The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olusola Oyewole, has attributed the reason why the fear of retirement grips people, to the inability to properly plan on what to do after retirement, stressing that "The day you come in, begin to plan for the day you will go out”. The Vice-Chancellor was speaking at the monthly meeting of the Forum of Heads of Federal Establishments (FHFE), Ogun State Chapter, hosted by the University at the Federal Secretariat Complex, Oke-mosan, Abeokuta. The Forum is made up of over 40 Federal Establishments in Ogun State.
The Vice-Chancellor, while responding to a question from a member of the Forum on how the University could assist public servants to adequately plan for retirement, recalled the ample preparation that was made a while ago, for a pre-retirement training programme to be held in the University, saying that resource persons had already signified their interest to be part of it. Represented by the Director, Institute of Human Resources Development (INHURD), Professor Francis Showemimo, the Vice-Chancellor noted with disappointment, that due to the retirement phobia, nobody attended the training programme. However, with the request and appeal made at the meeting, the Vice-Chancellor promised that the programme would be re-packaged, adding that if one does not plan, the person had already planned to fail.
“There is nothing that kills a retired person quicker than lack of anything to do. The money you think you are accumulating would still disappear very soon. Sooner than you think. So it’s better you know what to do before you leave the service, so that you start doing it before you leave the service. So that you are used to it, you already have your customers, you know the market mix, you know what to do at any particular time, you are already a specialist in it before you get out”, he stated.
Shedding light on the non-availability of FUNAAB products readily at major markets within Abeokuta, Professor Oyewole, said most researchers are breeders and their job only stopped at making the products available, stressing that it was someone else's responsibility to popularise such products. He was, however, optimistic that the University's products could compete keenly with other products in the market, saying that University products would be more readily available outside soon.
On admission, he said the University's admission was not man-driven but computer-driven. According to him, there is a standard and a cut-off mark. He stressed that there is also a list and a line is ruled across board, saying that the same yardstick is used to access everybody.Oyewole added that the University was making use of the computer to admit, as obtainable in foreign Universities, because it is relatively, devoid of human errors. On the dwindling funds from the Federal Government and how the University had been overcoming the challenge, the Vice-Chancellor stated that the staff were self-motivated, saying that "we have been looking for a way out to survive it".speaking about the oppurtunity which pre-degree students of the Institute of Human Resources Resources Development (INHURD) had, he stated that the entire University had a capacity of only 3, 500 students. According to him, "the students that came through INHURD would first occupy 60 percent out of the 100". He, however, added that the remaining 40 percent would compete with those coming from outside.
The Vice-Chancellor had earlier chronicled the metamorphosis of the University, through a power point presentation, from the Federal University of Technology, Abeokuta (FUTAB) in 1983 to FUNAAB in 1988.noted that the University had 10 Colleges, adding that the University operates on a tripodal mandate of Teaching, Research and Extension Services. He reeled out some of the notable research breakthroughs of the University to be the release of two varieties of Ofada Rice, namely FUNAABOR-1 and FUNAABOR-2, otherwise known as Ofada White or Ofada Gold. He also listed other commercialised products to include the FUNAAB Bread, Palmwine, Palm oil, Cashew nut, Honey, Garri, Fufu among others.
Commending the University for hosting the meeting, the Chairman of the Forum, Mr. Michael Famokunwa of the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation, commented that the Vice-Chancellor had really brought the University to them with his presentation. He stressed that the season of change had indeed come with the innovation FUNAAB introduced into hosting of the meeting. Also present at the meeting from the University, were the Head, Directorate of Public Relations, Mrs Emi' Alawode and the Principal Assistant Registrar, Council Affairs, Mr Samson Adeniran.
News Published in May 2015
The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olusola Oyewole, has attributed the reason why the fear of retirement grips people, to the inability to properly plan on what to do after retirement, stressing that "The day you come in, begin to plan for the day you will go out”. The Vice-Chancellor was speaking at the monthly meeting of the Forum of Heads of Federal Establishments (FHFE), Ogun State Chapter, hosted by the University at the Federal Secretariat Complex, Oke-mosan, Abeokuta. The Forum is made up of over 40 Federal Establishments in Ogun State.
The importance of secretaries in any formal organisation has been stressed. Making this assertion was Professor Kolawole Salako, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Development), while delivering a lecture titled “Aiming for Excellence as Professional Secretaries in the University Environment”, during the 6th In-house Annual Workshop, organised by the University Secretarial Staff Association (USSA), in collaboration with the National Association of Professional Secretarial Staff of Nigeria (NAPSSON) of FUNAAB.
According to Professor Salako, who was the Guest Lecturer at the workshop, secretaries are not inferior in the scheme of things in any organisation, noting that a secretary was basically an office administrator with a broad scope of work and who occasionally acted in executive positions.
While advocating for better service delivery, Professor Salako said secretaries were expected to master and acquaint themselves with the language of any discipline with which they have to work with. For instance, a secretary in the Department of Mathematics should be familiar with Mathematical symbols, those in Biological or Agricultural Sciences should familiarise themselves with Botanical or species names; while those working in the Department of Works and Services should know a few things about procurement and store-keeping. The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Development) advised secretaries to see their deployments from one office to another as a way of making them more versatile in University administration. Professor Salako further advised that a secretary, who is on his/her way to attaining excellence should always understand his/her boss very well in terms of temperament, style of working and needs.
“You must be ready to work with anybody; the good, the beautiful, the handsome, the bad and the ugly, you cannot afford to be hostile to the boss or any other person in the office”, adding that there should be no personal preferences for the sake of the job and office, because secretaries should ever be prepared to learn to work for the system, rather than working merely to satisfy individuals.
To achieve the best, secretaries should have self-esteem and believe positively in themselves by exuding self-confidence. The University Don recommended regular training and re-training by attending lectures, seminars, workshops and conferences. He also called on the secretaries to be conscious of the fact that as stakeholders, they had something to contribute to the system in order to advance it. “Do not allow yourself to be redundant because it is at your own detriment”, he added. While admonishing the participants to be above board by being punctual, neat and an effective office organiser, accurate and flawless in typing, engage in effective communication, display courtesy, be confidential, show good human relations, honesty and high sense of dedication.
The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olusola Oyewole, equally re-affirmed that the roles of secretaries cannot be over-emphasised, as he likened them to both the life-wire and the heart-beat of an organisation. Represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Professor Adekojo Waheed, the Vice-Chancellor commended the executive of USSA for organising the workshop, which he said was in tandem with the mission and vision of FUNAAB at attaining a world-class status, urging them to continue to co-operate with their bosses and the University Management.
The Chairperson of the Association, Mrs. Camilla Fatunmbi, while welcoming all to the workshop, called on members to always develop the spirit of unity, responsibility, hard work, diligence and shun immoral acts in the course of discharging their duties, as she advised them to continue to acquire additional and relevant qualifications and uphold the Association’s professional ethics. She appreciated the University Management for its continued support and fora conducive environment for them to work, urging the University Management to ensure that the new career structure could be made operational for the next promotion exercise. Mrs. Fatunmbi also appealled to members of the Association to strive to attend conferences and workshops from time-to-time, in order to be current and ever relevant in their profession.
The Chairman of the occasion, Professor Bola Okuneye of the Department of Agricultural Economics and Farm Management, College of Agricultural Management and Rural Development (COLAMRUD), observed that capacity building was a major factor in the development of a nation, the world at large and an impetus to improving organisational standards and productivity. “Show me your secretary and I will tell you your countenance. Show me your secretary and I will tell you your managerial ability. Show me your secretary and I will tell you your innate being. Show me you secretary and I will tell you of your effectiveness and efficiency. Show me your secretary and I will tell you of your kindness and attitude to life”, he noted. He, however, challenged the participants to have a full grasp of the issues being discussed during the workshop in order to develop themselves, assist their bosses, improve their capacities, as well as wellness on the job.
