The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof. Sulyman Age Abdulkareem, has commended the commitment of the members of the Unilorin Bulletin Editorial Board to the ideals of the University, pledging his support to them towards a more effective discharge of their duties.

Prof. Abdulkareem made the commendation last Monday (November 6, 2017) when he received the Editorial Board members, who visited him in his office.

The Vice-Chancellor, who said that he knew the Board members to be industrious and committed to the service of the University, encouraged the team to do things that will reassure the members of the University community that the Ivory Tower belongs to them all.

Prof. Abdulkareem also appealed to the team to refocus the editorial slant of the weekly publication such that it would now highlight members of the University community that are projecting the image of the University positively through their attitude to work, research breakthroughs and other positive attributes. He said, “The Unilorin Bulletin should showcase more of such committed staff to encourage more people to contribute positively to the growth of the University”.

The Vice-Chancellor appreciated and commended the Unilorin Bulletin Board for the report on Prof. Olugbenga Mokuolu, who recently won a research grant as published in last Monday edition of the newsletter. He observed that “anybody who brings huge amount of money into the university system deserves to be recognized”.

Earlier, the leader of the team and Chairman of the Editorial Board, Dr. Lukman Azeez, said that the essence of the Board members' visit was to assure the Vice-Chancellor of their commitment to uplift the University through the weekly publication.

Dr. Azeez said, “The Editorial Board is a special body that was constituted by the Office of the Vice-Chancellor to set policy directions for the Unilorin Bulletin.

            He disclosed that the Board meets regularly to review the publication, adding that this is why the Bulletin has been growing in leaps and bounds.

The Editorial Board Chairman also urged the Vice-Chancellor to always relate with the Board whenever he has an idea that could lead to the improvement of the Bulletin and in the overall interest of the University.

Dr. Azeez, however, announced that the Unilorin Bulletin had started implementing the Vice-Chancellor's directive to the Bulletin to go back to grassroots journalism in his address during the maiden Congregation meeting he presided over.

Other members of the Editorial Board on the visit included an Associate Professor of English Education, Dr. (Oba) Bily Olajide; the Director, Centre for Peace and Strategic Studies (CPSS), Dr. Mahfouz Adedimeji; Dr. Foluke Aliu-Ibrahim of the Department of English, Dr (Mrs.) Biola Adimula of the Centre for Peace and Strategic Studies (CPSS), and the Head of the Corporate Affairs Unit, Mr. Kunle Akogun, who is also the Secretary to the Board.

The Unilorin Microfinance Bank has launched its Automatic Teller Machine that are meant to provide better and more convenient services to its clients.

The inauguration of the ATM service was performed last Monday (November 6, 2017) by the University Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Sulyman Age Abdulkareem.

In his address on the occasion, the Managing Director of Unilorin Micro Finance Bank, Alhaji Issa Nuhu Funsho, said that the primary objective of the ATM machine was to improve the bank's services to its esteemed customers and to make more income for the bank.

Alhaji Issa said that with the development, customers with ATM card would not have to queue inside the bank hall before they transfer or withdraw money from their various accounts.

He explained that anyone with a bank card can perform any form of transactions, ranging from quick cash withdrawal, account balance inquiry, getting details of recent transactions, transfer of funds between accounts within the same bank and payment of utility bills.

The Managing Director, however, disclosed the plan to move the banking system from its present category, which is Unit Micro-Finance Bank, to State Micro-Finance Bank category with the aim of attracting more customers.

In his own remarks, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof. Abdulkareem, encouraged the management of Unilorin Micro Finance Bank to continue to be customer-friendly in order to attract more patronage.

Prof. Abdulkareem observed that the number of services the bank offered to people actually determines the rate of customers it gets, adding that if the bank satisfies its clients, it can be assured of more patronage.

He expressed his happiness over the introduction of the ATM service by the bank, saying that the development would ensure that the welfare of the bank's customers is adequately taken care of as well as making banking easier for its teeming customers.

In his address at the just concluded 33rd Convocation Ceremonies of the University of Ilorin, the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council, Dr. Abdullah Jibril Oyekan, enunciated what looks like a new policy direction for the University with the introduction of a new mantra into the social lexicon of the Better by Far University. Team Unilorin, the new catch-phrase, is a wake-up call on staff and students of the University to rededicate themselves to the pursuit of excellence in whatever we do.

Dr. Oyekan said the Team Unilorin Project, “to which every stakeholder of the University, from the Chairman of Council to the cleaner, Professor to fresher, belongs, … implies total dedication to the pursuit of excellence in whatever one is engaged in, putting in all that is demanded and bidding farewell to mediocrity for good”.

