The euphoria of gaining admission into the nation's number one University of choice manifested in all its practical forms penultimate Tuesday (January 29, 2019) among the fresh students of the University of Ilorin, as they were formally welcomed to the Better by far citadel. In their thousands, the “Jambites” flocked the University Auditorium grounds, basking in the excitement of becoming undergraduates.

Back-slappings, photo shoots, uproarious laughter, jubilation, ululation, and a lot more were visible features of the day, as virtually every available space around the imposing Senate Building of the University were taken over by the celebrants, their friends and well wishers. Some were even accompanied by their parents and guardians who came to share in the joy of their wards, the joy of accomplishment, joy of victory, joy of scaling the palpable hurdle of the very competitive entrance into Unilorin.

Some were so carried away by these celebratory mood that they couldn't gain access into the inner chambers of the Auditorium, which had been filled to capacity as early as 8.30 a.m. Such late comers had to make do with milling around, consoling themselves with taking photographs and more photographs.

Inside the Auditorium, it was a solemn moment, as the matriculants sat with rapt attention, anxiously awaiting the arrival of the Vice-Chancellor's Procession to signify the formal commencement of the Matriculation Ceremony. To be sure, this solemn occasion is significant in so many respects: Being the first compulsory official assignment of the newly admitted students in the University, it is comparable, in all respects, to the admission into the inner recesses of a typical sacred institution, an occasion to spell out all the rights and privileges in stock for the new entrants.

At exactly 9.55a.m. the Programme Anchor announced the entrance of the Vice-Chancellor's Procession into the hall. The entire Auditorium erupted in applause, as each of the Deans of Faculties, accompanying the Vice-Chancellor, was introduced. The convivial atmosphere at this point appeared to have briefly interrupted the solemnity of such occasion. The preliminaries over, the Registrar took to the Podium to invite the Vice-Chancellor to declare the event open and give his address.

            Then came the moment of truth, the main essence of Matriculation, which, apart from formally imprinting the names and particulars of the fresh students in the official records of the University, is also to acquaint them with the dos and don'ts of the new academic environment they are finding themselves. And the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Sulyman Age Abdulkareem, did justice to this in his four-page Matriculation Address, entitled “If You Can Dream it, You Can Achieve It”.

In the address, which is essentially admonitory, the Vice-Chancellor charged the new students to complement their dreams with the drive to realise them, with a strong warning to not be distracted by campus trappings and untoward peer group influences.

Telling the freshers that they have the quality to become anything they can imagine, Prof. Abdulkareem urged them to dream and work towards what they set to be in life. According to him, “Having a dream is a matter of determination that should be complemented with the drive to realise it”.

Prof. Abdulkareem reminded the students that part of their purpose in life include “having lofty and attainable dreams”, saying, “dreams dreamt by man need to be achieved”. The Vice-Chancellor told the students, “Your personal dreams are very important; of which you should be the major driver”.

Prof. Abdulkareem reminded the freshers that they were “lucky to be among the privileged few from thousands of applicants who sought admission into the University  and advised them to be optimistic as they have sailed through the rigorous process of securing admission and matriculating.

While wishing them joyous, rewarding and fruitful pursuance of their respective programmes of study, Prof. Abdulkareem said, “A cardinal aspect of commencing your academic journey is to have a clear-cut purpose … as a person without a purpose could be likened to someone who has no focus and direction”.

The Vice-Chancellor told the students that the University of Ilorin treasures hard work, urging them to “brace up for the demands of academic activities by attending lectures regularly and punctually, do not skip assignments because it is part of the parameters that are used to assess your worth, study very hard before and during examinations so that you can record good results and do not involve in examination malpractices”.

According to Prof. Abdulkareem, “One of the reasons why students get involved in examination irregularities is because they are ill-prepared. Since they are ill-prepared, they resort to cutting corners. Examination irregularities attract diverse penalties such as warning, suspension, expulsion, etc. To be forewarned is to be forearmed”.

 “In your utterance, thought and deed, be modest, humble and respectful”, he told the students, adding that “our environment does not tolerate indecency and misconduct. Avoid anything that could bring you into disrepute. Do not associate with people of questionable character or be a member of unregistered association with the University. If not for anything, remember your background, the labour and sweat of your parents, guardians and caretakers”.