Goodwill messages were delivered at the occasion by the National President of USSA, Comrade Festus Ogbonna, represented by Mr. Kayode Osungbogbe, who stated that the training of secretaries was very crucial because they were ambassadors of their organisations. The National President of NAPSSON, Alhaji Ganiyu Buhari, represented by Mr. Olayode Oladejo, also lauded the FUNAAB Branch of the Association, as he described its members as vibrant, urging them to be better equipped with knowledge of modern technology and the Internet, so as to achieve excellence.
Highlights of the workshop included practical training on Information Communication Technology (ICT), anchored by Mr. Oluwatoyin Akinola of the Information Communication Technology Resource Centre (ICTREC) of the University, who was also a guest lecturer at the Workshop, while former members of the Association; Mr. Yahaya Sunmonu and Mr. Okanlawon Adekunle, were presented with gifts.
To ensure maximum farming productivity and the incurring of lowest cost by farmers, the West Africa Agricultural Productivity Programme (WAAPP), recently distributed planting materials such as certified seeds of maize and rice to farmers in the various villages, adopted by WAAPP.
The Director, Institute of Food Security, Environmental Resources and Agricultural Research (IFSERAR) and the WAAPP Co-ordinator in the University, Professor Akin Omotayo, appreciated the farmers, saying the aim of gathering was to distribute the seeds donated by WAAPP. He advised the farmers to ensure that the seeds were not consumed, but planted since they had been treated with chemicals to prevent attacks by pests. He also disclosed that the seeds contained high proportions of protein when compared with seeds from other sources.
The Don added that a lot of money was spent in transporting the seeds from Plateau State, adding that a WAAPP team would soon be coming to inspect their farms after planting, for proper accountability. Professor Omotayo said WAAPP was looking forward to getting some farmers amongst them that would serve as ‘seeds multiplier’, by producing for other farmers, such that planting could be carried out within a short period of time. Speaking at the event, the Director, Agricultural Mediaand Extension Centre (AMREC) of FUNAAB, Professor Victor Olowe, disclosed that the seeds were highly viable and capable of yielding well. He implored the farmers to handle the seeds carefully, in order to achieve the desired objective of producing maximally at the lowest cost.
The Vice-Chancellor of Caleb University, Lagos, Professor Ayodeji Olukoju, has stated that leadership is not a divine right, but is attained or earned through fair means, credible track records, sound character and commonly agreed parameters.
Delivering a lecture at the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB) titled, Leadership, Economic Nationalism and Development: Nigeria and the Challenge from the Global South, he noted that the topic was inspired by the implications of two milestones in recent history namely, the nation’s Centenary last year of the amalgamation of the Protectorates of Northern and Southern Nigeria, as well as the 90th birthday of Singapore's founding leader, Lee Kuan Yew (LKY). The Fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Letters, said that those milestones were of great significance when reflecting on the contrasting fortunes of both countries in the second half of the 20th century. His words, "the lack of leadership fired by economic nationalism in Nigeria contrasts sharply with the role of the two elements in Singapore, that jumped from Third to First World status in one generation."
Professor Olukoju described leadership as a process of unveiling a clear vision to give direction to corporate goals; devising strategies for achieving them; mobilising followers; managing the dynamics involved in the process of change; engaging in problem-solving and ensuring continuity or sustainability through succession plan. According to him, "leaders must be daring, constantly challenge the status quo and think outside the box. They are responsible for generating the vision to meet a desire for change; raising awareness, communicating the vision and intention as well as taking personal responsibility through exemplary leadership."
He noted that size may be a factor in national greatness because countries like Qatar and Singapore; two tiny countries wielding influence out of proportion to their size demonstrate that it may not be enough to just flaunt size and population as markers of greatness. According to him, "Nigeria's claim to the title of 'Giant of Africa' on account of its sheer size and huge population sounds hollow when contrasted with the global economic and political influence of tiny Singapore and Qatar, the land size and population of which cannot match those of either Lagos or Kano States."
The lecturer admonished Nigerian leaders to imbibe the overriding factor of economic nationalism which stipulates the 'country first', noting that this would drive development on the platform of a Democratic Developmental State. He added that the
country needs a "Nigerian Dream driven by patriotic and visionary leadership, focused on catapulting the country into the ranks of its former peers that cast off the chains of underdevelopment." Earlier, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olusola Oyewole, said the lecture was part of the social responsibilities of FUNAAB to its immediate and external communities in setting agenda, sharing quality opinions and proffering solutions on germane national and global issues. He noted that such lectures in FUNAAB, had always formed the basis for building a virile nation, particularly, in the strive for global relevance by 2020.
According to him, “the lecturer was deliberately selected to give incisive prognosis of issues of common concern to Universities Chief Executives and the nation's Policy Formulators. Professor Oyewole, however, declared that FUNAAB was more than ever before conscious of the enormous responsibilities bestowed on her, stating that it can modestly claim to have performed creditably in the discharge of her traditional mandate of teaching, research and extension. His words, "an integral part of our Mission Statement stipulates the need to effectively utilize resources and facilities as well as adapting same to changes in the Nigerian environment. It has, however, become imperative to expand the scope of this Vision Statement to accommodate the global reality".
He said that, "Having excelled on the local terrain, FUNAAB is consciously set on the realisation of a deserved global relevance and ultimately, its dominance. At present, we are undergoing a process of academic re-engineering towards ensuring that our curricula compare favourably with similar programmes anywhere in the world” as he appreciated the Federal Government, educational agencies and friends for their support in providing the enabling environment and facilities in the University.
The University has purchased a brand new water tanker that is dedicated to students’ halls of residence, to mitigate any incident of water shortage on campus, as the FUNAAB Guest House has added another bus to enhance service delivery. Presenting the water tanker, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olusola Oyewole, called for proper use of the tanker through the opening of a dedicated log book, because the University would be displeased to hear complaints bordering either on water shortage or the misuse of the tanker for other purposes.
Similarly, the Vice-Chancellor has presented a brand new bus for the use of the FUNAAB Guest House. The Vice-Chancellor, who was represented at the occasion by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Development), Professor Felix Salako,
handed-over the keys to the Manager of the Guest House, Mr. Adebayo Fagbenro. Speaking at the occasion, he advised that the Guest House should use the bus strictly for official purposes, as the manager appreciated Management for the gesture and promised to put the bus to good use.
The Directorate of Grants Management is calling for proposals for the Tertiary Education Trust Fund-supported FUNAAB Research Grants (FRG) for 2015. The Director of Grants Management, Professor Kolawole Adebayo, said the offer, which was University-based, was meant to challenge FUNAAB academics at embarking on aggressive, cutting-edge research, because FRG was committed to encouraging multi-disciplinary research through the award of between N1million and N1.5million cash-in-aid.
The research grants is open to academic staff in the University, with the exception of those currently leading TETFund-supported grant. Also, such research should be multi-disciplinary, relevant to the tripartite mandate of the University, have national focus, address global challenges, have concept notes that should be pre-reviewed by the College Review Committees before submitting to the Directorate, have the Report Review Committee from the College Principal Investigator attached, and cutting across two or more Colleges. Other eligibility factors include having evidence of previous research conducted and stating previous grants won.