The Council Chairman explained further that a Team Unilorin member, “whether directly involved as students or lecturers or in a supporting role as non-academic staff”, should be strongly committed “to raising the banner of Unilorin aloft anywhere and everywhere in the world and practicalising the Unilorin slogan Better by Far”. He said, “Serious pursuit of excellence involves hard work, being focused and determined to make the sacrifice necessary to achieve the set goal. It requires doggedness and it means that we shall not feel fulfilled until our Professors begin to metamorphose into Nobel Laureates”.

According to Dr. Oyekan, “belonging to Team Unilorin also means aspiring for decency and the most commendable human traits”.

Although this is not an entirely novel brand for the University of Ilorin, which has been nationally renowned for excellence in all spheres of its tripartite mandate of teaching, research and community service, the Chairman's clarion call is a very timely invigorating tonic in a community that is fast yielding ground to complacency.

Of course, Dr. Oyekan found a ready ally in the new Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Sulyman Age Abdulkareem. In his first major encounters with two critical segments of the University community, the Congregation and the Senate, Prof. Abdulkareem not only aligned with the Chairman's vision to rebrand the University for greater efficiency, he also expanded on it by explaining the nitty-gritty of the import of the Team Unilorin Project.

Addressing the Congregation on October 25, 2017, the Vice-Chancellor charged Unilorites to “continue our sturdy sail of progress on a more reinvigorated and redirected course”. For, according to him, “this is the moment we all need to reaffirm our enduring spirit that has been driving us with greater vigour and greater sense of duty. This is the moment when we need to be much more seriously and sincerely faithful to the ideals of our mission and vision. The moment demands that we should act boldly and swiftly in order to refreshen our journey to greatness and to strengthen our foundation for a far better Unilorin.”

Also last Monday (November 6, 2017) at the first Senate meeting he was presiding over since assumption of office, Prof. Abdulkareem told the University's highest decision-making body that “our common interest is to sustain the tempo of the progress of the University to the zenith of recognition and excellence.  Let us therefore re-commit and re-energise ourselves, with stronger sense of sacrifice, to the common goal”.

In essence, what the Team Unilorin project demands of all Unilorites is a renewed commitment to the faithful execution of our assigned duties and a more vigorous dedication to the cause of the Better by Far citadel, imperative traits that could take this great institution to even greater and loftier heights.

And in an apparent rephrasing of the well-worn aphorism “to whom much is given, much is required” to now read “to whom much is demanded, much will be given”, the Vice-Chancellor has pledged not to deny any hardworking and committed staff his/her fair share of necessary motivations and entitlements. He told the University staff during the meeting of the Congregation, “If we must seize this moment together, we must enjoy it together; we will not only ask of you what you can do for the greater good of this University, we will also persistently ask ourselves what the University can do for your own good as well. As we ask of a higher standard of dedication of your life to the greater purpose of moving the University higher in all ramifications, we should compensate you with the same standard of deserving rewards to motivate you and develop you through training and retraining for the larger goal.” In other words, no sacrifice would be in vain!

Hey, I belong to Team Unilorin! Do you?

A Professor of Paediatrics and Child Health at the University of Ilorin College of Health Sciences, Olugbenga Mokuolu, has emerged one of the winners of this year's Nigeria LNG Limited (NLNG) Prize for Science.

With his research work, “Multifaceted Efforts at Malaria Control in Research: Management of Malaria of Various Grades and Mapping Artemisinin Resistance”, Prof. Mokuolu shares the prestigious prize with Ikeoluwapo Ajayi, Ayodele Jegede & Bidemi Yusuf whose research entry is entitled “Improving Home and Community Management of Malaria: Providing the Evidence Base”; and Chukwuma Agubata with research entry “Novel Lipid microparticles for Effective Delivery of Artemether Antimalarial Drug using a locally-sourced Irvingia fat from nuts of Irvingia gabonensis var excelsa (ogbono)”.

 The three research entries were picked from 27 entries for this year's edition of the prize. The award comes with a cash prize of $100,000.

The Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Nigeria Prize for Science and Nigeria LNG Limited (NLNG), Prof. Akpoveta Susu, announced the three research works as joint winners for this year's edition of the prize in Lagos last Thursday (November 2, 2017) after two years intensive search for innovations in the fight to end Malaria.

