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News Published in November 2016

FUNIS Holds World Savings, Violence Against Women Programmes

As part of initiatives to inculcate the habit of savings among the adolescence as well as draw the attention of members of the public to the importance of saving, the UNAAB Microfinance Bank Limited (UMFB), in conjunction with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), recently celebrated the World Savings Day with a programme for students of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, International School (FUNIS).
   
Speaking at the occasion themed, “Creating a Savings Habit”, the Managing Director of UMFB, Mr. Adewale Abimbola, highlighted the meaning, merits and types of savings that exist. He further enlightened the students on where and how to save their money, as he used the occasion to allay people’s fears on the possible distress in the nation’s banks, assuring all that UMFB had been adequately insured by the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), in case of eventualities that could arise.
   
He added that UMFB was involved as part of its corporate social responsibility programmes, while carrying out the ‘Financial Inclusion Campaign for Secondary School Students’. He noted that saving was an important part of financial security, which was the focus of the 2016 World Savings Day celebration. The Principal of FUNIS, Mrs. Oluwatoyin Juba, who was represented at the event by the Vice-Principal, Mrs. Emily Okpete, stated that it was imperative for students to be financially-literate, advising that whatever that had been learnt during the occasion should be put into optimal use. The World Savings Day was established by the World Society of Savings Banks in Milan, Italy in 1924.
   
In another development, FUNIS hosted senior members of the Ogun State Girls’ Guides Association at a programme, led by the State Commissioner, Mrs. Juliana Aluko. The theme for the occasion was, “Violence Against Women”, while the Guest Speaker was Dr. Elizabeth Oluwalana of the Agricultural Media Resources Centre (AMREC) of the University. According to Dr. Oluwalana, school pupils should be fair, just and satisfied in all they do and avoid being enticed with material things. She also stressed the need for them to always have positive and entrepreneurial mindsets to enable them be truly independent in life.
   
The Principal of FUNIS, Mrs. Oluwatoyin Juba, pointed out that though the theme for the event was focused on the female gender, the males should not be left out because they are also exposed, prone to violations and other forms of violence, as she admonished all not to give anybody an opportunity to inflict harm on them through acts of violence, harassment, abuse or molestation. She noted further that when people protect themselves, they in turn, get to protect by others; either directly or indirectly, while encouraging members of the Girls’ Guides Association to speak up, walk freely and by so doing, they would have rid themselves of any trauma. She admonished parents to train their children and wards by speaking freely and sharing issues with them, stressing that children should be taught sex education.
   
The Association’s Divisional Commissioner in Abeokuta South, Mrs. Olabisi Taiwo, also admonished girls to report any form of abuse inflicted on them by anyone to their parents or relevant authorities. Similarly, Mrs. Oluwakemi Shittu, a guide-trainer in Ogun State disclosed that police stations now have a department, which is headed by a female officer that handles cases of abuse and molestation, urging victims to feel free to report any attacks. Responding to a question, Mrs. Shittu admitted that boys and girls could play a part in discouraging violence against women - both in word and in action - such as wearing of tags or shirts that clearly suggest that they are against any form of violence against women.


   
The Head, Directorate of Public Relations of FUNAAB, Mrs. Emi’ Alawode, who was represented at the occasion by Mrs. Rosemary Egbuonu, corroborated Mrs. Olabisi Taiwo’s point on how to curb abuse, adding that girls should avoid dressing up in the midst of just anyone, while charging parents to prevent doing such in front of young children, among other useful tips that were given that could curb violence and abuses against females in the society. The Coordinator, Girl Guides FUNIS, Mrs. Abimbola Ayanwale, disclosed that the programme was held in commemoration of the 16 days of activism and world-wide campaign against gender-based violence. According to her, the 16 days kicked-off last November 25, which was the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women that culminated into the Human Rights Day, which was held on December 10.

Organisational Politics Affect Agric Productivity, Says Professor Ladebo

A Professor of Agricultural Extension Management in the College of Agricultural Management and Rural Development (COLAMRUD) of the University, Professor Olugbenga Ladebo, with special interest in organisational behaviour, has analysed the perception of organisational politics on productivity as part of his contribution to research.
   
The University Don, who also disclosed that his second contribution to knowledge bordered on social exchange, said that this was a variable that he employed to explain stress on the job, especially among extension workers in Nigeria, saying “I examined two extension organisations and the Agricultural Development Programmes (ADPs) and I was able to use this exchange variable to explain their level of stress”.
   
Explaining further on what motivated his line of research, Professor Ladebo said it started when he was working on his literature review for his PhD programme and he came across the theme of organisational performance, that had so much confusion surrounding its definition, conceptualisation and operationalisation.  According to him, most scholars were unable to differentiate the concept from efficiency, such that 90 per cent of articles on organisational performance actually employed efficiency variables.
   
“Over time, scholars have bundle up the two concepts and I was able to come up with my own research focus; institutional performance, to look at, and assess the performance of educational institutions in Nigeria and I was fortunate that, at that time, a scholar in the United States of America did his PhD on the topic and came up with a scale. He was the first person to come up with variables and scales to assess the institutional performance in the world. He supplied me with the whole bunch of documents that I used for my PhD which I started with”, he said.
   
Speaking on his contributions to research, Professor Ladebo disclosed that the first area had to do with the perception of organisational politics. “I submitted the research paper in 2004 and it was published in 2006. Initially, the paper was rejected, but the editor in his wisdom saw my analysis and result, and he decided to produce and guide me, through over a period of 13 months so as to rewrite it. I rewrote it four times under the guidance of the editor”, as he stated that the result of such an effort produced must not be allowed to waste away.    On some of the challenges encountered in his research, Professor Ladebo said they include problems from colleagues, funding and students. The University Don, who acknowledged that there had not been sufficient funds, pointed out that “I still believe an individual can fund his or her research with the little funding that we have, if judiciously used”. Other challenge is student’s attitude, saying “we cannot do it alone as Professors or researchers but we still need the cooperation of postgraduate students and they are no more available for research because they are only interested in their degrees. A PhD graduate must publish at least two articles before he or she can be awarded a certificate, it is a compulsory requirement in countries like Japan and United States of America”.
   
Professor Ladebo revealed that he had discovered some exceptional behaviour among his research respondents by researching into their homosexuality, which he noted, was a controversial topic in the country. “We were able to identify students that have trait X. And based on such parameters, there is nothing that differentiates the homo-sexual from others. If you say that the Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of a homo-sexual is lower, it is because they are under pressure from coming out, of being in the closet not because they are homo-sexuals. There is a burden they are carrying, if we talk about morality, then; who has the moral right to judge them? Even the pastors on the pulpit are not morally right to judge. They are dying in silence because of our hypocritical attitude. From the biblical standing, the bible does not condemn anybody. Those countries that are wise are giving them their rights and we should look in that direction. I am working on the research, hoping I will be able to present it for an Inaugural Lecture. The big picture is to influence policy framework in the country. I have records that I can use to back up what I have said”.
   