While urging the students to always abide by the University's code of conduct, the Vice-Chancellor enjoined them to familiarize themselves with the dos and don'ts on the campus, and follow the right channels in doing things and not to take the law into their hands.

Prof. Abdulkareem urged  the students to put on dresses that make them presentable, attractive and acceptable, pointing out that their outlook is a determinant of how people will perceive, rate, and relate with them.

The Registrar, Dr. (Mrs.) Folaranmi M. Olowoleni, then administered the Matriculation Oath on the students and told them in clear terms that having thus been formally admitted into the University, they stand to be governed by all the rules and regulations contained in the Students' Handbook given to them.

As the fresh students settle down to the real business for which they are here, Town & Gown congratulates them while also admonishing them to give 100 per cent heed to the advices of the Vice-Chancellor and the Registrar and abide by all rules governing their studentship of this great University. Such is the sure path to successful accomplishment of their objectives and the most effective anti-dote to premature “graduation”!

A 4-man team of the University of Ilorin has emerged as the champions of the Pitch-a-ton contest organised by the Department of Mass Communication, University of Ilorin. 

             The competition, which attracted the participation of students of Mass Communication from various institutions of  higher learning in Kwara and Osun States, took place last Tuesday (March 5, 2019) at the University Auditorium Basement.

             Welcoming participants to the event, the Convener, Dr. Kehinde Kadiri, explained that the essence of the programme is to produce a platform for public relations and advertising students in different tertiary institutions in Nigeria to display their knowledge, enhance their professionalism and interact among one another.

            Dr. Kadiri, who is also a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Mass Communication, University of Ilorin, described the advertising sector in Nigeria as a dynamic enterprise and noted that the programme will go a long way in promoting relationship between the town and gown.

            Also speaking, the Sponsor of the contest, Mr. Temitope Amujo, who is the Chairman Amugold Industries, promised to offer more assistance to ensure that the contest attracts more participation of students in institutions of  higher learning across the country.

            Mr. Amujo, who was represented by his wife, Mrs. Adebola Amujo, thanked the University for hosting the competition as he assured that he will always give back to the institution for its contributing in making them who they are today.

             Earlier in his remarks, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Sulyman Age Abdulkareem, admonished the students to seize the opportunity of the programme to ask all the necessary questions.

While wishing participants good luck, Prof. Abdulkareem described advertising as a field that opens doors of opportunities and money to practitioners.

            He advised the students to walk away from the programme better than the speaker and lecturers by ensuring that they imbibe adequate knowledge and skills that will make them worthy professionals in the nearest future.

            At the end of the contest, the Kwara State Polytechnic, Ilorin, emerged the Runners-Up while the Fountain University, Osogbo, Osun State,  came third.

 

The Chairman of the University of Ilorin's 4th Strategic Planning Committee, Prof. Raheem Adebayo Lawal, has called for the concerted and conscious implementation of the strategic plan to accelerate the development of the University. 

             Prof. Lawal stated this in an exclusive interview with Unilorin Bulletin in his office last Wednesday (March 6, 2019).

The former Deputy Vice-Chancellor stated that the report of the Committee, christened “Beyond the Frontiers", is a documentation of what he called "an ambitious growth plan", which, if faithfully implemented, will accentuate the total transformation of the University to an institution that will be a pride to every stakeholder.

Prof. Lawal described strategic planning as a motivational instrument, a driving force,a democratic manifesto and a deliberate projection into the future, which every institution or polity must construct and codify to avoid failure.

            He noted that such a plan, while taking care of current challenges, also has the capacity of fast-tracking the physical and organic development of the Unit towards the progress of the whole.The don likened strategic planning to what is called National Development Plan, which every development-conscious nation devises and embarks upon periodically to activate its transformation.

             Prof. Lawal explained that the 4th Strategic Plan in question leaves no aspect or segment of the University untouched as regard the need for adequate expansion and maximum efficiency of personnel and materials.

            He added that he expected every member of the University community to take a critical look at the plan with a view to ensuring required participation in its implementation drive.

            The Chairman was particularly delighted with the cooperation his committee enjoyed from the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council of the University, Dr. Abdullah Jibril Oyekan (MFR),who, he described as "a special gift" to the institution in view of his apparently profound passion and selfless commitment to the growth and development of the University. He recalled the recurrent communications he received from Dr. Oyekan while the Committee was on a retreat at Offa, saying such intervention was a motivation, which encouraged him and members of the Committee to give the job maximum dedication.