Meanwhile, members of staff that belong to the College Review Committees are not eligible to apply in the year of their service on the committee because a staff is not allowed to be a member of more than two research teams, while principal investigators of one team cannot also serve on other research teams. Deadline for the submission of proposal is Friday, July 3, 2015.
The International Life Science Institute (ILSI), in collaboration with the University of Ghana, Legon (UGL), and the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), is organising a short course on “Food Safety for Nutritionist and other Health Professionals”. The course holds at the International Scholars’ and Resource Centre (IS&RC), FUNAAB, between Monday, June 15 and Friday, June 19, 2015.programme is designed to train and educate food and health professionals from both government and non-governmental institutions, food and catering industries, academia, as well as students on food safety issues, nutrition and food-borne illness.
Other participants that are expected to benefit from the course include nutritionists, food safety officers in government parastatals such as the local government, hospitals, schools, veterinary staff and all those who want to upgrade their knowledge in food safety or understand better, food safety and management systems.course would cover basic food and water Microbiology, food-borne pathogens, significance of food-borne diseases, chemical and physical hazards in food and factors affecting the survival, growth and control of micro-organisms.are Epidemiology and the prevention of food-borne diseases, potential local problems of food-borne disease, food hygiene, Biotechnology and food safety, among others.
The Students’ Industrial Working Experience Scheme (SIWES) of the University has organised series of orientation programmes for students, on their expectations and obligations to the Scheme.
The Director of SIWES, Professor Grace Sokoya, urged the students to put in their best during the industrial training programme, which should last a period of six months, in order to enhance their cumulative grade point average, as well as equip them with the needed practical experience. She added that the major mandate of the SIWES, was to bridge the gap existing between theoretical knowledge acquired from institutions of learning and real practice in the industrial world.
She highlighted the objectives of the Scheme to include: providing an avenue for students to acquire industrial skills and experience in their courses of study; prepare students for the work situation they are to meet after graduation; expose students to work methods and techniques in handling equipment and machinery that may not be available in their institutions; make transition from school to the world of work a lot easier and enhance students' contacts for later job placement, among others.Professor Sokoya added that participation in SIWES had become a necessary pre-condition for the award of degree certificates in specific disciplines in institutions of higher learning in the country. She encouraged them to complete the necessary formalities so that their allowances would not be unnecessarily delayed.
The Dean of COLENG, Professor Johnson Adewunmi, appreciated the efforts of the University and appealed to the students to be good ambassadors, wherever they found themselves. He also lauded Engineer Akinlawon Majiyagbe, the Chief Executive Officer, Tradsways Engineering, for attending the orientation programme and for securing placements for students of the University while undergoing their industrial attachments. The College’s SIWES Co-ordinator, Dr. Nurudeen Olatunde, advised the students to adhere strictly to the rules and regulations of the organisations that would engage during their industrial training, as well as the host communities.
The Dean, College of Physical Sciences (COLPHYS), Professor Catherine Eromosele, called on students of the College, who are to proceed on the industrial training to always be punctual at events. Professor Eromosele made the call during the College’s preliminary orientation programme. She further enjoined them to be inquisitive about what they do not know, be self-confident, develop an entrepreneurial spirit that would stand them out and become employers of labour. The Dean implored them to take the exercise seriously, as the University would be measured by their (students) performances at their various places of a
The Dean, College of Biological Sciences (COLBIOS), Professor David Agboola, represented by Professor Umen Ekpo, the College’s SIWES Coordinator, advised the students to be serious, industrious and law abiding.The Head, Department of Hospitality and Tourism, Dr. Omobolanle Omemu, who represented the Dean, College of Food Science and Human Ecology (COLFHEC), charged COLFHEC students to endeavour to achieve something meaningful at the end of the programme. She charged them to represent the University well in the Scheme while Dr. Abolanle Olasode of the College also challenged the students to maintain a healthy relationship with their supervisors, in order to enjoy a hitch-free programme.
The Federal Government has approved the appointment of a new Chancellor for the University. He is, His Royal Eminence, Edidem Ekpo Okon, Abasi Otu V, the Obong of Calabar, Cross River State. He was appointed alongside 37 prominent traditional rulers as Chancellors for all the nation’s Federal Universities.
Born 66 years ago, the young Prince Ekpo Okon attended St. Patrick’s Convent and St. Mary’s Schools for his primary education and in 1963, he received his First School Leaving Certificate from the later. In 1968, he obtained his West African School Certificate from the popular West African Peoples Institute (WAPI), established by the first Nigerian indigenous professor, the late Professor Eyo Ita and at the age of 24, Prince Ekpo Okon obtained a Diploma Certificate in Telecommunications Engineering, having earned the International Telecommunication Union Best Student Award.
The new Chancellor first worked as an Assistant Technical Officer-in Training at the then Post and Telecommunications (P&T) Department, Federal Ministry of Communications and became an outstanding Trainee Officer, who eventually rose to the position of Operations and Maintenance Manager in its Domestic Satellite Division. He is a Fellow of the National Association of Technological Engineers (FNATE). Following the deregulation of the telecommunications sector in the country, the young Prince was employed at the Telnet Nigeria Limited, where he rose to the position of Divisional Manager, until he was called upon to serve as the Obong of Calabar. His Royal Eminence is the Natural Ruler, Treaty King, Grand Patriarch of the Efik Eburutu Kingdom, a prominent member of the South-South Monarchs’ Forum and National Council of Traditional Rulers. He is married to Princess Ansa Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu and they are blessed with children and grandchildren.
With the appointment, Edidem Ekpo Okon becomes the fourth Chancellor of the University. The first Chancellor was His Royal Highness, Alhaji Kabir Umar, the Emir of Katagum, Bauchi State, who was appointed in 1989. Next was His Royal Highness, Oba Adeyinka Oyekan, the late Oba of Lagos, who served for a brief period, between 2001 and 2003, while the third Chancellor was His Royal Majesty, Obi (Professor) Joseph Edozien, the Asagba of Asaba, Delta State, a renowned and retired Professor of Medicine at the University of Ibadan, who has now been re-appointed as the Chancellor for the newly-established Federal University, Gashua, Yobe State.
A Professor of Food Science and Technology and the Dean, College of Food Science and Human Ecology (COLFHEC) of the University, Professor Lateef Sanni, has called for sustainable food security through efficient and appropriate drying mechanism and articulated agricultural revolution for increased value addition activities in the downstream agro-processing sub-sector, in order to achieve effective wealth generation and poverty eradication in the country.
Professor Sanni, while delivering the 49th Inaugural Lecture of the University titled, “Drying for Wealth, Food Security and Nation Building”, lamented that a country like Nigeria, which used to export food, now relied on importation to sustain itself because per capital food production remained almost stagnant, adding that the food security situation was critical, since a nation that cannot feed its citizens was far from attaining national stability and economy development. The Don defined wealth as the abundance of valuable resources or material possession as available to individuals, the community, region or country. He noted that the wealth generated by agro-industrial and manufacturing sectors of an economy could bring great fortunes, adding that the role of agriculture cannot be over-emphasized, since it constituted the main source of food for man, animals, raw materials for agro-based industries, as well as employment opportunities for the people.
Professor Sanni, who is the first alumnus of the University to deliver an Inaugural Lecture, observed that 842 million people in the world do not eat enough to stay healthy, meaning that one out of every eight people go to bed hungry. According to him, the world’s population was expected to reach 10.5 billion by 2050, thereby adding to the global food security concerns because of the need to increase food supply by 60 percent, noting that reduction of post-harvest food losses was very important in ensuring global food security.
