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News Published in February 2017

Medical Registration for Newly Admitted Undergraduates

Medical registration involves 3 sequential processes (X-Ray, Laboratory Test and Consultation). The schedule for Medical registration for the newly admitted undergraduates (2016/2017academics session) is tabulated below. Please strictly follow the schedule and instruction provided.

S/N

Departments

X-Ray

Laboratory Test

Consultation/Registration

1

MTE & COLVET

17th March, 2017

20th March, 2017

21st March, 2017

2

CVE & ELE

20th March, 2017

21st March, 2017

22nd March, 2017

3

AGE & MCE

21st March, 2017

22nd March, 2017

23rd March, 2017

4

ABG

22nd March, 2017

23rd March, 2017

24th March, 2017

5

ANN

23rd March, 2017

24th March, 2017

3rd April, 2017

6

ANP

24th March, 2017

3rd April, 2017

4th  April, 2017

7

APH

3rd April, 2017

4th  April, 2017

5th  April, 2017

8

PRM

4th  April, 2017

5th  April, 2017

6th  April, 2017

9

BCH

5th  April, 2017

6th  April, 2017

7th  April, 2017

10

BIO

6th  April, 2017

7th  April, 2017

10th  April, 2017

11

MCB

7th  April, 2017

10th  April, 2017

11th  April, 2017

12

AE&FM

10th  April, 2017

11th  April, 2017

12th  April, 2017

13

AERD

11th  April, 2017

12th  April, 2017

13th  April, 2017

14

AGAD

12th  April, 2017

13th  April, 2017

18th  April, 2017

15

AQFM

13th  April, 2017

18th  April, 2017

19th April, 2017

16

EMT

18th  April, 2017

19th April, 2017

20th April, 2017

17

FWM

19th April, 2017

20th April, 2017

21st April, 2017

18

WMA

20th April, 2017

21st April, 2017

24th April, 2017

19

FST

21st April, 2017

24th April, 2017

25th April, 2017

20

HSM

24th April, 2017

25th April, 2017

27th April, 2017

21

HTM

25th April, 2017

27th April, 2017

28th April, 2017

22

NTD

27th April, 2017

28th April, 2017

1st May, 2017

23

ACCT

28th April, 2017

1st May, 2017

2nd May, 2017

24

BAM

1st May, 2017

2nd May, 2017

3rd May, 2017

25

BFN

2nd May, 2017

3rd May, 2017

4th May, 2017

26

ECO

3rd May, 2017

4th May, 2017

5th May, 2017

27

ETS

4th May, 2017

5th May, 2017

8th May, 2017

28

CHEM

5th May, 2017

8th May, 2017

9th May, 2017

29

CSC

8th May, 2017

9th May, 2017

10th May, 2017

30

MTS

9th May, 2017

10th May, 2017

11th May, 2017

31

PHS

10th May, 2017

11th May, 2017

12th May, 2017

32

STS

11th May, 2017

12th May, 2017

15th May, 2017

33

CPT

12th May, 2017

15th May, 2017

16th May, 2017

34

HRT

15th May, 2017

16th May, 2017

17th May, 2017

35

PBST

16th May, 2017

17th May, 2017

18th May, 2017

36

PPCP

17th May, 2017

18th May, 2017

19th May, 2017

37

SSLM

18th May, 2017

19th May, 2017

22nd May, 2017

 

While mop-up days will be as follows:

COLVET & COLENG: 22ndMay, 2017

COLPLANT: 23rd and24th MAY, 2017

COLPHYS: 25th and 26thMay, 2017

COLMAS:29th to 31stMay, 2017

COLPHEC: 1st and 2nd June, 2017

COLERM: 5th and 6thJune, 2017

COLBIOS: 7th and 8th June, 2017

COLANIM: 9th and 12th June, 2017

COLAMRUD: 13th and 14thJune, 2017

 

NOTE:

X-Ray: Transportation will be available at the FUNAAB Health Centre to convey students for X-Ray centre strictly on their scheduled date. Time: 8:00am | Cost: N100

 

LaboratoryTest:Students are to come with the following to the laboratory as scheduled

1.      One white transparent bottles (labeled with their names)containing their freshly produced URINE specimen.

2.      Original copy of either their School fees receipt or Departmental receiptor Composite form.

3.      They must be at the Health Services (Laboratory Department)between 8am and 12 noon on the day scheduled for their department.

