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News Published in August 2016

NUC Commends Excellent Pre-Screening Exercise

The statutory body charged with the responsibility for regulating the activities of universities in the country, the National Universities Commission (NUC), has commended the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), for successfully carrying out the 2016/2017 Pre-Admission Screening Exercise, for prospective students of the University.

The Senior Information and Monitoring Officer of NUC, Mr. Mohammed Tanko, who represented NUC at the occasion, lauded members of staff of FUNAAB and other government functionaries that actively participated in the 2016/2017 Pre-Admission Screening Exercise, for a job well done in terms of logistics, welfare, thoroughness and adherence to laid down procedures. Mr. Tanko stated that his task was to monitor the screening exercise, to ensure that the University does not breach the directive of the Federal Government given through the Honourable Minister of Education.

The Senior Information and Monitoring Officer added that, “I observed that the security arrangements were properly made. The traffic and strategy that were deployed by both the internal and external security personnel, the Department of State Services (DSS) officers, which I saw on ground and men of other sister-agencies, who participated in the screening, were very much commendable. The strategy of the decentralised screening centre (as adopted by FUNAAB) was commendable, as students were well taken care of while transportation logistic was also commendable.  

He stated further that, “One thing that was encouraging was the inclusion of security agents among members of the screening panel, especially, those from the National Drug and Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and the DSS. They interviewed and studied the students and this helped to drop students, who are not competent enough to gain admission into federal universities, because federal institutions are the property of the Federal Government. I am very proud of the process and the formation of the panel because we have to ensure that candidates, who are qualified, are admitted while those who do not merit admission do not come and take the place of those who we really need to be productive agents in the future.”

The NUC official added that FUNAAB had a very beautiful campus, saying “I love the typography. The University is well maintained, the environment is serene, although, the students are not on campus. But from what I can see, I think that the Management of the University is taking care of its assets”.  He charged the University Management to keep up the high standards, most especially, in the maintenance of the campus environment and continue to ensure quality as “we expect to have quality graduate output that would compete in private and public sectors within and outside the country. So, I advise that you adhere to NUC guidelines in the areas of admission quota, rules and regulations that would come from the government through the Federal Ministry of Education”.

The Vice-Chancellor of FUNAAB and President, Association of African Universities, Professor Olusola Oyewole, who was physically on ground to monitor the exercise, disclosed that the screening exercise was very important, to ensure that only responsible and qualified students, who would add value to the quality of the educational system were admitted, as he charged the prospective students to be up and doing, assuring all that they were in the right environment that would help them fulfill their destinies in life.

Speaking on the resumption date for stale students, the Vice-Chancellor revealed that the committee that was set up to investigate the recent students' unrest had just submitted its report, adding that the Senate would soon sit to consider the report and take a decision on the new resumption date for the University.
    On the necessary machinery put in place to ensure a successful screening exercise, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and the Chief Coordinating Officer for the 2016/2017 Pre-Admission Screening Exercise, Professor Oluyemisi Eromosele, said that buses were stationed at the Camp area as well as the University Main Gate, to convey students to the main centres namely: the FUNAAB Ceremonial Building, College of Management Sciences (COLMAS), Unity Building, Directorate of Public Relations as well as the College of Plant Science and Crop Production (COLPLANT).  

She added that for adequate security, “the Chief Security Officer worked with the Committee to ensure that there was adequate security within and outside the campus. We also engaged the services of Man O’ War, while some of our postgraduate students served as guides for the candidates”. Professor Eromosele disclosed that the procedures employed in the screening exercise included using biometrics, where students were subjected to finger-printing by using JAMB registration numbers, to verify whether the candidates’ data were captured on the JAMB list and examination/record points in which the credentials of the students were thoroughly examined, collated and finally screened by the panelists.

Professor Eromosele pointed out that of the 17,334 applicants that applied for admission into the University, only about 3,800 would eventually be admitted after conducting the exercise, both for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) and Direct Entry candidates that spread across the 10 colleges of the University because FUNAAB had a quota of 3,850, as approved by NUC for the past two years. The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) further stated that “We are also hoping that there would be a supplementary admission later on in the month while shortlisted candidates would equally be screened.”  

Commending the various panelists that comprise former Deputy Vice-Chancellors, Deans, Heads of Departments, other Professors as well as Non-teaching Staff for adhering strictly to the time allocated to screening the students, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) further disclosed that on a daily basis, the panelists often made available the results of the candidates that were screened but for the public holidays, the results would have been available. “We ensure that the 45 per cent was on merit, 35 per cent was on catchment while 20 per cent was on educationally-less disadvantaged states (EDLS) quota, in order to ensure that all the states in the federation were captured, for those candidates that had applied to this University”, she added.

Speaking on the criteria used in inviting students for the screening exercise, Professor Eromosele said “we used the composite scores of 50 per cent of their school certificate results and 50 per cent of their JAMB scores. We have cases of some students with very high JAMB scores, who did not input their WAEC results properly and because of that, we could not process their results. There were also cases of those with high scores but wrong JAMB subject combinations and they were screened out at the first stage”.

Commenting on the screening exercise, the Deputy Registrar II, Senate and Admissions / Secretary, Admissions Committee of FUNAAB, Mrs. Oluwatoyin Dawodu, noted that the process was not really new to the University, as it was the same method that was previously used before the introduction of the Computer-Based Test (CBT), about three years ago. She said the screening exercise would enable the University test the communication abilities of the students in general, adding that the inclusion of security agents would help to fish out candidates, who are either socially deviant or have questionable characters.

Similarly, the Head of Information and Communication Technology Resource Centre (ICTREC) of the University, Dr. Olutayo Ajayi, said the screening exercise was in tandem with the directive of the Federal Government, saying “We were expecting about 4,000 candidates and what we did was that we streamlined the candidates to those that could strictly meet up with the admission criteria, which include meeting the cut-off point of 180 for agriculture-based courses and 200 for science-based courses”. Dr. Ajayi, who noted that over 16,000 students applied for admission into the University, said not everyone was invited, because some did not have their basic results, as some had one deficiency or the other which streamlined them. The Director of Academic Planning, Professor Olukayode Akinyemi, however, expressed optimism that the interactive screening exercise would assist the University in admitting candidates that are actually morally and mentally fit.

Speaking on why they had chosen FUNAAB as first choice, Miss. Ebunoluwa Adetola said “it is because it (FUNAAB) is one of the best universities in the country”, adding that although she applied to study Home Science and Management, she was offered Aquaculture and Fisheries Management, saying she was happy with the offer. Sharing her experience after the screening exercise, Ebunoluwa said “the process was well planned as there were buses to convey students to their various screening centres and a comfortable venue was also set up for students to sit before they direct them into their screening centres. With these arrangements, I do not feel stressed up or tensioned”. Another student, Samuel Bamikarere, who came from Ibadan, Oyo State, disclosed that he had chosen FUNAAB because it is a federal institution that is well loved and has a good reputation. “I love the environment here because it is very neat and tidy and in the next five year, I wish to see myself in a big company as a renowned economist”, he stated.

Helen Okanga from Benue State also expressed her satisfaction with the exercise, stressing that it was basically a friendly interaction, where she was asked questions about herself and her intended course of study. Helen, who could hardly hide her excitement, said she had chosen FUNAAB because “all the graduates of this University that I know are doing well in their various fields of endeavours”. For Taiwo Apadidun, who applied for Agricultural Economics and Farm Management and was offered Agricultural Extension and Rural Development, he expressed optimism for being offered admission into the University, describing the exercise as a great success. He pointed out that his choice of FUNAAB was based on the fact that the University had produced students, who are academically-sound and have good morals. The screening exercise took place between Wednesday, September 7 and Friday, September 9, 2016.  

Meanwhile, the University’s Institute for Human Resources Development (INHURD), has announced the sale of admission forms into its Pre-Degree (Science and Management Science) and Cambridge Joint University Preliminary Examination Board ‘A’ level programme. The one-year residential Pre-Degree programme provides a pre-matriculation year of studies and is designed to prepare candidates for any degree courses offered by FUNAAB. Also, the JUPEB ‘A’ level and the JUPEB ‘A’ level examinations are 10-month intensive and residential programmes, whereby successful candidates would be admitted into the 200-level courses offered by FUNAAB and other universities in Nigeria, after completion. Procedure for online application is as follows: Log-in to: portal.unaab.edu.ng:93. From the homepage, kindly click on any programme of interest. For further enquiries or assistance, please call: 08115709032, 08169956665.  

Applications are also welcomed from interested candidates for admission into the Part-Time Degree Programme (PTDP) of the University. The PTDP is a non-residential programme with lectures holding on weekends at the main campus of the University. Duration of programme for agricultural programmes is seven sessions while natural sciences is for six sessions.

Procedure for online application is as follows: Log-in to: portal.unaab.edu.ng/pt. For enquires and assistance, interested applicants should email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call: 07038076523 or 08060404823.
 


FUNAAB Records High Business Activities on Campus

Despite the mid-semester break for students of the University, business activities in and around the campus still record high volume of sales. Some of the entrepreneurs have expressed their satisfaction with business activities. According to the Managing Director of Cakeville, situated at the Cooperative Shopping Plaza, Mrs. Chi Olajide, whose business cuts across events management, decoration, cake making and catering services, recorded high patronage among staff of the University. According to her, “Business is going on as usual but it’s a bit slow because the students on training assist greatly in getting work done in time and they would also be missing out from the ongoing training”. She, however, pleaded with the University Management to quickly resolve the issues, so that the students could resume.

Corroborating Cakeville’s MD, Miss Rebecca Abu of Beckie’s Place, a Fashion Designing Outfit, also located at the Cooperative Shopping Plaza, stated that though there was a slight decline in patronage, the business was still thriving as several orders had been placed before the break. She added that her customers cut across all strata of the members of the University community, noting that the absence of the students have not really impacted her business negatively.

In a related development, Mrs. Kabirat Makinde, who owns Iya Waris Canteen, a Food Vendor at the University Health Centre, noted the high influx of customers inspite of the mid-semester break, stating that bulk of her customers were staff from the University. She, however, said that it would be her joy if the students resume, adding that her profit would also increase as demands would be higher. In a separate chat with the MD, Kito Shoemaker and a renowned cobbler on campus, Mr. Segun Owosa, who operates at the Motor Park, said that despite the fact that the business was not moving the way it should be due to the break, he thanked God for the provision of his daily bread. He added that students and staff are part of his major numerous customers but the later patronised him the more.


Meanwhile, during the just-concluded Post-Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (Post-UTME) Screening Exercise in the University, hotels around Camp area, a suburb of FUNAAB, recorded high volume of patronage as prospective students sought accommodation in order to punctually attend their early-morning scheduled interviews. In a brief chat with the MD, PeakOlam Suites, Pastor (Mrs.) Yinka Okuneye, students had never been the major customers when it comes to accommodation, adding that sales had not been as buoyant as it used to be due, perhaps to the break.

FUNAAB Hosts International Workshop on Food Safety

The University’s College of Food Science and Human Ecology (COLFHEC), in conjunction with the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) and the University of Ghana (UG), Legon have held a training workshop tagged, “Food Safety for Nutritionists and other Health Professionals (FSN), 2016”.