The Dean of COLFHEC described Post-harvest Food Loss (PHL), as the measurable loss in quantity-physical weight, quality-nutritional quantity, caloric value, consumer acceptability and edibility that happened between the time of harvest and when it had reached the consumer. According to him, post-harvest food losses occurred more in developing countries than in the developed countries, because more research attention and resources had been devoted to increasing food production, resulting into about 95 percent of research investment going into food productivity, while just about 5 percent was geared towards reducing losses. He noted that inappropriate technology, poor or non-existent infrastructure, poor post-harvest handling and
lack of efficient value-addition chain were the major contributing factors to high food losses in developing countries, thus endangering the livelihoods of stakeholders across the value chain by reducing income and profit. Quoting the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), Professor Sanni disclosed that “on a global basis, an annual food loss along the production chain is put at a whopping figure of 1.3 billion tonnes”.
Professor Sanni, a Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Food Science and Technology (NISFT), who said his contribution to knowledge was in the area of development of appropriate processing, storage and quality regimes for upgrading of traditional local foods in Nigeria, observed that drying reduces water activity sufficiently to prevent bacterial growth which in turn, extends shelf life and microbial safety, reduces weight, making food easier to package, adding that sustainable drying and value additions would help to curtail post-harvest losses by guaranteeing food security and aiding nation building.
“Agriculture helps to contribute to nation building by providing food for the teeming population of the country. When output increases, the incomes of farmers increase, thereby leading to an increase in the standard of living. Similarly, agricultural development is of vital importance to nation building due to the fact that a rise in rural purchasing power as a result of the increase in the agricultural surplus is a great stimulus to industrial development and expansion in the size of the market”, he stated.
Professor Sanni, who is also the National President, FUNAAB Alumni Association, therefore, called for the rehabilitation of the existing 153 flash drying facilities produced by the Presidential Initiative on Cassava, create incentives to the private sectors to enhance greater competitiveness of agri-business which would affect regional change of food security. He made a case for the establishment of designated Ministry of Post-harvest System and strengthening the dynamics of Food Security Unit in the Presidency to actively collaborate with the Federal Ministries of Agriculture, Trade and Investment, Science and Technology. He also recommended the harmonization of agricultural-based project interventions with institutions, non-governmental organisations and developmental partners that will enhance innovations and research development. He added that government should block all ‘leaking pipes’ that could serve as catalyst in agricultural development, noting that if talent pipeline in African Drying Systems were nourished through integrated capacity building for students, fabricators, processors and trainers, then wealth and food security would be highly achieved.
The 49th Inaugural Lecturer concluded his presentation by proposing that national agenda should focus on sustainable food security through efficient and appropriate drying mechanism. “Leadership instability is a bane to sustainable post-harvest system in Nigeria. There seems to be a serious disconnect from those initiatives. We need to sustain our collective resolve to solve agricultural problems. A major intervention to reduce post-harvest losses of agricultural commodities is drying. This Inaugural Lecture has shown us possible options in drying agricultural commodities. Appropriate drying systems will ensure efficient and profitable food value chain”, he further stated.
Speaking at the occasion, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olusola Oyewole, said the 49th Inaugural Lecture was the fifth from the Department of Food Science and Technology, third from the College of Food Science and Human Ecology (COLFHEC), the first to be presented by an alumnus of the University, as well as the 14th he would preside-over as Vice-Chancellor.
The occasion was well attended by dignitaries from all walks of life. They include the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council of FUNAAB, Senator/Sir (Dr.) Adeseye Ogunlewe; Pioneer Vice-Chancellor, Registrar and Librarian of FUNAAB, Professor Nurudeen Adedipe, Princess Adebisi Soboyejo, Dr. Taofiq Salisu respectively; the Ogun State Commissioner for Environment, Engr. Ayo Olubori; the General Overseer, Victory Life Bible Church, Apostle Lawrence Achudume and the Chief Imam of Egbaland, Alhaji Liadi Orunbolu among others.
The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olusola Oyewole, has stated that University administrators constitute a critical component in the life of any University administration because they play pivotal roles in policy formulation, analysis and implementation. He stated this during an In-house Lecture Series, organised by the Association of Nigerian University Professional Administrators (ANUPA), FUNAAB Chapter.
The Vice-Chancellor noted that the extent to which an organisation could achieve its set goals was a direct function of the premium placed on staff training, stressing that staff training constituted a salient aspect of the achievements of goals by such institutions, adding that "the training and re-training of University staff cannot be over-emphasised". Represented by the Dean, College of Agricultural Management and Rural Development (COLAMRUD), Professor Bolanle Akeredolu-Ale, the Vice-Chancellor observed that the recently-approved University Staff Development Policy by the Governing Council, indicated that the current administration was committed to staff development. "I urge every member of ANUPA, FUNAAB Chapter to study the document and seize the various opportunities and the vista of limitless possibilities embedded therein with a view to devising veritable means of translating same to your advantage".
The Vice-Chancellor further reiterated the commitment of the present administration at making the University attain a world-class status, stating that the lofty vision may not be achieved without well-equipped staff. He, however, lauded the leadership of ANUPA for aligning itself with the vision of Management in relation to staff development, adding that it had demonstrated the possession of great potentials and character in building a formidable partnership for the overall development of the University. The Vice-Chancellor then charged the administrators to always strive for greater productivity.
The University Registrar, Mr. Mathew Ayoola, described training as a systematic and organised approach, either on-the-job or out-of-the-job, where knowledge and skills are imparted on employees with the intention of making them more competent and effective on their present duties or preparing them for higher responsibilities. The Registrar said the complexities and dynamism in University administration required that career administrators were trained and re-trained periodically to cope with the ever increasing demands of University administration. "These demands must necessarily be matched with the exhibition of competence in record keeping and communication both in oral and written forms for effective performance", he added.
Earlier, the Chairperson of ANUPA, Mrs. Toyin Dawodu, stated that the Lecture Series was resuscitated, to equip administrators better in enhancing their work in the University. Mrs. Dawodu, who is also the Deputy Director, Establishment Matters (Senior) said that with time, the Lecture Series would draw a larger audience, spreading across the country.
In her captivating lecture titled, "Communicative Competence/Use of English", the Head, Directorate of Public Relations, Mrs. Emi' Alawode, described communication as an integral part of the activities of a typical administrator. She said communication could be divided into verbal and non-verbal. It could also be written or visually illustrated. According to her, an administrator should possess good interpersonal communication, presentation, writing and listening skills as well as
good command of pragmatics to be able to perform creditably well. She noted the importance of choice of words in the day-to-day activities of an administrator whether officially or unofficially, saying that communicative competence could be classified into four components: linguistic, socio-linguistic, discourse and strategic competences.
In the second lecture titled, "The Place of Record Keeping in the University Administration", the Deputy Director, Senate and Admissions Unit, Mr. Aniediabasi Udofia, described record keeping as the making and maintaining of complete, accurate and reliable evidence of business transaction in the form of recorded information. He stated that three types of record
keeping include personal correspondence and documents, University records as well as scanned records, adding that record keeping systems are
classified into two, that is, paper-based and electronic record keeping systems. Mr. Udofia warned of the threats of record keeping in the University to include infiltration of the record system by unauthorised persons, hacking, inconsistencies in record management and transfers as well as students/staff unrest. Others include poor quality of storage facilities, rodents and climatic changes. He stated that the future of record keeping in the University system would continue to be very important.
His words, "The University is sustainable because it can account for student and staff records, research output and its transactions with the public", adding that even though everyone is now thinking of a paperless environment, but he opined that paper would continue to play a major role in record keeping.