Condemning the attitude of some University Dons to research, Professor Ladebo noted that a researcher could contribute to his/her field without necessarily winning an award. He pointed out that many times, scientists like to have their names included in research that they have not contributed to and cannot defend if the lead investigator is absent.
   
“One of the reasons is that they are putting pressure on scholars to blend with the societal values, that is why we expect an average level lecturer or teacher to express the same level of affluence as seen in the larger society and this should not be so. In order for an average lecturer to reach this level, he or she must cut corners and that is what we are seeing”. Making a case for research in agriculture, Professor Ladebo called for research mandate in agriculture in the country. “For instance, this University does not have a research mandate. We were created for the purpose of agriculture, Prof. Olusegun Oshinowo, a retired Professor of FUNAAB, published a report in 1999 but I do not know if it has been updated, but as I speak with you, I am not aware of any other research mandate for the University, otherwise, we would not have scholars as it would have formed the basis for our promotion”. Comparing Nigeria with advanced countries in terms of research, he said “there is no research and we are actually stagnant. The little research work that is going on today is based on students’ projects and most of these projects are not thoroughly supervised. In Germany, your thesis will be turned into a book for you, to attain a level of seriousness but here, it is not so. Only select few scholars are involved in meaningful research today in the country".
   
Speaking on other areas of research interest to him, the University Don said he would like to research more into organisational behaviour with special interest in the area of diversity and homo-sexuality, which fall under this field.  “In some countries, their rights have been recognised but socially, they are still finding their feet, they need to be recognised because they are no different from other people, their physiology is not different and psychologically, they may be different but it does not make them less human. It is only when we recognise them that we can attend to their problems and I believe it is a spiritual problem. We as individuals have personal and spiritual problems".
   
While giving far-reaching recommendations, Professor Ladebo said “my main concern is to change the psyche of our students to read, saying there is no shortcut to success. We have to encourage our students to have a positive attitude towards studying. We, Professors need to be given time to work on more research works. The moment you become a Professor, and you are given a post, there is no time for you to do research work because you will move from one endless meeting to another. We, Professors need time to work more on our research work”.

We Need To Be Thankful Always, Says VC

The year 2017 has been described as a year to express appreciation as individuals and as a University. This was the call of the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olusola Oyewole, during the annual Christian prayer session held to usher-in a New Year. Professor Oyewole stated that although the University had passed through stormy weathers in the previous year, it was able to survive by the grace of God, saying “many universities would not have survived what we passed through and survive. But it is only God that saw us through”.

He charged every member of staff to be filled with gratitude for God’s grace and mercies over happenings in the previous year, while tasking all stakeholders to work together with unity of purpose, to sustain the University’s glory. The Vice-Chancellor expressed his displeasure over the state of affairs and challenges faced by the University last year, in terms of the inability to access research grants by beneficiaries, amongst others. He, however, disclosed that normalcy had returned to campus, saying “it shall be well with us”. He further appreciated the efforts of the various arms and stakeholders in the University in the midst of the crises and lauded the students for showing understanding by ensuring that the system did not crumble, despite the challenges.

   
In an exhortation, Professor Jacob Akinyemi, the Head, Department of Mechatronics, College of Engineering (COLENG) of the University, members of staff were assured that God is capable of doing a new thing in their lives. He charged them to learn to thank God at all times and offer prayers for the good of the University. To make 2017 a glorious year, he charged FUNAAB stakeholders to live a righteous life, flourish, rejoice and be blessed, as other anointed men of God prayed for staff, students and the University in general at the occasion.

   
Similarly, the Islamic prayer session was held simultaneously at the University mosque. The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olusola Oyewole, who was represented at the event by a Governing Council Member, Professor Adesina Agboola, appreciated God for His faithfulness, protection and provision since the beginning of his tenure as the Vice-Chancellor, while appreciating members of staff and students, particularly, those who kept the system going during the challenging periods.  According to the Vice-Chancellor, though the University was now experiencing a dearth of funds as FUNAAB funds with the Federal Government had been mopped up as at December 31, 2016, He was, however, hopeful that with God, all problems would be settled, as he enjoined all stakeholders to come together and move FUNAAB forward.
   
Giving an exhortation, the Chief Imam, Muslim community, Professor Idris Ayinde of the Department of Agricultural Economics and Farm Management, College of Agricultural Management and Rural Development (COLAMRUD), said that though  last year was bedeviled with a lot of challenges, recession and turbulence in the country as a whole and the University in particular, he admonished that whatever trials that befell the nation would be solved by Allah. He disclosed that a leader would always be held responsible to give account of his/her stewardship. He also noted that good followership would lead to good leadership and vice

versa. According to the Imam, it was the responsibility of the members of the University community to pray for the Vice-Chancellor and Management, while leading the congregation for supplications that Allah would appoint a good Vice-Chancellor for the University; a person He had chosen, irrespective of where he/she hails from. Dignitaries present at the mosque include the University Librarian, Dr. Mulikat Salaam; former Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic, Professor Toyin Arowolo; the Amir of the Muslim Community, Professor Kehinde Okeleye; the Dean, College of Food Science and Human Ecology (COLFHEC), Professor Lateef Sanni; Dean, College of Physical Sciences (COLPHYS), Professor Amidu Mustapha; Director, Centre for Internationalisation and Partnerships (CENIP), Professor Sherriff Adewuyi; and Deputy Registrar, Senate and Admissions, Mrs. Oluwatoyin Dawodu, among others.

Centre of Excellence in Agricultural Development and Sustainable Environment (CEADESE) Request for Expressions of Interest for an Individual Consultant

INTRODUCTION: The regional initiative of Africa Higher Education Centers of Excellence (ACE) was launched in 2013 to support change and improvement in Human Capital Development within the region. The ACE project was successfully introduced in eight West and Central Africa countries with a US$150 million investment approved by IDA in April 2014. Nineteen (19) ACEs were competitively selected in Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, The Gambia, and Togo. In Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, the fields covered include food processing and value addition, crop and pasture range, livestock science and sustainable environment, environment systems and Agriculture, Production Economics And Environmental Policy. Projects were also selected in Health and Agriculture.

