…Commissions 16 new projects

President Muhammadu Buhari has commended the management of the University of Ilorin for the judicious utilisation of the funds in its disposal. He also pledged the government's continuous assistance to the University in the area of staff development and infrastructural development.

The President, who is also the Visitor to the University, gave the commendation penultimate Saturday (October 21, 2017) while commissioning 16 newly completed projects on UNILORIN campus shortly after the 33rd convocation ceremony.

President Buhari, who was represented on the occasion by the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Abdulrasheed Abubakar, particularly commended the immediate past Vice-Chancellor, Prof. AbdulGaniyu Ambali, for putting up such magnificent structures spread across the various Faculties in the University. 

The University Visitor expressed satisfaction over the quality of jobs done on the projects and promised the readiness of the Federal Government to continue to support the University both morally and financially.

Conducting the President's representative round the projects, the Vice-Chancellor Prof. Sulaiman Age Abdulkareem, thanked him for taking time to rejoice with the University with a promise to consolidate on the good legacies laid by his predecessors.

The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof. Sulyman Age Abdulkareem, has expressed his administration's commitment to rewarding the efforts and dedication of every staff that show exemplary commitment to the growth and excellence of the University, saying, “if we are to seize this moment together, we must enjoy it together”.  

Prof. Abdulkareem, who stated this last Wednesday (October 25, 2017), in his address to the first Congregation he was presiding over since his assumption of duties, added that his tenure will also not hesitate to reprimand any staff that is found wanting.

In the address, entitled “Let Us Seize This Moment Together to Widen the Frontiers”, the Vice-Chancellor noted that aside from staff welfare, his administration will place emphasis on infrastructural development, excellence, discipline, as well as increasing the institution's internally generated revenue.

Describing the immediate past Vice-Chancellor's effort in infrastructural development as “astonishing, monumental and impressive”, Prof. Abdulkareem said, “It is my desire to sustain the tempo of physical and infrastructural development in order to push it in my own way to attaining the world best environment for learning, research and community service.”

On discipline, the Vice-Chancellor admonished staff to display a more disciplined approach to the mandates of the University, as well as have a renewed sense of integrity, dutifulness, commitment and dedication because “we have a duty of promoting the glory of the University. This moment requires we have a revival of absolute discipline, hard work and self-sacrifice”.

Prof. Abdulkareem emphasized that his administration will be “an era with greater responsibility and greater discipline because we must recognise we have a duty to ourselves and to the institution”. He then urged all staff to work conscientiously by shunning truancy, laziness, lateness and derelictions in order to make the University the best in all aspects.

The Vice-Chancellor stated that the vision of the University is to become an International Center of Excellence and as such, his administration would pursue the vision “vigorously” particularly in teaching and research because “it is our agenda to fundamentally drive this University on a course of becoming more reputable for research outputs that can change the world.”

Recalling the University's Council Chairman's dream of having the University produce a Nobel Laureate within a short time, Prof. Abdulkareem noted that “this is achievable if we have a renewed energy, devotion, focus, attitudes and ethos that can rekindle our unique Unilorin spirit for attaining greater heights.”

 He then urged the staff to modify the teaching and learning process to be “student-centered, student-oriented and character-moulding”, adding that because the University is known for discipline and probity in the Nigerian University Education System, all hands must be on deck to sustain its reputation through exemplary leadership.

Noting that the University cannot solely depend on government subventions, the Vice-Chancellor said, “The hallmark of a good university is its ability to fund its mandate from what it generates. My aspiration is to enhance our resolve to be one of those good internationally recognised universities that can maximise its potentials and resources to enhance its impact on the world.”

Prof. Abdulkareem disclosed that plans are already in top gear to maximise the utilisation of  the over 15,000 hectares of land in the University in order to generate funds, adding that the University Zoo would be rehabilitated and developed to an international standard “that will not only give us greater glory but also yield substantial revenue for the University”.

Enjoining staff to continuously exhibit the spirit of togetherness and commitment to the larger goal, the Vice-Chancellor pledged to be “fair, just, firm, conscientious, selfless, transparent and innovative” as he pilots the University to greatness. He added that “greatness is not given; it can only be earned and we must continue our sturdy sail of progress but on a more reinvigorated and redirected course”.

In its sustained drive to improve the University's internal revenue generation base and impart technical education on students, the Technical and Entrepreneurship Centre (TEC) of the University of Ilorin has achieved another feat by making academic gowns for Ph.D. graduates.

The Director of the Centre, Dr. I. F. Abdul, who disclosed this in a chat with Unilorin Bulletin, said that “the gowns were produced at no profit for the University as a demonstration of the University of Ilorin TEC centre's ability and competence in carrying out this assignment and others similar to it in our fashion unit”.

Dr. Abdul, therefore, solicited for patronage of the gown and other TEC products from the University authorities, staff, students and their associates.

According to him, “this patronage will boost the country's cardinal objectives of training and income generation for the University apart from improving our already excellent public image”.

The immediate past University Librarian, University of Ilorin, Dr. Joseph Omoniyi, has been described as an honest, sociable, dedicated and committed officer, who wants for others what he wants for himself.

These were the submissions of Dr. Omoniyi's friends, and associates, who gathered penultimate weekend  to celebrate the successful conclusion of his tenure as the University Librarian.

In his remarks, the Chairman of the group, Prof. Albert Olayemi, said the achievements of the former University Librarian was worth celebrating because he brought a lot of innovations to the University during his tenure.

The former Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Management Services) opined that Dr. Omoniyi would be remembered for his good works at the University Library.