            The Professor of English Language Education, who underscored the significance of the plan as a deliberate

attempt at stimulating the all-round successes of the University, noted that the plan, which was submitted to the University's management towards the end of last year, was put together to serve as a working implement that will serve as the modus operandi of the University from 2019 to 2023.

             Prof. Lawal opined that it is a matter of necessity for every Unit of the University to have a copy of the document, disclosing that the soft copy of the plan is already on the University website to enable every stakeholder have access to it.

            He added that unlike the previous editions of the plan, everyone is enjoined to read, dissect, digest and criticize it and thereafter base his or her evaluation of the performance of the current administration on its rigorous implementation.

             On the availability of financial resources to execute the plan, Prof. Lawal expressed his conviction that the administration of Prof. Sulyman Age Abdulkareem would not find mobilisation of resources too difficult to achieve considering the calibre of the Council Chairman and other Council members who have not hidden their desires to leave the University better than they met it.

            Responding to a question on the possibility or otherwise of achieving the plan, Prof. Lawal submitted that strategic plans are always rolled-out for total implementation based on the available resources, stressing, however, that the accomplishment of just 50 percent of the plan will propel the University to an all-time greatness that its peers will struggle to emulate.

             Prof. Lawal encouraged staff and students of the University to work harder to justify the commitment of the University management to their welfare.

            He specifically enjoined the

students to focus more attention on their studies, adding that they are not only the most significant publics of the University but are strategically positioned to benefit maximally from the 4th Strategic Plan.

             He advised them to face their studies squarely and ensure that they are never deterred by the apparent inadequacies of the moment, saying that challenges are meant to be conquered on one’s path to greatness.

            While he alluded to the negative effects of unplanned explosions in student population and the appalling economic downturn in the nation's university system, he, nevertheless, acknowledged the increasing availability of learning resources, which, if properly utilised, would propel the intellectual and professional progression of the students far beyond what were obtainable decades back.

            Prof. Lawal particularly urged students to make positive use of their communication gadgets, which he described as "mobile libraries" and "store house of knowledge", to enhance their learning capacities as provisions have been made for the complete automation of at least a lecture hall in each of the Faculties, while warning against the use of such fascinating devises for social perversion.

 

 

Unilorin researchers to explore alternative dispute resolution mechanism

A team of researchers from the Faculty of Arts, University of Ilorin, has vowed to explore alternative dispute resolution mechanisms to bring lasting peace to warring communities in Kwara State.

The research team leader, who is also the Dean of the Faculty, Prof. Oyeronke Olademo, made this known penultimate Friday (March 1, 2019) during a familiarization tour of two communities in the state – Share and Tsaragi –prior to the commencement of the research work. 

Briefing the traditional rulers of both communities on the mission of the team, Prof. Olademo said that the researchers in her Faculty are poised to wade into the communal clashes that always erupt in the two communities with a view to resolving them through the use of alternative conflict resolution mechanisms, which they believe would be more potent in curtailing the menace than the frequent resort to litigation.

The Dean, who pointed out that the Faculty research team, believes in the efficacy of the use of culture, language and norms as conflict resolution tools, stated that the ancestors used to settle dispute amicably without resorting to the law courts, introduced by the colonialists.

Prof. Olademo said that the researchers find it necessary to interact with the elderly ones (men and women) in order to explore the stories, myths and songs of the communities in arriving at logical conclusion in the research and use it to solve the lingering crisis between the concerned communities.

The team leader, who expressed dissatisfaction with the use of western ideologies in resolving the communal clash between the two towns, said that the panacea to the problems of the two communities will be dug within them.

            Prof. Olademo disclosed that the research tools to be adopted include administration of questionnaire, which is meant for large population, interview of some selected people and town hall meetings.                      According to her, useful recommendations from the outcome of the research will help in no small way in enhancing peaceful cohabitation between the two communities.

            The Professor of Comparative Religions, who acknowledged different measures taken by the government to put an end to the perennial clashes, maintained that the research proved that there still exists feud and discord in the communities. She, therefore, solicited for the cooperation of the two communities, particularly the elderly ones who will serve as resource persons in gathering information. She assured the two communities that the results of the research will be made available to them for authentication.

