News Published in March 2015
In an effort to reposition the water sector for effective service delivery, the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, has entered into partnership with the University alongside five other Federal Universities from different geopolitical zones in the country. The partnership would lead to the establishment of capacity building centres through academic programmes up to Master's degree level on Integrated Water Resources Management, in addition to other capacity building courses offered by the participating Universities.
The project, which is being implemented by the National Water Resource Institute (NWRI), would foster the creation of water-related jobs such as irrigation, aquaculture, hydropower/dam, water supply and sanitation that would enhance expertise in water management in the country. According to the Dean, College of Engineering (COLENG) and the Co-ordinator of the Project, Professor Johnson Adewumi, FUNAAB was one of the institutions that competed to become the
host for the South-west, noting that the University competed with older institutions such as the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) Ile-Ife, University of Lagos (UNILAG) and the University of Ibadan (UI).
Recalling the first Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by FUNAAB and NWRI in 2010, which was meant for three years, but lapsed in 2013. He noted that during the first period, the intention of the Network was to develop capacity in the water sector, the Universities and the polytechnics. He added that the main reason why FUNAAB became a capacity building centre was due to the University's impressive reservoir of human resources. According to him, "We have Zoologists, we have Scientists, we have Physicists and have members in UNILAG, Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), UI, OAU and so on".
He added that FUNAAB was holding-forth for the South-west, while the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria was for the North-west; University of Ilorin (UNILORIN) was for the North-central; University of Calabar (UNICAL) for the South-south; Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, for the South-east while the University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID), was for the North-east. "This was how we were, so we could co-ordinate the idea and we are supposed to have one management meeting and one technical meeting in a year apart from the activities we were supposed to be doing in the South-west. The capacity building network would be developing courses for the water board, middle level manpower, Ministry of Environment on climate change and anywhere there is a problem in the water sector, we are supposed to raise human capacity to solve it and we are supposed to have data, to save this data and send to Abuja and Kaduna".
Pointing to the NWRI Building, adjacent to the COLENG Building, the Co-ordinator said the building was part of the benefits that accrued to the University as regards the MoU. He added that the building cost more than N8million equipped with over 10 desktop computers including furniture, a Hilux pick-up van, and a generator in case of power outage.
According to him, "N11million was sent to us and for the next four years from 2015 to 2019, the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, through the World Bank, would be giving us N5million for management and training. It could be more than that, depending on the review and it would be like that for the next four or five years. And after five years, if they would not be able to give us any money, we are to generate our own money and share the profit, giving 60 percent to FUNAAB and 40 percent to NWRI, Kaduna". On the immediate benefits of the project to the University community, he said the fact that FUNAAB was the one hosting the Network, the benefits could be quantified in terms of equipment, as well as building and "if there is anything to be upgraded in terms of equipment, FUNAAB would benefit and we are also to key into it if they can help us to have a University Dam", he added.
The Co-ordinator stated that "They would also be giving us some money every year to do some programmes. They have actually mandated us to float a Professional Master’s degree in Integrated Water Resources Management, which we have developed and it would be passed through the Postgraduate School and to the Curriculum Committee. It would also admit students from other West African countries". He, however, described NWRI as an advisory arm of the Federal Ministry of Water Resources to train people for the bagging of the Ordinary National Diploma (OND) and Higher National Diploma (HND) certificates in Water Resources. Professor Adewumi disclosed further that the Institute was in place to gather and develop a databank for the country in the area of water sector management.
The Agricultural Media Resources and Extension Centre (AMREC) of the University, has donated two sets of Beekeeping equipment with complete set of costumes to the farming community of Ijo-Agbe in Opeji, Odeda Local Government area of Ogun State. The donation was done during a training workshop on “Modern Beekeeping and Medicinal Value of Honey for Farmers”, drawn from Ijo-Agbe, Ilawo, Boonu-Ola, Tigba, as well as participants from Olorunsogo, Asebi-Sotan Titun, Opeji villages and staff of the Ogun State Agricultural Development Programme (OGADEP).
The Director of AMREC, Professor Carolyn Afolami, stressed the need to train farmers on ways of diversifying their resources, in order to reduce the risks associated with absolute dependence on conventional crop and animal production, as sources of income. She stated that Beekeeping required little land space and would be an ideal enterprise for small scale and resource-poor farmers, stating that the training would further boost the population of Beekeeping farmers and increase the production of adequate quantity and quality honey to meet the increasing demand of consumers and industries. She said, apart from the environmental benefits of increasing yield through pollination by bees, Beekeepers would also enjoy additional economic benefits of supplying raw materials for the production of alcoholic beverages, feed for livestock, drug ingredients and cosmetics, among others.
Presenting the equipment, the Programme Leader, Training and Farm Demonstrations (TFD) of AMREC, Dr. Jacob Olaoye, emphasised that 60 percent of proceeds from the beehives will be kept by the community for other agricultural pursuits, while the remaining 40 percent would come to AMREC, to further empower other communities. Participants were taken on different training modules like "Apiary Selection, Establishment and Management", by Dr. Adedoyin Osipitan; "Honey and Traditions, Medicinal Uses and Beekeeping Practice", by Professor Samuel Oluwalana and "Value Addition, Packaging and Marketing of Bee Hive Products", by Dr. Olufunmilayo Oluwalana.
