The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof. Sulyman Age Abdulkareem, has pledged his support for the Bachelor of Radiography (B.RAD) Programme of the University.

Prof. Abdulkareem made the pledge while speaking at an event organised by the Association of Radiographers of Nigeria (ARN), Kwara State Chapter, to commemorate the 2017 World Radiography Day. 

The event, themed “Radiographers at the Centre of Diagnostic and Therapeutic Medicine,” took place at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH). 

The Vice-Chancellor, who was represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research, Technology and Innovation (RTI), Prof. Gabriel A. Olatunji, said that the University is committed to the nurturing and sustenance of the new Bachelor of Radiography (B.RAD) programme by providing its needs as part of contributions to the development of the University's immediate environment as well as the North Central geopolitical zone of Nigeria at large.

Earlier, the Guest Speaker, Prof. Akintade Dare of the Department of Radiography, College of Health Sciences, University of Ilorin, noted that out of the 840 Radiographers in Nigeria, only 14.3 percent are in the North Central geopolitical zone compared to the 43.0 percent in the South West zone. 

Prof. Akintade pointed out that the establishment of the Bachelor of Radiography (B.RAD) degree programme in the University of llorin, was borne out of the paradigm shift in the global trend for radiography practice towards University-based training due to an increasing complexity of medical imaging equipment as a result of technological advancement and the high standard expected by the medical diagnostic profession. 

In his welcome address, the Kwara State Chairman of ARN, Mr Kolawole Odebiyi, explained that the purpose of the event was to raise awareness about radiographic imaging and therapy, which play a critical function in the diagnosis and treatment of patients as well as its indispensable role in the healthcare environment.

The former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Abuja, Prof. Nuhu Yaqub, has appealed to the government at all levels to take the issue of disaster management seriously.

Prof. Yaqub made the call last Wednesday (November 22, 2017) while speaking at the opening ceremony of the Fifth Biennial International Conference of the Centre for Peace and Strategic Studies, University of Ilorin.

The former Vice-Chancellor, who was the Chairman of the conference themed, “Managing Human and Natural Disasters: Strategies, Opportunities and Challenges”, said that it is important for government to alleviate the suffering of the citizenry emanating from disasters by making sure that the environment is properly and timely saved from hazards.

The Professor of Political Science and the current Dean of Postgraduate School, Turkish Nile University, Abuja, lamented the attitudinal behavior of government parastatals handling environmental matters. He suggested that the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and other emergency management agencies in the country should be adequately funded in order to ensure their effectiveness when managing disasters.

While commending the University of Ilorin for taking the initiative to organize the conference, which he described as apt, the University don also suggested training and retraining of officials handling emergency issues with current skills in tackling disasters.

In his presentation, the Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Eng. M. Y. Maihaja, said that effective disaster management should be a priority of all tiers of government. 

The NEMA Director General, who was represented by the Director, Planning, Research and Forestry of the Agency, Eng. James Akujobi, also recommended a sustainable compensation scheme for victims of disasters to be developed and integrated within the financial management system.

Lamenting the state of emergency operations in the country, the Director General said that collective effort on reducing risks is a must for effective disaster management.

According to Engr. Maihaja, “There must be an integrated early warning system (AWS) based on threat, hazard identification, assessment and analysis across the risk spectrum; sustainable compensation scheme to victims of disasters impact should be developed and integrated within the financial management system; adequate budgetary / special funding for disaster management at all levels should be provided through regular and sustainable sources and capacity building across MDAs and other relevant stakeholders among other”.

While declaring the conference open, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof. Sulyman Age Abdulkareem, said that preventing disaster is everybody's business.

The Vice-Chancellor, who was represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Prof. N.Y.S. Ijaiya, said that Nigeria is blessed because we do not experience natural disaster like Australia that experiences bush fire on yearly bases and the flooding in United States of America, Indonesia and most countries of the world.

While describing flooding in Nigeria as mostly manmade by people that build houses on riverbed forgetting that rain will come, the Vice-Chancellor stressed the need to reexamine some of the factors that cause disaster, which include approval by government to erect buildings in danger zones.

In his welcome address, the Director of the Centre for Peace and Strategic Studies, Prof. Noah Yusuf, said that experience of human and natural disasters are regular features of human existence since creation, adding that in the African continent, such disasters include the incidence bombings, killings and destructions by terrorist groups such as Boko Haram in Nigeria, Al-Shabab in Somalia, Al-Qaeda in the Maghreb which are active in Mali, Niger, Mauritania, including genocide in Rwanda, wars in Central African Republic and Southern Sudan. 

Prof. Yusuf said that while disasters - man-made or natural - are occurrences which no one wishes to experience, “it behoves on us, as rational beings, to search for knowledge on the issue with the aim of equipping ourselves with the precautionary measures as well as effective management techniques”.