Speaking at the Opening Ceremony, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olusola Oyewole, congratulated the College for the workshop, conveying deep appreciation of the University Management to the facilitators
of the programme. Represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Development, Professor Ololade Enikuomehin, the Vice-Chancellor said that hosting the workshop indicated that the University was on course, as he thanked the organisers for the opportunity of showcasing the University. The Vice-Chancellor stated that issues bordering on food safety and nutrition were important components of the attempt to keep human lives very safe, especially in the nation, where the economy was a determining factor in what people eat.

The Vice-Chancellor, who is also the President, Association of African Universities (AAU), stated that everyone needed to be concerned about matters of food safety. “The link between that concern and this programme was the fact that no matter how much you know, no matter how much you put in place, except there is a medium of transfer of the requisite knowledge to the people that are supposed to be the end users, we are not making any impact. So, issues of human capital development capacity building are a link between that knowledge and the commitment of government to tie back that knowledge to end users and that is why this training programme is very important”, he added.

He noted that the workshop was a critical component of the food value chain, where individuals are schooled, taught and empowered to go on the line, to be able to translate the knowledge gained into other end users. Professor Oyewole, who stated that he belonged to the College, charged COLFHEC to come out with specific proposal on how to have a Food Safety and Nutrition Training Institute in the University.

The Dean of COLFHEC, Professor Lateef Sanni, appreciated the Programme Coordinator, Professor Folake Henshaw, who is also the immediate past Dean of COLFHEC, and her team for consistently delivering quality service on human development in the area of food safety and nutrition. Professor Sanni said that investment in the improvement of capacity of actors in the value chain was very important, saying that Nigeria started well in the 1970s with the existence of environmental officers popularly known as ‘wole wole’.  He noted that such structure was still there in the state ministries of health, although there was no working capital and funds to support the programme. He noted that the essence of training was to renew people’s understanding of food safety traceability and how best to monitor it.

The Programme Coordinator, Professor Folake Henshaw, had described the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI), as a nonprofit and global organisation, whose mission entailed improving public health and well-being of the people by supporting scientific research and educational programmes relating to food, health and safety. She recalled that food-borne illness remained one of the major public health problems and a major cause of malnutrition, particularly in infants and young children, adding that each year, approximately 76 million cases of food-borne illness occur in the United States of America alone, as more than 325,000 people are hospitalised while about 5,000 deaths occur. Citing reasons such as public health issues, increasing world population and globalisation, food moves across borders, global incidence of increased food-borne diseases, emerging food borne hazards-microbiological and chemical hazards, among others as being the imperative of holding the food safety training.

Professor Henshaw gave examples of food-borne diseases caused by microbiological hazards to include Cholera, Campylobacteriosis and Listeriosis. She added that such diseases could also be caused by chemical hazards, which were natural toxins (Mycotoxins), also known as aflatoxin and ochratoxins; heavy metals; excessive use of antibiotics in animal feeds as well as pesticide residues. Justifying the essence of the workshop, she disclosed that “Training and education of stakeholders along the food supply chain is an important strategy that will lead to improvement in the safety and nutritional adequacy of food supplies”.

The Programme Coordinator stated that food safety enhances consumer protection, consumer confidence, improved public health/nutrition and boosting of tourism. Others include improvement in the quality of food supply and safe guarding of investment in agriculture. She, however, revealed some of the food safety preventive measures as the continuous monitoring of all aspect of the food supply chain; regulation and control of pesticides, veterinary drugs and food additives; training and education; as well as existence of relevant government policies, stressing that preventive measures were always better than cure.



Dignitaries present at the occasion include the Director, Centre for Entrepreneurial Studies (CENTS), Professor Adewale Dipeolu; the Deputy Dean, COLFHEC, Dr. Adegoke Bakare; College Officer of COLFHEC, Mr. Ishaq Odunjo; ILSI-Associate/ILSI-UG Food Safety and Nutrition Training Centre, Mr. Benjamin Mintah; as well as participants from hospitals, universities, polytechnics and food scientific officers from the Ogun State Local Government Service Commission.





Udofia Becomes UNIUYO Registrar

Mr. Aniediabasi Udofia, the immediate past Deputy Registrar/Secretary, Postgraduate School of the University, has been appointed as Registrar, University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. He attended Samuel Bill Theological College (Secondary School Division), Abak from 1979 to 1984, before proceeding to the University of Cross River State (now University of Uyo) for his first degree, between 1988 and 1991.  He also obtained an M.Sc (Ed.) in Educational Technology degree from the same University, in 2000.

Mr. Udofia joined the services of FUNAAB in 2009 as Deputy Registrar and was deployed to the Office of the Vice-Chancellor.  He also served as the Deputy Registrar, Senate and Admissions Unit in the Registry.

Mr. Udofia, a member of the Association of Nigerian University Professional Administrators (ANUPA), has attended several local and international conferences and seminars. He has bagged some awards such as the Local Government Chairman’s Award and the State Director’s Commendation for outstanding performance during his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme. The new Registrar has also served FUNAAB in many capacities including being a member of the Ceremonials Committee.
He has since assumed duty as Registrar with effect from September 1, 2016.

We Bring Out the Best in Our Students - ICPD Centre Manager

The Centre Manager, International Centre for Professional Development (ICPD) of the University, Mr. Lawrence Kazeem, has disclosed that his office is well positioned to bring out the hidden treasures in the trainees participating in the various programmes offered by the Centre. Mr. Kazeem stated this during an interactive session organised for this year’s summer school students. According to him, the summer school was targeted at young individuals in Junior Secondary School, Senior Secondary School, who are aspiring to become higher educational students as well as FUNAAB students, by adding value to their lives.

During the interactive session, the students were taken through various lecture series from scholars and experts in the various fields of life. The Director, Academic Planning of FUNAAB, Professor Olukayode Akinyemi, who was represented by Mr. Olufemi Bamgbose, spoke on the topic, “Discovering and Developing Your Potentials”, where he charged them to develop whatever potential or skill they have in them and always try to overcome any form of barrier on their way to development. He added that people in the state of disabilities still find the ability and make a head-way in life.

Another speaker, Dr. Bolaji Abiona from the Department of Agricultural Administration, College of Agricultural Management and Rural Development (COLAMRUD) of the University, delivered a paper titled, “Dealing with Academic Failure and Campus Life in the World of Ambiguity”, charged the students to avoid barriers to academic excellence such as improper time management, failure to assume responsibilities, wrong relationships and excessive love for parties. She listed other impediments to include bad habits, bad planning, fake lifestyle and addiction to the social media.

The Director of Health Services of FUNAAB, Dr. Olusola Talabi, who spoke on the topic, “You Are What You Eat”, advised the students to watch some of their feeding habits, especially, those relating to too much consumption of refined sugar and salt. He equally encouraged them to take some time out to exercise themselves regularly and make sure they sweat-out in order to maintain fitness.

Beyond the summer school, the ICPD Centre Manager, Mr. Lawrence Kazeem, stressed that the Centre was involved in training participants in the areas of information technology professional certification and leadership, saying that as obtainable in the developed world, where people are not “degree crazy”, Nigerians should also seek after professional certifications. He charged members of the University community to key into the ICPD training and reap more beyond their expectations in the area of information technology, adding that the Centre was collaborating with other institutions of learning to offer specific training.

The Director of ICT, Ekiti State University (EKSU), Ekiti State, Mr. Kola Falemu, stated that the present management in EKSU was ICT-driven and hence, the need to embark on the training in FUNAAB because of its high web-ranking among Nigerian universities. Also, the duo of Mr. Ejiro Anuyah and Mr. Mobolaji Tenibiaje, the trainees from EKSU, said that the training would enable them improve the EKSU website in the area of webometrics. They said they were meant to cover some basic areas such as Journal/Open Courseware, Open Journal Management System, Website Optimisation, Search Engine Optimisation and Open Scholar. They described the FUNAAB experience as note-worthy, as they commended the University for keeping a beautiful and conducive campus, which they described as one of the best they had ever seen.

Meanwhile the National Centre for Technology Management (NACETEM), Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Osun State, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with FUNAAB-ICPD in the area of manpower training and development in science, technology and innovation management.

According to the Centre Manager of ICPD, Mr. Lawrence Kazeem, the collaboration was a welcomed development since the available facilities available at NACETEM had met international standards.

OAPTIN Team Visits FUNAAB, Lauds Developmental Efforts

As part of efforts to increase the adoption and practice of organic agriculture in the country, the Organic Agriculture Project in Tertiary Institutions in Nigeria (OAPTIN) management team, from the Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB) University, Lapai, Niger State, a government-owned institution, recently visited the University to know more about organic agriculture.

The team leader and the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Administration, IBB University, who is also an alumnus of FUNAAB, Professor Mohammed Yakub, stated that the team members were on a study tour of organic agricultural facilities in FUNAAB, in order to improve on the existing system. Professor Yakub said that he was so elated with the level of rapid infrastructural development that he saw on campus, as he appreciated the efforts of the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olusola Oyewole and his management team, for a job well done.

While taking the team round facilities at the College of Plant Science and Crop Production (COPLANT), the Head, Department of Crop Production and a member of OAPTIN, Professor Jonathan Atungwu, said the team’s visit was home-coming for Professor Yakub, to his former Department, of which the study of plants is one of the core courses in the Department, saying that organic agriculture started from the College. The Dean of COPLANT, Professor Mufutau Atayese, represented by the Deputy Dean, Dr. Senjobi Bolarinwa, while welcoming the team to the college, said that without soil there was “no life’’, as he appreciated the immense contributions of organic agriculture.

At the rice field experimentation, Dr. Olalekan Sakariyawo , took the team round the field experimental plot, where rice were planted and grown basically on organic manure. At the OAPTIN farm on campus, Professor Victor Olowe, the Director, Agricultural Media Resources and Extension Centre (AMREC), said the idea of OAPTIN was conceived in 2004 and the team members always had their meetings at the University of Ibadan, Oyo State. He stated further that a former Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Israel Adu, had directed that the project be established in FUNAAB. Professor Olowe disclosed that the project was mainly for capacity development, which involved interacting with farmers so as to build up their skills, adding that OAPTIN's activities cut across the three arms of FUNAAB’s tripartite mandates of teaching, research and extension services.

Professor Samuel Oluwalana of the College of Environmental Resources Management (COLERM), noted that Nigeria cannot attain food security without organic agriculture, as he demonstrated how the various plants that were grown on organic agriculture could be used for treating various ailments in order to have longevity in man. Other speakers at OAPTIN Farm include Dr. Florence Olowookere, who described how the different types of organic manure could be produced and applied on the farm.

While receiving the team, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olusola Oyewole, has assured that the University would assist the network (OAPTIN) in realising its goals, noting that FUNAAB would also learn a lot from the Ibrahim Babangida University.

Journal Office Goes Digital

The University Journal Office has switched from analogue to digital systemic process of managing scientific knowledge and production, as a guiding principle for every Journal Editor. This development is in line with the present Information Age, also known as the Digital Age, which is an era where there is complete transformation from the traditional era, through the Industrial Revolution, to information high-technology and digital computerisation.