The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olusola Oyewole, has lauded the Cassava: Adding Value for Africa (CAVA II) Project on effective management. The Vice-Chancellor gave the commendation while receiving Principal Officers of the project, who recently paid him a courtesy visit, as the programme officer, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Mr. Orin Hasson, has restated the need for more African countries to invest in the production of cassava. The Vice-Chancellor noted that CAVA II had been well managed in the areas of accountability and timely release of project funds to its partners, as demanded by its financier, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Professor Oyewole, who is also the President, Association of African Universities (AAU), stated that “the issue that we thought would be a problem, which is the proper and timely release of funds has not been a problem. There has not been an issue with the funding, the funds are timely and properly released, as demanded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation”. Professor Oyewole also lauded the leadership of CAVA II Project for proper and timely release of funds for the smooth implementation of the multi-national project operating in the five African countries, namely: Nigeria, Ghana, Tanzania, Malawi and Uganda.
While giving an update of the project’s activities, the Project Director, Professor Kolawole Adebayo, pointed out that CAVA II was an opportunity for FUNAAB to be a leader in the rank of African institutions that were being tested for the management of grants, adding that the project would open doors of opportunities for other African institutions. "Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is very interested in this project. It is the Foundation's main experiment in providing funds directly to African institutions for implementing multi-country projects. We are mindful of this. So, we ensure 100 percent transparency and accountability in the management of the project”. Professor Adebayo also disclosed that CAVA II had maintained utmost meticulousness in ensuring proper management and timely release of project funds. “Proper funds management is very important in the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. So, we make sure that the transfer of funds have been timely. Between May and September last year, everybody got their money as and when due. We also ask for prompt reporting of accounts and our partners have been providing that, too”.
The Country Manager of CAVA II, Nigeria, Professor Lateef Sanni, highlighted some of the successes recorded by the project in the country. “We have signed an MoU (Memorandum of Understanding), with the biggest cassava processing company in Nigeria, which is Thai Farms International. It uses about 60 tonnes of cassava daily and we are mobilising farmers to deliver cassava roots to it (Thai Farms). Greentech Company has also signed MoU with us to deliver roots to their factories. We have also signed MoU with Allied Atlantic Distillers Limited (AADL). We are working with 20 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), who are benefiting from the Cassava Transformation Agenda Programme (CTAP). Those 20 SMEs are being strengthened by CAVA II in terms of logistics. So, we are working with farmers and developing markets”, Professor Sanni said.
“CAVA II has been having what we call strategic policy meeting. Last November, we had what we call National Starch Business Meeting, it was very timely because the cassava starch industry in the country is not being supported. Most of the private companies in the sector see CAVA II as their champion to acquit them. We would be inviting the University Management and the Vice-Chancellor to some of these dialogues occasionally”, he said. Professor Sanni equally mentioned some service providers that CAVA II had been working with, saying “we have been working with Ogun, Ondo, Osun and Oyo Agricultural Development Programmes (ADPs), FUNAAB’s Agricultural Media Resources and Extension Centre (AMREC), as well as the Justice, Peace and Development Mission (JDPM). We also work with the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and invite our service providers to tell us what they have been able to do in in 2014 and what they are going to achieve in 2015”.
Meanwhile, the Programme Officer, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Mr. Orin Hasson, has charged African countries to scale-up their level of investment in the cassava sector, in order to enhance productivity and commercialisation of the root crop on the continent. Mr. Hasson stated this at the opening ceremony of the Annual Review and Planning Meeting of CAVA II Project, held in Kampala, Uganda. He noted that in order to achieve the main goal of the project, which was to improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers, there was the need to expand investments in cassava production and create new markets where smallholder farmers could sell their cassava roots.
The Ugandan Minister of Agriculture, represented by the Director of Crop Resources, Mr. Okaasai Opolot, said cassava was an important crop in Africa, particularly in Uganda, where the root crop is among the top five priority crops. He pointed out that cassava was the most cultivated crop after banana, adding that many households in the country depended on cassava production as a means of livelihood. “Cassava is among the top five priority crops in Uganda. In our recent report, CAVA II, Uganda, has contributed to increasing the incomes of smallholder cassava farmers and community processing groups by linking the farmers to large scale companies”, he added. The minister, however, advised that “African countries should provide an enabling environment for the production of the root crop, which is capable of reducing poverty in Africa”.
The Project Director of CAVA II, Professor Adebayo, re-affirmed the project’s commitment to developing sustainable value chains in the cassava sector, so as to ensure that the project’s goal was realised. He disclosed further that CAVA II Project, led by the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), was exploring the inclusion of cassava in the production of livestock feed and when the trials were concluded, a new market should stir-up the demand for more cassava in the livestock feed industry. Professor Adebayo also highlighted some of the progress made in the target countries over the last six years, noting that while CAVA II, Uganda, had successfully introduced dried cassava chips, as an adjunct in the beer industry, the project in Nigeria had been very successful in both the flour milling and ethanol industries, as similar landmark achievements were evident in Tanzania, Malawi and Ghana. The Chairman of Africa Innovations Institute (AfrII), Professor William Otim-Nape, said CAVA II, Uganda, under AfrII was prepared to take cassava to greater heights. He called on Ugandans to prepare for cassava transformation in the country, pointing out that the revolution had already started. “I urge Ugandans and well-wishers to join us and be part of the revolution. To governments, we urge you to put in place, the enabling environment and incentive framework, to support rapid cassava transformation in the country. For instance, I do not see the rationale for incurring huge foreign exchange bills on the importation of wheat flour and barley when cassava could as well do the job. We need government’s intervention to absorb risks for those wanting to innovate in using cassava in making industrial products. In addition, tax exemptions for those producing and using High Quality Cassava Flour (HQCF) in industries is urgent,” he added. The Project Director of C:AVA, led by Professor Andrew Westby of the University of Greenwich, also re-affirmed his commitment to supporting the CAVA II Project.
