News Published in June 2015
The 2014/2015 Batches B and C corps members, who served in FUNAAB, have donated copies of official name-plates to some offices in the Senate and Unity Buildings of the University. The gesture was part of the corps members' social responsibility programmes in their places of primary assignment and for appreciating the University Management because of its continuous support.
The Internal Corps Liaison Officer (ICLO) in the University, Mr. Emmanuel Ebere-Dinnie, said the donation was done to facilitate easy identification and accessibility to the beneficiary offices, adding that two name-plates were also provided for the Registrar's Office.
While receiving the name-plates which were thirty-five in all, the Deputy Director, Establishment Matters (Senior), Mrs. Oluwatoyin Dawodu, appreciated the corps members for their generosity and wished them the very best in their future endeavours.
Muslims have been enjoined to embrace peaceful co-existence in any society they find themselves because only peace and tranquility remain the ingredients that could move nations forward.
Making this call was Professor Ishaaq Akintola, a Muslim cleric from Lagos State University and Guest Lecturer at the 25th FUNAAB Muslim Community Ramadan Lecture. Speaking on the theme, “Muslims: Persecutors or the Persecuted”, said Muslims should brace up to face challenges by ensuring that their grievances were channeled into constructive ways that are devoid of violence and religious clashes.
He called on the government to allow the rule of law to prevail as peace could only be possible under an atmosphere of justice by avoiding bringing religious sentiment into the governance, by allowing equal rights to all existing religion within the country so that some people would not feel marginalised. Professor Isiaq also encouraged the media to be objective, liberal, factual in their reportage and do away with any information that could cause acrimony within the society and most especially on religion. The Don expressed his gratitude to the Vice-Chancellor for the peaceful co-existence pervading the University.
Speaking at the occasion, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olusola Oyewole, who was represented by the University Librarian, Dr. Mulikat Salaam, thanked the FUNAAB Muslim community members for their support and peaceful existence. He charged them to use the holy month of Ramadan to pray for the country and its leaders. While welcoming all Muslim to the programme, the Amir of FUNAAB Muslim community, Professor Kehinde Okeleye, encouraged them to always make use of all the sermons and lectures. He equally advised Muslim students to always become good ambassadors of the University.
The chairman of the occasion, Alhaji Ambali Ishola, called on participants at the lecture, which was well attended by Muslim faithfuls, to reflect on the importance of the topic at this time and admonished Muslims to always make peace with each other and embrace peaceful co-existence in the overall interest of the society.
The University Bursar, Mr. Moses Ilesanmi, has charged government officials to comply with due process when requesting for or utilizing approved funds.
Mr. Ilesanmi stated this at the One-day Awareness Workshop, organised by the Bursary Department, which was aimed at educating spending officers on how to access available funds for the overall development of the University by getting acquitted with the official procedures. Speaking on the topic, "Essential Requirements for Fund Allocation and Utilization", the Bursar stated that under the regulatory framework, it was a punishable offence to receive and disburse government money without financial authority. Explaining further, he defined financial authority as the legal instrument that empowers and guides public officers while carrying out official financial transactions.
The Bursar pointed out that while engaging in formal business transactions, public officers were to ensure that they complied with due process which involved "following the prescribed, generally known, agreed and accepted procedure or ways to do something. It could be legal provisions or moral standards". He added that due diligence should be applied by "being careful to verify, ascertain and ensure that information presented or represented in support of any claim or position on a transaction by a customer or client is genuine, real and true".
He highlighted some basic questions that spending officers should always remember such as: what do we need? Why do we need it? When do we need it? What is the cost? Where is it available? Are there alternatives? And, how do we get it? He further said, public officers, equipped with the necessary information, can then follow the following steps before making purchases: determine the need, ascertain cost, confirm funds availability, seek open and competitive quotations in line with procurement regulations, perform due diligence, prepare formal request of items and goods needed by stating vote of charge, secure approval in compliance with threshold, document duly-verified or certified items and goods received, process the received goods and items for payment, prepare payment voucher subject to all statutory deductions and being audited, and then effect payment using electronic payment.