Posts 94.9% pass rate

The University of Ilorin has again justified its Better-by-far appellation with its emergence as the University with the best performance in the just concluded Bar Final Examination of the Nigerian Law School.

The result of the examination, held in August this year and released by the Council for Legal Education last weekend, showed that the University of Ilorin Law graduates that participated in the Bar Final Examination posted a pass rate of 94.9 percent, beating those of the University of Lagos to the second position with 93.9 percent pass rate.

In the 2014 Bar Final Examination, the University of Ilorin Law Faculty was rated the best in the country by the Council for Legal Education based on cumulative performance of its students.

A university-by-university performance analysis published in the current edition of The Nigeria Lawyer journal shows that out of the students that sat for the examination, 29 made the First Class grade, 211 had Second Class Upper grade,1,046 emerged with Second Class Lower grade, 3,000 got  the Pass grade, 333 had conditional pass, a total of 1,272 students failed while  33 were absent, The total pass rate for the outgoing set of students of the Nigerian law School shows a fine result of 72%.

One of the University of Ilorin Law graduates, Faith Aboyeji, had a First Class grade in the Bar Final Examination.

However, six of the products of the University of Lagos, which came second in cumulative performance, had First Class grades in the examination, making it the university with the highest First Class grade.

The Osun State University came third with a total pass rate of 91.8 % with two of its students going home with the First Class grade.

The school with the second highest number of First Class grades is the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, with a total of four students going home with the coveted grade.

In his reaction to the feat, the Dean, Faculty of Law, University of Ilorin, Dr. K. I. Adam, described it as “the fruit of great academic excellence for which our University is widely reputed”.

Dr. Adam told Unilorin Bulletin that “by their outstanding performance and highest rating at this year's Bar Final Exams, our dear Model Class of 2016 has made us very proud as teachers, Faculty and University”.

He said, “Students from about 40 universities across the nation took part in the examinations where these remarkable students obtained the highest rating with 94.9% ahead of University of Lagos which came 2nd. Other first line universities as University of Ibadan, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife and University of Nigeria ranked 4th, 7th and 10th respectively. In addition, Miss Faith Oyetola Aboyeji bagged a First Class in the name of University of Ilorin thereby maintaining her distinction as a top flight scholar who finished here with a First Class Hons Degree.

According to the Dean, “while it is an occasion to commend our students for their impressive feat, we recognise that great result is rarely the product of a solitary process. Thus, the hard work and positive mentoring by their teachers in this University and the tremendous support by the administration deserve even greater commendation because their performance is largely a reflection of our excellence”.

Dr. Adam disclosed that in his personal interaction with the Director-General of the Nigerian Law School, “he openly acknowledged that our students have, in the past five years or so, consistently maintained a very high rank in the Bar Finals”. “These”, according to him, “are part of the reasons for our university's position as the first choice university in the country”. 

The Dean said, “It is needless to stress that excellent ranking comes with higher responsibilities. In my view, excellence has three features of note; it is hard to achieve, hard to maintain and hard to lose. The first hardship we have surmounted, to surmount the remaining two is a must but this calls urgently for an ambitious expansion of the facilities in the Faculty of Law. 

“Eyes have been on us, some to partake in our glory but we cannot rule out the eyes of detractors. Demand for admission into the Faculty is going to increase in multiple folds but our ability to increase our intakes lies greatly in the capacity and "moderness" of our facilities. The motivation of staff and students is in dire need of improvement, and expansion of facilities may do the magic. 

“We therefore seize the opportunity of this occasion to call on administration to embark on an aggressive expansion of the facilities in the Faculty of Law. We need at least a 700 seater library, law online databases and office complex. We trust administration is always there for us. I heartily congratulate administration and the entire Unilorin community on this new achievement”

Also reacting to the development, a former Dean of the Faculty, Prof. Wahab Egbewole, said, “I think this is a further testimony to the stuff and calibre of the academic staff the Faculty parades in terms of quality. We have in the past produced First Class graduates of the Law School and now leading the pack in the community of Law Faculties in Nigeria. I congratulate the Dean and other members of staff for this great and uncommon achievement”.

Prof. Egbewole expressed the hope that “this will spur us for more achievements”. He, however, seized the opportunity to plead with the University Administration to “equally encourage the Faculty to sustain this feat by ensuring the provision of a befitting Law Library and staff offices”, adding, “I have full confidence that the current leadership in the University will make this happen”.

The Dean, Faculty of Science, Delta State University, Abraka, Prof. E. O. Adaikpoh, has called for the overhauling of the Nigerian education system in order to improve its systemic value before it can serve effectively in the development of science.

Prof. Adaikpoh, who stated this last Thursday (November 9, 2017) while delivering the 12th edition of Prof. Mosobalaje Olaloye Oyawoye Endowed Lecture organised by the Faculties of Life and Physical Sciences, University of Ilorin, added that Science and Technology, being systemic value-improving, are needed for such deployment. 

