The University of Ilorin Branch of the Non-Academic Staff Union NASU), has organised a three-day free eye care services for its members.

The event, which was organised in partnership with the Benjamin Franklin Eye Foundation,  took place between Monday (August 7, 2017) and Wednesday (August 9, 2017) at the University Auditorium Basement.

In a chat with Unilorin Bulletin at the venue of the eye screening exercise, the Chairman of Unilorin NASU, Mr. S. H. Ibrahim, said that the exercise was open to all members of the Union free of charge.

The Union leader said, “Discussions on vision and sight challenges in the University community came up at the University's Board of Health meeting and many of our members are affected. We, therefore, decided at the NASU Executive Council level to come to the aid of our members by sponsoring the exercise, which takes care of their treatment bills, covering registration, diagnosis, drugs and glasses. We will also pay part of the bills for members who may require surgery.”    

Mr. Ibrahim stated further that constant exposure to rays of light from computer screens and dust are examples of some of the occupation hazards that could impair the vision of NASU members and taking care of everything about the welfare of their members is within the mandate of the Executive Council members.

Speaking on the exercise, one of the beneficiaries, Mr. E. A. Adebiyi of the Works Department, appreciated the new officials of the Union for what he described as “a welcome development”.

Mr. Adebiyi noted that in addition to the services given to NASU members free of charge, the eye screening exercise was brought to their door step and they were spared the energy and time that they would have spent visiting the hospital.

Also in her comments, another beneficiary, Mrs. M. A.  Oyedepo, an Information Technology Officer, said, “This is good for our people. Rays of light from computer screens have been affecting our eyes and damaging it.”

She added that she had been nursing the idea of visiting an ophthalmologist for about five years and was therefore very grateful that her cravings are eventually a reality at no cost and with no hassles.

Meanwhile, the Director of Programme at the Benjamin Franklin Eye Foundation, Dr. Joseph Ijatomi, who spoke with Unilorin Bulletin, advised people above the age of 40 years to go for eye check-up at least once every six month to maintain a good eye-sight. He added that children too need to be screened for hereditary eye problems while members of the University community who operate computer systems, drivers, cooks, and those who read and write should always go for eye check-up and make use of their recommended glasses.

He disclosed that some recommended glasses correct eyes sight challenges and advised people to protect their eyes with either recommended photochromic glasses or sunshades when they deal with smoke, dust or light rays.

Dr. Ijatomi revealed that as at the time of the interview, a suspected case of glaucoma was discovered and the case was referred to the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital which is one of the Foundation's partners and he called for charity minded individuals to donate to the foundation so that they can continue to give free reading glasses and other services.

As part of their efforts to give back to the Department that raised them, four alumni of the University of Ilorin have donated work stations to the institution's Department of Geology in order to aid teaching, research and learning.

The alumni, Mr Siraj Ahmed, Mr Quadri Arasi, Mr Oyeyemi Ibitomisi and Mr Osetoba Olutola, of the 1997/1998 set, made the donation penultimate Friday (July 28, 2017).

The donation was preceded by a lecture entitled “Bridging the Gap between Industry and Academia – Career Opportunities in Geosciences” and delivered by one of the alumni, Mr Siraj Ahmed.

 In the lecture, Mr. Ahmed stressed the importance of Geology to humanity and how knowledge in the subject can be used for the betterment of humanity and society.

In his remarks, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof. AbdulGaniyu Ambali (OON), stated that Geology is important because it enhances resources. He urged the students to use their knowledge of the course to contribute to the advancement of knowledge in the society, as well as push the frontiers of discovery.

Prof. Ambali, who was represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (RTI), Prof. G. A. Olatunji, appreciated the alumni for enlightening participants about various career opportunities in the field of Geology, adding that “these alumni have done a great thing and we should emulate them in order to advance our University and society at large.”

On his part, the Dean of Physical Sciences, Prof. U. B. Eke, stated that from what the alumni have demonstrated, students have no reason not to emulate them in terms of excellence, adding that “there is brilliance everywhere, it is just opportunity we are looking for.”

The Ag. Head of the Department of Geology, Dr V. O. Ige, who recalled that he and the alumni were classmates, commended their initiative to give back to the Department in order to facilitate better teaching and learning outcome. He stated that when the Department is equipped with good facilities, better graduates will be produced.