Speaking at a two-day training workshop tagged, “Electronic Journal Processing and Website Management”, organised for editors and staff of the FUNAAB Journal Office in the University, the Editor-in-Chief, FUNAAB Journal, Professor Chryss Onwuka, disclosed that the aim of the workshop was to serve as an appropriate medium for disseminating high quality and original research. He stated that the switch was to ensure that the turnaround time for processing of manuscripts do not go beyond three months from the submission date to the acceptance of manuscripts as well as ensure that peer-review management system is implemented to improve publication and editorial strategy business.

The former Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) of FUNAAB, said that participants had been trained on Open Journal System (OJS), which facilitates the development of open access and peer-reviewed publication by ensuring that publishing process relied on individuals who fulfill different roles and provide the technical infrastructure of online presentation of journal articles and editorial management through workflow of article submission, peer review mechanism and indexing.

According to him, the roles of the editors, as highlighted by the journal management system, include providing guidelines to authors for preparing and submitting manuscripts, providing a clear statement of the journal’s policies on authorship criteria, treating of all authors with fairness, courtesy objectivity, honesty, transparency, protect the confidentiality of every author’s work and establishing a procedure for reconsidering editorial decisions, when necessary. He enumerated the benefits of the journal management system to include online submission of manuscripts, making it possible for authors to track/review process, allowing notification and sending of reminders to e-mail addresses, providing automatic production of PDF files of submission of Microsoft versions for reviewers and assisting the editor to see the manuscripts, assign reviews, add or remove reviewers and send reviewer’s comment to the author. Other recommendations given at the workshop were that interested authors should have a user account and be enrolled as an author before submission of articles. Meanwhile, intending authors are to visit: http://journal.unaab.edu.ng, to submit their manuscripts.

COLANIM Wins VC’s Cup

The College of Animal Science and Livestock Production (COLANIM) of the University, has won the 2016 Inter-Collegiate Sports/Vice-Chancellor’s Cup Competition with a total of 10 gold, seven silver and nine bronze medals. The Institute for Human Resources Development (INHURD), came second with eight gold, five silver and five bronze medals while the College of Plant Science and Crop Production (COLPLANT), took the third position with seven gold, 10 silver and 10 bronze medals.

Speaking at the event, which culminated into the final football match between the College of Engineering (COLENG) and College of Physical Sciences (COLPHYS), with the former beating the later 1-0 and paved way for COLENG to win gold medal under the football men’s category, an elated Vice-Chancellor and a great supporter of sports, Professor Olusola Oyewole, congratulated the winning team, staff and students, assuring all that the University would continue to put in more efforts to support and develop sports. The Director of Sports, Mr. Bayo Oluwatoki, solicited for the continued support of the University Management towards the upcoming Pre-Nigerian Universities Games (NUGA), slated to hold in the University of Lagos, come September as well as the NUGA finals, holding in November at the University of Agriculture, Makurdi.

Other Colleges that contested at the tournament include the College of
Environmental Resources Management (COLERM), College of Biological Sciences (COLBIOS), College of Engineering (COLENG) and College of Management Sciences (COLMAS); which came fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh positions at the competition respectively, while the College of Agricultural Management and Rural Development (COLAMRUD), College of Physical Sciences (COLPHYS), College of Veterinary Medicine (COLVET) and College of Food Science and Human Ecology (COLFHEC), made the eighth, ninth, tenth and eleventh positions, respectively.

Games contested for were: football, basketball, volleyball, handball, hockey, cricket, badminton, tennis, table-tennis, chess, scrabble and squash. Others were: athletics 100m; 200m; 400m; 800m; 1,500m; 4X100m; 4X400m; long jump; shot-put; discus and javelin. Present at the event were the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Development, Professor Ololade Enikuomehin; Dean, COLANIM, Professor Oluseyi Oluwatosin; Deputy Dean, Student Affairs, Professor Adeniyi Olayanju; and the Head of Department (HOD), Pasture and Range Management (PRM), Professor Jimoh Olanite. Others were the Director, Ogun State Sports Council, Mr. Adesola Faleti; Director of Stadia, Ogun State Sports Council, Mr. Shola Adebayo; Deputy Director, Ogun State Sports Council, Mrs. Iyabo Rotimi; and the Ogun State Police Sports’ Officer, ASP Obosi Harrick.

Use Research for Development - University Don

For the country to overcome its present economic challenges, it must embrace research as a veritable tool for development. This was the submission of a University Don, Professor Babatunde Idowu, as he shared some of his research contributions. According to the Professor of Zoology in the Department of Pure and Applied Zoology, College of Biosciences (COLBIOS) of the University, one of his recent research breakthroughs bordered on the study of diabetes.

Professor Idowu disclosed that in 2011, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), had put the global prevalence of Diabetes Mellitus (DM) at 8.3 per cent while it was projected that 552 million people (9.9 per cent) would be diabetic by the year 2030 with Nigeria having the highest number of people living with DM in Africa, and accounting for a national prevalence of 4.04 per cent.  Although, he said the complete cure of disease had eluded medical experts for centuries. In 2005, the Diabetes Research Group, Department of Biological Sciences of FUNAAB, started a series of studies to investigate the hypoglycemic and ameliorative potentials of indigenous medicinal plants for the treatment of DM with the major thrust of the research being to assess the efficacy of indigenous plants in ameliorating pathophysiological complications of DM.

The University Don added that rats were induced by feeding them with food of high glycemic index for eight weeks and surviving rats were considered as food-induced Type II model diabetic rats and thereafter, treated with Ficus exasperata.  He said that it was discovered that the extract was not only a more potent hypoglycaemic agent when compared with the standard antidiabetic drug, glibenclamide, but it also ameliorated the pathophysiological complication of Diabetes Mellitus such as iono-regulatory disruptions, oxidative stress and dyslipidemia as well as other various histopathological degenerations observed in the pancreas and kidney. This result, he said, had shown great promise for prevention of Type II DM. He said in 2015, the group presented a review of the effects of medicinal plants on the complications of Diabetes Mellitus, stating the components of the plants responsible for the effects and the possible mechanisms.

Speaking on another area of his research, Professor Idowu said it centered on Entomophagy, insect-eating, which had become a serious business in America and Europe, as their governments were putting so much through the funding of researches, feeding trials and campaigns for the acceptance of the concept of entomophagy. He then called on Nigerian government to explore this venture as it was one area that the country had the natural endowment. According to him, the Food and Agricultural Organisation in 2014, had disclosed that insects were highly nutritious and a source of healthy food that is rich in high fat, protein, vitamins, fibre and mineral content, and are likely to play a significant role in the survival of mankind by 2050 when the world’s population was expected to hit 9 billion.  He opined that although majority of edible insects were gathered from forest habitats while innovation in mass-rearing systems had begun in many countries, saying insects offer a significant opportunity to merge traditional knowledge with modern science in both developed and developing countries.

Sharing his experience on having insects as food, Professor Idowu said he had discovered that the African grasshopper; Zonocerus variegatus, was a regular food item in Ikare, Owa and Oka - all in Ondo State, Nigeria. According to him, the insect is eaten either after boiling, frying or roasting, adding that studies had shown that both raw and processed grasshopper respectively, were higher and compare favourably with some conventional and unconventional protein source.

Speaking on his initial interest in the insect, the University Don said it was borne out of the discovery that Zonocerus variegatus was a notorious pest capable of damaging plantations of crops.
    He noted that previous work done on the African grasshopper was based on the biology of the insect pest and to fill in the missing gap, he embarked on a research of the physiology of the insect to determine its survival strategies, the chemistry of its repellent gland, its secretion as well as the relationship between the insects repellent gland and its food plants, adding that he was able to come to the conclusion that the production of secretion by the repellent gland of Zonocerus was an important factor in the survival of the grasshoppers.

Professor Idowu disclosed that the rate of recovery after a discharge was a key factor in the efficacy of the secretion as a defensive weapon. Hence, it was of great adaptive significance for the grasshopper to feed on plants such as cassava; Manihot esculenta that would aid the refilling of its reservoir not long after a discharge, which is evident on why Zonocerus would always be a major pest on West African cassava.  The University Don, however, noted that the Praying Mantis; Sphranintus lineola, was observed to feed very well on all the stages of the grasshopper without any after effects as a way in the management of the variegated grasshopper as a pest.

Highlighting some key challenges research in the country was faced with; Professor Idowu said they include inadequate facilities and equipment, killing of initiative, dethroning the power of imagination as well as inadequate research fund and support. He also expressed dissatisfaction at the county’s attitude to research, saying “one of the major problems that we have is that we don’t see research in Nigeria as a tool for development. I know in other places, the government is interested in what you are doing in your laboratory but unfortunately, that is not the case here”.

Nigeria Should Return to Agriculture - FRIN Boss

The Executive Director, Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria (FRIN), Dr. Shola Adepoju, has called on Nigerians to return to agriculture describing it as the hope for the country. Making this declaration at the 3rd Professor Peter Adebola Okuneye Intervarsity Debate (PAID 2016), organised by the Agricultural Economics’ Student Association (AECOSA), of the University, Dr. Adepoju, who was the chairman of the occasion said, “agriculture is all hope for Nigerian now because that is what everybody has gone back to but unfortunately, it is not the day we start up that we start to get the result from it”, hence, the need for government to expedite action towards the approval and disbursement of the country’s agricultural budget. The Executive Director lamented that any further delay in the disbursement might result in funds not reaching the appropriate quarters and achieving the set targets before the rain stops.

The Vice-Chancellor and President, Association of African Universities (AAU), Professor Olusola Oyewole, described the theme of the debate, “Transition in Government: What Hope For Agriculture?” as apt, given the indispensable role of agriculture to the nation’s economy, even as he challenged students of the University and particularly, students of the Department of Agricultural Economics and Farm Management (AE&FM), to always set the pace in agricultural advancement and development in the country. “The theme is very apt for such a time as this, being that we are in a transition, and at a time where there are many challenges facing the country that can be solved through research. We are also at a time when the agricultural system of this country needs attention”, he stated.

Professor Oyewole congratulated the former Dean, College of Agricultural Management and Rural Development (COLAMRUD), Professor Adebola Okunneye, in whose name the debate was founded, for ensuring its sustainability and improving on it by the presentation of awards to deserving agriculturists, who have distinguished themselves in the field of agriculture. Explaining the rationale behind the 3rd PAID Programme, Professor Okuneye, said it was to analyse how well agriculture had fared in the country and proffer solution on the way forward. Professor Okuneye, who observed that the various transitions and inconsistencies in government had led to policy summersault and resulted into the stagnant trend in agriculture, as he called on relevant stakeholders to empower farmers. According to him, this can be done through cooperatives and capacity building for farmers, saying “any government that comes in should empower the farmers and ensure that they are self-sufficient. It is our duty to continually train and empower farmers not only in terms of capital but also knowledge”.

In his remarks, the Acting Head of Department (AE&FM), Dr. Luke Okojie, pointed out that the topic for the debate was carefully chosen as a strong policy issue, adding that “I would not be surprised if what is said today becomes the brain-work of forming the next agenda because right now, we are on agricultural transformational agenda, to assist the government on what hope for agriculture. All along, our focus had been on oil but if we wake up, agriculture is coming in to the forefront, through cassava boom. It is in high demand everywhere in the world and I hope that at the end of the day, the contributions will go a long way in contributing to the framework of forming a very solid policy for Nigerian agriculture”.