Comrade Isiaka Odunjo has been re-elected as the Chairman, Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU), FUNAAB Branch, at the just-concluded 2015 Quadrennial Election of the Union. Other officers elected are: Comrade Samson Edivri, Secretary and Comrade Olayinka Afaraetu, Treasurer; while the ex-officio members are Comrades Serifat Akinola, Idowu Isaiah, Olusegun Dagunduro, Abiodun Adesina and Owolabi Sorunke.
Earlier, leaders from the national headquarters of NASU had paid a courtesy visit on the University Management. Speaking at the occasion, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olusola Oyewole, stated that the University would always play a fatherly role, adding that the Union members needed to comport themselves accordingly. His words, “We are in a democratic dispensation, your members would need to abide by the rules and regulations governing the Union, the University and the nation in general”. Represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Development, Professor Felix Salako, the Vice-Chancellor, said everyone was a stakeholder and working within the ambit of the law, saying “we don’t expect any hitch or violence”.
The Returning Officer for the election, Comrade Lawrence Okebiorun, said that the Vice-Chancellor had been a 'father' to all. He paid glowing tributes to the University Management for maintaining a cordial relationship with the Union. Comrade Okebiorun also said he did not support the emergence of any particular candidate, noting that the election was usually held once in four years, and commended the adequate security put in place by the University.
Final year students of the Department of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development, Faculty of Agriculture, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, recently visited the University to learn basic things on value addition and strategies of Agricultural Enterprise that would enhance their studies. The students were received and tutored at the University’s Agricultural Media Resources and Extension Centre (AMREC).
At the occasion, Dr. Oluwafunmilayo Oluwalana of AMREC, told them to dream big but start small. She encouraged them to seek for and acquire knowledge in their youthful days since information was vital to development. She noted that the main challenge facing the agricultural sector in Nigeria was in the area of value addition of agricultural products, as she urged relevant stakeholders to find lasting solutions to the problem. She also charged the upcoming agricultural entrepreneurs to develop a business plan through which they will be properly guided to make headway in the industry. She said, “We have three mandates in the University: teaching, research and extension. The teaching is done in the Colleges and we have ten Colleges. The Research arm is headed by the Institute of Food Security, Environmental Resources and Agricultural Research (IFSERAR) while the extension arm is headed by the Agricultural Media Resources and Extension Centre (AMREC.) In AMREC, we have five programmes, the first is Extension and Adaptive Research Programme, the second is the Gender Issues and Youth Development Programme (GIYD), Training and Farm Demonstration Programmes, Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (PME) as well as the Media and Farm Broadcast Programme (MFB)”.
Dr. Oluwalana said further, “Here in AMREC, we focus on value-added processing and Agricultural Business Management. We bring Agriculture to you as an enterprising adventure. So far, three of our products in AMREC have been patented and we have been able to developed many products. For instance, we have 11 products from cassava and seven products made from cassava waste. Instead of using cassava peels to generate waste, the peel can be turned into herbal soap. The same goes for Coco pods which can be used to make body cream”. On how to make agricultural business profitable, she disclosed that “before you go into Agriculture business, you need to have a business plan which will include your name and the product you want to sell. You should be able to find out what makes a product special, who will buy the product, the name of the company, among other things. You should have slogans and advertising plans”.
Mr. ‘Lasun Somoye of the Centre also shed light on the Media and Farm Broadcast (MFB) Programme of AMREC, in translating agricultural research findings into media materials with emphasis on audio-visuals as well as extension publication for dissemination to stakeholders in agriculture across the South-West. Others who sensitised the students were: Mr. Adesanya Olukayode of the Extension and Adaptive Research (EAR), Mrs. Adeloye Temitope of the Training and Farm Demonstration (TFD), and Mr. Rotimi Onifade of the Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (PME) Programme.
According to a student leader, Bukola Ojo, the purpose of the visit was to enable them acquire more knowledge in agricultural technologies, which had led them to inspect various projects and locations in the University such as the bakery, ‘garri’ processing factory, cashew nut factory and Palmwine factory, among others. Ojo added that the visit was part of the basic requirements needed to pass the course on ‘Agro-Industrial Technology, Generation and Utilisation’, with the primary purpose of developing appropriate technology in crop production, noting that FUNAAB was chosen for the visit because it had carved a niche for itself among the leading Universities in the country in the area of agricultural practices.
Mr. Olukayode Adesanya, representing the Extension and Adaptive Research Programme, highlighted some of the areas the University had been able to impact on farmers, processors and funded projects. “Our programme is saddled with the responsibility of taking agriculture trainings to schools, particularly, secondary schools, to stir up their interest. Through our ‘Agricultural in School Project,’ we have been able to organise trainings in cassava production, fish farming and so on. We also collaborate with other extension projects like CAVA II Project, sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. We have other projects like the West Africa Agriculture Productivity Project (WAAP), sponsored by the World Bank”. We have five interventions whereby, we disseminate our technology such as the production of quality protein maize, which has high protein content; technology in poultry layers; and beta-carotene cassava, a variety of cassava that has Vitamin A", he added.
The Deputy Director, Directorate of University Farms (DUFARMS), Mr. Michael Jaiyeola, has commended the initiative of the University Management on the establishment of the FUNAAB Model Integrated Farms. Mr. Jaiyeola disclosed this in an interview during a guided familiarisation tour by University guests. According to him, "It is a brilliant idea to have an integrated farming system that is different from what we were originally doing here. This system ensures that nothing is lost or wasted, as long as it is a constituent of nature, it is simply harvested and recycled. The system integrates 'zero waste' and total productivity concept, through the use of biological and ecological farming practices. It is a system where various units and sections are skillfully combined to achieve a common goal".