He enumerated the accepted methods of transacting business to include the use of Local Purchase Order (LPO), payment of cash advance, request for re-imbursement and the use of ‘I Owe You’ (IOU). Mr. Ilesanmi charged spending officers to ensure that they do timely retirement of the cash spent.
In his presentation titled, "The Role of Internal Audit on Fund Utilisation", the Acting Head, Internal Audit, Mr. Olufisayo Amubode, defined Audit as a systematic investigation and appraisal of transactions procedures, operations and financial statements, adding that the main purpose of audit was to ensure the determination of the degree of adherence to prescribed standards.
According to him, Internal Audit played a vital role in ensuring strict compliance to budget control procedures by ensuring that funds were utilised only for the purposes for which they were allocated in the budget. Mr. Amubode further highlighted the role of Internal Audit in funds allocation and utilisation through safeguarding of policies, ensuring of standards, price intelligence service, ensuring of efficiency and effectiveness, pre and post-payment audit, promoting financial discipline, monitoring, and making of recommendations. Others include the provision of alternative means and ways of implementing and utilising funds as approved, rendering assistance while prioritising programmes to achieve overall effectiveness and efficiency, and linking departmental activities with the relevant offices.
Mr. Amubode described as erroneous, the impression by people, that the Internal Audit was saddled with the sole responsibility of discovering fraud, saying the duties of the office covered reviewing and evaluating the activities of the institution with a view to expressing an opinion on the efficient and effective allocation and utilisation of funds by ensuring sound internal control mechanism within the University. He promised that the Directorate of Internal Audit of the University was committed to providing good services while imploring spending officers to always carry along his Directorate in the course of embarking on official purchases and expenditure.
Earlier, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olusola Oyewole, who was represented at the occasion by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Development, Professor Felix Salako, charged public officers to ensure that funds were always utilised for the purposes they were meant for, as they would eventually be held accountable for such official commitments.
The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olusola Oyewole, has made a case for attitudinal change among student leaders in the nation’s ivory towers if they are to impact their generation positively. Professor Oyewole made the call while declaring open a 2-day seminar for FUNAAB student leaders with the theme, “Attitude for Development Leadership”.
The Vice-Chancellor charged the students to always be peaceful and show maturity in the course of making for any demand from the authorities. While challenging Nigerian students to emulate their counterparts in Europe, who usually embark on protests on very important issues that centred on students’ exchange programmes, quality assurance and internationalisation of their institutions. Professor Oyewole charged participants at the seminar to lead by example while strengthening and promoting development and collaboration with the Management in making FUNAAB a world-class University.
The Dean of Student Affairs, Professor Yemi Akegbejo-Samsons, disclosed that the workshop was organised to enlarge and expand the knowledge horizon of the student leaders for the task ahead of them. He added that the training was unique in the sense that students were being equipped to serve the nation better.
The President of the Students' Union, Comrade Peter Olajumoke, thanked the Vice-Chancellor for his magnanimity and kindness for relating with them freely like his own biological children in terms of welfare. He also appreciated the efforts of the Dean of Student Affairs in ensuring that the training programme eventually took place.
Meanwhile, the Vice-Chancellor has also pledged Managements support towards the building of the proposed FUNAAB Students’ Union Centre. The Vice-Chancellor stated this after being presented the prototype layout of the building and laying of the foundation of the recreational centre.
Comrade Olawale had described the idea of building a recreational centre as a “Monumental Legacy”, which would leave an indelible mark in the history of FUNAAB, as he stated that the sum of N1 million had been earmarked for the take-off of the project, while expressing his optimism that the needed funds for the building would be raised from donations, students' annual dues and corporate sponsorships by private organisations.