The President of AECOSA, Emmanuel Ogunfowote, disclosed that as stakeholders in the agricultural sector of the country, it was imperative for agricultural economic students to know the way forward as regard agriculture in Nigeria, so as to put themselves on the right pedestal on how to contribute to the development of the sector. Highpoint of the event was the presentation of awards to Professors Adeduro Adegeye, Joseph Ayo Babalola University; Professor Adewale Dipeolu, FUNAAB; Hon. Ibironke Sokefun, Commissioner for Agriculture, Ogun State and Professor Igbekele Ajibefun, Vice-Chancellor, Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, Ondo State, who was represented by his Personal Assistant, Mr. Olusola Aladesuru. FUNAAB was represented by two of its students in the Department of AE&FM, Aishat Salami, 300-level; and Damilola Mohammed, 500-level; who emerged 2nd position with an aggregate score of 74.67per cent. The duo competed with teams from the University of Ibadan (UI), Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA) and the Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU).  Dignitaries present at the event include the Vice-Chancellor, Olabisi Obabanjo University (OOU), Professor Saburi Adesanya, who was represented by Professor John Aihonsu; as well as a Radio Personality, Mr. Biodun Bello.
 


Cooperative Society, NAAT Elect Officers 

The University’s Cooperative and Multipurpose Society Limited as well as the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT), FUNAAB Branch, have elected new executive officers to steer the affairs of both organisations.

The newly-elected President, UNAAB Cooperative and Multipurpose Society Limited, Alhaji Kamarudeen Adedo, has promised to treat and attend to the requests of all cooperators equally without fear or favour, ill-will or affection. He stated this in his acceptance speech after being elected the new helmsman for the Cooperative Society, at the Annual General Meeting (AGM), held recently. Alhaji Adedo, who polled a total of 329 votes, to defeat other contestants, pledged to run the society alongside members of the executive with the fear of God, thereby consolidating on the past records by engaging in profitable investments that would enhance income of the Society. The President promised holding of regular general meetings to disseminate necessary information hoping that such avenue would be used to listen to advice, suggestion and constructive criticism from stakeholders.

Other members of the  newly elected-executive are: Mr. Jonathan Fatokun, Vice-President; Mr. Ogini Odiato, Secretary; Mrs. Margaret Omisope, Treasurer; while the ex-officio members are Professor Adewale Dipeolu, Mrs. Titilayo Okuboye, Mr. Oluwatodimu Oladapo, Mrs. Abosede Adeoye and Mr. Olufemi Owoade. Earlier, the President, Ogun State Cooperative Federation Limited, Alhaji Ola Balogun, acknowledged the positive contributions of the Society to the development of cooperative movement in the state, using the opportunity to appreciate the University Management for the conducive environment that enabled the Society to thrive.

The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olusola Oyewole, represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Professor Catherine Eromosele, commended the resilience, hardwork and steadfastness of the UNAAB Cooperative Society, adding that the body had grown to become a driving force in the area of solving financial challenges facing staff members. In his management report, the immediate past President of the Society, Professor Adewale Dipeolu, said the 2015/2016 financial had been a good year, expressing hope that subsequent years would be better.  He appreciated everyone that has contributed to the successes his team achieved over the years, as he called for more support by the cooperators for the    
new executive.

In a related development, the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT), FUNAAB Branch, has elected new executives to run the affairs of the association for the next four year. Comrade Joseph Olurinde, of the Department of Biochemistry emerged as Chairman; Comrade Taiwo Ademola, of College of Engineering, is Vice-Chairman; Comrade Olabode Alamu, of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, is Secretary; and Comrade Andrew Alake, of the Department of Electrical/Electronics, is Treasurer.

Others are Comrade Emmanuel Essienekpo, of the Information and Communication Technology Resource Centre, Financial Secretary; and Engineer Benedict Anyanwu, of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Public Relations Officer. The election, which was conducted during the 1st NAAT-FUNAAB Quadrennial Congress, was held under the supervision of its National President, Comrade Sanni Sulaimon, who was represented by both the Vice President ll, Engineer Peter Odiah; and the Zonal Coordinator, South-West, Engineer Awogbemi Omolaja.

FUNAAB Begins Mid-Semester Break

The University has begun a 7-day mid-semester break for the Second Semester, 2015/2016 Academic Session with effect from Thursday, August 18, 2016. This is to enable the university to put additional welfare and security arrangements in place, to further support the initiatives of the Federal and State Governments, towards the protection of lives and properties of its citizens, particularly, members of staff and students of the university.
 As part of the efforts towards ensuring a safe haven for members of the University community, amidst the security challenges presently facing some parts of our country, Nigeria, FUNAAB has partnered with the Ogun State Commissioner of Police and the Director, State Security Service (SSS), to uphold safety of lives and property of staff and students living within the school environs, following Armed Robbery reports received by students residing in Isolu, a community situated close to the University, which is highly populated by staff and students of FUNAAB.

To this end, the University’s Security Team, in collaboration with the Divisional Police Officers (DPOs) from Odeda and Obantoko areas, both in Abeokuta, Ogun State, often take turns, on a daily basis, to patrol the University environs at night. The University Management has also encouraged the various communities to embrace community policing and vigilante services, to support the efforts of the Police and the SSS.

It is also important to note that students are properly scrutinized during the University’s screening exercise after the Post-Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, to pro-actively ensure that candidates with questionable characters are not admitted into the University. Students have also been cautioned to live a low profile life, avoid attracting unnecessary attention to themselves, be alert, be vigilant about happenings in their surroundings and be free to contact the University’s Chief Security Officer (CSO), in case they notice any strange movement or occurrence around their vicinities. Towards ensuring that all students reside within the University campus, provision of accommodation is also on the the front-burner of the University. Aside the existing campus hostels which the University had been able to build within its limited resources. FUNAAB has also been able to get well-meaning Nigerians; the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), through its Special Intervention Fund; private organisations; and generous individuals to build additional hostels within the University, which are currently at various stages of completion.

Additionally, the University Management has directed that all lectures do not exceed 6pm daily, to allow students get to their homes before dark, while the University transportation services is always available to convey students, who reside outside the campus, close to their destinations.

Meanwhile, contrary to reports being circulated by certain media, it is pertinent to state that the University did not lose anyone during the recent unrest by students of the University. Rather, the only student, who was hurt when he engaged a Police Officer in a scuffle, is currently receiving attention at the University College Hospital, Ibadan.

Attention has also been drawn to reports on the invitation extended to some Principal Officers of the University by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). As public officers as well as responsible and law abiding citizens, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olusola Oyewole and the Bursar, Mr. Moses Ilesanmi have since honored the invitation by the anti-graft agency, to make clarifications on issues bordering on the administration of the University.
The University Management assures that the situation is under control, as normal administrative activities continue unabatedly.

FUNIS Marks End-of-the-Year, Staff School Graduates 56

The Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta International School (FUNIS) recently held its 7th Valedictory/11th Speech Day and Prize-giving Ceremony to mark the End-of-the-Year, 2015/2016 Academic Session, as a total of 56 pupils of the FUNAAB Staff School also graduated during the 2015/2016 Graduation and Prize-giving Ceremony. Welcoming guests to the occasion, the Principal of FUNIS, Mrs. Toyin Juba, appreciated the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olusola Oyewole and the University Management for their unending support and determination to move the school forward.

She also acknowledged the contributions of the Chairman of FUNIS Board, Chief Olukayode Akindele towards its overall development as well as the Parents Teachers Association (PTA) for effecting repairs in the school and for building a befitting examination hall. The Principal added that the good results recorded in external examinations - National Examination Council (NECO) and West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) - were due to the joint efforts by all members of staff of the school. Mrs. Juba said further that the year, under review, had brought about the exit of a beautiful set of students; the “Prestigious Stellars’’, who had been charged to stand tall among their peers by becoming a source of pride to the school.

The Chairman of the occasion, Engineer (Chief) Tajudeen, had congratulated the graduating students, as he appealed to them to live good lives and have the fear of God. He implored them not to be carried away with the flamboyant things of the world because “not all that glitters are gold’’, while the guest speaker of the day was the former Ogun State Police Public Relations Officer, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Olumuyiwa Adejobi, who disclosed that FUNAAB remained the most peaceful campus in Ogun State, as he urged other institutions of higher learning to emulate FUNAAB. He advised the students to avoid venturing into illegal activities such as Internet fraud. Rather, they should use their brains to assist the nation because the government was ever appreciative of the role of students in re-engineering the nation’s economy. DSP Adejobi appealed to the students to be good ambassadors of their families and the school. He implored them to be agents of change that the nation was eagerly yearning for and never forget to pray, shun cultism and other evil vices.

While delivering the Commencement Lecture, Mr. Temitayo Olalekan, an alumnus of FUNIS and a graduate of the Department of Anatomy, Ladoke Akintola University, Ogbomoso, Oyo State, stated that self-encouragement goes a long way in making a student to be successful. He, therefore, charged the students to discover what would best work for them, always believe in themselves and pay due attention to their local languages. Highlights of the events include giving of prizes to the best student in this year’s Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, Miss Oluwapelumi Ojo, who scored 321 marks; the best graduating student in the 2015/2016 Academic Year, Mr. Olabanji Olawale; as well as the best students from the various classes and in the different subjects in the school.

Speaking at the FUNAAB Staff School, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olusola Oyewole congratulated the graduating students for successfully completing the first step in the ladder of their academic pursuit while admonishing them to remain focused and work hard, to succeed in life. Professor Oyewole, who was represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic, Professor Catherine Eromosele, extolled the qualities of the teachers and staff of the school for the discipline instilled in the students and their dedication to duty, as he called on parents and students to take advantage of the quality education being provided by the school to give their wards the best. He disclosed that some old students of the school, who bagged first class honours degrees in various citadels of learning, were doing very well in their chosen careers. The Head-teacher, Mrs. Florence Alade, assured the students that the school had given them the right foundation and platform needed to excel in life, as she urged them to always aspire to be the best wherever they find themselves by being good ambassadors of their alma mater. She noted that the school was committed to producing future leaders that would bring about development in the country.

The Chairman of the Day, Professor Jimoh Olanite, of the Department of Pasture and Range Management, College of Animal Science and Livestock Production (COLANIM), stated that the school had stood the test of time and was established for the purposes of nurturing and moulding young minds, to be future leaders. He commended parents and teachers for their labour and show of love over the students, praying that their joy over the children would be full. The Special Guest of Honour, Dr. Petra Abdulsalam-Saghir, of the Department of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development, College of Agricultural Management and Rural Development (COLAMRUD), encouraged the pupils to be focused and always take their studies seriously. Meanwhile, testimonials and gifts were presented to outstanding students at the event.

How to Produce Energy-efficient Machines - Former DVC

The immediate past Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) of FUNAAB, Professor Adekojo Waheed, of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering (COLENG) of the University, has identified the research benefits that could come the way of industries, petrochemical companies and the nation at large in the area of exergetic utilisation in producing energy-efficient machines.

The University Don, who disclosed that his research interest was in the area of “Fluid Mechanics, Heat and Mass Transfer”, said that he uses his knowledge in energy studies implementation to know the impact on plants and the environment, in order to minimise energy consumption on a large scale, find out from the existing plants the problems they were facing and how such could be solved. Professor Waheed disclosed further that he had worked on cooling devices such as air-conditioners and refrigerators, saying that he had also tried to find out how cooling could be achieved without the use of electricity, as cooling could also be achieved using solar energy by evaporation process.