In the lecture, entitled “In the Service of God and Humanity”, the scholar lamented that the Islamic Studies subject has been 'maligned' at each stage of its growth. He called for the review of the 60:40 Science to Liberal Arts ratio, as envisioned by the National Policy on Education, stating that this was “necessary because a technologically advanced Nigeria devoid of decency will be counter-productive.”

Prof. Imam also noted that the decline in the total number of candidates who registered and sat for the May/June WASSCE Islamic Studies between 2007 and 2016 has led to a reduction in enrolment to study the subject at Nigerian tertiary institutions. “These sorry conditions of the subject have been worsened by insufficient teaching staff, infrastructural and instructional materials, which earned most of the departments offering the subject at the tertiary institution level interim accreditation status”, he added.

The Inaugural Lecturer said, “Islamic studies and those who study it have experienced one form of dislike, mockery or the other. Quite a number of successful Islamists today yesterday had low estimation of themselves and felt inferior to their peers. A few others have also relegated the subject to the background and treated those who chose it as a career with disdain”.

He, however, explained that “despite this negative attitude, it has been demonstrated in this presentation that Islamic Studies confers spiritual and mundane benefits to those who acquire it. Spiritually, it provides a correct understanding of Islam to those who acquire it and leads them to its proper practice. In the mundane sense, taking a career in Islamic Studies provides meal ticket and helps to address numerous problems facing the society through researches that recommend Islamic solutions to those problems”.

Prof. Imam further stated that “such competence has been acquired through critical and creative thinking skills that training in different subject areas of Islamic studies have inculcated in those who acquire it, explaining that given these benefits that Islamic studies confer on both individuals and the society, “it will not be out of place to state that it is a discipline dedicated not only to the service of God but also to humanity.”

Highlighting his contributions to his field among which is the production of an anti-corruption teaching/preaching manual funded by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Prof. Imam said the manual was meant “to appeal to the religious consciousness of the Nigerian Muslims so that they can abhor economic and financial crimes and assist in fighting them to a halt.”

Prof. Imam, who also serves as the Research Manager (Humanities Cluster) in the Centre for Research Development and In-House Training (CREDIT) of the University, enjoined teachers and students of Islamic Studies “to be proactive at all times and ensure that they contribute meaningfully among their peers without any complexities”.

He further urged Islamic scholars to  “take portents from other professionals who not only express the desire that their children take after them professionally, but ensure their training in that direction by encouraging some of their children to specialise in Islamic Studies or related fields”, saying, “If you do not value or know your worth, who will?”

A Professor of Islamic Jurisprudence at the University of Ilorin and former Vice-Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Is-haq Olanrewaju Oloyede (OFR), has been honoured as the 'Most Outstanding Public Servant of the Year 2017' by one of Nigeria's high-flying newspapers, The New Telegraph.  

The award was given to Prof. Oloyede, who is currently the Registrar/Chief Executive Officer of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) last Saturday (November 25, 2017) at a grand ceremony at the Baltimore Hall, Federal Palace Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos.

The JAMB Registrar stood shoulder-to-shoulder with other prominent Nigerians who were honoured with awards of excellence in their various areas of endeavours. They include former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Political Icon of the Year; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, Leadership in Public Service award; Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State, Governor of the Year; Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Businessman of the Year; UBA Managing Director, Kennedy Uzoka, Bank CEO of the Year; Channels Television boss, John Momoh, Media Icon of the Year (Broadcast), and the Chief Executive Officer of Media Trust Limited, Kabiru Yusuf, Media Icon of the Year (Print), among others.

In a citation, the organisers of the Award said they decided to celebrate Prof. Oloyede's “uncommon achievements” because “as the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin (2012-2017), he distinguished himself as a seasoned administrator per excellence with series of lasting and innovative reforms, which placed the University as one of the leading tertiary institutions in Nigeria”.

The citation added that “Prof. Oloyede is the first Registrar of JAMB to generate N5billion in one year, a feat naturally acknowledged as a first of its kind in the history of the Board”.

Reacting to the award, Prof. Oloyede described it as “a recognition of the little we have been able to contribute to the upliftment of the public service”.

The former Vice-Chancellor told Unilorin Bulletin in a telephone interview that he doesn't normally accept such awards, which, according to him, are “distractive”.

Prof. Oloyede, however, said, “You know, I don't normally accept such awards; I don't take chieftaincy titles, even though they come in torrents to me. But given the people behind this one, I could see the genuineness in their intent. It is not meant to raise money nor to extort people. That is why I reluctantly accept this one, as I think it is a genuine recognition of the little we have been able to contribute to the upliftment of the public service. And I pray that no award of this nature would come my way again so that I can face my job squarely”.

The Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Tertiary Education and Services, Hon. Suleiman Aminu, has commended the management of the University of Ilorin for judicious use of money appropriated to it for the execution of various projects in the University.

Hon. Aminu gave the commendation last Thursday (November 9, 2017) when the Committee members visited the University of Ilorin as part of their nationwide oversight tour of tertiary institutions in the country.

The Chairman, while congratulating the Vice- Chancellor, Prof. Sulyman Age Abdulkareem, on his appointment, expressed the belief that he would perform excellently considering his records as an erudite scholar and versatile administrator.   

Hon. Aminu said, “Let me assure Nigerians that the National Assembly would continue to engage in productive actions that would improve the system. Let me also express our satisfaction with the management of the University of Ilorin for executing critical projects and maintaining stable academic calendar for the past 17 years”.

He said that the team came to the University of Ilorin to confirm if all what have been appropriated to the institution have been released by the executives and utilised for the purpose they were provided for.

The Committee Chairman said that “it is commendable that the University of Ilorin does not have any uncompleted project on its campus.”

Stressing the essence of the tour, the Chairman said that the tour, as provided by the law, is to engage with the leadership of the institutions to find out the challenges mitigating against teaching and learning; and would also allow them to examine the evidences of the payments released for personnel, capital projects and overheads by the executive arm of government.

Welcoming the legislators to the University, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Sulyman Age Abdulkareem, informed them that Unilorin, being a socially responsible institution, has zero tolerance for abandoned projects.

A University of Ilorin don, Prof. Yahya Oyewole Imam, has enjoined the Federal Government to restore Islamic Studies to its original status as a core subject in schools, saying this will foster the inculcation of appropriate morality in the youths while ensuring that they become useful adults who will take the country out of its current social morass.

Prof. Imam of the Department of Religions, Faculty of Arts, made this submission last Thursday (November 9, 2017) while delivering the 175th Inaugural Lecture of the University.

In the lecture, entitled “Science and Technology: Tools for Improving Values for a Better Nation, the renowned Professor of Geology described science as a systematic enterprise that builds and organises knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe while technology is the collection of techniques, skills, methods and processes used in the production of goods or services.

Prof. Adaikpoh said that science and technology have been appraised and adjudged to be tools capable of improving values for a better nation, therefore, “the Nigerian Education system needs overhauling in order to improve its systemic value, before it can serve effectively in the development of science. To improve science for national development, a suitable operational environment must be put in place and sustained”.

He disclosed that the best idea in the value chain that a better nation needs is improving the value of the people through science and technology, adding “everyone is complaining that our Nigeria is a failed nation, where wealth is worshipped and the rich adored irrespective of their source of wealth. These people rarely discuss or attempt to give solutions”.

The Guest Lecturer said that any attempt to trouble-shoot the current societal decay must address the question of where are we coming from? where are we going? and what components in developmental factors are not in consonance with the means for societal growth?

Prof. Adaikpoh, who also lamented the diminishing of excellence in the ivory tower, added that “any serious minded nation must be predictive and proactive in developing its capacity to produce crime-arresting tools at the rate commensurate to that of the challenges. This can be done through value means, define and influences.”

According to the don, “our people do not perish for lack of knowledge but they perish because of inconsistency and lack of will and courage to function as the good people that we are. At different times and fora, we have had to point accusing fingers, and we have been discussing our challenges. There is hope. Our people are reacting and we are close to the end of the tunnel where there is light”.

In his opening address, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof. Sulyman Age Abdulkareem, appealed to Nigerian youths to spend less time on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms, urging them to dedicate much time to knowledge acquisition.

Prof. Abdulkareem observed that there are many things in the world that the parents and grandparents of today lack during their youthful days which their children now have access to.

The Vice-Chancellor, who also challenged the youths and school children to be dedicated and committed to knowledge gaining through their gadgets, encouraged them to learn from the life of the endowee, Prof. Muhammad Jamiu Mosobalaje Oyawoye, the crown prince, Aremo of Offa and the first African Professor of Geology who deployed his youthful days to skill acquisition.

Earlier, in his welcome address, the Chairman of Faculty of Science Endowed Lecture Committee and Dean of Life Science, Prof. A. T. Ande, said though the lecture came up late in the year, there can be no better time to discuss the topic than now when the world is run by science and technology and the national values are dwindling.

While appreciating the endowee and guests including the Secondary School students who were in attendance, the Dean of Physical Science, Prof. U.B. Eke expressed the University's profound gratitude to Prof. Oyawoye for his support in making the lecture a reality every year.

Responding on behalf of the endowee, Prince Abdulganiyu Oyawoye appreciated the management of the University of Ilorin for honouring his father, disclosing that Professor Oyawoye will not relent in making impact in the field of knowledge.