Members of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) have called for the cancellation of the contributory pension scheme, saying it only serves the interest of big corporations and capitalists while ignoring the pangs of hunger that attend the retirement of  workers.

The call was made last Thursday (June 21, 2018), at the University of Ilorin SSANU Day celebration and Foundation-laying Ceremony of the Branch Secretariat.     

Lamenting the way the government and pension fund administrators were running the scheme, the Chairman of UNILORIN SSANU Chapter, Comrade Mohammed Jimoh Akanbi, condemned the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo for introducing the pension scheme.  

Comrade Akanbi, who posed mind boggling questions to show that Nigeria needs fresh answers to the challenges of life after retirement from civil service said, “The worst had to happen to Federal civil servants during the regime of President Olusegun Obasanjo”. 

The union leader used the occasion to appreciate the management of the University of Ilorin over the prompt reinstatement of the sacked Primary School Teachers while calling for the immediate payment of their salary arrears.

Comrade Akanbi also urged members of the Association to subscribe to the SSANU Social Security Scheme, adding that "the aim of this administration is to expand the scope of the scheme to cover SSANU retirement benefit and to assist members who are critically ill and require financial support".

The SSANU Chairman also encouraged members to take advantage of the SSANU Loans and Savings Scheme, which he said “will allow members to draw part of their savings up to 50% of the total savings invested in the scheme". 

While presenting his lecture entitled “Comparative Analysis of Retirement Benefit Under the Old Pension Scheme and New Pension Scheme: Features and Issues”, the Pension Desk Officer of the University, Comrade M.A. Opaleke, submitted that the contributory pension scheme has been to the disadvantage of workers because workers have no input in the investment that pension administrators have been making on their behalf while the workers are charged regulatory and fund management fees.

In the second lecture, entitled “The Workability of Contributory Pension Scheme in federal universities in Nigeria”, the Chairman of SSANU at the University of Ibadan, Comrade Suleiman Adewale Akinremi, noted that in his experience with University retirees at the University of Ibadan, many of them returned to the campus at age 65 to run commercial motorcycle services even after retiring as senior staff. 

In his goodwill message at the event, the National Treasurer of SSANU, Comrade Monsur Alfanla, noted that the Unilorin Branch of SSANU cannot achieve much on its own in its quest to scrap the contributory pension scheme. He then advised the union to sensitise larger unions like the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and seek their support because the existing scheme is backed by an Act of Parliament. 

Earlier at the Foundation-laying Ceremony of the SSANU Secretariat, the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Sulyman Age Abdulkareem, described the secretariat as a welcome and commendable development, especially because the union will not borrow to erect the structure. He expressed  hope that the building will be completed before the expiration of the tenure of the present Executive Council led by Comrade Akanbi.

Prof. Abdulkareem also disclosed that members of the non-teaching unions in the University will soon collect their dues, which are currently being processed in Abuja.

In her own remarks, the Registrar of the University of Ilorin, Dr. (Mrs) Folaranmi Olowoleni, commended the Muhammed Akanbi-led team for not disappointing members of his Union, saying that the project is long overdue.

In his goodwill message, the Vice-President of the South West Zone of SSANU, Comrade Alfred Jimoh, noted that the University of Ilorin has  lived up to the status of being the most peaceful and better by far campus in Nigeria.

Also delivering his goodwill message, the Chairman of SSANU at Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso, Comrade A. Aleshinloye, described the Vice-Chancellor as a man of his words, noting that anything that will improve the life of staff members is worth doing. 

The event was attended by the Chairman of the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAATS), University of Ilorin branch, Comrade Femi Awolola, the Chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, Unilorin (ASUU), Comrade U.A. Raheem, and the Chairman of the Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU), University of Ilorin branch, Comrade S.H. Ibrahim.

Having been able to accommodate 24 percent of its student population on campus, the University of Ilorin is set to meet the National Universities Commission (NUC) benchmark for on-campus hostel accommodation, which is 25% while striving towards hitting the 100 percent mark.

The Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Sulyman Age Abdulkareem, made this declaration last Wednesday (June 20, 2018), during the commissioning of a 200-bed space male hostel built by the Unilorin Health Multi-purpose Cooperative Society.

Speaking through the Dean of Student Affairs, Prof. L. T. Ajibade, the Vice-Chancellor stressed that the University would not relent until all students are comfortably accommodated on campus, assuring his audience  that the NUC benchmark for hostel accommodation in universities would be surpassed very soon.

He described the building as an addition while tasking the cooperative society to make it a multiplication by constructing more hostels on the campus.

Prof. Abdulkareem commended the cooperative society and its management, noting that the success was made possible because of the understanding and cooperation they get from the members of the financial society. 

In his remarks, the Chairman of the University Hostel Development Committee, Prof. G. T. Arosanye, observed that the decision to ease the University of the burden of providing hostel accommodation must have cost members of the society a lot,   saying they have sacrificed greatly to ensure the dream became a reality.

The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof. Sulyman Age Abdulkareem, has commended the Kwara State government for initiating the two bills that amended the laws regulating the operation of Chainsaw Men and prohibition of charcoal production in the state.