In a bid to test and showcase the practical knowledge of its students, the Department of Home Science and Management of the University, has organised a modeling show to display the outfits made by its 400-level students. Welcoming guests to the show, the Acting Head of Department, Dr. Adetoun Amubode, said the modelling show was an initiative of the Course Lecturer for Textile and Clothing, in which student fashion designers were encouraged to display their products to potential customers.
According to her, the show could either be indoor or outdoor, which would enable the students to be trained in the skills of making dresses and the art of modeling, that could attract high patronage. She said the modeling involved the use of corporate outfits that were creatively designed from traditional fabrics and outfits, while students would be scored based on the style of the garment used, fitting of the garment, posture and the confidence displayed.
Speaking at the occasion, the Dean, College of Food Science and Human Ecology (COLFHEC), Professor Lateef Sanni, congratulated the students for taking up the profession, adding that they could achieve anything they wanted to achieve using their outfits. According to him, this is an expertise that could make their brands known worldwide without leaving their base in Abeokuta. He advised the students to remain focused and continue to develop themselves through training and re-training, urging them to “be more creative and add more value to yourself now and after graduation in order to be the Mark and Spencer of today”.
The Department of Home Science and Management's Fashion Show offers a platform for fashion designers to be connected to likely customers by playing prominent role in the marketing of clothes produced by the designers. They are regularly conducted to communicate to the public recent fashion trends as such trends and styles keep changing from time-to-time. In a typical fashion show, models are fashionably dressed in the clothing created by the fashion designer, by using his/her appearance to market the clothing through cat-walking in an elevated platform.
Clothing and Textile students in the HSM Department are then trained in the designing and construction of fashionable dresses suitable for the various events. As part of the requirements for the core practical course, they are given questions on how to design and construct corporate and traditional styles, which they would have to showcase during modeling so as to develop the skills and confidence amongst the students.
The need to embrace agriculture in the nation’s strive for economic transformation has again been stressed. Making this call was Mr. Moses Tule, Director, Monetary Policy, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) during the Second In-House Review meeting of the Institute of Food Security Environmental Resources and Agricultural Research (IFSERAR), titled, “Restoring the Primacy of Agriculture in the Nigerian Economy”, held to showcase the results of research findings in Agriculture.
Mr. Tule, while presenting a paper titled, “The Dutch Disease, Sustainable Agriculture and Monetary Policy in Nigeria”, stated that the Dutch Disease became a common phrase to describe a situation in which a boom in the natural resource sector shrinks the manufacturing and agricultural sectors through Crowding-out Effect and an appreciation of the real exchange rate. He listed out the factors that would ensure sustainability in agriculture to include increase in government’s provision of infrastructure, competitive pricing of agricultural commodities, private investment, high per capita income, reduction in exchange rate depreciation and the availability of credits. Mr. Tule noted that the CBN had often complemented its traditional role with a quasi-fiscal function, using unconventional monetary policy instruments like dual interest rates, quantitative easing policies and by developing interventions in the agricultural sector, among others.
Welcoming participants to the meeting, the Director of IFSERAR, Professor Akin Omotayo, appreciated the University Management for the confidence reposed in him and his team to pilot the affairs of the Institute. He said the collaboration between IFSERAR and the West Africa Agricultural Productivity Programme (WAAPP), had yielded a lot for the Institute. He added that this year alone, IFSERAR had empowered many farmers by giving them maize seeds free of charge for planting, so as to increase food production. Also, the research on Kalahari goat had been a source of attraction to many farmers and thereby contributing to an increase in the Internally-Generated Revenue profile of the University. He appreciated Mr. Moses Tule, Director of Monetary Policy, Central Bank of Nigeria, for finding time to honour the invitation as Guest Speaker at the review meeting despite his busy schedule.
Speaking earlier, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olusola Oyewole, who was represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Development, said he was convinced that the review meeting was important in improving the agricultural sector and enhancing national development. The Don added that it was also essential to use such forum to bring stakeholders together on an annual basis to chart the way forward in attaining sustainable food security. He disclosed that in line with the objectives that established FUNAAB in 1988, the former Research and Development Centre (RESDEC), was upgraded to the status of an Institute in year 2009, to properly address the research component of the University tripodal mandate.
He expressed his delight that after about five years of its existence, IFSERAR had already been established as a full-fledged Institute by developing and repositioning the University as an acclaimed player in agricultural research. He appealed to stakeholders to begin to sensitize, mobilise, promote and encourage young people to operate farm business to replace ageing farmers thereby creating more jobs opportunities for the youth.
The 'Nimbe Adedipe Library has received sets of updated version of The Essential Electronic Agricultural Library (TEEAL), making FUNAAB to be the first University in Nigeria to have the updated version (1993-2013). TEEAL is a searchable, offline, digital library which contains mainly agriculturally-focused reference journals, as well as coverage in related subject areas. The TEEAL Project is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, with additional placement support for eligible institutions being provided by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA). The collection is updated annually and the non-profit digital library contains a growing number of prestigious full-text journals from leading publishers such as Elsevier; Taylor and Francis. Interested members of the University community can access TEEAL from their various offices by logging on to teeal.library.unaab.edu.eg, by creating a user’s account or visiting the University library for further details.
In a related development, the Information Training and Outreach Centre for Africa (ITOCA), in collaboration with Albert R. Mann Library, Cornell University has announced the 2015 TEEAL Research Paper Competition for postgraduate students in food production, food security, rural development and agricultural and food policy. The competition, which is for postgraduate students from six eligible African countries (Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda), would enable winners obtain TEEAL for their institutions as well as prize money. Interested students are encouraged to visithttp://www.itoca.orgor email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Deadline for registration is May 30, 2015. ITOCA is a capacity building organisation aimed at enhancing information and communications technology (ICT) skills for African librarians, information specialists, scientists, researchers and students in Sub-Sahara Africa. Preparations are also in top gear for a new AGORA online course on Moddle. The course, which is to be delivered in English, will be covered in four weeks from May to June, 2015. Interested participants are advised to visit the AGORA and Research4Life websites, for more information.
In a bid to consolidate the on-going restructuring process in the UNAAB Microfinance Bank (UMFB), the bank has held a training programme for its Board of Directors, tagged “Principles of Microfinance and Corporate Governance”. According to the General Manager of UMFB, Mr. Abimbola Adewale, the training was first of its kind in the history of the bank and it was meant to hold once a year for members of its Board with the aim of providing
them with strategic knowledge on how the business of Microfinancing could be done effectively while performing their over-sight functions. Explaining further, Mr. Abimbola said such training would not be limited to the Board of Directors as the bank had scheduled another training calendar for its staff for the year, which would entail acquiring special training programmes from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), Lagos Business School, Centre for Microfinance Development, as well as in-house training sessions. These measures, according to him, would further entrench the consolidation process going on in the bank such that “as part of the restructuring process that commenced in the UMFB, professionals are running the bank, while appraisal for staff is being done, and staffers are also being confirmed”. He urged customers to watch-out for some innovations by the third quarter of the year as the bank would launch its Automated Teller Machine (ATM) card, which would be usable in any ATM machine across the country; extend its outreach; repackage its salary advance, processing time and inter-bank transfers services, as customers would be opportune to access online transaction on the bank’s platform. Mr. Abimbola added that last year, the bank’s Board approved the payment of dividends of 0.25 Kobo to its shareholders, while its share capital also moved from 49.1 million to 61 million as at December 31, 2014, and was likely to do better this year. He attributed the achievements of the bank to the enormous co-operation given by the Board’s Chairman and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olusola Oyewole, saying he had “been a huge support to the bank’s development through his support and approval of various initiatives brought forward to him”. The Managing Consultant, Resort Consult Limited, Mr. Femi Ekundayo, took members of the Board through various topics such as the Principles of Microfinance Banking, where it was clarified that a Microfinance Bank was different from the conventional bank basically because they do not have large capital base as obtainable in the conventional banks. Mr. Ekundayo further advised that Microfinance banking should be practiced according to guiding principles to achieve the desired results on a sustainable basis by adopting an operational “model” that would guarantee optimal service delivery to all stakeholders.
