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News Published in January 2016

VC Seeks Stakeholders’ Support to Make FUNAAB World-Class Varsity

The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olusola Oyewole, has called for the support, understanding and fervent prayers from members of the University community, to transform FUNAAB into a world-class University. Professor Oyewole, while speaking on the first working day special Christian and Muslim prayer sessions, organised in the University simultaneously to usher-in the New Year, sought the cooperation of all stakeholders while expressing his optimism that whatever challenge the University may be facing at the moment, would soon become a thing of the past.

“I see our challenges as surmountable. We need to brace-up. We need to work together. There is need for change in our attitude”, the Vice-Chancellor stated. Professor Oyewole also stressed the need for the University stakeholders to come up with new ideas and innovations that would make FUNAAB a leading citadel of learning, noting that Management was ready to accept useful and necessary changes that would improve the system. The Vice-Chancellor, who is also the President, Association of African Universities (AAU), called for unity of purpose in the task of building the University, stressing the need to treat students with love and deserved respect, as he encouraged the students to acquire the necessary skills that would help them secure a bright future and never forget to have the fear of God in whatever they do.

In his sermon, the Pastor-in-Charge, Ogun Province I of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor (Professor) Michael Aduradola, said Jesus Christ remains the real path to peace, health, breakthrough, abundance, marital bliss, opening of impossible doors, success and ultimately, access to heaven. He admonished Christians to approach the throne of grace in 2016 for them to fully realise their dreams and aspirations, as prayers were offered for the peace, progress, economic development and prosperity of the University and the country at large, during the service.

Similarly, at the FUNAAB Muslim Community Mosque, the Vice-Chancellor has appreciated members of the University community for their contributions over the years. The Vice-Chancellor, who was represented by the University Librarian, Dr. Mulikat Salaam, lauded all the stakeholders for their commitments. The Chief Imam of the mosque, Professor Idris Ayinde, who was represented by the Deputy Imam, Dr. Sarafadeen Abdulkareem, advised leaders to be wary of their positions, as they were bound to be surrounded by many friends and associates in the course of moving-up in their careers, warning that human beings easily get intoxicated with power. He expressed his appreciation to the Vice-Chancellor for promoting qualified members of staff, appropriately.

The Chief Imam also encouraged members of the community to always support their leaders because whenever a leader failed, the entire community would suffer for it, as he prayed for the success of people in leadership positions, noting that everybody had the potential of becoming leaders. The Amir, FUNAAB Muslim Community, Professor Kehinde Okeleye, advocated for peace and tranquility in the University and the country in general, adding that without peace there could never be any development, as he prayed for peace, the less-privileged and troubled spots in the nation. The leader of the Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria, Mr. Lukmon Afolabi, who represented the FUNAAB Students’ Union, prayed for God’s protection on the students, as he advised them to diligently face their studies.

Lecturer Advises Government to Grow Economy

A lecturer in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering of the University, Dr. Olayide Adetunji, has called on the government to support ideas and knowledge that would grow the economy. Dr. Adetunji made the call while speaking on the invention of the Maize-shelling Machine, which was fabricated by him, through the Postgraduate Diploma project supervision which involved the design, construction and performance evaluation in the University during the 2012/2013 Academic Session.

He said that the machine was designed to bridge the gap between the highly expensive threshing machine and manual method of hand-shelling, to aid food production and improve farmers’ productivity and profitability, emphasising that the machine was meant for local farmers for personal use on farm settlements and for group of farmers in the form of cooperatives, market-women and house-wives as a means of generating income.

Dr. Adetunji noted that the production cost of the machine was over N100,000 because the materials used in its production were sourced manually, but when commercialized, the cost price could go for about N200,000. Describing the mode of operation of the machine, he said, if well maintained, it could be guaranteed for about two to three years by working efficiently without any fault and could last for about 50 years. He stated that the dual-powered machine uses both fuel and electricity, because most of the people that use it are rural dwellers, as they do not have to worry about electricity.

When asked about the number of the machines produced so far, he said it is “just the prototype that is available”, stressing that finance had been a major problem in exhibiting the machine and that the machine had been nominated for the African Prize for Young Engineers Research. He added that COLENG was planning a conference, where the machine would be showcased, saying “we are also looking forward to the Exibition Day. The machine was displayed at the College workshop and the video can be viewed via the facebook link; facebook/olayideadetunji/video.

On his future plans, Dr. Adetunji said he plans to construct different types of machines like palm-oil extracting machine, rice milling machine, palm-kernel and fruit juice extracting machine, and block-making machines, as he looks forward to partnering with professional bodies like the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Manufacturers’ Association of Nigeria (MAN) and the Bank of Industry (BoI).