 Prof. Abdulkareem, who gave the kudos last Tuesday (June 5, 2018), while declaring open the 2018 Northern Africa Regional Meeting (NARM 2018) organised by the International Forestry Students' Association at the University Auditorium, described the two bills as a step in a right direction.

   The Vice-Chancellor, who was represented on the occasion by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Management Services), Prof. Bolaji Fatai Sule, said that the two bills recently passed by the state House of Assembly are aimed at safeguarding the total destruction of forests in the state.

   Pledging the University management's support for the two bills, Prof. Abdulkareem expressed optimism that if properly implemented, the bills will encourage planting of trees to replace those felled by chainsaw men while illegal production, transportation and sale of charcoal will be curbed. 

        In his presentation, the Keynote Speaker, Prof. Shedrach Olufemi Akande of Biometrics and Forest Inventory, Federal University of Technology, Akure, enjoined students of Forestry to be proud of the course and be bold to tell the world at large what they study so as to spread the importance of forestry to the human race. 

        Prof. Akande disclosed that the main objective of NARM 2018 was to create collaboration and intellectual discourse among the participants on development management leading to sustainable management of African Forest for the present and future generations. 

         In his own presentation, the Head of the Department of Forest Resources and Management, University of Ilorin, Dr. Fola Babalola, charged the youths to be alive to their roles in the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

     Among the dignitaries that graced the NARM opening ceremony were the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Prof. N. Y. S. Ijaiya; and the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research, Technology and Innovation), Prof. Gabriel Olatunji

As the 2019 general election approaches, an appeal has gone to the electorate to consider the capacity for good governance in electing the next set of leaders rather than allowing materialism to influence their judgment in order to ensure that Nigeria attains her full potentials.

 The Chief Imam of the University of Ilorin, Prof. AbdulGaniyu Abdussalam Oladosu, gave this advice penultimate Saturday (June 2, 2018) while delivering the 12th Quarterly Ramadan Lecture organised by the University of Ilorin Muslim Community at the University Auditorium.

Prof. Oladosu, whose lecture was titled "Islam and Good Governance: The Case of Nigeria” regretted the inelegant position of things in the country since independence despite her numerous comparative advantages. 

To ensure a paradigm shift in the regrettable state of affairs in the country, often dismissed by critics as "big for nothing", Prof. Oladosu stressed the need for voters to be weary of politicians who care less about the progress of the country but are only interested in self-aggrandizement.

    The Professor of Islamic Education noted that for the country to claim its rightful place as a world-power, a responsibility imposed on it by its intimidating size, huge natural endowment and high quality manpower, Nigerians must denounce corruption, laziness, violence and every form of barbarism which are now prevalent across the country.              

     Prof. Oladosu also condemned what he described as the “mindless desperation for power and offices” as he challenged Muslim political leaders to desist from self-perpetuation in power, particularly when those they are leading have had enough of their presence. 

The Chief Imam insisted that Muslim leaders had no choice other than to govern well because there is no justification for inelegant dispositions in the religion they profess as Islam encourages every element of good governance in private and public affairs long before the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) index for good governance was enunciated in 1994. 

The Cleric explained that the concept of popular participation, consultation, transparency, responsiveness, equity, economic welfarism and so many other positive attributes that accounted for the growth of the advanced nations are well-established in Islam through several Quranic references which he copiously quoted but often neglected by successive leaders.

  Prof. Oladosu enjoined Muslims to “promote peace and unity in every situation in order to build a harmonious society devoid of rancour, friction, envy and violence”, noting that in Islam, peace-building takes precedence over the obligatory daily devotions, which he described as “the fundamental essence of Islam”.

    The erudite clergyman also encouraged Muslims to take the consultation of the Holy Quran seriously, stressing that “the book has a history of tested efficacy as a tool for abiding guidance”.  

 He enjoined Muslims to show disdain for self-adulation, stating that "the little you say about yourself is too much". He also advised religious preachers and other public speakers to always be wary, saying that was the only way the ills of the society could be curtailed.

Earlier in his remarks, the Chairman of the occasion and the immediate past Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Minna, Niger State, Prof. Musibau Akanji, advised every Muslim to be mindful of the provisions of the Holy Quran in their daily lives.           Prof. Akanji, who said that the topic of the lecture was apt and timely considering the closeness of the 2019 general election, opined that it was unfortunate that only nominal impact of Islam was being felt in the nation's politics and economy despite the fact that Muslims constitute the majority of the country's population.            

    In his own remarks, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof. Sulyman Age Abdulkareem, commended the brilliance, forthrightness and enormous contributions of the Guest Speaker to the development of our society over the years. 

Also contributing, a one-time Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof. Bayo Lawal, challenged Nigerians to support forthright leaders in order to build a great nation.     

  Earlier in his welcome address, the Chairman of the University of Ilorin Muslim Community, Prof. B. L. Adeleke, who was represented by the Dean, Faculty of Law, University of Ilorin, Prof. A. A. Oba, paid glowing tribute to the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin and his predecessors, particularly those who held the office from 1997 for the various roles they played in the cumulative building of the University of Ilorin Muslim community. He advocated  more support from members of the community to ensure the accomplishment of its objectives and projects, among which is the proposed Centre for Quranic Memorization.       