SCOPE OF WORKS: In compliance with the requirements of the Nigeria Environmental Impact Assessment laws and the World Bank  Environmental and Social Safeguard Policies by which the ACE project triggered OP 4.01.  Environmental Assessment resulting from the proposed activities of the listed sub projects, the Centre of Excellence in Agriculture Development and Sustainable Environment, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta is proposing to award a contract for the conduct of an Environmental and Social Management Plan (ESMP) to identify the environmental and social management and mitigation measures required to implement seven of its sub-projects:

  • Upgrade of one (1) Goat and Sheep House;
  • Upgrade of one (1) Goat (Kalahari) House;
  • Upgrade of one (1) Growers Poultry House;
  • Upgrade of one (1) Layers Poultry House;
  • Upgrade of one (1) Cockerel Poultry House;
  • Upgrade of one (1) Laboratory (Plant Breeding/Seed Storage Laboratory);
  • Replacement of one (1) existing Screen House;

The proposed ESMP is to provide an overview of the environmental and social baseline conditions of the proposed sub-projects, summarize the potential impacts associated with the proposed rehabilitation and improvement works and set out the management measures required to mitigate any potential impacts in a series of sector specific Environmental Management Plans (ESMPs).
ADMINISTRATION/REPORTING: The Consultant will report to the Director, CEADESE through the Centre Environmental and Social Safeguard Officer, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta.

DURATION OF THE ASSIGNMENT: The proposed assignment is for an estimated period of 6 weeks 

QUALIFICATIONS AND EXPERIENCE REQUIRED: The Consultant is expected to have minimum of an M.Sc degree or equivalent in Environmental/ Health Management or related fields, Environmental Science related with previous experience in the preparation of Environmental Assessment instruments recognized by the World Bank. His or her Strong country knowledge and knowledge of World Bank safeguard policies will be an asset.

SUBMISSION AND CLOSING DATE
Four (4) hard copies and one (1) soft copy of the Curriculum Vitae of the interested Consultant must be in red wax sealed envelope and to be submitted on or before Monday, 19th December, 2016 at 12:00 noon at the office of:
         
The Director,
Centre of Excellence in Agricultural Development and Sustainable Environment (CEADESE),
International Scholars’ and Resource Centre,
Vice-chancellor’s Lodge Arena,
 Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta,
Ogun State, Nigeria
Tel: +2348077766064, +2348098484169,+2348060155342

 OPENING DATE
The Companies  representatives and the general public are invited to attend the opening on Monday, 19th December, 2016 at the Senate Chamber of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta at 12:00 noon prompt.

signed
Prof. Okanlawon M. ONAGBESAN
Director, CEADESE

ICGEB, FUNAAB Sign MoU on Research, Training

The International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB) and the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in the areas of research and training collaboration. The MoU is in pursuit of excellence in scholarship and dissemination of knowledge to generate reciprocal benefit within a framework of openness, fairness and equity that would serve both parties.



The MoU aims at promoting sustainable, productive research and training in the area of biotechnology as well as staff exchange. The areas of collaboration include joint research and training programmes; student exchange; joint proposals for external funding; joint sponsorship of attendance of scholarly and technical meetings and conferences; joint publications; exchange of materials, articles and other publications; as well as other activities that may be mutually agreed upon.

FUNAAB Rises on Universities Webometrics Rating

The University has recorded yet another feat in the area of webometrics. This piece of information was disclosed by Dr. Olutayo Ajayi, the Acting Head, Information and Communication Resource Centre (ICTREC). According to Dr. Ajayi, despite the small size and age, FUNAAB remained a forerunner in webometrics ranking in Nigeria, ahead of some first or second generation  universities such as University of Port-harcourt, Rivers; University of Benin, Edo and the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. He also lauded the University for setting high standards as one of the few universities in the country that cherished in-house development, by ensuring that most of its applications were developed in-house, thereby, saving the cost of outsourcing ICT projects.
The criteria used to rank the universities bordered on the assessment of Composite Indicators and Web Impact Factors, with development of indicators about resources in the society and social networks visualisation on the website, with friendly, dynamic and interactive graphic interfaces, design and evaluation of documented analysis techniques of web resources, genre studies applied to the scholar activity on website, development of applied cybermetrics techniques based on the positioning on search engines of web domains; and the analysis of the information usage through Website and data mining of log files, among others.
 
Webometrics Ranking is essential to knowing how visible a tertiary institution is in the world by ranking all universities and knowing the position of any institution. It also enables a university to know how well it is doing in the areas of research and the application of learning tools. It allows for assessment of how FUNAAB ranks with other universities. It leads to the improvement of the University’s website. He revealed that this achievement was made possible because of the enormous skill and staff strength that cover all areas of ICT, from network design to software development, web development, information management systems and training. He further stressed the need to groom more in-house talents and products from the campus in order to add to the home-grown heritage that FUNAAB enjoys. He added that the University had produced graduates; both from the Department of Computer Science and other departments that are making waves in the information Communication Technology (ICT) world, within and outside the country.
The Acting Head, ICTREC, shared his vision for members of staff, students and the University as a whole, saying he hoped that the University would be engaged in paperless processes in which students, right from entry to their last day in the University, would be engaging in all forms of IT procedures and learning technologies, where they do not need to be filling paper forms, course registration, examination as well as getting results and transcripts within a short time.
He also mentioned that he looked forward to having members of staff to be e-compliant, whereby newly-employed staff would have their orientation on a ready-made, interactive platform basis, where progress would be recorded; confirmation of employment done, as well as performance evaluation for promotion carried out, while looking forward to making Senate and other committee meetings less burdensome, by digitalising the major processes and workflow involved.
 
In addition, he stressed the need to leave the era of using conventional teaching methods such as writing on boards and go beyond the use of multimedia projectors, to the use of intelligent boards with playback functions, whereby lectures are delivered with electronics boards that are connected online, so as to aid access to instant resources that improve teaching.    Dr. Ajayi added that the framework and blueprint to achieve the paperless/wireless system was available but the major thing needed to actualise this was having adequate funding for infrastructure which do not come cheap, saying to have a good network infrastructure, where one can enjoy the best Internet service in any community, there had to be uninterrupted power backup facilities, with a strong core or backbone that must be made of fibre optic cables while other remote areas would be through wireless radio connections.       Dr. Ajayi, however, gave some challenges facing his Centre, such as inadequate power supply and power surges, adding another issue bordered on the susceptibility of the equipment in the wireless system to harsh weather and thunderstorm, which often led to the loss of many equipment. He noted further that another problem had to do with lack of adequate information on how to effectively utilise Internet access on campus, urging Internet users to endeavour to disconnect themselves when not in use.     Dr. Ajayi called on the University Management to implement the existing IT policy; put in place, a strong and effective ICT management board to run ICT issues on campus and constantly retrain of staff. He charged members of staff that received grants for research to always ensure they include an allocation for Internet services which is a major component of their research works, saying this practice would help in improving and the development of IT on campus. In addition, he called on the University alumni in reputable establishments to endeavour to use their influence to win laudable IT projects for the University.

