited the Vice-Chancellor were: Mrs. Abimbola B. Olanipekun, Mr. Faleye A. Shola, and Mr. Gegele Abdullahi.

With the Vice-Chancellor to receive the team were the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Management Services), Prof. Yisa Fakunle; a member of the University Governing Council, Prof. Y. A. Quadri; the Chairman of the Ceremonials Committee, Prof. J. O. Atteh; the Bursar, Mr. Abiodun Saka Yusuf; the Librarian, Dr. J. O. Omoniyi; the Director of Works, Mr. M. S. Sanni; the Deputy Bursar, Mr. B. O. Badmus; and the Deputy Director, Corporate Affairs, Mr. Kunle Akogun.

The virtues of diligence, dedication and selfless service were celebrated last Thursday (September 26, 2013) as the Governing Council of the University of Ilorin hosted a special reception in honour of the immediate past Registrar, Mrs. Olufolake Oyeyemi, and the immediate past Bursar, Mr. Ayo Sijuwola.

Encomiums poured in torrents for the two former Principal Officers, as speaker after speaker commended the duo's dedication to duty.

Kicking off the night of encomiums, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. AbdulGaniyu Ambali, who also chaired the occasion, described the honourees as dedicated officials who put in their best in the service of the University, saying, “The University is happy and today is acknowledging the contributions of these two people.

On the former Registrar, Prof. Ambali said, “She is an iron lady who loves this University and made a lot of sacrifice in its service,” adding that “when it comes to taking decisions, enforcing the rules and regulations, the University of Ilorin has been lucky to have her for 10 years.”

Prof. Ambali noted that during the turbulent years, Mrs. Oyeyemi stood by the rules and regulations governing the University.

Saying the former Registrar “is full of energy”, the Vice-Chancellor noted that the University is not tired of her service. “She is just stepping aside from the Registrar's Office”, Prof. Ambali said, stressing that “She is going to occupy the heartbeat of the Registry when she comes back from her present holiday”.

Speaking on the former Bursar, The Vice-Chancellor said, “Mr. Sijuwola is the most honest Bursar in all Nigerian universities.”

Prof. Ambali recalled that when he became the Vice-Chancellor, he was told that with Mr. Sijuwola as the Bursar, he would never have any problem, saying, “I found this to be true as he never raised my temperature when it comes to settling bills. I enjoyed working with him .”

The Vice-Chancellor also hinted that Mr. Sijuwola is not retiring, saying, “He is just stepping aside from the Office of the Bursar. We have other responsibilities for him in the University.”

Earlier in his welcome address, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Management Services), Prof. Y. M. Fakunle. had explained the reason behind the reception. “We are here to honour and celebrate the service of two distinguished servants of this University, namely Mrs. Oyeyemi and Mr. Sijuwola who worked consecutively as Registrar for 10 years and as Bursar for 14 years respectively”, he stated.

In his own tribute, the immediate past Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, said, “I thank God for these celebrants. It is one thing for people to think you can do something, it is another thing to go there, perform and come out untainted.”

Pointing out that “the former Bursar is very honest,” Prof. Oloyede noted that “he was never accused of corruption, embezzlement or anything that can impugn his integrity. He is humble and very strict with accounting procedures.”

On the former Registrar, Prof. Oloyede said, “Mrs. Oyeyemi is my friend. I call her mother of the world. She will bend backward to accommodate anybody in trouble. There is nothing immoral in our relationship. You were a success factor when I was the Vice-Chancellor of this University.”

Also speaking on behalf of Council members, Dr Bayo Aluko-Olokun said, “Mr. Sijuwola went out of his ways to put things in order. He used to admonish us in the Council to always sacrifice for this University.”

In his goodwill message, the Olojoku of Ojoku, Oba Abdul Rasaq Afolabi, who is the traditional ruler of the Ojoku community where the former Bursar hails from, said, “Ayo Sijuwola is a good ambassador of Ojoku community. I am proud of him.”