Also commending the donors for their effort, a former Head of the Department of Geology, Prof. R. B. Vale, noted that because not everyone who has the capacity to give back to their Alma Mater does so, the Department and the University is delighted and “your example will continue to be a yardstick.”

UNIVERSITY OF ILORIN, ILORIN, NIGERIA

INSTITUTE OF EDUCATION

APPROVED CALENDAR FOR THE 2017 SANDWICH CONTACT SESSION

1.

2017 Teaching Practice Exercise

Monday, 9th January, 2017 – Friday, 17th February, 2017

2.

Computation  of Final Year and Goodstanding Results

Monday, 20th March, 2017 – Friday, 15th April, 2017

3.

Advert for 2017 Admission   

Wednesday, 15 February, 2017 – Sunday, 21st May, 2017

4.

Release of First Admission List

Wednesday, 31st  May, 2017

5.

Computation of Outstanding Final Year Results

Monday,  20th March, 2017

6.

Second and other Admission of Candidates for the            2017 Contact Session

Monday, 19th June, 2017  - Sunday, 13th August, 2017

7.

Registration for 2017 Contact Session

Monday, 10th  July, 2017 – Friday, 25th August, 2017

8.

Lecturers and other Activities of the 2017 Contact Session/Screening

Monday, 17th July, 2017 – Friday, 22nd September, 2017

9.

2017 Contact Session Peer Teaching Exercise

Wednesday, 6th Sept., 2017 - Friday, 15th Sept., 2017

10.

Matriculation of New Students

Saturday, 23rd September, 2017

11.

Contact Session Examinations (Undergraduate and Postgraduate)

Monday 25th September, 2017 –  Wednesday, 11th October, 2017

12.

TP Orientation for 2017 Contact III Students

Thursday, 12th October, 2017

13.

Marking and Upload of 2017 Contact Session Results

Monday, 25th Sept., 2017 – Monday, 20th November, 2017

The Kwara State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Lawan Ado, has assured the University of Ilorin of the Police Command's unwavering commitment and support to sustain the prevailing peace, stability and progress on the University campus.

Mr. Ado gave this assurance last Monday (July 31, 2017), when he visited the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. AbdulGaniyu Ambali (OON), in his office.

The Police Commissioner, who was recently transferred to Kwara State, stated that he deemed it fit to visit the University because it is an “important institution that cannot be overlooked”, adding that “I observed that the University community is very serene and peaceful, it is indeed a citadel of learning and I am highly impressed.” 

Mr. Ado disclosed that just as he was rightly informed about the University management's zero tolerance for cultism, he had observed since his arrival that none of the cultism cases being handled at the State Police Command involves a student of the University of Ilorin, “hence, the police force is ready to work round the clock to sustain the peace and harmony in the school.”

The Police boss further disclosed his Command's readiness to serve the people of Kwara State, saying, “We are here to serve our fatherland and serve humanity and like they say service to humanity is service to God. So we see our service as service to God and we are going to put in all our effort.”

In his response, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. AbdulGaniyu Ambali (OON), appreciated the Police Force for being a vital instrument in maintaining peace on the University campus and in the society at large, noting that their effort is part of the reasons the University is known as a “no strike institution”.

Prof. Ambali added that “the stability in the institution's academic calendar for 17 years has made the institution to become a household name in the country, which is why the University is the most sought after in the nation”. He said, “Because of this, we are expanding. We need more of police presence on campus because without you, we cannot sustain the peace we enjoy.”

Appealing to the government to assist in providing more facilities for the University in order to be able to meet more applicants' demands, the Vice-Chancellor noted, “Every year, over 100,000 people apply to the University and we only have capacity for about 10,000, which means we disappoint 90,000 applicants yearly. If the government helps to provide more facilities, we will be able to admit more.”

Joining the Vice-Chancellor to receive the Police Commissioner were the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Prof. N.Y.S. Ijaiya; the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Management Services), Prof. A.Y. Abdulkareem; the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research, Technology and Innovation), Prof. G. A. Olatunji; the Deputy Registrar, Dr A. Adisa, who represented the Registrar; the University Librarian, Dr J.O. Omoniyi; the Deputy Director, Corporate Affairs, Mr Kunle Akogun; the Chief Security Officer, Mr. A. Tijani; the Sub-Dean, Student Affairs, Dr A. Yusuf; and the Principal Assistant Registrar in the Office of the Vice-Chancellor, Mr. A. Sayuti.