 

Results and Consultation: follow the process below

1.      Collect medical result at the Laboratory by 8am.

2.      Proceed to Nursing unit for vital sign.

3.      See a doctor.

4.      Visit Medical Record Unit for final registration at the health centre. Below are the registration items needed for your registration.

a.      Form B – Verification of Certificate(s) Eligibility for Registration Form duly signed with recent password photograph.

b.      Form G – Entrance Medical Examination Form duly signed by FUNAAB Medical Doctor.

c.       Medical Laboratory result.

d.      X-ray report/result.

e.      Photocopy of 100 level (200/300 level for DE) School Fees.

f.        Photocopy of your birth certificate or declaration of age.

g.      X-ray film.

h.      Two current passport photographs.

 

Please, adhere strictly to this schedule

2016/2017 ACADEMIC SESSION REGISTRATION PROCEDURES FOR FRESH STUDENTS

All newly admitted candidates into the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta are expected to follow the following procedures for registration:

 

1.         Go to portal.unaab.edu.ng

(i)         Fill the acceptance forms;

(ii)        Print the completed Acceptance Form;

2.      As from March, 13th 2017, proceed to your respective College to see the Examinations and Records Officer for the verification of the entry qualification(s) on which the admission was based. If credentials are found to be in order, the College Schedule Officer will give a Compact Disc (CD).

            Print and fill the following registration forms from the CD:

a.         2016/2017 fresher’s clearance form

b.         Eligibility/verification form

c.         Personal data form

d.         Sponsor’s form

e.         Declaration against cultism form

f.          Verification of certificate form

g.         Medical form

If not cleared by Examinations and Records Officer the candidate should be referred to Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) for further necessary actions.

3.         Return online to portal.unaab.edu.ng next day(after clearance by the College schedule Officer) to generate prescribed fees invoice.

4.         Proceed to any bank accepting REMITA including FUNAAB Microfinance Bank with your prescribed fees Invoice for payment or pay online using debit card or Internet Banking. Collect evidence of payment.

5.         Return online to portal.unaab.edu.ng to generate your receipt. Fill your course registration forms online and print.

6.         Proceed to your College Accountant to authenticate your receipt.

7.         Proceed to the Department with your printed course registration forms for verification, registration and submission.

8.         After the clearance and Registration at the Department, return to the Examinations and Records Office with (i)Duly signed and stamped departmental clearance (ii) Receipt for payment of prescribed fees and (iii) Other completed forms itemized in (2) above for endorsement.  Thereafter, the College Schedule Officer will issue an Eligibility Certificate to duly cleared and registered students.

9          Other registration formalities at the Student Affairs Unit, the Library and the University Health Centre will run at the same time with the Departmental Registration.

10.       Eligibility Certificate obtained from the Examinations and Records Office is to enable students sign Matriculation Register at the College.

11.       Attendance at the Orientation Programme which is slated to hold between Monday 13th – Friday, 17th March, 2017 is compulsory for all fresh students as this will be the prerequisite for the allocation of Matriculation Number.

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Note: Hostel accommodation is limited and available on first come, first served basis for interested applicants. Payment of School fees is a prerequisite for applying for bed space. Visit hostel.unaab.edu.ng for details.

FUNAAB Researchers Bag CIRCLE Fellowships

Two members of staff in the University, Dr. Adefunke Ayinde of the Department of Agricultural Administration, College of Agricultural Management and Rural Development (COLAMRUD), and Dr. Adebukunola Lala of the Institute of Food Security Environmental Resources and Agricultural Research (IFSERAR), have won the Climate Impacts Research Capacity and Leadership Enhancement (CIRCLE) Visiting Fellowships for the "Cohort 3" programme of the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU).

Dr. Ayinde’s fellowship is tenable at the University of Cape Town, South Africa while Dr. Lala would be at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana. Both Dons, with 10 other Nigerians from various tertiary institutions in the country, alongside 25 recipients from African countries, are to participate in the programme that is aimed at generating knowledge to effectively tackle climate change. The CIRCLE programme is an initiative of the United Kingdom's Department for International Development (DfID), to develop skills and research output of early career African researchers in the field of climate change and its local impacts on development. The programme would also work with other institutions to develop a coordinated and strategic approach to supporting early career researchers.