            In his response, the Olupako of Share, Oba Abubakar Garba, expressed his happiness over the interest of the researchers on the issue and invoked Allah to endow the research team with a resounding success.

             Also speaking, the Chairman of Share Descendants Union, Mr. Gabriel Jimoh, thanked the team members for their decision to wade into the perennial conflicts between Share and Tsaragi and assured the team of the cooperation of Share indigenes in the process of gathering data.

            While welcoming the research team at Tsaragi, the Etsu of Tsaragi, Alhaji Aliyu Kpotwa appreciated the giant stride of the research team in contributing to the community development and beseeched Almighty God to grant them success.

            Revealing the background to the communal clashes between Share and Tsaragi, the Etsu of Tsaragi, represented by the Makama of the land, Alhaji Muhammad Buhari, stated that the clash between the two communities is a recent development that started in 1978.

The Etsu, who disclosed that their forefathers stayed together for a very long period without any feud, aligned himself to the use of internal mechanisms in halting the incessant clashes between the two communities. He promised that his community will give unalloyed support to the team.

            It could be recalled that the inter-communal crisis between Share and Tsaragi remained protracted despite efforts to find lasting solutions to it and it has accounted for the loss of precious lives and valuable properties

            Other members of the research team included Prof. Rotimi Omotoye of the Department of Religions, Prof. Ikibe Solomon of the Department of the Performing Arts, Dr. Yunus Tijani of the Department of French, Dr. Lateef Onireti of the Department of Arabic, Dr. Biola Adimula of the Centre for Peace and Strategic Studies, Dr. Aboyeji Justus of the Department of History, Dr. Fahm AbdulGaffar of the Department of Religions and Mr. Danjuma-Musa.

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.

The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof.  Sulyman Age Abdulkareem, has said that the University management would continue to do its best to inspire and motivate all staff, particularly international scholars, in accordance with the Federal Government's commitment to manpower development.

Prof. Abdulkareem disclosed this last Wednesday (March 6, 2019) while speaking at the interactive session/get-together with international staff organised by the Centre for International Education (CIE).

The Vice-Chancellor, who was represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Management Services), Prof. B. F. Sule, said that the contributions of international staff to the growth of the University have never gone unnoticed, adding that “we are not unmindful of the sacrifices you are making for your career in this University that has grown to become a pride of Nigeria and Africa”.

Prof. Abdulkareem  said that the University has international staff as scholars  from African countries such as Ghana, Congo, Egypt and Asian countries like Sri Lanka working side by side their Nigerian colleagues to keep the University's flag flying.

“ More of these nationals will be employed in years to come to further strengthen our brand as a global University”, the Vice-Chancellor said, adding, “I foresee a time when the rate of foreign nationals coming to work in this University will become huge just as our staff in foreign universities abroad will also become very huge”.

 He said, “I see coming generations of the current international scholars, their biological and academic children, coming back into our midst settling down here, marrying our people, working and retiring here ”.

Prof. Abdulkareem disclosed that the University has enjoyed working with the international staff, adding that the administration cherished their presence and will continue to do all that is required to keep them and encourage more foreign nationals to work with the University believing that by so doing, they are building international understanding, cross-cultural relationship and safer and peaceful world.

The Vice-Chancellor, who also charged the international staff to play their role, added that every opportunity comes with its own challenges and working in the University of Ilorin is not an exception.

“Your attitude to expectation-gaps will determine whether or not you will be a good ambassador of this University. It will also show whether or not you will be a good role model to other nationals and younger generations who are aspiring to become what you already are.”

The Vice-Chancellor advised the scholars that in discussing their experiences about the University of Ilorin and the Nigerian nation, they should “show more understanding and maturity, be appreciative of the little the University and the nation can afford, live within the law and pray for a better clime so that their own coming generations who choose to stay back may inherit good legacies”.

While appreciating the efforts of staff of the Centre led by Prof. F. A. O. Olaseinde-Williams for putting together the event, Prof. Abdulkareem said that the nation is at peace despite terrorists agenda and Unilorin is perhaps the fastest growing University in Africa with more than 18 years of unbroken academic calendar as the University students are increasing, so the academic programmes creating more opportunities for foreign nationals to study and work in the University.

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.”

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.