He recalled the situation that warranted the siting of the farm in FUNAAB saying, “It's the vision of the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olusola Oyewole. Sometime ago, he was at the Republic of Benin and visited the Songhai Farms in Port Novo. He saw what they were doing there. When he came back, he told some scientists here in FUNAAB of his Songhai experience and a trip was planned, thereafter. Incidentally, I was one of those that was asked to be in that team. We went there for two days, studied the agricultural system they were practicing and agreed that it was something that could be replicated here on our campus".
Mr. Jaiyeola, while comparing the initial state of FUNAAB farms to that of Songhai said, "we had everything but they were not fully integrated. We had the arable and plantation tree crops farms, the livestock complex, the processing and value addition section, which is our Industrial Park Unit, Agro-tourism too with the Zoological Garden, the International Scholars' and Resource Centre (IS&RC) and the Royal Greens Guest House. I think what we need to do is to imbibe the philosophy of Songhai in structuring our own integrated farm complex".
He stated that the new "FUNAAB Model Integrated Farm is sitting on a 52-hectare land and is being developed in phases. The land have been surveyed and some of the ventures have been allocated on the land. We get started with the establishment of pawpaw and plantain orchards. We have also introduced some of the ‘niche’ enterprises such as Biogas and gasifier technologies station, mushroom shed and extensive snailery garden. The second phase of the farm development will take care of livestock activities such as various poultry birds like broilers, layers, ducks, quails, guinea fowls, turkey, pigeons and geese. Also inclusive in phase two development is wildlife domestication such as the rearing of grass-cutters. In line with the Songhai concept, was the opening of an Agro-mart mini-market, where all farm produce are displayed and made available for sale".
"Our plan is to aim high while starting small. We have been able to do the little we can on the farm development. We have fenced the entire farm complex with local materials to keep off intruders, most especially, the destructive activities of nomadic cattle rearers. We have also been able to create access roads through the farm. The farm goes beyond the watershed areas; beyond the bamboo groves is an irrigated farm at the other side, where dry season vegetables are produced. By and large, we have been able to do whatever we can to ensure systematic integration of crops and animal production, as well as Aquaculture and Biogas as a major factor to the success of the farm", he noted.
Mr. Jaiyeola stated further that “by the time we re-visit the Songhai Farm for a review of our activities, we will be able to improve on all we have done”. The Deputy Director said that the farm had a 10-hectare pineapple farm, adding that FUNAAB would soon have a processing facility where the juice will be extracted. According to him, we may not sell the fruits. We will be adding value, through the production of pineapple juice, jam, and other products. The peels from the pineapple are good feeds for our livestock, most especially the pigs” he added.
A Don in the Department of Forestry and Wildlife Management, College of Environmental Resources (COLERM), Dr. Moses Oyatogun, has given an indication that alternative cooking gas, popularly known as Biogas, has come to stay in Nigeria. Biogas, he stated, was nature's own way of degrading anything that is biodegradable. Dr. Oyatogun, who is also the Director, Zoological Garden, said when waste is degraded, "it would give us methane and liquid fertiliser. In Nigeria, we need the methane as an alternative source of energy. You can use it to cook, you can use it as gas lamp and you can also use it, if you purify the gas to run a generator". According to him, "By purifying the gases, we mean that you can clean it, remove the carbon dioxide that is in the mixture of the gas that is produced".
Dr. Oyatogun further explained that the gas should be passed inside limewater to remove carbon dioxide, which contains iron filings to remove hydrogen sulphide and then charcoal to remove water moisture, adding that the pure methane could in turn, be connected to a gas carburetor to run the generator. He noted that the advantages of using Biogas include making the environment neater and safer. Dr. Oyatogun stressed that it would also help growing plants to have better carbon dioxide intake for the production of carbohydrates. "It's like going in a cycle, the carbohydrate is broken down, to produce methane which generates the energy, while the liquid fertilizer produced is used for the plants and this goes on in a circle".
Dr. Oyatogun, who said the Biogas could also be used in piggery, poultry, livestock or any integrated farm, added that other organisations using the product include the Songhai Farms in Cotonou, Republic of Benin. On the affordability of Biogas, he disclosed that this depended largely on the size and where it would be used. He advised that people should use plastic tanks because they are rust-free, saying "it can be affordable because we have small units that students can even use to do their experiments. Those ones cost about N35,000 but if you use two 2,000-litre plastic tanks, then it will cost about N100,000". With reference to the FUNAAB Model Integrated Farms, which has a re-inforced concrete base with a plastic tank, he said this would cost about N1.5 million, using the 8,500 litre plastic tank inside the reinforced concrete container. "It depends on where you want to use it and this would determine the price. In terms of economy, it is very cheap. Right now and from my findings so far, what has prevented people from accepting it, is that most people cannot afford to put down N100,000 at a go". He advised that people could approach the banks to obtain loans to build the facility. Dr. Oyatogun noted the high rate of buying kerosene which costs about N3,000 monthly, stating that such funds could utilised in paying back the loan obtained to procure a Biogas facility. According to him, after 18 months or two years, the loan should have been paid back fully. He stated further that Biogas could be fuelled using domestic wastes such as the peels from yam, banana, plantain and pineapple, among others or biodegradable farm wastes if used on the farm. On the likelihood of causing an explosion if the waste gets to a certain level, the Don said this cannot occur because it is purely a product of biological process. "The gas can be stored in metallic cylinders by using a compressor to evacuate it from point of production into the storage cylinder", he stated.