Reacting to the verdict, the General Manager, External Relations of NLNG, Dr. Kudo Eresia-Eke, congratulated the winners “for a job well done and for achieving this feat in the midst of an impressive array of entries. This is indeed a call to do more so that the identified potentials could be realized,”

A renowned Paediatrician, and consummate researcher in the field of malaria prevention, Prof. Mokuolu, who is the Director, Unilorin Consultancy Services, was the University of Ilorin's Researcher of the Year 2011.

Representatives of Unilorin Press Management Board paid a thank-you visit to the Vice-Chancellor, Prof S.A. Abdulkareem last Friday (November 10, 2017).

The three-man delegation, led by the Chairman of the Board, Prof A. O. Mahmoud, lauded the Vice-Chancellor for positive developments in the fortunes of Unilorin Press since his assumption of office.

The Board seized the opportunity to thank the management for awarding the production of last Convocation’s Order of Proceedings to the Press and gave the assurance that subsequent productions would be error-free as all hands are on deck in early preparation for the next edition. The Board also appealed to the management to kindly put up more effort towards liquidating the debts owed the Press by various organs of the University.

The Board also appealed to the Vice-Chancellor to favorably consider the ground-breaking ceremony of the construction of a modern press facility at the Permanent Site within the first quarter of the coming year. “With things looking up at the Press, the benefit of higher returns is assured,”, the Chairman submitted.

Other members of the team were Prof (Mrs.) S. O. Malomo and Mr. LiadTella.

In line with the directive of the Vice-Chancellor, who is also our de facto Publisher/Editor-in-Chief, Prof. Sulyman Age Abdulkareem, the Unilorin Bulletin is refocusing its editorial slant to give more attention to the celebration of the unique contributions of all deserving staff members that exhibit exemplary dedication to the University's cause of greatness. To this end, we have introduced a new column, tentatively styled “SPECIAL FEATURES”, to fish out exemplary staff members wherever they may be for special focus. It is our hope that this will not only bring out the best in Unilorites, it will also encourage others to bring out the best in themselves towards ultimately bringing out the best in our University.

A Professor of Fishery at the Department of Zoology, University of Ilorin, James Sunday Omotosho, has called on the Federal Government to ban sport fishing and reorganize fishing festivals such as those of Argungu in Kebbi State, Nwonyo in Taraba State, and Pategi Regatta in Kwara State, to eliminate the stress and pains they cause fishes in the process.

Prof. Omotosho, who made this call last Thursday (November 2, 2017), while delivering the 174th inaugural lecture of the University, also canvassed the regulation and restriction of human activities involving metals in riverine and coastal areas of the country in order to preserve and protect aquatic life.

In the Inaugural Lecture, entitled “Fish: Their Prize and Pain”, the don noted that the people of Kwara State especially could face health hazards through metal poisoning of the Asa River along with the aquatic life therein, and therefore counselled that mechanical workshops located along the river banks should be strictly controlled to save the environment from increase in the levels of the trace metals.

Pointing out that aquatic life in freshwater and the oceans is not abundant to the extent that it is inexhaustible, Prof. Omotosho stressed the need to do everything necessary to save fishes from the pain they suffer as a result of human pleasure.

According to the Inaugural Lecturer, “This resource, though unlimited, is now realised to be finite and in delicate balance with the biological, chemical and physical factors of the aquatic environment. Over fishing, pollution and alteration of the environment are the chief enemies of fish and fisheries management, both in fresh water and in the ocean.”

Prof. Omotosho stressed the need for the government to extend its duty of protecting aquatic life beyond the national level to international fronts. He, therefore, called for the introduction of the endangered species laws as obtainable in some developed countries to prohibit dumping of wastes, chemicals, particles, pesticides and industrial discharges into oceans and seas and also ban obnoxious fishing methods and operations through monitoring and surveillance in order to protect fish and fisheries.

Noting that Nigeria has a coastline of about 850 kilometers and a continental shelf area of about 25,000 – 40,000 square kilometers, the don said that the country is blessed with a rich fishing ground and the Federal Government has a duty to protect the country's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) to check illegal exploitation of the marine fishery resources by foreign vessels some of which dump sewage in Nigeria's waters.

Prof. Omotosho also called for the establishment of a research organisation in Nigeria, which will develop institutional guidelines from the best scientific evidence available on the biological nature of fishes, saying that this will address the welfare challenges of fishes.

Stressing the need to have reliable fish production records and fish catch statistics in the country, the Inaugural Lecturer disclosed that fishes have been in existence for more than 450 million years and land vertebrates including man are highly modified fishes.

He suggested that researches that involve fishes and other live animals must be based on experimental designs that will consider the welfare of the animals as a priority through avoiding stress and pain in the animals being used for research.