The immediate past Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Minna (FUTMinna), Prof. Musbau Akanji, has encouraged all managers in public and private institutions to be committed to their duties and execute their jobs as contained in the condition of service of their various organisations.

Prof. Akanji gave the advice last Wednesday (May 9, 2018) while delivering a lecture at the 2018 General Meeting/Lecture of the Nigeria Institute of Management (Chartered), University of Ilorin Branch.  

In the lecture, titled “Random Thoughts of a Former Vice-Chancellor on University Administration”, Prof. Akanji, who is also a former Vice-Chancellor of Al-Hikmah University, Ilorin, said that every manager must be ready to help his/her immediate boss to succeed, saying that the success of a head of a unit is the success of the staff that work under him.

He said, “We must help our big managers by working consensually and by being truthful to them and the big bosses must see their subordinates as important and as brothers and sisters because it is just by favour that someone is a boss and above the others. We must help from bottom to top because that is the only way the people at the top would see and know better what is happening in the establishment.

According to him, “Every university staff or any staff of any establishment or company is a manager because they are all working to complement the work of the others. Therefore, you are all managers in your capacities and you must be ready to help your immediate boss so that the boss would help somebody and the people on top would be helped.”

While comparing working in a private institution to a public establishment, Prof. Akanji opined that working in a government establishment is more difficult and more demanding. He also said a private university “is easier to run because everyone works like a semi-god”.

Apparently speaking from the unique experience of heading both a public and private universities at different periods in his career, the Professor of Biochemistry said, “The external forces in Nigerian universities are causing a very big challenge and hindering the progress of public institutions”.

Prof. Akanji, however, commended the members of the University of Ilorin Branch of the Nigeria Institute of Management (NIM) for organising the programme, urging them to be supporters of their bosses because some people would also serve them when it gets to their turns. 

In his remarks, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof. Sulyman Age Abdulkareem, who spoke through the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Management Services), Prof. B.F. Sule, described Prof. Akanji as a pride to the University of Ilorin because he pioneered Al-Hikmah from scratch and served meritoriously as the sixth Vice-Chancellor of FUTMinna.

The Vice-Chancellor, however, expressed the hope that the members of NIM would become better managers in their respective units after listening to the thought-provoking lecture from an erudite administrator. 

Among those that attended the event were the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Prof. N. Y. S. Ijaiya; the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (RTI), Prof. G. A. Olatunji, and the University Librarian, Dr. A.O. Issa.  

The Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) has given the Unilorin Water a pass mark, having met the very high standard required for water product and meeting all the requirements for the production of drinkable water.

The Kwara State Coordinator of SON, Mrs. Okon Esther Osung, made this known last Tuesday (May 8, 2018) during a courtesy call on the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Sulyman Age Abdulkareem, after a scheduled inspection tour of the Unilorin Water facilities.

Mrs. Osung commended the University of Ilorin for its compliance with  SON regulations.  

SON is responsible for the preparation of standards relating to products, measurements, materials and processes among others, and their promotion at the national, regional and international levels. 

The SON Coordinator informed the Vice-Chancellor that the body, which is also responsible for the certification of industrial products, has not had any issue with Unilorin Water since the commencement of production, adding that the University is truly a standard educational institution.

In his response, the Vice-Chancellor thanked SON for the “heart-warming remark”, noting that the University is striving to be the best and a leader in producing quality products.

Prof. Abdulkareem, who spoke through the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Management Services), Prof. B. F. Sule, maintained that the University wants to be the best in Africa and top among universities globally.

He said, “We intend to work more to compete globally. We can still do better. We want to be the best in Africa and become recognised globally”.

The SON team was led to the Vice-Chancellor's Office by the Director of Unilorin Consultancy Services, the unit saddled with the management of the Unilorin Water, Dr. (Mrs.) Omodele Eletta.