At the 261st Senate meeting held on Tuesday 1st of August, 2017, Prof. S.A. Bolu was elected as the new Dean of the University of Ilorin Postgraduate School in a manner that reinvigorated the peaceful and logical process by which elections into key managerial positions are conducted at the University.  There are many exemplary best practices that many other universities in the country should emulate and adopt from the University of Ilorin. The display of maturity, decorum and tolerance in our conducts and tamed struggle for power is uncommon, and it represents us as the best and genuine crop of intellectuals. I make bold to say that the rare etiquettes that define our operations and conducts in this University is one of the reasons we are better by far.  Of course, the few cantankerous and belligerent rebels among us have taunted our peaceful conducts as irredeemably inert, but this is because they are just innately predisposed to violence and acrimonies.   

The election of Prof. Bolu marked a very peaceful transition and change of baton at our Postgraduate School His election, according to him, is a divine one because many that are older and much more qualified to hold the sensitive position wanted it.  To him, it is just the wish of God that he would become the 12th Dean of the University of Ilorin Postgraduate School because the sequence of events before his election presaged a divine will that he is destined to become the Dean of the Postgraduate School at this time. With this declaration, Prof. Bolu sounded humbly philosophical and celestial because he was attributing his choice to God's will. That is fine because he is drawing God to direct him to steer the giant ship of the School successfully in a way that he, too, will leave tombstone legacies like his immediate predecessor at the School.

Meanwhile, I am inclined to interpret the divine choice of the new Dean of the Postgraduate School as a purposeful choice. To me, the choice is not arbitrary neither is it just a coincidental one.  It is definitely a divine choice that is aimed at asserting much more emphatically that Unilorin through the Almighty compensates those who are committed to its advancement.  My colleagues joke with me sometimes that at the University of Ilorin, the reward of hard-work is more work. With the divine and unanimous election of the new Dean of our PG School, the reward is not just more work, but also enduring compensations of goodwill from the management and the majority of members of the community- which was exactly what made Bolu the new Dean of the PG School. 

Prof. Bolu has been conscientiously serving the University right from the time he joined the University as a clerical officer in 1985. As I learnt from the extant staff that worked with him then, his two-year service as a clerical officer at the Academic office was full of commitment; and was energized by the spirit to uphold the integrity of the University. He left the service after two years in order to obtain a university degree. It was the same spirit that made him to come back to the University in 1993 to accept the position of a clerical officer again after a very sound B. Sc. in Agriculture.  He later, in 2014, demonstrated a similar level of love for the system and  faith in the will of God in  a way that many of his contemporaries will never forget. That is a long story that the space I have here will not even take.

Prof. Bolu waited patiently and served with all his power and mind without grudges until he was re-designated as an Assistant Officer in 1994. Perhaps, those who remember his dedicated service at the Faculty of Education as the Faculty Officer between 1994 and 1995 will not be surprised at his commitment to the advancement of the University and how God and the University have rewarded him. 

Since he joined the academic in 1995 as an Assistant Lecturer, rising through ranks and files to become a Professor by divine favour in 2014,  he has been paying his dues through his passionate service to the University in various capacities with the  purpose of advancing the glory of the University of Ilorin.  He cut an image of a strict, unsentimental and unrepentant 'scrutinizer' or detector with eagle eyes at the Business Committee of Senate.  His service as the Sub Dean of the Postgraduate School between 2009 and 2011 was a divine and thorough preparation for his ascension to the exalted chair of the Dean of the PG School. So, he has been a prominent member of the PG School who have ample knowledge of the 'nooks and crannies' as well as the challenges of the School. This is why many of us have a very high expectation that he will take the School to a greater height.

Undoubtedly, Professor Badmus Yusuf had successfully passed the golden baton of our Postgraduate School to the new Dean, and the race of strengthening the structure and glory of the School continues.  The new Dean is not oblivion of the fact that Prof. Yusuf had really raised the bar; and there will be a need for stronger commitment, special ingenuity and special divine guidance to beat his record.  To add better or greater values to the structure and operation of the PG School, I am aware that the new Dean has hit the ground running. His agenda to achieve this objective is built around what he has called Business Process Re-engineering.  This philosophy underlies his mission of making the PG work better to deliver its services much more promptly and efficiently. It also underpins his mission of improving on the promptness and perfection with which documents are processed to necessary quarters and units.  It will also provide the framework for implementing strictly the academic calendar of the PG School, which, ironically, was designed by a Committee he chaired during the tenure of his predecessor.  Perhaps his greatest avowed vision is his desire to sustain the election of the Dean of the PG School from the members of the Board of the School – to make sure that the School is run by the individuals that know the operation and structure of the School. May God Almighty help him.