In a similar development, the Students’ Union has donated copies of the publications; “Developmental Unionism” and “A Better Nigeria Without Me”, to the ‘Nimbe Adedipe Library. While appreciating the donation, the University Librarian, Dr. Mulikat Salaam, lauded the students for maintaining peace on campus, as she charged them to start contributing their quota in the development of the nation.
Commercial agriculture, if well-developed and implemented, is capable of curtailing the scourge of unemployment pervading Nigeria, as it has the capacity to create 4 million jobs in the various agricultural value chain channels. Professor Akin Omotayo, Director, Institute for Food Security, Environmental Resources and Agricultural Research (IFSERAR), stated this while speaking on a radio programme, recently.
Professor Omotayo who spoke on the topic, “How to Resolve the Nigerian Economy through Agriculture", stated that agriculture remained the only viable option that could solve the economic quagmire that the country finds itself in, because over-reliance on oil had failed the nation. While advising governments at all levels to focus on agriculture, the IFSERAR Director opined that young people should be trained and empowered to earn income in agriculture like their counterparts in other fields, saying this would make them stay on the farm, moreso that the few existing farmers were becoming old.
The University Don called for a systematic approach towards achieving this, which would ultimately result into stakeholders making more money and the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increasing. He advised agriculture ministries and departments, at both the state and local government levels to be up and doing, assuring that FUNAAB was always ready to assist them in any area of agricultural development towards ensuring food security.
Professor Omotayo, a former Commissioner for Agriculture in Ekiti State, lauded the immediate past Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, for successfully curbing corruption in the agricultural sector through the use of technology. Responding to callers on the programme, he highlighted the various ways through which FUNAAB could partner stakeholders in the industry. These include involvement in the annual in-house review meetings, production of farmer-friendly publications, trade fairs and visits to villages and towns for sensitisation and enlightenment campaigns.
Meanwhile, the Management team from the West Africa Agricultural Productivity Programme (WAAPP), Nigeria, has lauded FUNAAB during its visit to the University, to assess the progress made so far by IFSERAR in the existing collaboration between both bodies. While welcoming the team, the Director of IFSERAR, who is also the WAAPP Co-ordinator in the University, Professor Omotayo, thanked Management as well as WAAPP for their support in ensuring that IFSERAR was at the fore-front in research and increasing food productivity so as to end hunger in the land. He said a lot of progress had been made since the collaboration started about a year ago. Professor Omotayo said IFSERAR was into projects such as cassava seed multiplication and fingerlings multiplication, distribution, technology dissemination and adopted school project, noting that recently, the institute empowered some farmers by giving them farm inputs such as fingerlings and cassava stem, free of charge.
Speaking at the event, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olusola Oyewole, who is also the President of Association of African Universities (AAU), appreciated the contributions of WAAPP-Nigeria through IFSERAR, in strengthening the University’s extension village farmers. He added that the FUNAAB recently bought a Toyota Hilux Van to support the programme, adding that a lot of things needed to be done in providing food security. He stressed the need to embark on sensitisation and enlightenment activities that would enable the youth take up farming as a means of livelihood, to create more employment opportunities. He gave the assurance that the University would continue to ensure that its research efforts waxed stronger and that WAAPP team members should feel free to visit various ongoing farm projects on campus.
The National Co-ordinator of WAAPP-Nigeria, Dr. Sheu Salawu, said he was impressed with the serenity of FUNAAB, noting that the objective of the visit was to review the activities of the project in the University in line with the determination of the World Bank to eliminate poverty globally. He acknowledged the enormous effort being made by FUNAAB in supporting the WAAPP programmes, adding that he had a strong belief that the communities around the University were feeling the positive impact of WAAPP. Dr. Salawu urged the Vice-Chancellor to continue to support, and include entrepreneurship courses for graduating students to facilitate their accessing of finance. The team members were shown various research findings in the University as they visited ongoing agricultural projects on campus.
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.
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 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 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 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.