A socio cultural group, OmoIbileIgbomina, has organised a special inter-religious prayer for a successful tenure for the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof. Sulyman Age Abdulkareem.

At the special prayer held at the OmoIbileIgbomina Secretariat, Ganmo, Ifelodun Local Government Area of Kwara State, the Chief Imam of Olarewaju Mosque, Ilorin, AlhajiAbdulkadirSalaudeen and Reverend Stephen Ajise of First ECWA Church, Taiwo Road, Ilorin, noted that the prayers of the Igbomina people had been answered by the elevation of Prof. Abdulkareem to the vice-chancellorship position.

Pointing out that the Igbomina people are of the fervent belief that it is the elevated ones that would boost the glory of their land, the clerics then prayed for God's guidance and protection for the Vice-Chancellor as he discharges his onerous duty of taking the University of Ilorin to the next level.

In his speech, the National President of OmoIbileIgbomina, Engr. Timothy Adebayo, said that the task of taking Igbomina land to greater heights rested mainly on the shoulders of leaders from the area.

According to him, “It is in realisation of this that we have organised this prayer to thank God for His mercy and favour on our son and to also put him in the hand of the Almighty God for direction, wisdom and protection”, he said.

The National President of the Association, who called on the political office holders from Igbomina land to be good ambassadors of the people, prayed that God would see them through in their various assignments.

“It is our belief that there can be no growth, progress or development without unity”, Engr. Adebayo said, adding that “this quest for unity will cover every facet as we are poised to take the unity message to every towns and villages of Igbomina land, including groups, organisations and branches of the association”.

In his own remarks, the Olupo of AjaseIpo, Oba SikiruAtandaWoleola, charged the Vice-Chancellor not to relent in his efforts to build on the solid foundation laid by his predecessors.  

On his part, the Olusin of IsanluIsin, Oba Gbenga Solomon Oloyede, sang gleefully to thank God, praying Him to grant all political office holders from Igbomina land success.

In his remarks, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. SulymanAbdulkareem, pledged to run a transparent administration that will be a pride to Nigerians, Kwarans and Igbomina people.

The programme was attended by traditional rulers, elders, and political stalwarts. 

Also in attendance were several staff members of the University of Ilorin, including the acting Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH), Prof. OlayinkaBuhari; Prof. D. S. Ogunniyi, Prof. Gbadeyan, Prof. Owolabi, Dr. TayoArinde, Dr. MukailaAremu, Mr. KunleAkogun, Mrs. FunmiIshola and Mr. Adekeye, among others.

Stakeholders in the Communication and Information industries have charged the Federal Government to integrate technology into every aspect of education to maximize the benefits of ICT-enabled learning system.

This charge was contained in a communiqué issued at the end of the just concluded 1st International Conference on ICT for National Development and its Sustainability organised by the Faculty of Communication and Information Sciences, University of Ilorin, to mark its 10th Anniversary.

Themed “ICT for National Development and its Sustainability (ICT4NDS 2018)”, the two-day Conference, which attracted more than 80 academic papers, also encouraged the Federal Government to key into ICT-driven entrepreneurship to reduce the army of unemployed youths in the country.

According to the communiqué, signed by Dr. R. G. Jimoh, “consideration of the physically-challenged citizens through ICT infrastructures; securing Nigeria voting system through integration of biometric data; encouragement of private public partnership to develop ICT infrastructures and boost youth employment; encouragement of multinational companies and foreign investors to build IT companies capable of producing exportable IT products must be considered”.

The stakeholders also observed that due to the use of Information and Communication Technologies and its serious environmental problems, Nigeria should come up with policies that will ameliorate the problems, such as lack of full integration of ICT in the implementation of Nigerian national development policies.

Acknowledging that “ICT has important roles in transforming a nation into a knowledge-based economy”, the Conference lamented that “Nigeria has failed to come up with a globally recognized ICT company or product originating from Nigerian indigenous technology because the national economy has not been technologically driven”. It, therefore, said that “for Nigeria to develop, it must develop its infrastructure and info-structure.”.