Black Weekend

Penultimate Saturday and Sunday, 5th and 6th of August, 2017, were sorrowful days for us at the University of Ilorin. A majority of the members of the University were dejectedly dragged to the Muslim Cemetery on a quick succession on Saturday and Sunday for sudden calamities that befell and shook three prominent members of our community.  Dr. (Mrs.) Abdulraheem of Chemistry Department – that strong, faithful and dedicated woman of our community- lost her husband in a fatal accident. The immediate past Dean of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, the hardworking, highly energetic and altruistic member of our community, Professor S. F. Ambali, lost his first son in an unexpected way that sadden our hearts.  Earlier, our dedicated Admissions Officer, Mrs. Zakkariyah , lost one of her sons who was almost finishing his degree study at the Faculty of Law.

Although death is evil, it is inevitable. Although we were all sad, we and the bereaved still have consolation that the dead had lived a life dedicated to God. May the Almighty Allah grant them Aljannah Fridaous, and give the bereaved the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.

...as Ambali bags 'Icon of Peace' award

A top commercial bank in South  Asia, Nepal Khadhya Bank Limited, is to engage in massive investment in agriculture at the University of Ilorin as part of its efforts to help fight hunger in Nigeria.

The Chairman of the bank, Mr. RamRaja Shrestha, who disclosed this last Monday (July 31, 2017) during a courtesy visit to the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. AbdulGaniyu Ambali (OON), said, “When there is no hunger, there will be no anger, the people will be happy and there will be peace and progress in the nation”.

Mr Shrestha was part of a delegation from the World Institute for Peace (WIP) that visited the University to confer the “Icon of Peace” award on the Vice-Chancellor.    

The Nepalese bank Chairman disclosed that the bank's major objective is to promote agro-tourism and other agricultural investments, adding that the decision to invest in Nigeria stems from the fact that the country is blessed with very fertile land and natural resources that are underutilized.

He said, “We were informed that the University of Ilorin is peaceful and blessed with vast arable land, so we think it is a good idea to partner with the institution in farming.”

Mr. Shrestha added that the agricultural activities would not be limited to planting and harvesting, but would include grain banking, as well as food processing. He noted that although he has made bad investments in the past but “this time, I have no doubt I am in the right place.”

Earlier in his remarks, the Chairman of the World Institute for Peace, Comrade Lamina Kamilu, pointed out that the objective of the Institute is to curb the menace of violence in the world and ensure peace, adding that “Unilorin is one of the universities in the country in which people have great interest when it comes to honesty.”

Comrade Lamina commended the University for its sustained peace and progress, a virtue, which he said fetched the Vice-Chancellor the prestigious “Icon of Peace” award.

In his response, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Ambali, expressed delight at the Nepalese bank's initiative of curbing hunger in the country and seeing the University as a worthy partner, adding that the institution has a land mass of about 15,000 hectares and is always open to investors.

Prof. Ambali, who noted that the University has been partnering with investors in various areas like solar power generation, said, “Unilorin is the best bet you can partner with in Nigeria because your investment here is safe. There is no strike or hooliganism that will put your investment at risk, and we have concentration of resources, both human and material.”

The Vice-Chancellor then appreciated the World Institute for Peace for finding him worthy of the award and for its effort in promoting peace all over the world. He said that “peace is very vital in effectively ruling the world and helping the developing countries and without it, much cannot be achieved”.

Stressing the importance of peace, Prof. Ambali said, “The reason we have problems across the world is because of lack of understanding of human behaviour. We all want everything our way irrespective of others' interest, but once you see everyone as a brother or partner, there will be peace across the world. We all need peace, without it there will be no life.”

The Vice-Chancellor added that as part of the University's ways of ensuring peace on its campus and its environs, the institution has “a very active website, which students and staff can access anytime and anywhere and this accounted for the recent peaceful conduct of the Students' Union election where students voted on the PC tablets given to them by the school instead of queuing up in the sun and being unruly.”