SOFIIA Holds Workshop for PG Students

As part of efforts to enhance capacity building of researchers in the Ivory Towers, the Soils of Forest Islands in Africa (SOFIIA), has organised a Project Capacity Building Workshop for postgraduate students in the Department of Soil Science and Land Management, College of Plant Science and Crop Production (COLPLANT), of the University.

Speaking at the workshop, the Coordinator of SOFIIA Consortium in Nigeria, Dr. Jamiu Azeez, acknowledged the contributions made by SOFIIA in the purchase of important scientific equipment for the Department, to enhance teaching and research activities by broadening the skills and knowledge of both the staff and students.  He appreciated the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olusola Oyewole, for providing an enabling and conducive environment for the implementation of the project.

According to him, SOFIIA is a consortium of experienced scientists that are seeking into the history of various types of soils and how forests could affect soil properties, comparable to others that are not forests such as plain-lands and grasslands, and study how people interact with soils in countries like Nigeria, Ghana and Burkina Faso.

Dr. Azeez added that the project was funded by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DfID), noting that SOFIIA has two objectives that are centred on gaining new knowledge on bio-geochemical mechanisms in the creation of forest islands in Africa as well as utilising the knowledge gained to develop agronomic practices and carbon off-set programmes in Africa on climate change. He urged participants to take active part in the workshop because they had a lot to gain alongside their sponsorship opportunities and accessibility to various equipment, which are rare to come by in the laboratory.

Welcoming participants, the leader of SOFIIA consortium and the Principal Investigator, Professor Jonathan Lloyd of the Imperial College, London (ICL), implored them to be abreast of others as the advantage for attending the programme, during which lectures on “Tropical Soils and Ecosystem Function”, “Soil Profile Description” and “Soil Carbon and Phosphorous Fractionation”, were delivered by experienced resource persons such as Dr. Carlos Quesada from Brazil, Dr. Gustavo Saiz from Spain and Mr. Martin Hodnett from the United Kingdom.

Chemistry Don Discovers Paint Oil - Producing Plant

A Professor in the University’s Department of Chemistry, College of Physical Sciences (COLPHYS), Professor Ighodalo Eromosele, has produced paint from the seed oil of  Ximenia americana plant, commonly known as Wild Olive. Professor Eromosele, a Polymer Chemist, said the oil paint which was produced has qualities comparable to those of the imported ones. Thus, Linseed oil, which is currently being imported for paint production can be substituted with Ximenia oil.

According to him, "Ximenia plant grows wild in the North. The exploratory research on the oil for the purpose of establishing its potential for paint production attracted the attention and funding of the Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC), Abuja. But beyond that, we have produced paint based on the oil in a systematic study by a Masters’ degree student under my supervision, thus demonstrating the potential utilization of the oil in this regard. In my humble opinion, this is  Research for Development, one of direct industrial relevance”.

Professor Eromosele remarked, however, that the plant grows in the wild. “It is a wild plant; it is not cultivated and is not like having a vegetation of the plant. So, there remains another area that we have to look at. That is, how to grow the plant particularly, here in the southern end of the country or where it is best suited to grow so that we can have a whole lot of vegetation to harvest the seed and then of course, the oil”. The Don, who noted that he had not patented the oil, said it was due to the fact that there was still a lot to be done by way of domestication of the plant, so that mass production becomes feasible.

On value addition, Professor Eromosele, whose research interests include ionic and free radical polymerization of vinyl monomers, polymer stabilization, local raw materials sourcing, studies on local fibres, graft copolymerization reactions and environmental chemistry, disclosed that his research activities include production of metal soaps from seed oils and utilization of same for stabilization of Poly Vinyl Chloride (PVC). According to him, “PVC is very versatile as a material in terms of applications. It is used for making pipes, upholsteries and many other products but it is a material that is very unstable. When you are processing it under heat, it can degrade easily and lose its properties. So what we have done in this regard is not particularly unique; we are only being innovative by producing stabilizers from seed oil in the wild for stabilization of PVC against degradation by heat”

Speaking on how the country and industries could benefit from research activities embarked upon in the nation’s Ivory Towers, Professor Eromosele said, “Our prayer is that the country would come to a level where there would be a synergy between  Industry and  Universities or Industry and Research Centres. For now, what we have is that  Industries are disconnected from the Universities and Research Centres, the reason being that Nigeria has not grown to a level, whereby we have defined objectives with regards to services from our institutions. Many people and governments still do not see the University as institutions established to provide certain services. The full potentials of the University still remain fully untapped in Nigeria. Yet, other countries develop on the basis of promoting research for defined national objectives. Universities in Nigeria are not tied to national development agenda, so this the first problem with regards to research output from the Universities and how they translate into development of the society”, he said.