Solving Practical Problems, My Research Motivation, Says FUNAAB Professor

A Professor of Food Engineering in the Department of Agricultural and Bioresources Engineering, College of Engineering (COLENG), Professor Babatunde Adewumi, has disclosed that his interest in solving practical problems in the society had been the driving force behind his research as an academic. According to the Don, “The passion to help, whenever there is a challenge, drives my breakthrough. I look at what are the practical challenges and what are the practical solutions that are economical”.

Professor Adewumi said he had developed over 30 machines that are working. He gave some examples to include the processing machines for locust beans (popularly called “Iru” in Yoruba language). These includes the steamer unit for the locust bean seed that helps in reducing the boiling time of the seeds, from about 24 to 36 hours, to only about one to two hours. Aside the drastic reduction of the processing time and drudgery, the steaming process retains the original golden yellow color of the cotyledons of the bean and upgrades the value of the crop beyond it use as traditional food condiments to industrial crop, especially in pharmaceutical and  food industries. He added that apart from the steaming machine, he had developed different types of dehulling machines and hydro cyclone separator for locust bean processing, which had produced desired solution by reducing time, energy or power requirements and drudgery to the barest minimum. Those machines have also improved production efficiency, quantity, quality and rate. For the poultry farmers the Don has developed various types of incubators including, charcoal-fuel, kerosene-fuel, electrical, electrical cum kerosene fuel; solar incubators for hatching eggs; three types of egg candlers for assessing egg fertility with embryo development; manually-operated milking machine for small ruminants; and a beak trimming machine to prevent cannibalism. Other machines developed by the Don include manually operated and motorised plantain chiping/ slicing machines, pneumatic separator, cashew seed decorticator, manual and motorised Cashew Nut Shell Liquid (CNSL) extractors, manually operated impact type cocoa pod breaking machine, manually operated and motorised charcoal heated ‘Gari’ frying machines, motorised mango juice extractor, screw extractor for groundnut oil, motorised rice husking machine, medium scale motorised sugarcane juice extractor, medium scale thresher-cleaner for legumes and cross flow classifier test rig for legumes. He also developed theoretical  aerodynamic model utilise as a guide for the design of legume classifier unit.

Professor Adewumi, a seasoned and widely-travelled researcher, had described research as the life-line of a nation that hopes to survive. Drawing an example from Nigeria, he said that the government and various industries do not seem to adequately support researches and emphasized that “this is why most researches in the country end up on the shelves”. He advised that, just as the way it is being done in the developed nations - where institutions and researchers patent their researches - Nigerian institutions/ researchers should also key into the same method, in order to get their investment back and in doing this, any individual or company that needs a research effort would be made to pay. Professor Adewumi said that the problem facing most developing nations like Nigeria is that the people conceive agriculture as hobby and not as business. He suggested that the country and its farmers should rather see agriculture from a global dimension of competitiveness and realise that agricultural products are not only food products but also raw materials for industries.

He described Nigeria as a blessed nation but wasting away simply because our leaders do not want people to get liberated. To buttress his point, Professor Adewumi described the country as slave in every area of life simply because our leaders do not encourage research by making the country ‘a buying economy’ and not a ‘producing economy’. According to him, by encouraging research, the country would be self-reliant, be able to solve its immediate problems, be able to save money and build its reserve. He stressed that if the government should spend huge resources on research and allow the outcome to be utilized, many problems such as joblessness and corruption would be taken care of. The Don then charged researchers to be patient and prevent ‘Quick research outcome syndrome’ which only tends to publishing inferior quality papers, without practical results or applications. Also, the Nigerian industrialists have not help matters. They have not been adequately sponsoring research because they want immediate and huge gains with minimum investments. This make the nation to keep buying and not producing. Drawing an example from the United States of America, if she spend $1 billion on research today, she will gain $10 billion, in the nearest but not necessarily immediate future.
 
The Professor of Food Engineering has described inadequate funding as one of the major challenges facing research in the country. He also said that inferiority complex is another national problem. Generally in Nigeria we do not believe in ourselves (low self ego). We believe in and rely more on foreign made products rather than improving the quality of our own products. The government will not patronize our products and professional but foreign products and expatriates, even when there are better local alternatives. In order to help solve some of the identified problems, he urged the government to look inwards and provide the enabling environment for universities to operate. The Nigerian Government and and industries should support research and patronize research breakthroughs so they do not end up in the shelves but get to the market. There is also  the need to maintain proper networking among researchers and relevant stakeholders.
He called other researchers, most especially the upcoming ones, not to make money their priority, if they want to make a head-way in research, while charging them to seek knowledge that would promote the economy, exercise patience in carrying out research and be honest in data management. He called on Nigerian leaders to work towards a knowledge-based economy, to survive.

FUNAAB Governing Council  Repositions University  

The University Governing Council, at its 90th Statutory Meeting, held on Thursday, November 10, 2016, considered reports on the University. According to the Registrar and Secretary to Council, Mr. Mathew Ayoola, as part of necessary reforms aimed at repositioning the University, the Governing Council approved Management's decisions earlier taken to restore normal academic activities and peace to the University and commended the efforts of the Management and staff, to sustain the integrity of the University.

 

Council also disengaged some erring staff from the services of the University for various offences, which include stealing of University property, insubordination, willful disobedience to lawful instructions, absconding from assigned duty posts, sabotage and other forms of gross misconduct, prejudicial to good governance and peace of the University. All the affected members of staff were availed of the opportunity of responding to the queries against them in line with the extant provisions of the University. This is in line with the resolve of the Governing Council to fulfill its statutory roles of ensuring the stability of the University. Council further approved the appointment of Mrs. Oluremi Oyewunmi as Acting University Bursar, after the expiration of the tenure of Mr. Moses Ilesanmi and noted that the process for the appointment of a substantive University Bursar had begun.


Council enjoined all staff to be dedicated to duty, as necessary steps were being taken to attend to issues of welfare, such as promotions, staff training and development while reiterating its resolve not to entertain any form of indiscipline in the University.

FUNAAB Collaborates Leading Health Bodies  

The National Health and Family Planning Commission of China and the Department of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs), World Health Organisation (WHO), in partnership with the University, have agreed to create and strengthen collaboration between African and Chinese research institutions in order to scale up Schistosomiasis control and its elimination by taking advantage of the success of China in the elimination of Schistosomiasis. By the agreement, the University is one of the reference centres in Nigeria for the implementation of the Chinese working agreement with institution for the study, control and elimination of Schistosomiasis in Nigeria.