The Director, Centre for Entrepreneurial Studies (CENTS), Professor Femi Onifade, has charged graduates of FUNAAB to be good entrepreneurs by striving towards being job-creators. The Director disclosed this during a training programme organised by his Centre in conjunction with the Rotary Club of Altadena, California, as well as the Rotary Club of Sagamu, to help students become job-creators and avoid becoming a liability to the society.
According to him, such “students would be able to fend for themselves while in school and even after graduation. It is a way of assisting us in the University to bring our students together, open their eyes to opportunities available to them so that they won't say, at the end of the day, they are going for white-collar jobs". He added that whatever they could do on their own, they should go ahead with it in order to generate income. Professor Onifade stated that Rotary Club had contributed immensely to the development of the community, especially in the area of student empowerment. "The aim is that, based on the exposure of the students we have here, they will be able to help themselves and help others. The University, through CENTS, would be able to continue to train and mentor students in a particular venture, which they would like to go into". He stressed that CENTS would be willing to offer advisory services to students whenever they wished to set themselves up. "I believe what they have gained during the training has opened their eyes to what they are likely to meet when they have a business venture, how to avoid certain traps and improve their integrity as someone in business".
In her lecture titled, "Possible Target Markets: Demand and Supply", Mrs. Mary Udo-Lakeru, described marketing as a very important part of business. According to her, "market your products through the word of mouth, make flyers and create television and radio commercials of products and services". In the olden days, she said people and business concerns would manufacture certain products and take them to consumers, whether they liked it or not. "These days, as educated as a business manager is, we want people to do marketing the way it ought to be done. Go out, conduct market surveys, find out the needs and wants of your target market, then produce what they have asked for". She described customer service and advertising as very important components in marketing, saying they were the major “factors that determine how far your market can go, how much profit you are able to make, how much acceptability you have and how much people know about your products and services".
Mrs. Udo-Lakeru said advertising was part of marketing, saying "the colours, shapes and sizes one makes should appeal to the target audience". She described herself as an entrepreneur because "I own my business in California. My area of specialisation is Accounting. I am a financial analyst, who addresses the needs of the Sheriffs or Police on the streets. We ascertain how many guns they would need, how many torches, how many booths and how many uniforms they required". She said that her organisation takes into cognisance, every aspect of the law enforcement officer's job, adding that "we make a budget which might be implemented in two to three years".
She added that the overall success of the programme was very good for the participating team because the idea was to change the mindset of the students, adding that this was evident from the students' testimonies. "Some of them thought they would finish in school, get their certificates and start looking for jobs but it doesn't work that way anymore", she noted.
On business plans, she said, "we have given the students a deadline after which the business plans will be scrutinised to the best 10 within a week and eventually sent to California, where the Rotary team will further shortlist and come out with the best three business plans”. She added that "I am a social worker based in the USA and come into Nigeria from time-to-time to conduct trainings. I have been an entrepreneur since the age of about 10, before I left for the USA but I didn't know that was entrepreneurship. I sold local soft drinks, what the Northerners call kununzaki, I sold it to pay my school fees, buy my books and uniform. I also sold sugarcane. I did a lot then and I didn't know I was an entrepreneur at that time. I have been an entrepreneur for a long time", she said.
Similarly, Mrs. Sarah Philips, who trained as a marriage-family therapist in California, and lectured the students on the topic, "Roles and Contributions of Entrepreneurs to Society", noted that entrepreneurs were the engine room that make the society grow because they create jobs, improve the economy, identify the problems in the society and proffer solutions to them.
Professor John Frykenberg, whose lecture was titled, "Identifying Opportunities", highlighted the importance of prior planning in entrepreneurship, while Professor John Davis spoke on "Problems, Opportunities, Risks, Obstacles and Rewards of Entrepreneurs".
In his lecture titled, "Becoming Your Own Boss", the Managing Director and the Chief Executive Officer YOMTAB Testimony Farms, Abeokuta, Mr. Yomi Banjo, a 1996 graduate of FUNAAB, stated that "becoming your own boss is a commandment of God". He added that in order to become one's boss, one should be ready to take serious life decisions. The President of Rotary Club of Sagamu-Central, District 9110, Rotarian Bisola Asaye, admonished the students, who had participated in the training programme, to submit well-written business plans to the University within a month of completion.
Reacting, Miss Shokunbi Ganiyat, a student in the Department of Banking and Finance, said her participation had changed her orientation to life. According to her, she is now equipped with what it takes to start a jewellery business as soon as possible. Mr. Balogun Olasupo of the Department of Economics was another student that was inspired by the training. He said that he had a barbing salon before gaining admission into the University but had to shut it down on resumption. He disclosed that with the knowledge gained, he would now go back to his barbing salon on a larger scale because he had no intention of working for anybody. Mrs. Chi Olajide, who runs Cakeville, a confectionery outfit, said that the workshop was an eye-opener on the intricacies of starting up a business, especially for students. She added that the workshop had sharpened her skills in the areas of accounting and marketing. Highpoint of the programme was the presentation of certificates to successful participants and the handing-over of the two brand new laptops to the University, for onward presentation to the two students with the best business plans.
The University’s Assistant Chief Environmental Officer (ACEO), Mr. Peter Bolarinwa, has educated drivers on basic safety tips while driving to reduce road accidents to the barest minimum. He made this known during the Safety Club's Orientation Programme for drivers of shuttle buses and taxi cabs plying the University.