In his remarks, the Registrar, Mr. Emmanuel Dada Obafemi, said he was happy for Dr. Omoniyi because he was starting another job immediately he completed his assignment at the University of Ilorin.

Mr. Obafemi said that his experience and relationship with the former University Librarian was an eye opener because he learned a lot from the distinguished person of Dr. Omoniyi.

In the same vein, a former Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Prof. Charles Bodunde, said that Dr. Omoniyi would be remembered by posterity for the transformation that the Library has witnessed in the past five years. 

Commending the personality of the former University Librarian, Prof. Bodunde said, "Dr. Omoniyi is a very intelligent person, has ear on the ground and is always ready to make correction.

Also in his remarks, the Deputy Director, Corporate Affairs, Mr. Kunle Akogun, who described Dr. Joseph as a detribalized person, said the former University Librarian made his work as the head of Corporate Affairs unit easier courtesy of his tremendous support to the Directorate.

According to Mr. Akogun,  "the former University Librarian is a detribalized, dereligionized, and de-statusized person who frowns at discrimination either on the ground of ethnic differences, social status or religious differences of the people around him”.

The Corporate Affairs Director said that Dr Omoniyi' turned the Unilorin Library to a world class repository through his digitization drive, which has made the Library the toast of all intellectuals in the country.

In his response, Dr. Omoniyi attributed his success at the University to God's support and the level of cooperation he received from the former Vice-Chancellor, other Principal Officers and the staff under him.

While calling on the new Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Sulyman Age Abdulkareem, to give all the necessary supports to his successor, Dr. Abdulwahab Issa, the erudite Library scholar opined that no success would be achieved when the management is not on the same page with the Librarian.

Dr. Omoniyi, who has just been appointed the University Librarian of Kogi State University, Anyigba, however, urged the staff of the Library to pursue further qualifications so that they would be reckoned with anywhere in life.

Eighty-Three graduating scholars across 14 Faculties were also recognized at the colorful ceremony.

Those who were honoured included Prof. Luke Edungbola of the Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, Prof. J.O. Olusegun of Physical Sciences, Prof. J.O. Sadiku of Communication and Information Sciences,  Prof. A.E. Davies of Social Sciences and Prof. J.A. Akinyanju of Life Sciences, who have all retired from the services of the University.

Others are Dr. B. S. Adisa of Council Office, Mr. Andrew Otonekwu of Registrar's Office, Miss. A. Q. Ibrahim of the Directorate of Human Resources, Mrs. S. V. Aduloju of the Faculty of Physical Sciences, Mr. Tajudeen Shittu of the Registrar's Office and Mr. Mohammed Jamiu Galadima of the Physical Planning Unit.

Also on the list of awardees are Mr. Taofeek Ojuade of the Bursary Department, Mr. Ibrahim Idris Aloma of the Directorate of Corporate Affairs, Mrs. S.T. Adio-Yusuf of the Department of Water Resources and Environmental Engineering, Mr. Musa Alaya Kadri of Works Department, Mr. Jimoh A. Toyin of Physical Planning Unit, Mr. Ibrahim Suberu and Mrs. Ogunlade Alice Funmi of the Security Unit, as well as Mr. Rasaq O. Babamale of the Sport Unit.

Mr. George Osague and Mrs. Kayode Boluwatife were rewarded as Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year.

Speaking earlier, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Abdulkareem, who commended the awardees, said that the awards were to gear them to do more for the development of the University. He, therefore, urged all staff members, both senior and junior, academic and non-academics, to key into the Team Unilorin project so as to make the University better than it is.

Prof. Abdulkareem said, “Let me state that this moment is made for all of us and we should seize it together for the greater purpose of elevating our University. On my part, I will be fair, just, firm, conscientious, selfless, transparent and innovative”.

As part of the measures to curb the high rate of unemployment in the country, the Chairman of Club '72, Government Secondary School (GSS), Ilorin, Old Students, Elder P.A. Ajibola, has called for a rethink in the country’s approach to learning, especially in higher institutions, saying this is crucial if universities want to produce graduates with the right thinking and problem solving skills that can meet society's aspirations.

Elder Ajibola made the observation last Tuesday (October 24, 2017), when he led members of the Club to the University of Ilorin to felicitate with the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. S. A. Abdulkareem, who is one of their classmates on his appointment and assumption of office.

The Chairman observed that the unemployment rate in the country is high “not because there are no jobs but there is a dearth of skilled manpower that will create these jobs”, hence, tertiary institutions should also focus their teaching and learning on skill acquisition and entrepreneurial training to be able to curb this challenge.

Noting that power supply is another challenge in the country, Elder Ajibola urged the Vice-Chancellor to intensify the University's effort in making the University “a solar energy producing center in the country”, saying, “This will be the University's contribution to resolving the seemingly intractable problem of power supply.”

Elder Ajibola then stressed the need for the Vice-Chancellor to sustain the peace, progress and stability of academic calendar the University of Ilorin has enjoyed for the past 17 years, saying this has distinguished the university “and made it the toast of most prospective students”.

While commending Prof. Abdulkareem, who is also a former Vice-Chancellor of Al-Hikmah University, the Chairman said “your experience in Al-Hikmah must have revealed the beauty inherent in inclusive government. Therefore, as a man who believes in teamwork, we have no doubt you will make the best use of collective intelligence and wisdom of members of the university community to make success of your administration.”

In his response, the Vice-Chancellor thanked his GSS classmates, observing that “we had a bond when we were at GSS, which was greater than family bond”

Prof. Abdulkareem then assured his classmates that “the brotherhood we had those days is thriving” and pledged not to disappoint them.