According to Professor Waheed, what spurred him into this research was his interest in solving problems that would make life easier for the people, adding that nothing could be done without fluid, while his work tried to find out how to reduce energy consumption for the benefit of humans and what could be done with all the fluids available for increase in profit. The Professor of Thermofluids opined that his research would help companies reduce their energy utilisation, in order to increase their profits, noting that it would make the country depend less on packaged technology, reduce emission to the atmosphere that would assist in producing sustainable environment and ensure sufficient energy.

Speaking on his contributions to research, the former Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), pointed out that as a Professor of Thermofluids, a discipline in Mechanical Engineering, his researches focused on Computational Fluid Dynamics, Heat and Mass Transfer, and Energy Techniques. According to him, “basically, the primary duty of an engineer is to design/develop machines for man and industry. So, I am actively engaged in the design of energy-efficient fluidic equipment for industrial use. Flow processes occur in technical devices such as aggregates, instruments, machines and plants, in order to transfer energy, generate lift forces, run combustion processes or take on control functions. The power that is used in cars, trucks, ships and aeroplanes is generated through fluid-flows, coupled with chemical reactions that enable the combustion in piston engines. The basic understanding of the behaviour of flowing fluid is essential for the design of such industrial processes in which fluid flow and associated phenomena play predominant roles”.

Professor Waheed, who disclosed that the traditional ways of carrying out research in fluid mechanics was to engage theoretical/analytical (analytical fluid mechanics) and experimental solution (experimental fluid mechanics) approaches, however, noted  that due to the limitations of the traditional approaches and very high cost of experimentation in fluid mechanics, the third approach, which was based on the numerical solution methods (numerical fluid mechanics), called Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), was introduced. “CFD is the science of predicting fluid flow, heat and mass transfer, chemical reactions, and related phenomena by solving numerically the set of governing mathematical equations of conservation of mass, momentum, energy and species mass, among others. It is a very robust and rigorous approach that has been successfully used in the design of very complex machines, industrial unit operations and processes”, he added.

“One of the areas of my contributions to the fascinating world of engineering was in the improved design and dimensionalisation of the liquid-liquid extraction and distillation columns. Liquid-liquid extraction and distillation processes are useful method to separate components of a mixture. They are used in wide variety of industries including chemical, pharmaceutical, effluent treatment, polymer processing, petroleum, petrochemicals and food industry, among others. The process of separation of one component from the others, through liquid-liquid extraction, is normally done by bringing into contact two immiscible phases and by transferring a mutually-soluble component from one phase to the other. In practice, one phase is usually dispersed in the form of swarm of liquid droplets either from below or above the column droplets into the second continuous flow phase with the aim of providing large inter-facial contact area, per unit volume, between the two phases by enhancing the rate of mass transfer.

In the case of distillation, a phase is dispersed in the form of bubbles into the continuously flowing phase. The diameter of droplets and bubbles are usually in the range 0.5 to 1 mm, making it very difficult to analyse the internal and external flows in them. However, the knowledge of the relevant fluid dynamics of a single droplet or bubble in a second flowing liquid phase, is essential to determine the effect of various forces, including drag and lift acting on them and for the solution of convective mass-transfer problem of the droplet/bubble. In addition, the mass transfer in a single drop is the basis for the estimation of the mass transfer in a polydispersed system and, hence, for the design of an extraction/distillation column”.

Professor Waheed revealed that the conventional distillation system was widely used in the petroleum and chemical industries for the separation of fluid mixtures, but was highly energy intensive, adding that the Nigerian refinery was making use of the crude distillation unit, comprising various individual distillation units, which are also energy intensive.  

Shedding more light, he said the refining industries in Nigeria are confronted by many circumstantial problems including rising energy utilisation, problem of emission control and under-production, stressing that that was what gave him  the insight to carry out an exergetic study of the plant to proffer solution, and “our findings showed components that are both energetic and exergetic-highly inefficient. Our contribution was in the redesign of such components including heat exchanger network, preflash unit and atmospheric distillation unit. We came up with five different developed models of the modified vapour recompression heat pump modified which are of improved exergy; efficiency and lower emission”.  The Don said he had also worked on the development of basic and essential laboratory equipment. One of such being a steam generator or steam boiler, which is a closed vessel, usually used to produce steam from water by combustion of fuel for use in industries for the production of goods, food, heating and cooling of large buildings, running of equipment and production of electricity.

“Steam boilers may be of different shapes and sizes, depending on their applications. Boilers have been in use for a very long time and over the course of time; various inventors and engineers have developed and modified them for the purposes of academic study, as well as to suit the needs of the modern man. In science and engineering laboratories, there is sometimes, the need to utilise steam or hot water to generate power,  carry out tests or used for other heating applications. Many higher educational institutions in Nigeria do not have this very useful device because of its high cost, since it is not being produced locally. We designed a fire-tube steam boiler suitable for use in laboratories as a research rig for power generator among others. The designed boiler can be manufactured locally at highly competitive cost with the materials of all components sourced from within”.

According to him, another device developed was a solar thermal-driven adsorption refrigeration system that works on the principle of cooling, by evaporation. The system neither has any moving part nor uses any energy other than the thermal solar energy, unlike the convectional vapour compression or absorption refrigeration system, which uses electricity. The developed system does not make use nor emit global warming and ozone-depletion substances, making it environmentally-friendly and the system running at minimal cost after the initial cost of investment.

Professor Waheed, however, noted that his research work was facing a lot of challenges, adding that the needed facilities for research were not there. He named such constraints to include lack of facilities for simulation in the laboratories, irregular power supply, poor attitude of industries to research and inadequate drive by students to work with researchers. The Professor further disclosed that engineers were facing more challenges than other researchers because most developed countries, assisting local researchers, were not always ready to support developmental/technological research.

He added that Nigerian researchers possess the potentials to achieve anything they wanted to achieve, noting that despite the challenges, the researchers would rather not give up; instead, they would prefer to focus more on light technology that would be of great benefits to our people. He added that most Nigerian researchers were involved in research merely because of getting promoted on the job; a practice he said, should not be. For him, research should be done painstakingly, adding that it may take several years, but at the end, the result would be a great breakthrough that would bring joy and fame to the researcher as well as the country.

Professor Waheed, who is also a former Director, Academic Planning of the University, advised the government to have a way of generating funds that would be set aside for research and make it mandatory for industry to collobarate with higher education institutions in the country. He added that there should be a programme that would also enlighten researchers, in order to change their attitude, such that they would carry out more researches that could touch the lives of the people, positively.

 

FUNAAB Declares Mid-Semester Break

The Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), has declared a 7-day mid-semester break for the Second Semester, 2015/2016 Academic Session with effect from Thursday, August 18, 2016. This is to enable the university to put additional welfare and security arrangements in place, to further support the initiatives of the Federal and State Governments, towards the protection of lives and properties of its citizens, particularly, members of staff and students of the university.

As part of the efforts towards ensuring a safe haven for members of the University community, amidst the security challenges presently facing some parts of our country, Nigeria, FUNAAB has partnered with the Ogun State Commissioner of Police and the Director, State Security Service (SSS), to uphold safety of lives and property of staff and students living within the school environs, following Armed Robbery reports received by students residing in Isolu, a community situated close to the University, which is highly populated by staff and students of FUNAAB.

To this end, the University’s Security Team, in collaboration with the Divisional Police Officers (DPOs) from Odeda and Obantoko areas, both in Abeokuta, Ogun State, often take turns, on a daily basis, to patrol the University environs at night. The University Management has also encouraged the various communities to embrace community policing and vigilante services, to support the efforts of the Police and the SSS.

It is also important to note that students are properly scrutinized during the University’s screening exercise after the Post-Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, to pro-actively ensure that candidates with questionable characters are not admitted into the University. Students have also been cautioned to live a low profile life, avoid attracting unnecessary attention to themselves, be alert, be vigilant about happenings in their surroundings and be free to contact the University’s Chief Security Officer (CSO), in case they notice any strange movement or occurrence around their vicinities.

Towards ensuring that all students reside within the University campus, provision of accommodation is also on the the front-burner of the University. Aside the existing campus hostels which the University had been able to build within its limited resources. FUNAAB has also been able to get well-meaning Nigerians; the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), through its Special Intervention Fund; private organisations; and generous individuals to build additional hostels within the University, which are currently at various stages of completion.

Additionally, the University Management has directed that all lectures do not exceed 6pm daily, to allow students get to their homes before dark, while the University transportation services is always available to convey students, who reside outside the campus, close to their destinations.

Meanwhile, contrary to reports being circulated by certain media, it is pertinent to state that the University did not lose anyone during the recent unrest by students of the University. Rather, the only student, who was hurt when he engaged a Police Officer in a scuffle, is currently receiving attention at the University College Hospital, Ibadan.

Attention has also been drawn to reports on the invitation extended to some Principal Officers of the University by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). As public officers as well as responsible and law abiding citizens, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olusola Oyewole and the Bursar, Mr. Moses Ilesanmi have since honored the invitation by the anti-graft agency, to make clarifications on issues bordering on the administration of the University.

 

The University Management assures that the situation is under control, as normal administrative activities continue unabatedly.

FUNAAB Students Hold Business Summit

A 300-level student in the Department of Business Administration, College of Management Sciences (COLMAS), Miss Oluwatobi Adesina, in collaboration with other students in the University recently held a Business Excellence Summit, “Start-Up: A Key To Sustainable Impact”.

The team members include: Festus Akinfenwa, Eno Dan, Folasade Olabisi and Funmi Olaoye; all from COLMAS. Others are: Michael Ojediran and Babatunde Asiwaju, College of Environmental Resources Management (COLERM); Shemuel Olawoyin, College of Plant Science and Crop Production (COLPLANT); Idris Sanni, College of Veterinary Medicine (COLVET); Francis Iyere, College of Animal Science and Livestock Production (COLANIM); Oluwalaanumi Ayorinde, College of Food Science and Human Ecology (COLFHEC); Tolulope Ogundare, College of Engineering (COLENG); and Roliat Elemere, College of Biological Sciences (COLBIOS).

Delivering a keynote speech titled, “The Entrepreneur in You”, which was targeted at the development of youths on entrepreneurial skills in tertiary institutions, the Director, Consultancy Services, Lead City University (LCU), Ibadan, Professor Olajumoke Familoni, admonished the participants to love what they do best and carry out research in such fields with great passion. She noted that the seminar’s aim was to lighten-up dormant business ideas and encourage entrepreneurship mindset among the youths.

The chairman of the occasion and the Director, Centre for Entrepreneurial Studies (CENTS) of FUNAAB, Professor Adewale Dipeolu, admonished the participants to watch out for opportunities on entrepreneurship, which abound everywhere, adding that they should look ahead for such as there are no boundaries to it. The Don, who specialises in Production Economics, Marketing and Consumer Economics, advised the students to look inward, think hard and look up to God.

The students’ Staff Adviser, Dr. Elizabeth Oluwalana, of the Department of Agricultural Economics and Farm Management (AE&FM), College of Agricultural Management and Rural Development (COLAMRUD), encouraged the participants to venture into Agribusiness, saying that many opportunities exist in the area, especially during a time the nation was witnessing economic recession. She charged the participants to be innovative by adding value to agricultural produce, noting that this would reduce wastage during glut, create wealth and reduce poverty.