The stakeholders also suggested that the Federal Government should guide and regulate youths' use of ICT through counselling and media literacy programmes, 

The Conference also called on the government to “provide reliable and affordable infrastructure as well as fiscal incentives, enabling law and scheme of service for IT professionals that will empower them to produce indigenous software”, saying that “there is a need to develop the IT sector through the creation of a special of a special fund to assist start-up businesses as well as to grow existing developers”.

Highlights of the conference included illuminating lectures and awards to distinguished personalities who have made impacts in the ICT industry.

The Area Manager of the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) in Ilorin, Mr. Ogbonna Simon, has described students of the University of Ilorin as “indeed better by far”, both in learning and in character, just as he commended the existing excellent working relationship between the agency and the University. 

Mr. Ogbonna made this remark last Thursday (May 10, 2018) at the Orientation Programme organised for students of the University who are preparing for the Students' Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES). The orientation is designed to expose and prepare them for industrial work situation they are to meet after graduation.

Speaking at the event, which took place at the University Auditorium, Mr. Ogbonna told the students, “You are indeed better by far University of Ilorin students. We are in a position to let you know this because we have had the opportunity to traverse the length and breadth of this country and we can authoritatively tell you that you are by far better than so many other institutions in all ramifications, in character and in learning”, adding, “If I have the opportunity to grow younger, I will want to pass through this institution”. 

While commending the University management for organising the orientation programme, the ITF Area Manager, who reiterated the objectives of the scheme, said, “This scheme gives you the opportunity to marry the theory you have been learning in the classroom with the practicals…this scheme prepares you in terms of the skills, knowledge, and attitude that you will need to succeed in the industry.”

According to Mr. Ogbonna, “There is a difference between knowing how to do a thing and even knowing why you are doing it. In the institution, you will know why you are doing a thing; the industry helps you to know how to do it.”

The Area Manager, who also appreciated the efforts of the SIWES Unit of the University, further noted that the Unit “has been able to bring the employers of labour to participate in this scheme. This is what is obtainable in other climes in advanced countries; so you have done well because most institutions in this country have not gotten to this level where they are doing SIWES Orientation. So, you can see that you are really better by far.”

Mr. Ogbonna, however, lamented that some of the objectives of the scheme are often not met because most students may not know what they are expected to do due to lack of proper orientation. 

Enjoining the students to “think outside the box and prepare very well for life after graduation”, the  Area Manager said, “Nigeria is looking for job creators not job seekers”.

While urging them to be good ambassadors of the University and to “take the SIWES programme seriously by using it to acquire the right skills, abilities and competencies for the good of humanity and profiting through it”, Mr. Ogbonna said, “I see you as a crop of creative and innovative people that will take Nigeria to the Promised Land – flowing with milk and honey”, to which the students chorused “Amen”.

Declaring the Orientation programme open, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof. Sulyman Age Abdulkareem, charged the students to continue to improve the profile of the University. 

Prof. Abdulkareem, who was represented at the event by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Management Services), Prof. B.F. Sule, said, “Year in year out, the report has always been excellent. Your predecessors had lifted the profile of the University and I am encouraging you to even do more”.

The Vice-Chancellor further explained that “since we started the scheme, we have been building our capacities to deliver. Not only do we have physical structure and facilities, we are improving on them regularly. We have highly motivated staff, well trained and encouraged to deliver on this national mandate. All these explain the successes this University had recorded in time past in the SIWES scheme”'

He said, “Whatever our goal as a nation for economic emancipation, whatever our approach for achieving prosperity for our teeming population, our youths have roles to play”, adding that “this is why all hands must be on deck to productively engage them. Certainly SIWES is one sure path to achieving that”.