Also speaking at the event, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Prof. N. Y. S. Ijaiya, commended the WIP team for recognising the effort of the University, stating that the institution is doing its best in contributing to world peace and will continue to do its best for humanity and for God.

Highlight of the event was the decoration of the Principal Officers and some top officials of the University with the insignia of Fellow of the World Institute for Peace in recognition of their efforts in sustaining peace and progress in the University Community.

Those decorated were the three Deputy Vice-Chancellors, Prof. Ijaiya (Academic); Prof. Y. A. Abdulkareem (Management Services); and Prof. Gabriel Olatunji (RTI).

Also decorated were the Registrar, Mr. Emmanuel Obafemi; the Director, Centre for Peace and Strategic Studies, Dr. Mahfouz Adedimeji; and the Deputy Director, Corporate Affairs, Mr. Kunle Akogun.

A Professor of Paediatrics and Child Health at the College of Health Sciences, University of Ilorin, Samuel Kolade Ernest, has described the rate of child deaths in Nigeria as unacceptably high, while calling for a renewed focus on and concerted effort to reverse the trend.

Prof. Ernest, who made the call last Thursday (August 3, 2017) while delivering the 171st Inaugural Lecture of the University, identified preterm birth, perinatal asphyxia, sepsis, pneumonia, malaria, malnutrition among others, as some major causes of child deaths in the country.

In the Lecture, entitled “…And the Child Died, Oh! No! Not Again: Adventures in Childhood Morbidity Prevention and Mortality Reduction”, the don canvassed further investment in the local production of vaccines for immunisation as cost-effective measures to prevent diseases among children.

Noting that “vaccine production locally will reduce the cost per head for each antigen”, Prof. Ernest pointed out that “immunisation still remains the most cost-effective way to prevent diseases in our world.”

The Inaugural Lecturer explained that “public awareness and education on the importance of vaccines should be heightened especially for vaccine preventable diseases.”

According to the scholar, “There should be a National Research Synthesis group that will help the Federal Government of Nigeria collect, collate, synthesize and scrutinize the outcomes of researches on different sub-specialties so that implementing them will be fast tracked.”

Prof. Ernest called on the government to “integrate the following into child health programming: regular health appraisals, remedial measures and follow-up, prevention of communicable diseases, healthful environment, nutritional services, mental health, dental health, eye health, ear, nose and throat (ENT) health, health education, special education needs for the handicapped children and school health programming”.

The don, who solicited adequate funding of Primary Health Care at the grassroots in order to attend to the immediate health needs and reduce the severity of morbidity-causing diseases among children, also advocated a more aggressive national campaign against sickle-cell disease to reduce the gene carriage from the present 22 percent to less than 10 percent in the next ten years.

While noting that “a step up in the approach to HIV prevention should include community involvement”, Prof. Ernest explained that “attention to the mother's health and to improving the coverage of Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) must be pursued.” 

He further pointed out that “increasing the duration of maternity leave to between 6 months and one year, so that babies can breast-feed without excuses within the first year of life” would have positive impact on Sustainable Development.

Prof. Ernest also suggested that “the Core Child Survival Strategies should continue to be prioritized”. These, according to him, “include Growth Monitoring, Oral Rehydration Therapy, Breast-feeding, Immunization, Food Supplementation, Family Planning, Female Education and Follow-up (GOBIFFFF)”.

He said that other strategies such as “IMCI, IMCI complementary course on HIV, National mandatory budgetary allocation to Health, National Ambulance and ambulatory services, Telemedicine and National Newborn care and Perinatal Home visits” should not be neglected.

Narrating his contributions to his field of study, especially in the areas of research as well as his efforts towards providing paediatric care aimed at preventing morbidity and reducing child mortality rates across the country, Prof. Ernest disclosed that he was part of the team that developed, supported and executed proposals to access Global Fund grant for HIV and AIDS in 2006 and 2007.

He added, “In Abuja, I was challenged to present a 240-page document in 10 minutes to the Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM) the following day. After the presentation of my synthesis, all parties in the UN House agreed to adopt me as a member of the Nigerian Committee for Global Fund Grants. That singular act helped Nigeria to access funds in excess of US$250 million as part of the funding for HIV and AIDS prevention, treatment and care. This effort was geared towards stopping cries from families and individuals “…and the child died.” They were efforts shouting “Oh! No! Not Again.”