 


Professor Sammy Sam-Wobo of FUNAAB, who is Nigeria’s representative, stated that the first meeting of the China-Africa Cooperation was held in Malawi in 2015, where a bilateral Memorandum of Understanding between Chinese research institutions and some African countries was signed, and in 2016, the second meeting was held, with a 3-day training course in Malacology and use of Molluscicides for snail control, as Nigeria and Ethiopia were included in the cooperation. According to report of the China-Africa meeting and training course on Malacology for Schistosomiasis elimination in Africa, the African Region bears about 40 per cent of the global burden of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) and all the 47 countries of the region are endemic for at least, two of the NTDs while 36 of them are co-endemic for at least, five of these diseases. Africa, which is the region most affected by Schistosomiasis, has 91.4 per cent of the total number of people requiring treatment globally.
 
The report further informed that this increased the momentum to eliminate Preventive Chemotherapy Neglected Tropical Diseases (PC-NTDs), including Schistosomiasis, from Africa with high level commitment by the donors, medicine donors and donation programmes, NGDOs (Non-Governmental Development Organisation), partner institutions, and members states to work towards attainment of the 2020 NTD elimination targets, under the guidance and leadership of the World Health Organisation Regional Office for Africa (WHO/AFRO) through the Expanded Special to Eliminate Neglected Tropical Diseases (ESPEN).

The specific objectives of the collaboration include providing support to Schistosomiasis monitoring and evaluation activities in the African region, training participants on the new World Health Organisation manuals on evaluation of Molluscicides and their application in the field, creating a training network to strengthen research capacity of African countries, establishing and strengthening linkages between African and Chinese research institutions.

Recommendations to African countries for snail should be integrated in national country plans, there should be institutional mapping of snail habits and transmission sites, to stratify habitats for focal control, improvement in training on Malacology, Schistosomiasis control implementers should be trained at country and institutional levels, and countries are to secure regulatory approvals for the use of Molluscicides and investigate sources of Molluscicides with the cost of implementation.
WHO has called for snail control measures including organising capacity building in Malacology and snail control, making available the operational manual on snail control, placing guidance materials on WHO website for supporting snail control activities, finalising and making available guidelines on field and laboratory testing of Molluscicides, developing more sensitive techniques for detecting infection in snails, and being the link between the countries in the implementation and execution of the MoU signed.

Other programmatic recommendations to countries include integrating WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) activities in control programme, JAP (Joint Action Programme) strengthening countries to improve treatment, coverage, reporting or investigating other sources of Praziquantel (China), continuing strategies including pre-school children in MDA (Mass Drug Administration), and implementing MDA for adults in high risk areas according current guidelines. WHO also recommended that there should be the development of more sensitive diagnostic tools, pursuance of additional sources of praziquantel (PZQ), promotion of China-Afro collaboration, overseeing other praziquantel donations to guarantee safety and monitoring of Severe Adverse Effects (SAEs), supporting institutional level and Chinese cooperation recognition by MoH (Ministry of Health) while countries are to apply to WHO for guidance on additional praziquantel mobilisation.

On the part of China, it is charged with the responsibility of harmonising with ongoing activities to meet the targets of quick implementation of Chinese agreements, ensuring that administrative procedures by all parties are expedited in line with proposed milestones, informing respective embassies about collaboration for facilitation by promoting phase approach from pilot to scale-up for institutes to collaborate for operational research as a first level, and second level government to government involvement in implementation of research findings for control; as well as serve as WHO technical partner in the China-Africa collaboration.

INHURD Not Affected By NUC Ban - Director

Recently, the National Universities Commission (NUC) announced the scrapping of Pre-degree and Diploma programmes in Nigerian universities. In view of this development, the Director, Institute for Human Resources Development (INHURD), Professor Francis Showemimo, has made some clarifications on the effect of the ban on the activities of INHURD, saying the directive had not in a way affected the institute negatively. Professor Showemimo disclosed that INHURD is an institute that is semi-autonomous in nature and that the major thing that links the institute with FUNAAB, as a University, is the issue of ownership. 

Professor Showemimo said the ban by NUC did not come to the institute unprepared and hence, the reason why INHURD is located far from the main campus and operating on the semi-autonomous status. He, however, posited that the ban would help the University Management to expedite action by incorporating INHURD with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), so that it would be able to stand on its own and only be overseen by FUNAAB.
The Director justified the Federal Government’s stance for placing such a ban because other universities running the programmes were now breaking the rules of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), by promising their students automatic admission into their various universities without even sitting for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME). One of the major and notable differences between INHURD and other universities running Pre-degree and Diploma programmes, is that INHURD students usually undergo academic training for a period of time before they sit for the INHURD internal examination and at the same time sitting for UTME, which they must pass excellently. These, according to him, would enable the students to get admitted into the universities of their choice. He said this year, the Pre-degree programmes had commenced over a month ago so that admitted students would be able to sit for the examination and pass the screening, before being admitted as substantive candidates into any university of their choice.

On the alleged high cost of running Pre-degree programmes in the country and the possible ways to close the gap between the rich and the common parents, in order to have their children enrolled for the programme, Professor Showemimo disclosed further that INHURD remained the most affordable establishment that runs pre-degree programmes in the whole of South-West. He, however, disagreed with the notion that education, once acquired, can be termed expensive, saying that if education is seen to be expensive, ignorance should be tried.
Speaking further, he said he believed everybody is richly endowed and that we are all in a knowledge-based and economy driven society, where one is either knowledgeable in academics or other vocatios, which can be converted into money. He added that INHURD was very considerate in the charging of fees and that for the institute to keep on running administratively such as pay staff salaries and tutors, maintain equipment, keep the lawns and the environment clean and many more, money was needed to do so, while the institute would not exploit its students.
The programmes being run in the institute include Pre-degree in Science and Management Science, Cambridge A’ level that is being administered from the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, as well as the Joint Universities Preliminary Examination Board (JUPEB), which a consortium of universities established and which is still expanding. Another programme is the Interim Joint Matriculation Board Examination (IJMBE), which is being supervised by the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria while both JUPEB and IJMBE are also 'A’ level programmes.

Specialised Universities, Still Very Relevant - FUNAAB Dons

Some FUNAAB Dons have added their voice to the continued relevance of specialised universities in the country, saying they are doing enough to justify their mandate. The Dons, who expressed their opinion on the matter, however, called on the Federal Government to strengthen the universities to enable them, deliver their best.

 

 

 

According to Professor Kolawole Adebayo, an expert in Rural Development Communication, Department of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development, College of Agricultural Management and Rural Development (COLAMRUD), who also doubles as the Director, Grants Management of the University, specialised universities were established with clear mandates in which most of them have performed excellently. Using FUNAAB as an example, he said that the University, in meeting with its tripartite mandate of teaching, research and extension, had produced high-level manpower to service the human resource requirements of Nigeria in agricultural and related sectors, with its research outputs among the best in the world, while the local relevance of its mandate is taken out to communities through the agricultural extension centre.