Highpoint of the event, which had over 300 participants within and outside of the University, was the presentation of awards of excellence to the keynote speaker, facilitators as well as the donation of over 50 copies of a book titled, “Key Traits of a Successful Leader/Entrepreneur and Entrepreneurial Workbook”, authored by Professor Familoni, to participants. There was also an exhibition and the display of value-added herbal products and fabric bags with their accessories.

Present at the event were: Dr. Bolatito Ikenweiwe of the Department of Aquaculture and Fisheries Management, COLERM; Mr. Tomisin Oyewole, Department of Economics, COLMAS; Mr. Adewale Adesina, Chief Executive Officer, Ebenezer Animal Affairs, Lagos; Mr. Babajide Ogunleye, CEO, Denaro Properties Limited, Lagos; Mr. Adewale Salami, Marketing Insight Manager, MTN Nigeria, Mr. Femi Akinbola of Fastcash, Lagos and Mr. Adesola Adepegba.

AMREC Educates Farm-families on Good Nutrition

 

The Agricultural Media Resources and Extension Centre (AMREC) of the University, has organised a community-based capacity building workshop on “Nutrition and Health Education for Farm-families” in FUNAAB neighbouring villages, to create awareness and improve nutritional status of the rural populace.

 At the occasion, the Director of AMREC, Professor Victor Olowe, appreciated the Vice-Chancellor Professor Olusola Oyewole, for his unflinching support towards the centre’s programmes as well as the parents for allowing the workshop to take place at the Agbede village, near FUNAAB, while imploring the participants to be attentive and fully utilise the information and knowledge gained from the programme for the betterment of farm-families.

 The Project Coordinator, Professor Grace Sokoya, said that the workshop was put together by the Gender Issues and Youth Development (GIYD) Unit of AMREC, as part of its mandate in facilitating the participatory capabilities of women, farm-families and secondary school youths in the University mandate area (Southwest Nigeria), in a bid to promote the development of the farmers, their families, their communities, and the nation at large. She highlighted the objectives of the workshop to include: creating awareness in farm-families and rural teachers on benefits of good health and nutritional practices towards enhancing optimum health of farm-families in general and school children in particular.

 Others are: pointing-out the causes and prevention of sudden deaths across the life span; creating nutritional awareness and promotion of healthy nutritional habits among farm-families; promoting behavioural changes on hygienic practices and strategies to attaining optimum growth; development of school children; and encouraging peer-to-peer education among school children alongside their parents. Professor Sokoya added further that participants were expected from nine villages and that when a female is educated, generations have been empowered. She said the workshop would also assist the participants to take good care of the children, noting that what was expected of them was to make the children healthier, in order to reduce the number of times they would visit the hospital. She appealed to the parents to endeavour to give the best food to their children.

 Dr. Modupe Oladejo-Alghazal in her presentation titled, “Causes and Prevention of Sudden Deaths in Farm-families”, across the life span (childhood illness, gyneacological emergencies, communicable and non-communicable diseases), advised the women-folk to always eat balanced diet, rest, avoid heavy work, practice family planning, ante-natal care, ensure child delivery at standard hospitals and sleeping under treated insecticide nets, identifying the causes of sudden death to include: bleeding, hypertension in pregnancy, infection in pregnancy, obstructed labour, malaria and anaemia while common diseases include measles, dysentery, polio, chicken pox, tuberculosis and malaria.  She also implored the participants to avoid indiscriminate defecation, eat fresh fruits, adopt exclusive breast feeding (for six months for the infant) and wash their hands at all times, using soap after visiting the toilet and before cooking.

 In another presentation titled, “Farm-families’ Nutritional Awareness and Hygienic Practices as Strategies to Enhance Optimum Growth and Development of School Children’’, Dr. Catherine Oladoyinbo appealed to parents to ensure that they live in clean and healthy environment in the course of preparing their food while listing out the benefits of eating balanced diet and at the right proportion to include; rapid growth, increased immunity from diseases and infections, sharp brain development and longevity of life. Other highlights of the programme include the practical teaching of participants on the different ways of carrying out medical check-up and preparing healthy foods.

 

 

Don Discovers Alternative Materials for Small Voltage Power Generations

A Don in the Department of Physics, College of Physical Sciences (COLPHYS), Professor Gboyega Adebayo, has disclosed that some special types of compounds, known as Heusler Alloys, which are semiconductors in nature, can be used as small voltage power generations. A Heusler Alloy is a three-element compound, which if combined in the right proportions, results in a new material with better properties and consequently if two Heusler Alloys are joined together in what is known as Thermoelectric Heterostructure, the combined alloys will generate small electric current due to temperature gradient between the alloys. Although, the power generated in this way is very small and cannot power a home, but can find applications in devices or appliances using 2-5Volts.

 Professor Adebayo, who is also the Head, Department of Physics in the University, said that such heterostructures were already being fabricated in university laboratories in developed countries. Many of the fabrications depend largely on theoretical calculations/results attained mainly from the fields of Materials Science and Condensed Matter Physics and that one good advantage is the fact that the fabrications are cheap and may also be possible for Nigerian scientists to fabricate if their laboratories are equipped. He noted that “In this part of the world, where we don't have industries or laboratories that could fabricate semiconductors, we might not feel the effects so quickly, but our scientists can contribute to this fast-growing research field by engaging in theoretical calculations that predict properties of Heusler Alloys”. He, however, stressed that he was aware that some researchers can fabricate 2-Dimensional Semiconductors in some Nigerian universities, but the properties of a 2-Dimensional material could be very different from that of corresponding bulk material.

 Professor Adebayo, a specialist in Computational Condensed Matter Physics, noted that Physics is divided into two main parts: Experimental Physics and Theoretical Physics, adding that in Theoretical Physics, “we rely on theories to predict the behaviour or properties of material while Experimental Physics practicalise and come up with new materials”. According to him, “What we do in some areas of Condensed Matter Physics or Materials Science is to try and combine three or four elements of the period table to make one improved materials, which can be used as semiconductor materials/components. We are doing this theoretically and not experimentally. The first problem we face when we do theoretical physics is making accurate pronouncement on something you don’t know or something that you have never seen. For example, if I should combine silicon or germanium with two/three other materials, we know from experience that the properties of the new material would not be the same as that of silicon nor that of germanium. The new properties would be entirely different. Therefore, making accurate predictions is usually very problematic”

 According to him, as a “Theoretical Physicist, making good predictions would be made to say which material is good for which purpose. Accurate predictions would guide Applied scientists, Materials scientists or Engineers in making new materials. It might be a difficult task, but what we do is to apply the well-established physics laws and theories, then we would see what the new properties would be. There would be some other conditions, which you, as a Theoretical Physicist, must think of. This actually does not end here as some of us that are into theory use computational methods, which mainly means simulations”. He described simulations as mimicking material properties using certain steps and testing on a computer; whether the materials have some kind of properties that would be useful or not. “When you are doing simulations, it’s not just your thinking; you have to combine what the Physicists say with your own thinking. You also find how to code because if you can’t code all these theories, there is no way you can simulate the properties of materials”, he noted. He added that “As difficult as the process looks, a Theoretical Physicist  has one advantage which is, he doesn’t have to wait till he has very large equipment before he can do his research. All he needs is to know the theories and know how to think well to get what the theories would predict and so on”.

 He added that we are very fortunate to have a very solid graduate programme in Physics, as many of these studies are possible partly because we have brilliant and hard working postgraduate students. I am particularly blessed with graduate students who excel in research. Commenting on a project by an M.Sc student, Mr. Ridwan Agbaoye, who had just completed his work and currently visiting the International Centre for Theoretical Physics in Italy, saying “It is possible to have some organic materials which are semiconductors and could find applications as screen of phones, smart wristwatches, solar panels and on the new generation of flat screens television called the Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED)”. Professor Adebayo further stated that the student researched an organic semiconductor, called Poly(3,4)-ethylenedioxythiophene (PEDOT), noting that what Mr. Agbaoye did was to theoretically study the elastic and thermodynamic properties of PEDOT among other things. “People have done so many things on PEDOT, but there are still many aspects of it that people have not touched.

 Highlighting other benefits of PEDOT, the Theoretical Physicist said it was possible for researchers to combine one or more elements with PEDOT to have an improved compound. According to him, “Part of what we do is to theoretically see how to improve on the properties of some semiconductors, such that they could be more useful to make new materials. It is when new materials are discovered that Applied Scientists could now see how to incorporate the materials into Integrated Circuit (IC) which are useful in devices such as phones, televisions and radios, among others”. He added that in Physics, there is a slogan that says, “Physics today is the technology of tomorrow”. According to him, “What that means is that people may not feel the effects of physics research until 10 or more years later. An example of this is Albert Einstein’s work which took more than 50 years before people realised it”.

He further stated that, “If you look at developed countries, they fund basic sciences because they know that technology of many things depend on how the scientists were able to master basic sciences. So, I would say that the University or government should encourage people in the fields of Physics and Mathematics. We shouldn’t say that the common man on the streets has not been feeling the impact of what we are doing presently. It doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t pay attention to the basic sciences”. According to him, “Corn and Gari sellers on the streets carry sophisticated phones, which were made possible as results of researches from basic sciences performed years or decades ago. So, the truth is that people should not look at us as doing abstract things as the time would come when you'll see the effects of all the things we are doing”.

 He, however, mentioned some of the challenges faced by Theoretical Physicists as the same faced generally by other scientists. Professor Adebayo stated that although, doing a theoretical work does not require large equipment to work with, some simulations could not be done on normal laptops or desktop computers as several millions of calculations are needed to be performed in a matter of seconds/minutes. Therefore, faster machines, known as Clusters or High Performance Clusters are required. He described clusters as very fast and accurate computer machines, which could do millions of calculations within  seconds, stressing that to have access to clusters, one would need to scout abroad as there is no university or Centre that has it in Nigeria. According to him, “We have to scout around the world to see where they have clusters and beg to use it for few months for us to have some calculations done. From here, it is possible for me to connect to any cluster in any part of the world through the Internet and do my calculations from my table”.

 He, therefore, stated that the major challenges are the unavailability of clusters as well as access to it even if permission is granted from abroad. “If there is no power and Internet, we won’t be able to connect or access the clusters over there”, he noted. Using clusters is like someone giving you access to his/her research equipment as a single cluster could costs up to USD40,000 but several scientists can use this single cluster. Professor Adebayo added that part of the challenge is being unable to access online journals. His words; “If you are into Theoretical Physics or you are in Mathematics and you don’t have access to online journals in realtime, you cannot move as much as you should move”. On the folding up of industries in the country and the ways to mitigate against it, he said the erratic power supply in the country should quickly be fixed to forestall further closure. According to him, if power is not fixed in the country, there is no way the nation could move forward industrially.
 
 Professor Adebayo bagged a B.Sc. degree in Physical Sciences in 1992 from FUNAAB; M.Sc. Physics (Condensed Matter Physics) in 1997 from the University of Ibadan and Ph.D. Physics (Condensed Matter Physics) in 2005 also from the University of Ibadan with a year Sandwich Programme at the Free University, Berlin, Germany during the Ph.D. programme; He was a Scholar to the German Academic Exchange Services (DAAD); and at various times, Junior Associate and Regular Associate of the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Trieste (ICTP), Italy; and he was a Royal Society of London International Incoming Visitor in 2007 at The School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland. He has participated in scientific activities of the ICTP at various levels from 1997 till date, among others.