The University is set to hold its 49th Inaugural Lecture. The title of the lecture is, “Drying for Wealth, Food Security and Nation Building” and will be delivered by Professor LateefSanni of the Department of Food Science and Technology, College of Food Science and Human Ecology (COLFHEC) of the University. The event would hold on Thursday, May 21, 2015 at the FUNAAB Ceremonial Building, beginning at 2pm. The Vice-Chancellor and President, Association of African Universities (AAU), Professor Olusola Oyewole is to chair the occasion.
Professor Sanni, who is also the Dean of COLFHEC, said the lecture would look into the problems of heavy post-harvest losses of agricultural commodities based on his over 20 years research experience in the provision of safe and abundant food for wealth creation and consumption by individuals and communities in Nigeria. During the lecture, case studies on the Presidential Initiative on High Quality Cassava Flour, using the flash dryer leading to University-industry, University-regulatory, capacity building of students, fabricators and processors in Africa would be x-rayed, while recommendations that would enhance competitiveness of dried products would be made.
The Dean of COLFHEC said the lecture would also dwell on important issues like post-harvest drying systems, noting that advancing practicable and commercial-oriented drying systems in Africa would invariably bring about economic development. His research breakthroughs, which are expected to be highlighted, would focus on the determination of the appropriate processing, storage and quality regimes for the upgrading of traditional local foods such as cassava, yam, okra, plantain, catfish, soybean, locust bean, sweet potato, tomato.
The 49th Inaugural Lecturer graduated from FUNAAB, where he obtained his Bachelor of Science Degree while he got his Master’s degrees and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree from the Department of Food Technology, University of Ibadan. Professor Sanni joined the services of FUNAAB in 1993 as Assistant Lecturer, where he rose through the ranks to become a Professor of Food Science and Technology in 2008. In collaboration with his colleagues, he had supervised over 90 undergraduates, 15 Master’s and 14 Doctorate students. He had equally served the University in many capacities. These include the Head, Department of Food Science and Technology, COLFHEC; Director, A. G. Leventis Memorial Centre for Learning (LEMCEL); and Deputy Director, Centre for Human Resources Development (CENHURD) now Institute for Human Resources Development (INHURD).
He was inducted as a member, Institute of Public Analyst of Nigeria and had attended the prestigious Harvard Business School, United States of America, where he was specially trained on ‘Leading Change and Organisational Renewal’. Professor Sanni is the Country Manager, Cassava: Adding Value for Africa II (CAVA II), sponsored by the Bills & Melinda Gates Foundation since April 2014; European Union-African Caribbean Pacific (EU-ACP) Science Technology Capacity Building Project from November 2009 to October 2012 in collaboration with the Greenwich University-Natural Resources Institute, Chatham, United Kingdom; and Project Co-ordinator, Cassava Value Chain Development Project in West Africa (covering Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Benin Republic), sponsored by the Common Fund for Commodities and implemented by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Ibadan (IITA).
A multi-award winner, Professor Sanni was the Post-harvest Scientist to the IITA Integrated Cassava Projects from 2004-2007; Principal Investigator, Food Developers' Initiative (sponsored by the Association of African Universities) in Nigeria, Benin and Sierra Leone, between 2008 and 2010 and the Food Science and Nutrition Network in West Africa, under the sponsorship of Association of African Universities-United Kingdom's Department for International Development (DfID).
The Executive of the Postgraduate Students Association(PGSA) and the entire postgraduate students of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB) cordially invite you to this year PGSA week.
The PGSA week with the theme"Prospects of Higher Degree Programmes in National Development" is scheduled to hold as follows:
|18thMay, 2015||Awareness(Launching of PGSA Project)||Deans of Colleges||All Colleges & PG School||9am|
|19thMay, 2015||Orientation Programmes/Academic Seminar||Prof. O.B. Oyewole (FUNAAB Vice-Chancellor)
Prof. O.A. Enikuomehin (Dean, PG School)
Prof. S.O. Afolami (Vice-Chancellor St. Augustine University, Lagos)
Chief Bola Ajibola(Proprietor, Crescent University Abeokuta)
|20ttMay, 2015||Sports||Dr. S.O. Sam-wobo (FUNAAB)
Dr. Fafiolu (FUNAAB)
|FUNAAB Sports Centre||9am|
|21stMay, 2015||Grants and Research Seminar (Exhibition of Research Findings)||Prof. L.O. Sanni (Dean COLFHEC)
Prof. K. Adebayo (Director, Grants Management)
|222nMay, 2015||Awrad and Recognition Event||Prof. O.A. Enikuomehin (Dean, PG School)||Peak Olam Suites, Camp Abeokuta||5pm|
The University has empowered farmers in the various extension outreach villages with useful agricultural information that would guide them in being mindful of their activities in their various locations, in order to get maximum yield, as they were also provided high-yielding cassava varieties for enhanced production.
This piece of advice for better farming practice was given during the Annual Integrated Pre-season Training Workshop, organised by the Agricultural Media Resources and Extension Centre (AMREC), themed “Climate Change: A Threat to Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security in Nigeria”, while about 200 farmers got the high-yielding cassava during another pre-season training, organised by Cassava: Adding Value for Africa (CAVA II) Project, in collaboration with AMREC, where 600 bundles of improved cassava stems were distributed.
Speaking at the occasion, Dr. Adedeji Oludare of the Department of Environmental Management and Toxicology, College of Environmental Resources Management (COLERM), defined climate change as an increase in the average global temperatures, due primarily to increases in greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, emitted as a result of deforestation, construction and incineration of wastes also as water vapour, methane, nitrous oxide and chloro-fluoro carbons. He said global warming was a major threat that could lead to the melting of atmospheric ice in many areas, thus putting people at the risk of drought, floods and insufficient clean water.
He highlighted the effects of climate change to include increase in natural disasters, extreme weather, environmental refugees, shrinking of lakes that supply water for agriculture desertification, shortages of food and water and high death rate. He said Nigeria’s quest for self-sufficiency in food production may be marred by the negative effects of climate change on agriculture because every year, expectations of farmers remained dashed due to either late arrival of rainfall or excessive rainfall that resulted into flooding.He recommended that diversification of farming remained a vital option in achieving food security under a changing climate.
The Director, Community-based Farming Scheme (COBFAS), Professor Emmanuel Fakoya, who spoke on the topic, “Indigenous Knowledge by Nigerian Farmers in Ensuring Sustainability in Agricultural Productivity in the Face of Climate Change”, referred to indigenous knowledge as the skills possessed by the indigenous people and communities as being different from the knowledge generated through research centres, industries and Universities. The features of indigenous knowledge include being experience-based, linked with the sustainable use of local resources, dependence on the health of local environment and handed-down from generations. Professor Fakoya said such indigenous knowledge could be obtained from primary sources such as community members, elders, community records, extension workers, head-teachers as well as published and unpublished videos, photos, database, museum and exhibits.
He added that indigenous knowledge encouraged transparency, accountability, optimized the utility of local resources, relied heavily on genetic and physical diversity, not labour-intensive, readily available and always based on the cultural value of the community. Professor Fakoya, however, itemized the limitations of indigenous knowledge to include the challenge of replication and uneven distribution across individuals, communities and regions. To make any meaningful contribution to agricultural development, he suggested that indigenous knowledge should go hand-in-hand with modern knowledge in the face of climate change.