He stated that knowledge generation and acquisition was one of the key elements required for development and made a case for Nigeria to float a framework to convert available knowledge to action. According to him, this is not a task for universities alone; stressing the need for the government and private sector to weave the body of available knowledge into actionable businesses that would keep youths gainfully employed and generate revenue for the government. Explaining further on FUNAAB's achievements and contributions to human capital that could be leveraged upon in the period of critical need, the Don enumerated various impacts the University has had within and outside the coast of the country.
According to Professor Adebayo, "The list is long. Professor Funmilayo Adebambo's work in improving the genetics of indigenous chicken is groundbreaking and leading human thought across the world. Many of our students are carrying the knowledge acquired in this work with them in the livestock sector. Professor Lateef Sanni and I have made huge incursions into developing the cassava sector in Nigeria beyond traditional foods. I have taken the message beyond Nigeria to Ghana, Malawi, Tanzania and Uganda. Our colleagues in these countries and other cassava-growing nations look up to us at FUNAAB for leadership in this field. Dr. Enoch Dare, in Chemistry Department, had been working on Nanotechnology. This is a technology, whose application in industry and medicine is providing countries with the right framework for transiting between knowledge-generation and utilisation of the leadership in these sectors. The team, led by Dr. Akinola Popoola in our College of Plant Sciences and Crop  Production (COLPLANT), have been dominating knowledge development in tomato over the last decade. Their work is breaking the barriers to tomato production in humid tropical climate. Professor Toyin Arowolo and Dr. Olusoji Olujimi in our College of Environmental Resources Management (COLERM), have made huge contributions to the efforts of the Lagos State Government to maintain a clean environment, particularly, in the areas around landfill sites. This is one of the very few examples, where government actually asked a university to provide a solution to a problem it has. The list is numerous and I can provide an epistle on this."
Professor Bolanle Akeredolu-Ale, Chairperson, Committee of Deans and Directors (CODAD), added that FUNAAB has definitely achieved it objectives in terms of teaching, research and extension with regards to capital development. She, however, advised that at this point, FUNAAB should concentrate on commercial element for self-reliance.
Professor Lateef Sanni, Professor of Food Science and Technology, Department of Food Science and Technology and Dean, College of Food Science and Human Ecology (COLFHEC), also disagreed with the position that specialised universities had not justified their establishment, noting that the major constraining factors hindering most specialised universities were hinged on timely release of funds, engagement in project planning, implementation and appropriate recognition of specialised universities and their innovations. Professor Sanni said that "FUNAAB is well experienced in human capital development from basic and applied researches on agricultural and technological innovations with national, regional and international partnerships using funds from various donors such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, United Kingdom-Department for International Development (DfID), Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), Association of African Union (AAU) and European Union, among others.
Professor Akin Omotayo, Director, Institute of Food Security, Environmental Resources and Agricultural Research (IFSERAR), also disagreed with the assertion, describing FUNAAB as running "very excellent programme of training and relevant experiential opportunities for our students on paper. However, we are much constrained by inadequate financial resources to implement the programmes as designed", he added. Professor Omotayo berated lack of relevant tools for on-the-farm practicals for students because "we do not have the practical equipment, the funds and other technical facilities to develop commercial farms for the purpose of providing optimal training for our students.  We need more government commitment in terms of funding, provision of modern technical facilities and field equipment to prepare our students properly as commercial farmers".
On the contrary, Professor Akeredolu-Ale, also the Dean, College of Agricultural Management and Rural Development (COLAMRUD), observed that "with the state of things, especially food supply, food security and technological growth; there is no doubt that it is justifiable to agree with the summation that the universities of agriculture and technology are not performing to their optimal expectation. For example, in the production of chicken and eggs, one would have expected that even if all the catchment areas have not been captured, the city of Abeokuta ought to be swimming in chicken meat and eggs". She further added that, "granted the mandate of the University is to teach, to undertake research and extension, there is no doubt that the University could have been self-reliant and sufficient, in terms of resources in its over 25 years of existence, if an aggressive commercial element has been taken into consideration by successive administrations".
Also, Professor Sanni added that FUNAAB “has contributed to the Cassava Value Chain Development project in West Africa, covering Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Benin Republic and other food, nutrition, agriculture and health activities with other partners. Our university is proud to be associated with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan in two major landmarks. First, was the soybean research and the second was the cassava flash-dryer development. Our scientists had also excellently served as the Project Coordinator, Cassava Value Chain Development project in West Africa, covering Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Benin Republic; a three-year project, sponsored by the Common Fund for Commodities from August 2008 to March 2012 and implemented by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Ibadan, Nigeria. The University, recently trained large number of postgraduate students, fabricators, operators, farmers and processors in West Africa. FUNAAB introduced four flash dryers to Ghana, Benin Republic and Sierra Leone while their fabricators were also trained. The University also sits as the Scientific and Technical Committee Member of the Council for Agricultural Forum in West and Central Africa; as well as the Steering Committee Member of the Africa Women in Agriculture Research and Development.
Professor Omotayo opined that FUNAAB “had been producing very competent graduates, who have either become notable leaders in government agencies or outstanding entrepreneurs and business leaders, within the available resources. Many of them are in agricultural businesses in different states of the federation. Some have taken up positions with international organisations such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Children Education (UNICEF), Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), the World Bank and others", he added.
Professor Adebayo called for consultation and a clear definition of the problem beyond political statements. He said, "We need to answer the questions around where our strength lies now that we have neglected all others sectors of our economy for decades. What foundations do we need to lay before even commencing the diversification project? These shouldn't be a 4-year plan of this current government. It should be a long term (say 10 years) plan for Nigeria. It needs to be implementable irrespective of the political party in power and take into consideration the fact that the interest of Nigeria, not that of the government in power, is important”.
Professor Sanni, however, called "for the need to convoke an agriculture and technology innovation platform in partnership with private players, development partners and relevant parastatals, facilitate techno-investment fora, with  commercialisable research outcomes that would crowd finances to sustain the drive, organise critical strategic Human Capital Schemes for Youth Entrepreneurs, frontline Directors of all related agencies that would enhance agricultural productivity".
Professor Akeredolu-Ale said that “institutions like FUNAAB should not wait for the government to consult them. Rather, they should come up with ideas that could be presented to the government as its contribution to the development of agriculture in the country”. According to her, "schools like FUNAAB have been relegated to the background in terms of funding and attention. This can be blamed on the fact that successive governments have concentrated their focus of income revenue on crude oil. Now that the stark reality is dawning on the government, attention is being concentrated on agricultural and technological development". She charged the University to always seize the opportunity to act when the need arises, like “spreading the good news on the cure of the virus that devastated the tomato production some months ago,  which was an opportunity for FUNAAB to showcase all the research outputs instead of just letting them rot on library shelves”.
Agreeing with Professor Akeredolu-Ale, Professor Omotayo emphasised the “need to let government to know what they are doing and what can be done to submit proposals to government and key into the frame or scheme of things as they evolve".