Mr. Bolarinwa, who is the Chief Security Officer of the University, enjoined drivers to desist from reckless driving and over-speeding, stating that as drivers, they should check their vehicles every morning before setting out. He urged them to resist the urge to take drugs or alcohol while driving, adding that the use of seat belts must be strictly adhered to each time they are behind the wheels. He encouraged them to drive carefully during the rainy season, as it was fast approaching, saying that they should also obey all traffic rules and be law abiding. He noted with dismay, the indiscriminate parking and stopping of shuttle buses and taxi cabs in the course of dropping-off passengers, warning that such actions would now be met with stiff sanctions while charging Safety Club members to monitor and report such offenders.
Corroborating the CSO, the Head of Corps members, Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Ogun State Sector Command, Mr. Olatunde Qudus, advised the passengers, who are mostly students, to interact politely with drivers because "they are as old as some of our fathers". The Cadet-in-Chief (C-in-C), Safety Club, FUNAAB Command, Mr. Akinyemi Abdulgani, cautioned the drivers to exercise restraint in reckless overtaking on the Camp - Alabata road as motorists were supposed to abide by the 40km per hour speed limit. Present at the occasion were members of the Red Cross Society and Boys' Brigade. The newly-constructed Safety Club Training Base at the Ceremonial Gate was also commissioned during the event.
The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olusola Oyewole, has stressed the importance of a Colloquium in an academic environment, as it is capable of inculcating the University’s core values of excellence, integrity, global relevance, innovation, service to humanity and providing a veritable avenue for students to attain greatness in life.
The Vice-Chancellor made this observation during a 2-day Annual Colloquium, organised by the Department of Computer Science of the University, in a bid to harnessing the opportunities in Computer Science and information technology by providing a platform for interaction amoung the present and past students of the Department through networking, collaboration and sharing of practical experiences. The theme of the Colloquium was, “Harnessing Opportunities in Computer Science and Information Technology”. Professor Oyewole appreciated participants at the occasion, which included guest speakers, who were former students of the University.
The Vice-Chancellor, who was represented by the Dean, College of Physical Sciences (COLPHYS), Professor Catherine Eromosele, commended the Acting Head, Department of Computer Science, Dr. Adesina Sodiya for organising the Colloquium, especially now that the rate of unemployment of University graduates was severe in the country. He observed that most of the speakers at the occasion were former graduates of the University that were giving back to the system while helping undergraduate students in the Department to understand better the challenges facing them in their various professions, adding that the Colloquium would equally help to eradicate joblessness in the country by instilling entrepreneurial skills in the participants after interacting with the resource persons. The Vice-Chancellor congratulated the students for the opportunity to be part of the programme.
Speaking on the topic, “Information Technology in Action”, Mr. Kayode Akintunde, Founder of Thecodec Systems Limited, Lagos, described information technology as a term which encompassed all types of technology used to create, store, exchange and use information in their various forms such as business data, voice conversations, still images, motion pictures, multimedia presentations, among others. Mr. Akintunde, an alumnus of FUNAAB, noted that information technology was applicable to every aspect of human communication such as the production of newsletters, magazines, cartoons, blogs, social networking websites, surveys, e-libraries, law reports, record keeping, finances, simulations and so on. This use, he noted, could be further extended to the sick, the physically-challenged, children and the aged. He added that nowadays, the level of advancement of a country depended largely on how well the Internet was incorporated into their day-to-day activities. The Keynote Speaker gave some guidelines for the students to use so as to move forward in life, urging them to always ”start from somewhere and don’t think of money first but apply your knowledge to solve any known problem”. According to Mr. Akintunde, the time for the students to start was now.
The Acting Head, Department of Computer Science, Dr. Sodiya, lauded the former students for honouring their Alma Mater by attending the Colloquium, stating that he was happy with the fact that they were making progress in their various endeavours. He further admonished them to make the best use of their time and available opportunity by learning as much as possible from the wealth of experiences of their senior colleagues.
Speaking during the Plenary Session of the Colloquium on, "What Next After Graduation: Work, Study or Marriage?", Mrs. Yetunde Awotona of the Computer Hardware and Maintenance Services (CHAMS) Plc, Lagos, said prospective job -seekers needed to dress well, smell nice and be self-confident. She said graduates were not supposed to grumble while doing their work saying, "whatever you find your hands doing, do it well". She noted the importance attached to team spirit in the workplace, adding that "whatever you know, you share it with others". Mrs. Awotona, however, allayed the fear that it was not good to share ideas, saying that there was nothing bad in that only, that one needed to be very careful so as not to unnecessarily release one’s winning tactics. According to her, "you can release some information. But the information that distinguishes you better from others are not supposed to be released". "Your boss is your first customer and your customer is your king. Impress your boss, make your boss your friend as he or she would be the one to determine your progress in such an organisation", she stated.
In his presentation titled, "Opportunities in Information Technology: Pros and Cons", Dr. Olatunji Okesola of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), chronicled the metamorphosis of the University from the then University of Lagos (ULAB), Abeokuta Campus, to FUNAAB.Dr. Okesola, an alumus of the University, said eight of them (alumni) graduated in 1992 from amongst the 54 students that enrolled in 1987. He advised the students to develop entrepreneurial acumen in information technology as many opportunities abounded in the profession. The Head, Market Intelligent Unit of MTN Communications, Mr. Adewale Salami, who also graduated from FUNAAB in 2004, implored the students to always be online and never be offline, adding that this could help them into get relevant information from the Internet.