Dr. Mutiu Busari of the Department of Soil Science and Land Management, College of Plant Science and Crop Production (COLPLANT), while speaking on the topic, “The Roles of Climate Soil and Crop in Sustainable Agriculture in Nigeria”, said climate, soil and crop play major roles in sustainable agricultural system and that coping with such threats posed by climate change required developing appropriate adaptation and mitigation techniques. He recommended that an adequate knowledge of science of soil management was required to ensure improved crop productivity. Dr. Busari added that sustainable agriculture remained an integrated approach to crop and animal production and that the essence of sustainable agriculture was to provide food and fibre for man’s needs, enhanced environment and economic purposes. He stated that proper understanding of the roles of climate, soil and crops in the six ecological zones of Nigeria was important in ensuring food security. The presentation titled, “Sustainable Livestock Production: A Panacea for Food Security in Nigeria”, was delivered by Dr. Olajide Sogunle of the Department of Animal Production and Health, College of Animal Science and Livestock Production (COLANIM). According to Dr. Sogunle, livestock production constituted a very important component of the agricultural economy of many developing countries for multipurpose uses such as the production of fibre, fertilizer, fuel and capital accumulation. In order to encourage sustainable livestock production for food security in Nigeria, the Don proposed that there should be improved efficiency in livestock agriculture, adaptation of non-ruminant and ruminant animals to utilize local resources to produce valuable products and services by paying greater attention to the provisions of facilities and credit to small-scale producers, among others.
The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olusola Oyewole, who was represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Development), Professor Felix Salako, disclosed that the training was meant to further broaden and strengthen the relationship between FUNAAB and stakeholders in agricultural sector in Ogun State and beyond. He added that the workshop was in line with the University’s vision towards attaining national agricultural development and an environmentally-friendly society. The Vice-Chancellor appealed to farmers from the University’s extension villages such as Ijale-Orile, Daodu, Akintobi, Asebisetan, Odeda, Ilewo Orile, Olorunda, that were present at the event, to take full advantage of the workshop to broaden their knowledge on ways of reducing the effects of climate change.
Welcoming the farmers, the then Director of AMREC, Professor Carolyn Afolami, said it was the responsibility of AMREC to deliver the dividends of agricultural research to farmers and farming families for enhanced agricultural productivity and improvement in their livelihood. She added that farmers’ participation as at this programme would serve as a means to improving their existing knowledge of healthy environmental practices, urging the participants to feel free to ask questions and seek clarifications, where necessary.
Similarly, as the planting season draws nearer, farmers at the Olorunda Community in Abeokuta North Local Government Area of the state, have been supported with high-yielding cassava varieties for cultivation. Speaking at the pre-season training, tagged “Moving from Subsistence to Lucrative Business”, the CAVA II Country Technical Expert on Cassava Production, Mr. Stephen Olonade, said cassava production was gradually moving away from subsistence to a lucrative business, adding that farmers could only benefit effectively in the flourishing sub-sector, if they embraced good agronomic practices.
According to him, “huge markets exist in the cassava sub-sector particularly, in value chains such as ethanol, High Quality Cassava Flour, starch, grits and chips. The CAVA II project is committed to linking up farmers with these markets, but we want them to adopt new productivity enhancing technologies in order to benefit effectively from these lucrative value chains. With good farming practices, farmers can increase their yield by 25 percent and this will invariably increase their incomes”. Mr. Olukayode Adesanya from AMREC, who led the pre-season training, pointed out that in the course of making farmers transit from subsistence to commercial farming, efforts should be geared towards ensuring that farmers had access to quality stems and are aware of good farming practices suitable for cassava cultivation.
He said, “Hitherto farmers have been practicing agriculture at subsistence level, they don’t believe that they can cultivate cassava at a level where they can get more revenue. But we believe that if we train them on good farming practices and make high-yielding cassava varieties accessible to them, they will be able earn more revenue from their production. AMREC, as one of the service providers for CAVA II Nigeria has been given the mandate to empower smallholder cassava farmers through the establishment of demonstration plots, organise trainings that will equip them with the necessary skills which will improve their production as well as give them a token of improved varieties of cassava”.
The Procurement Manager, Allied Atlantic Distillers Limited, Mr. Rauf Omotara, emphasised on the opportunities that abound in the cassava sub-sector. He said, “There is every need for farmers to increase their production because now, there is market for them to sell their cassava roots. Normally, if a farmer cultivates cassava, the average yield he gets is 15 tonnes per hectare, however with all these trainings that the CAVA II project is giving the farmers, they can get up to 35 tonnes per hectare. The more roots they harvest, the more profit they get”.
He added, “If a farmer cultivates a cassava variety with high starch content, he earns more money. For instance, in my company, fresh cassava roots with starch content above 26 percent is bought at a fixed price of N13,000 per tonne. So, my message to farmers is that they should go out there and increase their cultivation, because there is a ready-market for their yields”. Concluding the pre-season training, Mr. Adesanya added that “farmers should be careful about site selection. They should be mindful of the areas that they choose for their farming. Farmers should not choose a soil full of gravels for cultivation because this will disturb the development of the roots, instead they should choose a sandy-loamy soil which drains easily and is not water logged. They should adopt the use of herbicides in controlling weeds instead of employing labourers to do manual wedding, this will save them a lot of money and eventually lower cost production. again, they should use improved varieties of cassava that is disease-resistant, especially the ones that have been worked on by the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA)”.
To ensure that the farmers cultivate cassava varieties with high starch content, which attract more price than the ones with low starch content, 600 bundles of improved cassava varieties, namely: TME 419 and TMS 96/1632 were also given out to them free-of-charge. The two varieties, which were given to the farmers, were chosen because they have high starch content and potential of producing 35 tonnes per hectare if the right agriculture practices are adopted by the farmers.
A former student of the University, Mr. Ayodele Mesele, has emerged tops in the Science of Forest Island in Africa (SOFIIA) scholarship, funded through the United Kingdom Government's Royal Society-DfID Africa Capacity Building Initiative. Mr. Mesele holds a First Class Honours Degree from the Department of Soil Science and Land Management in 2011 and a Distinction in his Master of Science Degree (Soil Science option) in 2014 from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana. He was also an Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) scholar for his Master’s Degree and currently works with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), as a Research Support Officer/Soil Scientist.
The scholarship won by Mesele covers research cost, travel cost, equipment, training cost, PhD studentship and management cost while members of the interview panel that selected the awardees comprise the Project Leader, Professor Jon Lloyd from the Imperial College, London; the Principal Investigator in Nigeria, Dr. Azeez Jamiu; the Head of Soil Science and Land Management Department, Professor Oluwatoyin Babalola; the Dean, College of Plant Science and Crop Production (COLPLANT), Professor Goke Bodunde and the Director of Grants Management, Professor Kola Adebayo.
Meanwhile, the parameters used in selecting the awardee include the evaluation of the relevant Master’s and Bachelor’s degree certificates, candidate's motivation, academic publications, personal interaction, appearance, as well as composure.
Similarly, Allied Energy Plc, a subsidiary of the Cameroun - American Company (CAMAC), has awarded scholarships of N100,000 each to two students of the University. They are: Ahmed Sanusi of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Opeyemi Matti of the Department of Electrical/Electronics Engineering.
The Dean of Student Affairs, Professor Yemi Akegbejo-Samsons, while welcoming the donors, recalled that in 2013, CAMAC had requested for the names of two students from the Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Electrical/Electronics Engineering with the highest Cumulative Grade Point Average. The Dean noted that Ahmed Sanusi, who was in 400-level then had now graduated and was presently waiting to participate in National Youth Service Corps, while Opeyemi Matti, who was in 200-level then is now in 400-level.