Former FUNAAB Bursar for Burial, November 25

Reverend Elijah Ajayi, a former Bursar of the University, who passed on recently at the age of 66, would be buried on November 25, 2016. Rev. Ajayi was appointed as the University Bursar on November 1, 2000 and was re-appointed for a second term on November 1, 2005.

He was born at the Boto Village, Owode District of the Obafemi/Owode Local Government Area of Ogun State on February 14, 1950. He attended the prestigious Baptist Boys High School (BBHS), Abeokuta from 1964 to 1968, where he obtained the West African School Certificate with distinctions. He was at the Derby University of Technology, Derby, United Kingdom, from November 1972 to May 1975 for the Professional Examinations of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), after which he returned to Nigeria.
In June 1976, Rev. Ajayi took up appointment with Palm Line Agencies Nigeria, Wharf Road, Apapa as Financial Accountant. He held the position admirably until 1978, when he was made the Head, Office Accountant, position he held until 1979. It is on record that he successfully introduced Costing and Management Accounting into the agency before leaving for greener pastures. In December 1979, he was appointed as a Cost and Management Accountant by the United African Company (UAC) Foods, Ijora, Lagos. In March 1982, he became the Headquarters’ Commercial Director, a position he held till 1985. He also held many other positions of responsibilities in the conglomerate before bowing-out, in 1990.
Between 1990 and 1993, he established the Sogo Ajayi and Associates (Financial and Management Consultants) and was also the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Gloriel Nigeria Limited, a general contracting, manufacturing and merchandise firm. Later in 1993, Rev. Ajayi was appointed as the Acting Executive Director, Finance and Administration, by the Ogun-Oshun River Basin Development Authority. Prior to the appointment, he was the Assistant General Manager (Finance) with the Authority.
He had served as Chairman, Abeokuta District of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) and a one-time National Treasurer of the Old Students’ Association, Baptist Boys High School (BBHS), Abeokuta. He had equally served as an executive committee member and Chairman, Seminar and Education Committee of ICAN, Abeokuta District Society. He was a Fellow, Institute of Chartered Management Accountants (ICMA) of London as well as Fellow, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN). 
Rev. Ajayi’s vast experience in FUNAAB was deployed at the Crawford University, Igbesa, where he assisted in setting up the Bursary Department of the new University, having spent almost four years. In 2014, he was honoured by the FUNAAB Alumni Association with the Meritorious Service Award.
 Burial details for the former Bursar, released by the family, are as follows:
Sunday, November 13, 2016: Service of Songs at 7894, Cryden Way District, Heights MD 20747, United States of America at 12 noon.
Tuesday, November 22, 2016: Commendation/Service of Songs: 1, Egbedeyi Close, Off Ijoko road, before Mobil Filling Station, Sango by 4pm.
Thursday, November 24, 2016: Christian Wake-Keep: Ajayi Crowther Hall, Igbein, Abeokuta by 5pm.
Friday, November 25, 2016: Burial Service at St. John’s Anglican Church, Isale-Igbein, Abeokuta by 10 am. Reception follows after the Church Service at the Bishop's Court, Onikolobo, Abeokuta.
Rev. Ajayi is survived by Deaconess Oluwafemi Ajayi, his wife of over 40 years and they are blessed with children and grandchildren.

FUNAAB Don Showcases Opportunities in Sown Pasture

A Professor of Pasture Agronomy and Forage Utilisation, College of Animal Science and Livestock Production (COLANIM), Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), Professor Jimoh Olanite, has identified the opportunities that abound in the production of hay from sown pasture for ruminant animal production, as he called on Fulani herdsmen, the University Management and Government in general, to tap into it.

According to him, the availability of steady supply of herbaceous forage legumes and grasses, as feed resources for ruminant animal production, had been of great challenge for livestock farmers in the country, leading to the damage of farmlands. Professor Olanite, whose research interest involves the evaluation of grasses and herbaceous legumes as feed resources for ruminant animal production, disclosed that species like Panicum maximum and Brachiaria decumbens were common grasses that could withstand grazing pressure and are highly nutritious.

 

The University Don disclosed that the major outcomes of his research on sown pasture revealed that the Fulani herdsmen were ready to utilise technologies, if the right environment was provided. Disclosing how he recorded this feat, Professor Olanite said, “when we started our study at Oja-Odan in the Yewa North Local Government Area of Ogun State, we brought the herdsmen to site, to see what we were doing and they saw that if pasture was grown and managed well, it will provide feed for their animals year-round and the quality will be a lot better than what is currently available to them from the natural pasture. What the herdsmen are used to is grazing the natural pasture but this cannot be controlled unlike a pasture that is planted and managed using the right fertilizer, which gives better quality feed. This made the herdsmen to agree with us that if adopted, the use of planted pasture could enhance the productivity of their animals. A follow-up survey, which was a component of the study by colleagues in the Departments of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development, as well as Agricultural Economics and Farm Management (College of Agricultural Management and Rural Development), also indicated interest of the herdsmen in the adoption of sown pasture technology for enhanced animal productivity”.

Professor Olanite noted that he and his other colleagues were currently working on another research proposal aimed at extending this technology to solve problems relating to animal grazing in the South-West Nigeria, saying “The problem of herdsmen destroying the environment is becoming rampant in this area because the land holding situation in the South-West is not like the Northern part of the country”.  He noted further that the government was now talking about the establishment of grazing reserves all over the country and wondered how many states in the South-West Nigeria could donate lands running into hundreds of hectares for such projects? “This will be difficult because lands are already highly fragmented, families own their own land and do their farming on them. How will you tell a family to leave its own land for you to turn to grazing reserve? This may not bring about peaceful coexistence and harmony within the communities. Herdsmen that want to do their animal rearing business here are likely to establish cattle fattening projects, whereby their animals will not be allowed to move around. This is probably the best system of production for South-West, Nigeria. The herdsmen actually need to acquire some skills in pasture production, management and utilisation. Our interest now, as a Department, is looking for ways of enhancing the capacity of the herdsmen themselves for the production and utilisation of sown pasture for animal production”, he stated.