CIRCLE has been allocated £4.85 million over five years (2014-2018), and is managed by ACU and the African Academy of Sciences. In addition to the fellowships, an Institutional Strengthening Programme would be included, to empower the capacities of the institutions involved in the programme to provide support for early career researchers, while the positions of the researchers and their institutions within global academia would be further strengthened through guidance from the Quality Support Component and a consortium of internationally-renowned institutions, led by the Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich, United Kingdom. The consortium would advise on the development and dissemination of research outputs that should contribute to international discourse in the field while CIRCLE’s thematic areas include water, energy, agriculture, political economy and health, among others.

 

COLVET Gets Donation From German Foundation

The University has added another valuable asset to its research kitty through the Molecular Microbiology Laboratory, Veterinary Teaching Hospital, College of Veterinary Medicine (COLVET). This time around, the generosity is coming from the Alexander Von Humboldt Foundation, Germany. Speaking at the handing-over of the equipment, the Consul-General of the German Embassy in Nigeria, Mr. Ingo Herbert, expressed his joy to be in the University. He noted that the visit to FUNAAB would be his fourth to the ancient city of Abeokuta.


He encouraged more scholars from the University to apply to the Alexander Von Humboldt Foundation, to get more benefits because it offers many opportunities that cover various disciplines. Mr. Herbert used the occasion to join the call for the diversification of the Nigerian economy, as he charged Nigerians to exercise patience because it usually takes some time to reap the benefits of diversification. The Consul-General, however, promised a fruitful partnership between the Alexander Von Humboldt Foundation alongside the German government and institutions in Nigeria, to foster development, as he revealed that Nigeria had more Humboldt scholars than other African countries.

Welcoming the Consul-General, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olusola Oyewole, who was represented at the occasion by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Professor Oluyemisi Eromosele, thanked Mr. Herbert for making out time to commission the equipment in person while commending Dr. Olufemi Ojo of COLVET, who carried research work with the Foundation that eventually facilitated the donation of the equipment. The Vice-Chancellor expressed his conviction that the equipment would not only be useful for the research interest of Dr. Ojo, but would serve the interest of other students as well. The Dean of COLVET, Professor Samuel Omotainse, used the opportunity to introduce Mr. Herbert to the various Professors, heads of departments and administrative staff of the College.

The equipment donated include the Eppendorf Mastercycler Nexus Thermal Cycler, Biocom Midi Horizontal Electrophoresis Package (Multi Submidi) and Eppendorf Research Plus 3, among others.

 

Nigeria Has No Business Importing Rice, Says Professor Okeleye

A Professor of Agronomy in the Department of Crop Physiology and Crop Production, College of Plant Science and Crop Production (COLPLANT) of the University, Professor Kehinde Okeleye, has expressed his support for government's policy banning the importation of rice, stressing that the country does not have any business importing rice. According to the University Don, who is the immediate past Vice-Chancellor, Crescent University, Abeokuta, "I disagree with the assertion that the Federal Government was hasty to ban the importation of rice because if the Federal Government had not done this, the nation would not move on".

Professor Okeleye, who noted that it was high time the country moved out of its comfort zone of depending on importation to production, stated that it was the Federal Government's policy that encouraged the collaboration between Lagos and Kebbi States, which brought about what is known as the ‘Lake Rice’. "Lagos has money but they do not have sufficient land. Kebbi has land, they may also have money but can channel it to other things and they collaborated to produce Lake Rice. What stops Ogun State with vast areas of lowland and good uplands in going into the massive growing of Ofada? What stops our University from being mobilised to produce? Other value chains associated with rice production alone can enhance youth employment and other entrepreneurial activities. With good funding and extension, I don’t think the nation has any business importing rice. That is my submission".


The Professor of Agronomy, whose research work centres on cropping system, food crops as primary interest, had worked in the areas of basic food security crops in Nigeria like maize, cowpea, cassava and rice, saying he had concentrated more on rice because of the challenging issues surrounding it. "Apart from cowpea and cassava, the nation spends a lot of money importing maize and rice. Only recently, it was said that the nation imported about N1.7 trillion worth of rice and one would wonder why it has to be so. So, my primary interest has been in solving some of the problems relating to the production of these crops. A fundamental problem facing these crops is that of low productivity on farmers’ fields.  The yields at the farm level of these crops are very low. For example, the traditional maize produces less than one tonne per hectare but with improvement and good agronomy, we have varieties that can give up to three to four tonnes and there are even hybrids that can go beyond that yield level, and the same thing applies to rice”, he stated.

“With rice, the traditional variety of rice can give an average of about one tonne per hectare and this usually affects the total output of rice in the country.  We know that in those days, rice was not basic commodity but with our changing food habits and urbanisation, our taste has changed and rice is now more of a staple food and that change in status has compounded the issue of supply as  local production can no longer meet supply and so, the short-fall has to be met through importation", he added. 