The donor company was represented at the event by the Human Resources Managers, viz: Messrs Francis Oyenuga and Godwin Adigwe. Mr. Oyenuga gave a brief history of the company, saying it was founded in Houston, United States of America, about 29 years ago as an agricultural commodity business that traded in Tobacco, Barley and other grains to countries in West Africa with Cameroun being the location of the company’s first successful commodities trade centre.
Mr. Oyenuga described the University as a centre of excellence in education and research and one of the best in the country. He further informed that about 22 Universities from the six geo-political zones in the country had benefited from the award, adding that it was part of the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives. Responding, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olusola Oyewole, lauded the generosity of CAMAC by extending the gesture to the University and also recognising it as a centre of excellence, while assuring that both the company and FUNAAB would continue to work harder to ensure that more students were awarded during the next edition of the scholarship.
Twenty-one fresh Veterinary doctors were recently inducted when the University played host to dignitaries from all walks of life during the induction ceremony and admission of graduates in the College of Veterinary Medicine (COLVET), into the Veterinary profession.
Speaking at the occasion, the Vice-Chancellor, FUNAAB and President, Association of African Universities, Professor Olusola Oyewole, stated that in order to ensure that COLVET continued to be a foremost centre of Veterinary education and animal disease control, the University recently constructed and opened an ultra-modern Veterinary Teaching Hospital with an initial contract for equipment, worth N30 million. The Vice-Chancellor further disclosed that, “Doctors of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree programme in the University has been fully accredited by the National Universities Commission (NUC) since 2009, and we are confident that the feat has been repeated with the recently-released accreditation result by the NUC. Last year, our DVM programme was also fully accredited by the Veterinary Council of Nigeria for a period of five years. We are, therefore, proud today to release into the society, another batch of well-trained Veterinary doctors, who will help to boost livestock production and national food security through efficient and effective prevention, control of diseases and death of food animals”.
The Vice-Chancellor, however, charged the inductees, saying “as you go out into the world, always remember that the Federal Government has invested much more in you than to the average University graduate, for the cost of your training is about thrice that of an average University graduate. It, therefore, behooves you to give your utmost back to your country. Also, remember to lift the flag of FUNAAB high wherever you go”, Professor Oyewole added.
The Guest Speaker, a veteran Veterinarian, Dr. Adedamola Jaiyesimi, in a paper titled, “Making Clinicians out of Scientists”, said the main problem the new Veterinary doctors would face in their clinical life would not always be found in their lecture notes and textbooks. He charged them to always stand out and improve on the knowledge received while in the University and to keep abreast of recent technologies and techniques as they unfold. They were also advised not to limit themselves to the training received in the University, but to train and retrain themselves in the various fields of medicine, including the human medical problems, to be able to harness the limitless opportunities imbedded in the Veterinary profession. The Guest Speaker lamented that five decades after Veterinary schools were established in Nigeria, some corporate farms still employed expatriates, especially, Indians to manage their farms, while charging the new Veterinary doctors to be above board. Speaking on the opportunities that abound in the Veterinary profession, Dr. Jaiyesimi said veterinarians were equipped with more basic biomedical knowledge than their human medicine colleagues, adding that there are veterinarians in human medical faculties as well. “At a point in time, University of Harvard’s Public Health School was headed by a DVM holder. My dream for you is to harness the power of your mind, from one of you would come Nigeria’s first Nobel Laureate in medicine or physiology”, he added.
The President, Veterinary Council of Nigeria (VCN), Professor Garba Sharubutu, expressed his confidence in the University to turn out qualitative veterinarians, who would stand the test of time, be good ambassadors of the University, as well as the veterinary profession. Professor Sharabutu commended the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Oyewole and the University Management for the dynamism, saying that VCN was always happy to associate with FUNAAB because anytime he visited the institution, there was always a positive change in the structure and development, adding that such has endeared FUNAAB to his Council.
The VCN President challenged the new inductees to see their inductions as a call to greater service by improving livestock production, which used to be a money spinner just like the Automated Teller Machine (ATM) and means of livelihood considering the recent drop in oil prices and rise in the dollar rate. He also challenged the University to move its College to the next level by increasing the number of student intakes, adding that the University had the structure while the VCN grants approval for the admission of students into the profession.
Corroborating him, the President, Nigerian Veterinary Medical Association (NVMA), Dr. Edgar Sunday, congratulated the University for its steady progress, which had allowed it to carve a niche for itself as a leading citadel of learning and centre of academic excellence, as he urged the University Management to do more by equipping its Veterinary Teaching Hospital so that Veterinary doctors are well equipped with all the theoretical and practical skills needed to excel. He also lauded the University for ensuring that the welfare of its members are well taken care of, while charging the new inductees, “to continue to be hardworking, be professional in whatever you do, to maintain the ethics of the profession, to be creative and enterprising and to continues your intellectual pursuit”.
Earlier, the Dean of COLVET, Professor Babatunde Otesile, noted that the seventh induction ceremony was for the seventh graduating set of DVM since the six-year DVM programme commenced in FUNAAB in March 2002, meaning that each set of the University graduate of Veterinary Medicine was licensed to practice by VCN, as soon as they complete their studies in the University. He commended the University Management for its support and encouragement, which had enabled the College to get accredited.
Speaking on her love for the Veterinary Profession, one of the newly inducted Veterinary Doctors, Dr. Adurayemi Quadri said if given the opportunity to make a choice again, she would choose the veterinary profession because she believed she has better advantage than her colleagues in the Human Medicine. According to her, the only thing they can do after graduation is to work in a human hospital, but as a veterinary doctor, she could work in various organizations such as NAFDAC, Pharmaceutical Companies, set up a Vet Clinic or work with the Ministry of Agriculture. “The opportunities are so diversified and more lucrative than the human medicine and I am glad that I opted to be a veterinary doctor”. Dr. Quadri added that awareness on the benefit of the profession was limited, advocated for more enlightenment programmes to be organised by the College and practitioners in the field, for younger students seeking admission, within the University itself and their clients.
While reacting to his induction into the Veterinary Profession, Dr. Taiwo Awosanya, said he felt accomplished and extremely grateful to God for seeing him through the course, saying he was particularly excited to have had his family members around to share in his joy, considering the fact that he is officially the first Doctor in his family.
Highlight of the occasion was the swearing-in of the new inductees, donations and the presentation of awards to two distinguished friends of the College for their immense contributions to livestock production in Nigeria. They are: Lady Olufunmilayo Agbato, Executive Vice-President, Animal Care Consult, who was represented by Mrs. Olusola Tijani of Animal Care Consult, Nigeria; and Mr. Olumide Origunloye of Farm Support Limited, who was represented by Dr. Adigun Olufemi, while the dignitaries present include Dr. Jide Oluwawemitan, the State Chairman, Nigerian Veterinary Medical Association (NVMA), Ogun State; Dr. Tunji Nasir of Truthmiles Animal Hospital, Lagos; Dr. Dotun Sorunke, Director, Veterinary Services, Ogun State; Mrs. Omobolanle Oyewole, wife of the Chairman and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olusola Oyewole, Professor Adekojo Waheed, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic; Professor Felix Salako, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Development; Mr. Mathew Ayoola, Registrar; Mr. Moses Ilesanmi, Bursar; Dr. Mulikat Salaam, the University Librarian; Deans of Colleges, Directors, Heads of Departments and Units of FUNAAB, among others.