Earlier in his welcome remarks, the Ag. Director of SIWES, Unilorin, Dr Wasiu Raji, disclosed that the “Unit is working hard, evolving new strategies to get IT placement for our students in top and relevant industries.”

Dr. Raji said that the stability of the University's academic calendar had earned the institution a lot of respect, adding that “we will build on that respect to secure IT placement for our students. Our office will work more closely with the Alumni Association to reach the Alumni who are now captains of industries, entrepreneurs, senior managers and managing directors of private companies and government establishments to make them give priority to our students for IT placement.”

The College of Health Sciences, University of Ilorin, has so far churned out a total of 4,461 medical doctors since its establishment in 1977. 

This was disclosed by the Provost, Prof. W. B. R. Johnson, in his address at the induction of 20 members of the Batch 'B' 2018 medical graduands of the College last Wednesday (April 2, 2018) at the University Auditorium.

Prof. Johnson said that 3,446 of the Unilorin medics are male while 1,015 are female have been inducted since the inaugural event in 1983. He stated further that under his Provotship since August 2014, the College had produced a total of 541 graduands, comprising 369 male and 172 female.

The Provost urged the new medical inductees to “always render accolade-worthy qualitative services and care for the quality of the College medical training programmes”.

The Provost noted that the superlative performance of the Batch B, 2016/2017 set was the first by any final year class of undergraduate medical trainees in his 31 years as a medical educator in the University of Ilorin.

Commenting on the recent trend of increasing proportion of female medical graduands, the Professor of Paediatrics and Child Health said, “Indeed, this time honoured profession which was considered to be the exclusive preserve of men, is gradually being "relinquished" to our more studious, hardworking and indeed, more caring female counterparts”. 

Prof. Johnson added that the Unilorin College of Health Sciences has the first female neurosurgeon in West Africa while an alumnus of the College was recently appointed Doping Control Officer by world soccer governing body, FIFA.

The Provost expressed his appreciation to the current and immediate past University administration for their gestures to the College of Health Sciences. He disclosed that the University administration had supported the College on full accreditation and re-accreditation of nearly all the existing College-related professional and B.Scprogrammes, and sustaining the functionality of the College's Clinical Skills and Simulation Laboratory (CSSL), among other supports.

Earlier in his welcome remarks, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof. Sulyman Age Abdulkareem, who was represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Management Services), Prof. B. F. Sule, congratulated the graduands and their parents and guardians.

Pledging the continuing support of the University administration toward developing the College, the Vice-Chancellor disclosed the plan to provide asphalt surfacing on the link road between the main campus to the College, among other developmental drives towards ensuring better education and good learning environment for the students.

In his remarks, the Chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Kwara State Branch, Dr. A. Olawepo, who is also an alumnus of the College, tasked the new inductees to be focused and aim for excellence.

The Registrar, Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, Dr. J. O. Oyeniyi, in his remarks before the oath session, tasked the new inductees on their responsibility to provide medical services, responsibility to patients and consultation of experts among others.

Dr. Oyeniyi, who urged the graduands to respect elders in the field, also cautioned them against advertising themselves.

In his remark, the National Coordinator, Unilorin Medical Graduands Association, Prof. A. Fawole, represented by the National Secretary, Dr. A. A. Popoola, congratulated the graduands, parents and other family members. He disclosed that Ilorin Medical School has come a long way having produced thousands of medical doctors who are well situated all over the world.

As the new Registrar of the University of Ilorin, Dr. (Mrs).Folaranmi Modupe Olowoleni, assumed duty last Monday (April 30, 2018), a veteran public servant, Chief Yunusa Folorunso Oyeyemi, has enjoined her to ensure that rules and regulations formulated for the good conduct of the University business are strictly adhered to in order to have a remarkable and successful tenure of office.