Assuring that all hope was not lost for the country, Professor Okeleye stated that Nigeria can meet the short-fall in the production of rice if rice farmers would adapt the findings from his research.  "From some of my own research, do you know that the basic yield of a normal rice variety that we cultivate has moved from one tonne in the upland to 2 to 2.5 tonnes per hectare? And of course, we have the lowlands and there are varieties that can give as much as 4 to 5 tonnes per hectare.  You can imagine one tonne now moving to five tonnes as a result of improvement in varieties and production practices. There are even varieties that will do better now that rice improvement has gone into crossing breeding of top yielding Asian rice varieties with the indigenous West African rice, giving us interspecific rice hybrid called NERICA (New Rice for Africa), which has now been further improved into ARICA (Advanced Rice for Africa). With these improvements, you wonder what Nigeria is still doing with importation.  We have no business importing rice”, he insisted.


Speaking on other agronomic practices that he had been able to work on, the University Don said he had looked into the causes of poor yield, which he attributed to the soil, which are highly degraded and nutritionally-poor with low nitrogen in the soil.  According to him, "the nutritional status of almost all of our soils is poor and that has been a major limitation to grain yield.  Apart from the fertility level, pests and diseases are also major cause for concern, but with improvement in breeding, the issues of pests and diseases have more or less been controlled.  There are now a lot of varieties that are pest tolerant and disease resistant.  So, what we are now talking about in terms of agronomy is the improvement in nutrition.  How do we sustain productivity?  How do we use the land continuously with high yield so that the yield expectation can be sustained and we can do that over a number of years?".

Explaining further, Professor Okeleye stated that his research bordered more on how yields can be sustained. "We have tested the use of inorganic fertilizer, particularly for rice and discovered that rice tolerates as much as 90 kilograms of nitrogen per hectare, phosphorus 60 kilograms, potassium 60 kilograms and with these, we can get the yield level that we expect. But how do we use the land continuously even with the use of fertilizer because we cannot depend on that for too long because of the fragility of our soils, although we still have to work more with use of grain legume as sources of organic manure? But it is known that most farmers will not ordinarily plant any crop that will not give direct economic benefit. So, our research has come up with a development that the farmer first plants cowpea or soybean, then after harvesting the grains, they can incorporate the fodder and then put in their rice. These legumes have the ability of fixing atmospheric nitrogen and convert it into nitrates. With that, what is required as external input from inorganic fertilizer is reduced. With legume incorporation, you can use the land sustainably for as long as you can and with little dependence on inorganic fertilizer", he stated.

Professor Okeleye disclosed further that his research had explored land use intensification, whereby farmers could plant more than one season of rice in a year, adding that "we have worked on sustainable rice production in the uplands and have gone beyond growing a season of rice on a location in a year in the upland. Upland depends on natural rainfall. During that period, you can plant rice twice, which we call double-cropping. However, we developed a technology that is an improvement on that which we called ‘Arbuscular Mycorrhiza Fungus/Innoculation Rice Technology’. AMF, which is a micro-organism, which when innoculated into the soil, can assist the plant to tap more nutrients, especially phosphorus, can also trap moisture beyond the crop root rhizosphere (region) and make it available for the crop. So, with this, the rice can grow and produce during moisture-stress associated with late rains.

With that technology, we have successfully planted double rice in the upland for close to three years now and they are doing very well. But in the lowland, we are looking at sustainably-producing rice in the lowland, because the lowland is an ecology that has moisture, almost throughout the year and with that, the farmer can tap from that.  They can plant rice twice, then put in other crops and by the following year, another rice comes in and that can be done sustainably over a number of years without depreciating the soil resources because the lowland is fertile because of sedimentation of nutrients  wash-off from the upland and all these are deposited at the lowland. So, the fertilizer need is not as heavy as what is needed in the upland. But then, these legume/rice rotations can also be practiced in the lowlands so that irrespective of the season, farmers can consciously use the land to sustain production.

Professor Okeleye pointed out that a major limitation in the adoptation of the research knowledge is that of poor extension services.  According to him, extension activities in the country are poor, as research breakthroughs that ought to be transferred to farmers, do not get to them adequately. The University Don said that through collaboration with Africa Rice Centre, Bouake, Cote d’Ivoire, two Ph.D students were funded on some extension work in the Northern Guinea Savanna and the Southern Guinea Savanna belts of Nigeria. But that was not enough to get the findings to farmers because the more the technology gets to the farmers, the more it can be practiced and the more people can be aware that these things can be done and thereby, reduce the cost of importation.