 

 

 
 

 

 

FUNAAB Hosts ICAN Accreditation Team

The accreditation team from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) recently visited the University to accredit the accounting programme in its College of Management Sciences (COLMAS). According to the team leader, Professor Ishola Akintoye, the main purpose of the visit was to assess the existing teaching aid and the environment being used for the teaching of accounting students with a view to granting ICAN accreditation to the Department of Accounting. He added that students from accredited institutions derive many benefits from the institute such as: exemption from some stages of the professional examinations while registering, getting scholarships as first class students and being the best-graduating students with prize-money of N150,000, sponsorship for Ph.D  programme and benefiting from the setting up of a research centre. Professor Akintoye advised that an Accounting Technical Scheme Tutorial Centre should be established in the University to enhance the performance and acceptability of FUNAAB accounting graduates in the labour market.
 Speaking earlier, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olusola Oyewole, represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Development), Professor Ololade Enikuomehin, appreciated the contributions of ICAN to the University, saying FUNAAB was always ready to collaborate with the institute to have a world-class Department of Accounting, by providing the needed enabling and conducive environment.  The Acting Dean of COLMAS, Dr. Jayeola Olabisi, disclosed that the visiting team applauded Miss Blessing Awobayo, a 300-level student of the department, for successfully completing her March, 2016 ATS examination in flying colours.

 

 

FUNAAB Receives Professor Okojie, Former VC in Grand Style

It was a hearty and memorable home-coming for Professor Julius Okojie, the second substantive Vice-Chancellor of FUNAAB and the immediate past Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), as members of the University community, led by the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council, Senator (Sir) Dr. Adeseye Ogunlewe; Council members; Management; Senate and other stakeholders accorded him a befitting reception with series of programmes.
 Senator Ogunlewe congratulated Professor Okojie on the successful completion of his tenure as the Executive Secretary of NUC, lauding his managerial acumen, which he said, raised the bar of excellence and quality of university education in the country. According to him, “we are so proud of you. As one of us, you exhibited that experience that you gathered here in the performance of your duties as ES. Fortunately, they dissolved every other one (departments and parastatals) when you left, but they waited for you to leave because they know your performance and attitude to work. You are a pride to this country and to FUNAAB and we want further development as you are back. We need your wealth of experience to make this University number one in ranking. You have been used to ranking as the ES. So, rank us first, now. On behalf of the Council, Deans and Directors, I welcome you back home and by the grace of God, it will be a pleasure for you and as you move on in your career, the Lord will bless you.”
 Earlier, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olusola Oyewole introduced the former ES to the Governing Council and assured him of the University Management’s commitment to ensuring that he had a pleasant stay in FUNAAB. Responding, Professor Okojie recalled that he left FUNAAB 15 years ago, on August 31, 2001. He disclosed that on entering Abeokuta, he had a very strong emotional feeling of being at home and that made him to immediately place a call to the former Nigerian President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, to inform him that “the eagle has landed”.  The elated ES, who attributed the success recorded by him in office to God saying, “My prayer was always that; God, as I am looking at the tape that signifies the end of my career, let me breast that tape without any stumbling block”. 

 Professor Okojie appreciated the Governing Council for the warm reception accorded him and appealed to members to continue to do all within their powers to ensure that peace and unity reigned in the University. Speaking on the evolution of universities, the former Vice-Chancellor pointed out it dated back to the 11th to 14th Centuries, when the Pope gave the charter that a university be established, adding that academic gowns came from the robe of the clergy. He, however, noted how the present day universities had modified their mandates to suit present day realities. According to him, there was the need to put a tradition in place, saying when an institution does not have a tradition; it would die, adding that the power of a university was in the strength of its Senate.
 Giving a vote of thanks on behalf of the Council, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Development), Professor Ololade Enikuomehin, expressed appreciation to Professor Okojie for coming back home because it was very rare to have a former Vice-Chancellor, returning and accepting to be part of the university community. “This puts us in the forefront as a university and that is why it is an excitement to us, especially, bearing in mind the academic culture that the former Vice-Chancellor superintended. We thank you for starting your home-coming from Council", he added. He observed that although the university was not exactly the same that Professor Okojie left behind, accepting to come back meant that the immediate past ES had accepted to be a ‘father’ to the university, assuring him that FUNAAB would not be far from expectations  In his goodwill message, another Council member, Professor Femi Otubanjo, lauded the unparalleled leadership qualities of the former Vice-Chancellor, whom he said, operated an open-door policy by relating freely with both the high and low without any discrimination; an attribute which he said amounted to his success in carrying out the tasks he undertook. According to him, “one of the best things that happened to universities during your tenure was that quality was restored. Our universities were collapsing at one point and I pray that we do not go back that way because the signs we were seeing was that people were just deliberately removing those things that would ensure standards. But today, universities like FUNAAB, University of Lagos and University of Ibadan have gone back to their standard ways and their graduates stand tall because of the regulatory and quality assurance role that NUC provided”.
 At the University’s Zoological Park and Garden, its Director, Dr. Moses Oyatogun, took the former Executive Secretary on a tour of facilities and provided information on the activities of the park since its inception. Professor Okojie suggested that corporate organisations should be approached to adopt animals, which would be fully financed and managed by them.
 During a visit to the Directorate of University Farm (DUFARMS) Food Expo, where various farm and industrial products produced by the University were displayed, the Director, Mr. Michael Jaiyeola, briefed the former Vice-Chancellor on the activities of the Directorate while Professor Okojie recalled his contributions to the development of the then FUNAAB Foods, observing that with the dwindling prices of crude oil, Universities of Agriculture had become very relevant in addressing the food insecurity challenge facing the nation. He expressed delight at the fact that FUNAAB had not derailed from its mandates in contributing towards eradicating hunger, while charging them to sustain the tradition of showcasing their first-fruits.
 At a Special Senate Meeting held in his honour, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Oyewole had described the former Vice-Chancellor as a humble man, generous to a fault, held no grudges against anyone and a true ambassador of the University. He disclosed that the achievements recorded by him remained indelible in the history of FUNAAB, as its second substantive Vice-Chancellor, who facilitated the movement of the University to its main campus from Isale-Igbein.
 The Vice-Chancellor further stated that Professor Okojie's name is etched in gold as he was the first Inaugural Lecturer of the University; a pioneer Vice-Chancellor, who had also served meritoriously at the Bells University; and two-term Executive Secretary of NUC, who came back to the University. The Senate then approved that a foundation be established in honour of Professor Okojie, with Professor Bola Okuneye as Chairman; while Professors Kola Adebayo, Samuel Oluwalana, Grace Sokoya and Dupe Akintobi, are members.
 At the occasion, members of Senate took time to shower encomiums on Professor Okojie, describing him as a strong believer in the unity of the family; a mentor; generous giver; and peace-broker; whose tenure as Vice-Chancellor, recorded peaceful reign and was instrumental to the overall success of the University. Other sterling qualities attributed to the former Vice-Chancellor was his forthrightness, courage, integrity, humility, progressiveness, staff and students’ welfarism, passion, kindness, forgiving nature, boldness and openness.
 Responding, Professor Okojie appreciated all for their kind comments, stating that he would continue to be himself by remaining simple. Sharing the secrets of his success, he said it revolved around having the fear of God, having love for one’s neighbour and doing good deeds at all times, saying “when I do good, I do not remember; when you offend me, I do not remember and I do not remember when I offend you, too.” He charged members of the University community to embrace peace, do good at all times and learn to give, because givers never lack.  He assured members of Senate that he would not meddle in their internal affairs, but charged them to concentrate on building a community rather than structures. “If you build structures and you don’t build a community, it will not survive. I have spiritual courage and will always say it as it is. We must have courage to speak. The University system is our own and I am proud of this system. So, let us make it comfortable to thrive and grow”, adding that the University was indeed lucky and blessed, saying “with the number of Professors in FUNAAB, you have it all. All you need is the grace of God”. He called on the academic staff to review their plans, so they can impact positively on the society, saying every leadership and system had its own problems.
 At the reception held by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), FUNAAB Branch, Professor Okojie thanked the Union for receiving him back into its fold, assuring members that he would participate actively in the affairs of the Union, pointing out that unionism should be for the advancement of its members, Management and the Government, stressing that the Union had a role to play in the development of the country.
 According to him, unions have very crucial roles to play in every community and should be able to justify their actions, adding that unionism was not a call to be deviant from government and management but should rather work together, rub minds and share idea that would bring about development. The local Chairman of ASUU, Dr. Adebayo Oni and other members enumerated the outstanding qualities and achievements of Professor Okojie, which included taking FUNAAB to the enviable position as the Best University in Nigeria and creating a beautiful environment through the planting of palm-trees, spearheading the planting of 250-hectare of cashew plantation, maintenance of high academic standards and the initiation of the first Open Thesis Defence in the University.
 Other members of the University community, Unions and Students also had the opportunity to felicitate with Professor Okojie, at a reception held at the Ceremonial Building, as they recalled accounts of the former Vice-Chancellor's generosity, zero tolerance for slandering or defamation of character, his  passion for  students and other acts of welfarism as the case may be. In his response, the former Vice-Chancellor solicited for the cooperation of all to do everything to protect the integrity of the University stressing that "only the best is good for FUNAAB". He assured members of the community that he would continue to do all within his capacity to ensure that the University system grew.
 Reporting at his new office at the International Scholars’ and Resource Centre (IS&RC), Professor Okojie was formally welcomed by his former student, now the Dean of his College, College of Environmental Resources Management (COLERM), Professor Clement Adeofun; the Deputy Dean, Dr. Abdul Shotuyo; the Head of Department, Forestry and Wildlife Management, Professor Femi Adekunle; and other Heads of Departments in the College. The former Vice-Chancellor appreciated Professor Oyewole for providing him with a befitting office and advised that the same well-furnished offices be provided for other Professors in the University. He, thereafter, presented himself to his Head of Department, Professor Adekunle, for duty.
 As part of his integration back into the system and the University community, Professor Okojie, who holds a chieftaincy title, Aare Agbe of Egbaland, paid a courtesy call on the Alake and Paramount Ruler of Egbaland, His Royal Majesty, Oba (Dr.) Adedotun Gbadebo, to pay homage, appreciate him for his prayers and solicit for more prayers for him and the University. Recounting his arrival into Abeokuta over 26 years ago, as a young Professor, he said his association with the State had made him give Abeokuta the name, "land where miracles happens". According to him, "there is hardly any prominent personality that has not passed through this town and anyone who does, the fortune of the town follows him". 
 Relaying an account of his stewardship, Professor Okojie pointed out that during his tenure as ES, he accredited over 50 private universities out of the present 61 in existence in the country. He added that he was the longest serving ES, having served four Nigerian presidents and many ministers, a task he was able to accomplish, as a result of the grooming he received from FUNAAB. Speaking on his return, Professor Okojie said, just like an eagle, he had rejuvenated his strength and was ready to add his wealth of experience and knowledge to that, which exists in the University.
 Commending the work done by all the Vice-Chancellors of FUNAAB, he said "FUNAAB has come of age", adding that just like a prophet, the Pioneer Vice-Chancellor (Prof. Nurudeen Adedipe) and himself had foreseen the greatness of the University and captioned their publications, "That UNAAB Must Excel" and "UNAAB at 10, A Success Story", to reflect this. Professor Okojie, who also informed the Alake that he had recommended that the first-fruits
of the University be presented to him every year for his blessings, so that the land may prosper, adding that "the University has a role and must ensure that communities develop. If communities are not getting any feedback from the University, then it means something is wrong. They should be part of the solution of the problem of the community".  He apologised for not always being present at occasions that required his physical presence as the Aare Agbe of Egbaland and promised to be in attendance forthwith.
 In his response, the Alake appreciated the University Management and Professor Okojie for the visit, stating that his greatest gift was his simplicity and truthfulness, attributing them to his success. He recalled that during his tenure as Vice-Chancellor, Professor Okojie had promised not to leave any project abandoned and he achieved it. Praying for him, Oba Gbadebo said he would not regret his decision to come back to FUNAAB, saying that his children would always be a source of pride to him. He also prayed that his future successes would exceed that of his past and that the return of the former Vice-Chancellor would transform the University into a specialised one that would have a Faculty of Law for industries to behold; a Faculty of Medicine, where a Federal Medical Centre would be; and a Faulty of Education, where a Federal College of Education would be a degree-awarding Faculty. His Royal Majesty also prayed that the current Vice-Chancellor would leave a legacy of success behind, noting that FUNAAB would continue to be a leader in the annals of universities in Nigeria.
 Meanwhile, guests on the former Executive Secretary’s entourage included his wife, Mrs. Oluremi Okojie; NUC’s Director, Quality Assurance, Dr. Biodun Saliu; Director, Open and Distance Education, Dr. Olamide Adesina; Deputy Director, Information and Public Relations, Mrs. Adebukola Olatunji; and Principal Protocol Officer, Mr. Akinlabi Akinola.