     The event attracted dignitaries from within and outside the University community.

The University of Ilorin has been nominated in the “Best Tertiary Institution website/Portal” Category for the 2018 ng Award.

This was disclosed last Thursday (June 7, 2018) by the Registrar of the University of Ilorin, Dr. (Mrs.) F. M. Olowoleni in a statement made available to Unilorin Bulletin.

Dr. Olowoleni said that the nomination is to select the tertiary institution/university with the best edu.ng website/portal based on how current the website is, the level of local content on the website, ease of use, relevance of the website for delivery of educational services and how dynamic the website is.

She further explained that University of Ilorin will be competing with other nominees in this category and the winner will be determined by the number of votes received.

The Registrar therefore called on clients, customers and stakeholders including students and staff to acknowledge the achievements of the University of Ilorin by voting for the institution through the voting mechanism available online at www.nira.org.ng/ngawards.

The statement added that the voting had been declared open from Thursday, May 10, 2018 and will close by midnight on Friday, June 22, 2018.

Nigerian engineers have been told to always approach their projects with an entrepreneurial mindset in order to be able to solve the problems facing the nation and provide jobs for a large number of jobless and frustrated youth.

The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof. Sulyman Age Abdulkareem, gave this advice last Monday (June 4, 2018) in his welcome address at the fourth edition of the National Engineering Project Exhibition (EPEX) held at the University Auditorium.

In the address, read on his behalf by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Management Services), Prof. B. F. Sule, Prof. Abdulkareem pointed out that Nigeria and other countries of the world are looking for solutions to their peculiar challenges and engineering projects are key ingredients of those solutions.

At the exhibition hosted by the Faculty of Engineering and Technology, University of Ilorin, the Vice-Chancellor explained that Engineering Project Exhibition is a platform to showcase and demonstrate the best of various innovative engineering projects, undertaken by the undergraduate students in Nigeria.

He added that the program is expected to stimulate the innovative and technical skills among students and to motivate them.

He said, “EPEX offers engineering students opportunities to develop independent critical thinking skills, collaborative working skills, oral and written communication and presentation skills as well as marketing skills, thereby building their confidence. The program is expected to reward the engineering students, and assure them that the society still values excellence.”

According to the Vice-Chancellor, the undergraduate project is considered to be an important part of the engineering education process and one of the major processes of independent research that a student would undertake.

Prof. Abdulkareem further said that “the Engineering Projects improve innovative spirit, make transformation of theory to applications possible, enrich knowledge on renewing technologies, prepare you for career path, remind you of your responsibilities to your society, boost curiosities and love for studies and improve team building and problem-solving skills and many more.”

He commended the leadership of the Faculty of Engineering and Technology, particularly the Dean, Prof D.S. Ogunniyi, for his tireless, continuous efforts at enhancing the growth, development and reasoning skills among the students.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Executive President of the Nigerian Universities Engineering Students' Association (NUESA), University of Ilorin Chapter, Comrade Yusuf Musbaudeen explained that one of the primary objectives of the EPEX, is to bridge the gap between the academia and the industry.

The exhibition, which had about 2000 engineering students in attendance, was graced by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Prof. (Mrs.) N. Y. S. Ijaiya, among other dignitaries and members of staff.

The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof. Sulyman Age Abdulkareem, has described the death of the former Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), Justice Muhammad Mustapha Adebayo Akanbi, as a big loss to his family and the nation.

Prof. Abdulkareem stated this last Tuesday (June 5, 2018), when he paid a condolence visit to the family of the late jurist who died on June 3, 2018 at the age of 85.

The Vice-Chancellor commended the pioneer Chairman of ICPC and former President of the Court of Appeal for speaking to the conscience of the nation at various times, noting that he was one of the very few Nigerians that could be trusted with public fund.   

He further explained that members of the management team had visited the family at individual level but noted that the University management deemed it fit to visit the family in an official capacity because of the contribution of the Justice to the University and the nation.

The Registrar of the University, Dr. Mrs. F. M. Olowoleni, presented a letter of condolence to the family on behalf of the management.

In the condolence letter, the Registrar described the late Justice Akanbi as a friend and strong supporter of the University, who was always ready and willing to contribute towards the growth and development of the institution.

She said that the University is happy to have been associated with such a remarkable personality who was a renowned lawyer, a retired Judge and President of the Court of Appeal as well as the pioneer Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission.

While reliving the memories of the departed sage, the Registrar noted that “during his lifetime, he displayed dignity, courage and honour and brought these qualities to bear on his assignments both at the Bar and Bench. Late Justice Akanbi was a living library of progressive and spiritual ideas for the younger generation. In this respect, he mentored a new generation to take over from him. His life showed that age is no barrier to value addition and hard work. He was modest and exhibited this quality when he bowed out of the ICPC in 2005, even when he had the right of tenure extension.”

 The University remarked that late Justice Akanbi “left enduring legacies behind which include his Foundation, Library and Resource Centre and highly responsible and thoroughbred children”.