The Professor of Pasture Agronomy and Forage Utilisation, who noted that the University could take advantage of the missing gap by engaging in sown pasture for sale to livestock farmers, pointed out that when sold as fresh feed, the digestibility of forages was higher, while the ability of the animal to extract nutrients from the plants was also higher. According to him, forages are also not useless when dry, but their quality and utilisation by animals will depend on the stage of their growth when they were cut for preservation, noting that “If they are cut when they are fully grown and have produced a lot of stems, what will be available will just be trash that animals will not benefit much from, but if cut at the right growth stage, their nutrient content is high and this is also preserved along with dry matter. All that will be required is just to find a way to reduce the moisture level, so that it will not grow mouldy when stored. Reducing the moisture level does not mean that the protein and other nutrients are still in the dry matter”.

“The stems that are cut along with the forage, when they are fully mature, do not contain the nutrients and even if the nutrients are available in them, animals cannot digest the stem to utilise the nutrients. Even though, the nutrient level in the preserved forage may not be as high as when it was fresh, it will supply the animals with maintenance ration, pending when fresh feed will become available. The University has the capacity to establish pasture, produce hay and silage on commercial scale, given the human resources in the Department of Pasture and Range Management (COLANIM) and the extensive FUNAAB land. By so doing, the University can become a model for entrepreneurs, who are interested in investing in cattle production ventures."

“When we talk about pasture, especially sown pasture, we do not talk about grasses alone, but we also talk about the legume component as well. In this part of the country, Stylosanthes species are generally acceptable and after planting, they cover the ground in good time and they are very resilient to grazing effects. Some species of Stylosanthes that have been extensively evaluated and used in on-station and on-farm adaptive grazing studies generally in Nigeria and in the South-West, in particular, are: Stylosanthes guainensis and Stylosanthes hamata. These legumes can be used for the establishment of extensive pasture lands and for improvement of the natural grazing land. Pasture establishment and management is capital-intensive and may take a large chunk of capital investment in a cattle production venture. Adequate post-establishment routine management, such fertilizer application, rouging or spot weeding, re-seeding, as well proper grazing management, are also required to ensure long-term productivity of established pastures”, he said.

Professor Olanite disclosed that the high cost of pasture establishment may discourage the potential investors from modern cattle production ventures especially when “the natural pasture provides an alternative feed resource at no cost”. Sharing his views on research activities in the country, Professor Olanite said research should be targeted at proffering solutions to the nation’s problems, saying Nigeria was still faced with many developmental issues, indicating that there was still the need for more cutting-edge researches from our universities and research institutes. He called on the government to invest more in research and provide the right environment for researches to thrive without which it may be difficult for the country to achieve its desired growth. He also urged the government to put square pegs in square holes, so as to achieve the desired change that the country needed. “We need to have the right people in the right place and the government must also have the political-will to make things work. For example, let the government challenge the various universities and research institutes to research into identified key developmental issues and back them up with adequate funding and let us see whether these institutions will not perform beyond expectation”, the Don stated.

AAU Celebrates African University Day

The Association of African Universities (AAU), has put the necessary machinery in motion to celebrate the annual African University Day in its headquarters in Accra, Ghana, on November 12, 2016. The African University Day Celebration serves as a unique platform to promote critical dialogue among stakeholders on how to improve higher education in Africa. The Day,  which is set aside to celebrate the success stories of higher education across the continent, has been celebrated since the year 2000.  Focusing on the need to stimulate job creation for the youth, the theme for this year’s celebration is “Entrepreneurial Learning and Communities of Practice”.


During the occasion, the AAU seeks to bring together public and private universities, tertiary educational institutions, non-higher education institutions and other stakeholders, to discuss the theme through an Innovation Week Celebration, while seminars, workshops or panel discussions would also be held on entrepreneurship. Other participants include industry players and policy makers, whose activities would be made known through interviews granted to members of the public through the media, using press releases, articles in local newspapers, exhibitions of publications and other outputs emanating from universities.

AAU is an apex organisation and forum for consultation, exchange of information and cooperation among higher education institutions (HEIs) in Africa. It recognises that, for HEIs to adopt innovative strategies to improve their educational outcomes, there is the need to work more closely with the various stakeholders, especially from  the industry, to ensure the relevance of their curricula, while aiming at producing graduates who make a difference in their communities by solving problems.

 The association was founded in Rabat, Morocco, on November 12, 1967, by members of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), now African Union (AU), and it has current membership strength of over 380 including FUNAAB. With a strong representation in all five regions of Africa, AAU provides the platform for research, reflection, consultation, debates, cooperation and collaboration on issues pertaining to higher education. Over the years, AAU has made tremendous contributions to higher education advancement in Africa. Current programmes being run include the World Bank African Centres of Excellence Project and FUNAAB is one of the Centres; Database of African Theses and Dissertation (DATAD), Graduate Internship Programme, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Fellowship Programme, Quality Assurance Support Programme; and the Leadership/Management Development Training Programmes. The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olusola Oyewole, is the current president of the AAU.

Meanwhile, all Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs), in Africa are expected to celebrate the day, between November 7 and 11, 2016

COLFHECSA Holds Maiden College Week

The College of Food Science and Human Ecology Students Association (COLFHECSA) of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), recently held its maiden College Week themed, “Food Science and Human Ecology; Towards Health and Wealth Creation”, with several educational and extra-curricular activities. Beginning the Week with an awareness programme, to sensitise the College students alongside the University community on the happenings at the College, music and board games were played to stimulate the environment. It continued the following day, with a Breast Cancer Awareness campaign tagged, “Big or Small, Save them All”, which culminated into a free, breast and cervical cancer screening for interested students, sponsored by the government of Ogun State.

A symposium tagged, “The Role of Food Safety in the Lives of Nigerians”, was attended by Dr. Uthman Akinhanmi of the State Hospital, Abeokuta, Ogun State, who addressed students on the role of “ Good Nutrition in the Health and Wealth of Nigerians”, as well as the Chief Executive Officer of NUBEN Interiors and an expert Home Manager, Mrs. Deborah Ayodele, who gave a lecture on "Home Management for Success" and the Chief Executive Officer of OMO-ALATA Foods, Mrs. Kasope Ajai, who addressed the students through Skype. There was also the mini-skill acquisition programme, organised to teach baking and other confectioneries to interested students in the College.

A football match for the Dean’s cup fielded Hospitality and Tourism Management (HTM) and Home Science Management (HSM), in the finals. The match ended in a penalty shootout with HTM winning the trophy with a 3-1 win. The event witnessed the presence of the Dean of COLFHEC, Professor Lateef Sanni; the Deputy Dean, Dr. Henry Bakare; the Head, Nutrition and Dietetics Department (NUD), Dr. Wasiu Afolabi; the College Officer, Mr. Isiaka Odunjo, COLFHECSA’s executive members and other sports lovers, as the winning team was presented with a trophy during the event.