Reminiscing on his days in the University, he said, "I would have loved to have a first class. I was a first class material. If I have to turn back the hands of time, I would like to finish as a first class student". He was full of gratitude to the University Management for giving him the opportunity to study in FUNAAB. The event also had the presentations of Mr. Idowu Samuel from the Lulea University of Technology, Sweden and Mr. Samsideen Mustafa from United Kingdom, whose lectures were titled, "Sense Smart City" and "The Era of Big Data and Roles of Data Scientists", respectively.
Responding, the President, National Association of Computer Science Students (NACOS), FUNAAB Chapter, Mr. Oluwatobi Solomon, stated that the reason behind the Annual Colloquium was necessitated by the fact that the students also required other students to network with successful people in the field with a view to emulating and inculcating their ideals. He implored the students to overcome the challenges of entrepreneurship, saying that inferiority complex was a major challenge. Corroborating him, the Social Director, Miss. Yetunde Babalola, stated that the students had been exposed to the intricacies of Computer Science through past and successful students of the Department, adding that the students had added to their skills. Highpoint of the event was the presentation of awards to the Guest Speakers as Ambassadors for the Department of Computer Science.
The Dean of Student Affairs, Professor Yemi Akegbejo-Samsons, has disclosed that the country cannot attain enviable heights among the comity of nations without the active contributions of the youths to its development. Professor Akegbejo-Samsons made this known during the students’ programme, which featured the inter-collegiate oratory competition, launching of the motivational book; “A Better Nigeria Without Me” and the unveiling of the proposed ultra-modern relaxation centre.
The Dean advised Nigerian youths not to allow themselves to be used as vandals or political thugs. Rather, they should stand up for themselves today and for their future because a better Nigeria without them was impossible. He charged the students not to disappoint their country even if others fail, saying “other Nigerians might have failed themselves but I will not fail my country”. The Book Reviewer, Dr. (Mrs.) Sarah Iyasere, urged Nigerians to take their destiny into their hands because the unity of Nigeria was not negotiable, as the people have role to play in the development of the country, saying there is no Nigeria without Nigerians.
Earlier, the Students’ Union President, Comrade Olawale Olajumoke, said the proposed ultra-modern relaxation centre would set the pace for other institutions across the country. While promising timely completion this year, Comrade Olajumoke assured FUNAAB students of quality leadership and good representation, adding that the centre was to help students relax and unwind after rigorous lectures and academic exercises. The inter-collegiate oratory debate competition featured students from the various colleges speaking on the topic, “The Role of Students-Youths in Building: A Progressive Nation”. Speakers saw the need for youths to see themselves as nation builders for the country to make progress. They charged their colleagues to remain resolute, be committed and dedicated to the cause of nation building as no country can develop beyond the aspirations of her youths. The students, who noted that education remained the potent weapon for ensuring smooth and sustainable relationship and development, advised their colleagues to awaken the sleeping giants in them because they have a lot to offer the country for her to achieve greatness.
Usually, final year students in the Department of Pure and Applied Zoology, College of Biological Sciences (COLBIOS), pick any domestic animal of their choice and train, after which an exhibition is held to showcase effects of such training on the animal. This forms an assessment, as part of the requirements for the award of Bachelor’s Degree, for students in the Department. This course, Animal Behaviour (ZOO 466), is usually held in the second semester and is co-ordinated by a lecturer from the Department, Dr. Olufunmilayo Idowu.
Dr. Adeyinka Aladesida, one of the course lecturers, said students were expected to have acquired their chosen animal a year before taking the course. According to him, “They are first to consider domestic animals, that is, animals that could easily be given routine behavioural trainings”. Dr. Aladesida stated that some animals that are not very easy to manipulate and given specific trainings include rabbits that are not simple to command. He noted that such animals are slow in picking instructions. His words, “one needs to be innovative in the training you give to such animals. But for anim
als like dogs and cats, the kind of training they need do not require much sophistication apart from the sufficient time for the instructions to be easily picked up by the animals”. He disclosed that the essence of the course was to make the students understand some traits in animals, adding that they generally have attributes or traits they displayed, which are in-born while some are learnt or acquired from the environment. According to him, these traits constitute their behaviour, which can either be instinctive or accumulated, as different things contribute to animal behaviour. “A student of Zoology is expected to see an animal and see certain traits which an average person may not really understand anything about and he/she can also interpret such”, he noted.
Citing an example, Dr. Aladesida said “a few days ago, my neighbours said they saw an Alligator in my compound. I laughed because we don’t have alligators in Nigeria. I said, ‘describe what you saw’ and he said, ‘it was throwing out its tongue and it was very big’ and I told him that, ‘what you saw was a Monitor Lizard and it’s traits is that it throws its tongue, this way and that way, to feel the environment with it but it can’t harm someone unless it is caught in a corner’. He added that though his neighbours didn’t believe him, but he knows how to manipulate such an animal by understanding its behaviour, noting that the course was meant to inculcate such traits and learning on the students. On the handling of such a funny and interesting class, which requires tactical expertise to control, he said the students were like a workplace scenario, adding that the way you handle them would determine if one would either be in a friendly or hostile environment. According to him, “The students are even young enough to be one’s siblings or children. You have a kind of open door policy to allow them have access to you but you must also be firm to let them know that there is a limit to which you tolerate their jokes and other things”.
He stressed that there should be some level of liberalism on how one treats them so that they don’t feel estranged or see one as a god-figure that could not be approached. He, however, assured that subsequent Animal Shows would be more formal and well organised, to bring about enhanced publicity so that visitors can attend, participate and enjoy the fun, adding that the possibility of having collaboration with the College of Veterinary Medicine (COLVET) would also be worked out.