Delivering a Personality Lecture, entitled “To Whom Much is Given”, in the University Auditorium to usher in the new Registrar, Chief Oyeyemi also advised her to be wary of sycophants and avoid “the temptation to set up a spy team of bootlickers who eavesdrop on conversations and report people to you out of their desire to curry favour. ”

The Guest Lecturer, who is also the Aboaba of Offa and former member of the Kwara State Executive Council, pointed out that all actions required from the new registrar should be taken seriously with the growth, progress, development and welfare of the University in mind.

Chief Oyeyemi told the Registrar, “At all times, beware of taking precipitate decisions or actions. You are not forbidden from sleeping over issues before taking action. Avoid being stampeded into taking decisions or actions that you cannot defend. All of your actions should be taken with the growth, progress, development and welfare of the University and the community in mind”. 

He urged Dr. (Mrs.) Olowoleni to develop her own personal mission statement, which would serve as a barometer by which she would measure and score her performance, noting that it would be a mirror with which the University community and the society at large would assess her at the end of her tenure.

On staffing, Chief Oyeyemi advised the Registrar not to under-staff or overstaff, adding that human resources must be well managed for the University to be successful.

According to him, “Optimal use of available human resources is vital in a cash-strapped economy when money is in short supply to acquire needed resources. If there is overstaffing, you encourage indolence, idleness and underperformance which will ultimately lead to failure. Too many cooks, they say, spoil the broth. Understaffing, on the other hand, can lead to overwork for dutiful staff, resulting in low productivity, frustration, and even sabotage”.

The Guest Lecturer tasked Dr. Olowoleni to fight indiscipline, the sale of official secrets and copying of classified or confidential documents, passing information orally, giving documents to those who should never have access to them, hiding or destroying vital documents.

In his opening remarks, the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Sulyman Age Abdulkareem, described the occasion as a landmark in the history of the University of Ilorin, saying that it symbolises a re-invigoration of the excellence and dedication that have been driving the administration of the University.

The Personality Lecture, according to Prof. Abdulkareem, “symbolises a clear confirmation of the natural law that committed services, devoid of underhand pursuit of personal gains, will not go unrewarded. It embodies the lessons that No man, who continues to add something to the material, intellectual and moral well-being of the place in which he lives, is left long without proper reward”.

The Vice-Chancellor informed Dr. Olowoleni that she is very critical to the achievement of his cardinal objective of sanitising the system in order to move the University to a greater and enviable height. He then assured the Registrar of the best support from himself and the entire management team of the institution.

Dr. B. S. Adisa, the Deputy Registrar, Council Office, while delivering the welcome address on the occasion, noted that the Personality Lecture is another epoch in the life of the University.

He said that Dr. (Mrs.) Olowoleni has consistently made the mark in professionalism and character, praying for her success as the 6th Registrar of the University and the second female to hold that position.

In her own remarks, the Registrar, Dr. (Mrs.) Olowoleni, thanked the staff and management of the University for the reception accorded to her, noting that the Personality Lecture was the first of its kind in the history of the University.

She said that her appointment, which, she said, was made possible by God, is a call to service and professional delivery.

Dr. (Mrs.) Olowoleni called on members of staff to rededicate themselves towards effective service delivery and professionalism, both in operational strategies and direction to take the University to a greater height. 

According to her, “The modern sophistication in the management of the university and the rapid expansion of its programmes, coupled with the challenges of globalization and its attendant competitiveness, have placed a heavy burden on the University Professional Administrators who must rise up and key into the change agenda”.

She assured that the Registry would key into the vision of the Vice-Chancellor to increase the tempo of research with the final stop being in the industry by relieving the academia from unnecessary administrative chores, thus freeing them to concentrate more on research.

Pledging to ensure firmness and fairness, Dr. (Mrs.) Olowoleni said that nobody would be unduly deprived of his or her due entitlement. She said, “I do not pretend to have a monopoly of knowledge and will, therefore, welcome constructive criticisms and ideas. I, therefore, welcome you all on board to join Team Unilorin, while soliciting your full cooperation towards moving the University to greater heights”.