 

 

 

Always Conserve the Soil - Professor Babalola

“Soil is not a heritage from our parents, but a bequest to our children.” This was the adage given to buttress the need to always educate the younger generations on the importance of protecting the soil. The piece of advice was given by Professor Oluwatoyin Babalola, an expert in Soil Microbiology in the Department of Soil Science and Land Management, College of Plant Science and Crop Production (COLPLANT) of the University.
 Professor Babalola had described the soil as a non-renewable resource while calling for the importance of always cherishing and protecting it. According to her “We need to tell our children the need to protect our soils and learn to use it well, so that it will serve us well and we will hand it over to the future generations in good condition.” As a means of protecting soil fertility, she discouraged the removal of the soil organic surface layer, through the use of bulldozers and other heavy machineries, compaction of soil surface through overgrazing and application of ammonium fertilizers which tend to acidify the soil. Rather, she encouraged the adoption of soil management practices that will lead to aggregation of the soil. She urged farmers to leave the residues of their farm products on the farm-land, in order to return all organic matter back to the soil and also to carry out cover cropping, to protect the soil from erosion during the off-season.

 Professor Babalola made reference to her Ph.D Thesis titled, “The Effects of Micro-organisms on Rock Phosphate Solubulization in Soybeans and Maize Production in the Northern Guinea Savannah”, saying that her research was aimed at examining effect of micro-organisms that are inhabiting the soil on rock phosphate, which informed that about 50 per cent of the indigenous soil micro-organisms and were able to solubulize  the rock phosphate to varying levels. She added that when such rock phosphate is applied to soil along with the inoculation of these microorganisms at the root of the plant, the effect would be comparable to what is obtainable when you add the regular fertilizer.
 She further stressed that the rock phosphate is rock material that is used predominantly as fertilizer raw material, because it has high amount of phosphorus and for most crops, phosphate is needed and applied as Nitrogen Phosphorous Potassium (NPK) or Single Super Phosphate (SSP), which is required by plants to grow. According to her, “the Sokoto rock phosphate is in the form of regular rock, while its deposit in Ososun, Ogun State, occurs in the form of small stones. In fact, a company is currently processing it as raw material for the production of fertilizers. Because most crops have high need of Nitrogen and Phosphorus, we are looking at applying it directly and engaging the normal biological interactions in the soil and make it available to the soil”, she added.
 Professor Babalola, whose experience involved working with farmers in the Northern part of the country and the Institute of Agriculture, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, spanning over a decade, stated that gone were the days when farmlands in the north were believed to be unproductive, as farmers in the region now make good use of fertilizers and harvest in large quantities, which explains why most food stuffs are produced in that region.  She said that farming in the north was safer in most cases, as they do not experience some of the attending challenges the southern farmers were facing, such as pests attacking the farmland and thieves stealing farm produce, aside the fact that the northerners seemed to be more committed to farming.

 On the effects of researches in the country, the Don aligned herself with belief that researches in the country were not making the necessary impact as required, while ascribing the cause to communication gap between researchers and policy makers. She also noted that research findings were not often made available to farmers and policy makers, advising that Nigerian universities should gain relevance by being able to solve local problems. Professor Babalola added that she loves to impact on younger scholars (especially females) and always seizes every available opportunity to encourage the culture of research in her students by being persistent, focused and diligent, in order to excel.

Nigerian Researchers are Rising Up to Challenges - VC

As various challenges continue to affect the nation’s agricultural sector with the resultant effect of scarcity of farm produce, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olusola Oyewole, has lauded the efforts of Nigerian researchers in making food production to be continuous.
 The Vice-Chancellor, who is also the President, Association of African Universities (AAU), said that he would not agree with the impression that Nigerian lecturers were not doing enough research to avert hunger, added that the problems being experienced in agriculture needed research to solve, as one of such was that of tomatoes that was widely felt by all in the country. According to him, “I believe that Nigerian researchers are rising up to the challenges”.  He noted that the Nigerian university system was currently facing ‘massification’, which implies  that large number of students exist, comparable to few researchers and lecturers, stressing that most of the lecturers now spend more of their time attending to teaching rather than research. “We are in an environment where the culture of research is not being encouraged. How many research grants are available for researchers in Nigeria?”, he asked. Professor Oyewole noted that many researchers still depended on foreign research agencies to get support for their work, adding that the facilities in Nigeria were not up to date. He described the issues of electricity, water, Information and Communications Technology (ICT) as some of the greatest impediments to research in the country, noting that there was a limit to the type of research that one could do in the country. He, therefore, called for conducive atmosphere for research in the country if Nigeria would compete in research with other countries.

 Shedding light on the operations of the Treasury Single Account (TSA), vis-a-vis impeding research and infrastructure development in universities, Professor Oyewole attested to the fact that the TSA was impeding research and academic activities in Nigerian universities. According to him, “You can imagine the shock that our universities have, waking up one day to find out that our funds have been moved away from the commercial banks to an account that we can’t even identify”?. Speaking about TSA’s operations within the university setting, the Professor of Food Microbiology stated that “As I am talking to you now, there are funds of this University that have been moved away and are yet to be located in any system within the Central Bank of Nigeria. More worrisome is the fact that there are some external research grants, which have also been moved away”. He added that the situation was a barrier to the success of the various researches being carried out, saying that those researchers cannot continue with the work. “The whereabout of the funds cannot be located right now and it is creating a bad image for our university system. The international funding agencies are discouraged by the development connected with TSA. It is not easy to convince them that when they bring money to support research in Nigeria, they should go to the Central Bank of Nigeria and then the means of accessing the money is also a problem. The Cassava Adding Value for Africa (CAVA) project is a typical example”, he added.
 He described, for example, CAVA a Bill & Melinda Gates project that is championed by Nigeria, through FUNAAB, in five different countries, saying that over $2 million had been moved away from CAVA account, almost a year after the commencement of TSA. He added that the University was yet to locate where the fund was, stressing that the danger was that the CAVA project was now a big challenge as it was in the process of being moved away from Nigeria to the United Kingdom. He, however, attributed the challenges of higher education in Nigeria to inadequate funding and the operations of TSA, adding that part of its effect was the constraints of not having the required environment that is conducive to research. He, therefore, suggested that  universities should be excluded from the TSA system, adding that funds generated from universities should go into TSA while research funds coming from outside the country should be allowed to come directly into the university accounts and operated in the commercial banks.
 On Nigerian ivory towers not being ranked among the first 1,000 universities in the world, the Vice-Chancellor said that he was worried about the poor ranking, stating that as a country “I would be proud to find Nigerian universities among the first 100 and or even 50 in the world, but one is not disturbed in that we are competing with some other universities that have been in existence for hundreds of years”. According to him, what is important was not the ranking, but the concern should be, the relevance of these universities to Nigeria’s development.  “How are the universities in Nigeria responding to the needs and challenges of Nigerians? If we are relevant to our people? If Nigerian universities are contributing to the development of Nigeria? I think that is more important than competing for ranking positions. Nevertheless, I would be proud and glad if Nigerian universities are in the forefront in the ranking system”, he noted.
 Throwing his weight behind the idea of Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), in trying to assist private universities, Professor Oyewole described TETFund’s money as the contribution of companies operating in Nigeria for the development of education in the country, adding that it was not government money alone that is involved, saying private universities should benefit from it. He stressed that private companies are the ones contributing into TETFund to enhance the building of capacity of Nigerians as well as enhance educational development in Nigeria, noting that there was nothing wrong in making the fund to go round all universities - whether public or private.
 On the stoppage of the Post-Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination tests in universities, as infringing on the university autonomy, the Vice-Chancellor said that the Federal Universities belong to the Federal Government, adding that the person putting down the money should have control over what was happening. He, however, stated that inspite of this, the universities should still be given the free hand to decide on the quality of the students they would admit in their system. “I still feel that the current unitary system, whereby we depend only on the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board scores may not really be reliable in determining the good quality of students that should come into the system. We need the Post-UTME to be sustained or look for some other means of ensuring that those who, I mean, the students who are coming in through the JAMB, are students who are really qualified and who have sat for the examination. We are not sure that JAMB has got the foolproof solution to the problems that they have before now”.
 Highlighting the challenges being faced as Vice-Chancellor, Professor Oyewole, whose tenure would end mid next year, said that Nigerian Vice-Chancellors face different environment from their counterparts outside of country. According to him, “If you are a Vice-Chancellor in a place like the United Kingdom or anywhere in Europe, you don’t need to be concerned about electricity. You don’t need to be concerned about water. You face research and administer research. But in Nigeria, you are like a Local Government Chairperson or Governor of a State, where you need to think about so many things that state governors would need to think about”.
 He noted that the system of higher education in Nigeria is so politicised, adding that there were challenges of trade unions, which every Vice-Chancellor would need to contend with. I think that one can explain such because we are in a country, where we are facing a lot of challenges. Our country is stressed up. The average person on the streets is facing so many problems. There is unemployment on the streets. The students and graduates that we are taking out, many of them have no hope of getting jobs. I think the society is under stress and the universities are, affected by it”, he stated.
 Speaking about the legacy he hoped to leave behind when his tenure ends as the fifth Vice-Chancellor of the University, he stated that he had come, done his best to improve the quality in the life of the University, noting that “I have tried my best to be fair to the system and to the people that I work with and to see that I put a legacy that, no matter the challenges we face as a University and as a country, we need to keep moving onto greater heights”.