In his own remarks, a veteran journalist and Senior Research Fellow at the Department of Mass Communication, University of Ilorin, Mr. Liad Tella said, “I am standing before you to celebrate a sister, a passionate individual who is a close friend of my brother, Prof. Is-haq Oloyede. This woman loves this University so much. She stood solidly for the University in turbulent days. Today, the University is triumphant. And for doing what you have done for this University, for being an ally to my brother, for quality service of excellence to this great institution, I congratulate you.”

Mrs. Ebun Adesuyi, a former Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Information, Ondo State, also poured encomiums on the former Registrar, saying, “She is a workaholic. She is a good athlete. She was determined to go all out to excel. She is a personality of repute.”

In her own tribute, a former acting Registrar of the University of Ilorin, Mrs. M. A. Ololade, who  handed over the baton of the Registry to Mrs. Oyeyemi, said, “I was part of it from the beginning. She came around for counseling and I encouraged her. She had been well tutored by late Papa Olu Daramola. I knew she would be a success story. I am happy today she has not let us down.”

In his own remarks, the Registrar, Mr. Emmanuel Obafemi, who presented the gifts to the honorees, said, “We were brought up to do things excellently. Our leader then, late Mr. Olu Daramola would not condone shabby jobs. The Bursar had been someone I know for a long time. He can be trusted to do the right thing at all times.”

In her response, the former Registrar, Mrs. Oyeyemi, said, “I stand this night before this distinguished congregation to thank the Almighty God for his favour on me and my family. I will be lying if I say I'm not expecting speeches, accolades and gratitude. However, I'm surprised about this huge crowd.”

Also in his response, the former Bursar, Mr. Sijuwola, thanked those who God used to promote him to the position of Bursar. He specifically thanked a former acting Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Moses Fawole, and Prof. Y. A. Quadri.

After about five years of planning, the University of Ilorin Water Factory complex has finally rolled out sparkling clean water in bottled and sachet forms.

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Prof. R. A. Lawal, who disclosed this to members of the University Senate last Wednesday (September 18, 2013), said that the N55 million project is now a reality, adding that “the factory is completed, test running is going on and initial production is being carried out.”   

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor pointed out that the entire water that would be consumed during the forthcoming 29th Convocation ceremonies of the University in October would be supplied by the water factory, adding that Unilorin Water would also be served at the meeting of the University Council slated for this week.

Prof. Lawal explained that although the objective of the water project is to diversify and increase the University's internally generated revenue (IGR) profile, it would also be useful for the entrepreneurship programmes  of the various Faculties. “We will use it as a training laboratory for our students”, he said.

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor then congratulated the Director of Unilorin Consultancy Services Unit, the supervisor of the project, Prof. D. S. Ogunniyi, on a job well done.

Also briefing the Senate, Prof. Ogunniyi confirmed that the water factory was ready for commissioning, saying that apart from its revenue generating potential, the product from the factory would also enhance the health of members of the University community as it would be produced under strict hygienic conditions.

Prof. Ogunniyi said that the packaged water produced from the factory would be primarily for the consumption of members of the University community, adding that the factory would ensure that competitive prices are maintained  for its products. 

The completion of the project is in fulfilment of a promise made early this year by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. AbdulGaniyu Ambali, that his Administration would ensure the commencement of water production at the factory before the year runs out.

During his visit to the Unilorin Consultancy Services Unit on January 3, 2013, the Vice-Chancellor said, “We are going to encourage and promote Unilorin Consultancy Unit to complete the 'Unilorin Water' project very soon. It is going to be in both sachet and bottled forms. We are going to work on that so that we can take off and conclude on the installation very soon.”

Earlier in an interview with Unilorin Bulletin, Prof. Ogunniyi disclosed that samples of the products from the water factory are available, saying, “We are done with all production challenges and currently, we are about to start mass production which we intend to stock pile for the convocation period. Commercial test-run of our operation is starting soon.”

The Professor of Industrial Chemistry said, “At the beginning, students were asked to submit various designs of bottles. A competition was organised to pick the best design. The University raised a panel for this task of assessing students' responses and at the end, the best design was picked. We produced the mould and got a company to use the mould to produce the bottle. You can see 'University of Ilorin' clearly inscribed on it to discourage counterfeiting.”

The Director further disclosed that “relevant establishments particularly the National Agency for Food Administration and Control (NAFDAC), are being contacted for endorsement and support.