Corroborating him, Dr. Gabriel Adewumi, who teaches the Physiology aspect of the course, said that the course would make the students to understand animal behaviour better. He stated that the aspect is called Social Biology, adding that the student would not just understand animal alone. “The students will also understand how they behave. Peradventure, he/she would also understand the evolution of behaviour among living organisms, he noted. He added that since human beings would not be used on experimental basis on the stage, animals would mostly likely be used. According to him, “even in learning, there are certain behaviours that you can attenuate by doing certain things to that animal and this would also help one to know what could happen when one sees others misbehaving. Rather than being angry, one will be able to know, peradventure, this is what is going on with this person and one might want to handle that situation better”, Dr. Adewumi further stated.
In a related development, students of the College of Veterinary Medicine (COLVET), under the aegis of the Association of Veterinary Medical Students (AVMS), recently held its Annual Dog Show, to commemorate the Association's week. The event, which featured over 40 dogs, was the first to be held at the Alabata campus of the University as previous ones were usually held at the temporary campus at Isale-Igbein. The main objective of the show was to bring dog breeders and pet lovers together, to showcase that dogs could be trained to carry out specific tasks, contrary to the general belief that dogs are wild animals.
A former Editor-in-Chief of Syrinx Magazine, a publication of the AVMS, Mr. Abiola Solanke, said that the Dog Show was aimed at creating a network among dog breeders and pet lovers. He added that dogs that participated at the show were Alsatians, Boer-Bulls, Caucasians, Chow-Chow, Cane-Corso, Pomeranians, among others. Mr. Olakunbi Ore-ofe, a former President of the Association, commended the University Management for approving the use of its facility for the show, adding that the show was one of the ways the Veterinary profession was being marketed to the public. Meanwhile, findings have revealed that dogs remain man’s best friends: for centuries, dogs have been referred to as man's best friend and ally. This is understandable as dogs have over the years, proven themselves to be human being’s incredible friend by serving as pet, for security, as guide, as lifesaver and as a source of livelihood. The bond between dog and man dates back to 15,000 years when dogs, which originated from a common ancestor of wolves, followed man throughout his East Asian migration. Psychologically, this connection is real because both man and dog are social beings. Dogs have also shown, time and again, to be loyal, kind, understanding, and having an indomitable spirit. Whether as an assistant to a shepherd, a strong nose and swift feet for a hunter, eyes and ears for the blind and deaf, or simply a companion unlike any other, dogs help humans in their day-to-day tasks, many of which may not be possible without them. Dating back to the 16th century, dogs had served as service helpers for the blind and by the 1970′s, the trend of training dogs for people with disabilities flourished. As if that isn’t an all-encompassing task in itself, dogs also help to prevent possible crimes by saving lives, as found in drug-sniffing canines. German Shepherds, a 200-year old breed of dog, are also most commonly seen as working dogs who serve as canine police all around the world.
A total of 17 academic researchers of the University have been listed among the top 500 profiles in the ranking of scientists in Nigerian institutions according to their Google Scholar Citations (GSC). GSC is a BETA Ranking of the scientists based on their declared or voluntary presence on the Google Scholar Citations Database.
The researchers, their Departments and Colleges are: Professor Adekojo Waheed, Department of Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering (COLENG); Professor Okanlawon Onagbesan, Department of Animal Physiology, College of Animal Science and Livestock Production (COLANIM); Professor Olusegun Osinowo, Department of Animal Physiology (COLANIM); Professor Uwem Ekpo, Department of Pure and Applied Zoology, College of Biological Sciences (COLBIOS); Professor Oluseyi Oduguwa, Department of Animal Nutrition (COLANIM) and Professor James Oguntuase, Department of Mathematics, College of Physical Sciences (COLPHYS) .
Others are: Dr. Dairo Usman, Department of Agricultural Engineering (COLENG); Dr. Olajide Sobunkola, Department of Food Science and Technology (COLFHEC); Dr. Flora Oluwafemi, Department of Microbiology (COLBIOS); Dr. Olusegun Obadina, Department of Food Science and Technology (COLFHEC); and Dr. Obayelu Elijah, Department of Agricultural Economics and Farm Management, College of Agricultural Management and Rural Development (COLAMRUD).
Also listed are: Dr. Saka Balogun, Department of Microbiology (COLBIOS), Dr. Rebecca Vincent, Department of Computer Science (COLPHYS); Dr. Gboyega Adebayo, Department of Physics (COLPHYS); Dr. Abideen Adeogun, Department of Chemistry (COLPHYS); Dr. Olusegun Idowu, Department of Animal Nutrition (COLANIM) and Mr. Ismail Fasanya, Department of Economics, College of Management Sciences (COLMAS).
The results, showing the GSC as of March 23, 2015, was displayed on the web page of the “Ranking Web of Universities” (webometrics.info). This is an initiative of the Cybermetrics Lab, a research group belonging to the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), the largest public research body in Spain. It is among the first basic research organisations in Europe, consisting 126 centers and institutes throughout Spain. CSIC also plays an important role in the formation of new researchers and technicians in different aspects of science and technology. The ranking, which is first of its kind, was built with data collected during the second week of February 2015 from the public profiles of researchers working in Nigerian and Asian institutions. The Google Scholar Citations, a free and very large bibliographic database, is especially useful for bibliometric purposes by providing the number of citations received. Its current size has over 160 million unique documents, many of them with links to open and available full-text versions. (Further information can be accessed at www.webometrics.info/en/node/99).