Highlighting some challenges being faced during the course of his research activities, Professor Okeleye said they include the problem of funding and lack of equipment and field support facilities. He, however, said he did not allow such to deter him in his research activities, as he called on upcoming researchers to be focused and strive to contribute their quota into making Nigeria great.

 

Dons Identify Ways To Achieve Food Security in Nigeria

Researchers and experts in the University have advised governments at all levels in the country to develop good road networks, provide electricity, storage facilities and formulate good policies for the agricultural sector, to boost food security and reduce hunger in the land. According to Professor Lateef Sanni of the Department of Food Science and Technology, any government’s intervention should be geared towards sustaining agriculture. Professor Sanni, who is also the Dean, College of Food Science and Human Ecology (COLFHEC), while speaking against the backdrop of the Federal Government’s intention to regulate the price of farm commodities in the market across the country, advised government to allow real farmers to have access to credit facilities on time, ensure that funds get to the real beneficiary and also invest more on the provision of rural roads infrastructure.
   
Professor Sanni stressed the need for consistency in government policies, interventions and programmes such that they would enhance the income and promote the livelihood of Nigerian masses. He equally advised the government to promote the cultivation and production of cassava, which he said was capable of producing 54 million tons per annum, generate employment and serve as foreign exchange earner for the country.
   
On her part, Professor Dupe Akintobi, an expert in Plant Breeding and Seed Technology, College of Plant Science and Crop Production (COLPLANT), said that the problem of high prices of food in the country was not the job of a committee, rather government should consider the problem holistically and address it with a view to providing long term solutions, adding that “we have to ensure that the farmers have necessary inputs to produce these crops. We must provide the necessary infrastructure like good roads for these food items to move from the farms to the markets”.
   
“I believe that the first step is to produce good quality seeds for the farmers because without good seeds, there is no agriculture. When we have good seeds and we back it up with the necessary inputs like agro-chemicals, herbicides and the farmers have modern farm implements to plough the land (not by using the cutlass and hoe), then we would be able to produce enough food and the government can now create a marketing channel by which the food will be readily available”, she added.
   
Professor Akintobi stated further that the only way to bring youths back to agriculture was to promote mechanised agriculture, noting that “the moment we develop new technologies in our agriculture from this hoe and cutlass of a thing, a lot of our youths would be interested because I don’t know how any of our graduates that can boldly say he/she can operate a tractor. We need the infrastructure. We need the implements. We need the necessary equipment to train these students to be modern day farmers. I can assure you, a lot of them will be interested”, she said.
   
The Director, Institute of Food Security, Environmental Resources and Agricultural Research (IFSERAR), Professor Akin Omotayo, said what Nigerians were now experiencing in the economy was that few goods are being chased by a lot of money, saying the effect of such development was that prices would go up. The former Commissioner for Agriculture in Ekiti State, highlighted the way out of the current economic challenge facing the nation to include: ensuring that only the infrastructure that support farmers are made available all the time, by empowering farmers to produce in large quantities and making available, good network of roads that would enable a farmer to transport his/her produce to a place where he/she would make optimal profit.
   
Professor Omotayo said another area that needed attention was the availability of storage facilities to prevent post-harvest losses, stating that “if we make provisions for the kind of support the farmer needs in terms of storage. The farmer can split supply to the market, which would ensure price stability over a period of time. These are the things that are required to drive down the prices of food in the market”. He advocated for the empowerment of youths towards encouraging them to see agriculture as a means of livelihood like other professions in the country. “They should be empowered in terms of credit or loan facility to be able to own their own machinery, to own their own lands, own their means of production. With that, nobody would force them into farming”, the Don stated.

Research Should Be Problem-focused, Says Professor Ajisegiri

A Professor of Agricultural Engineering in the Department of Agricultural Engineering, College of Engineering (COLENG) of the University, Professor Emmanuel Ajisegiri, has called on researchers in Nigeria to embark on problem-focused researches, as a panacea to solving the myriads of challenges confronting the nation.

Professor Ajisegiri disclosed this while speaking on his research contributions to the society, decried the existing gap between industries and the ivory towers and blamed the negative trend on the attitude of stakeholders to research in the country, saying, “I have worked as a research Professor for two years in Germany. I know what it means when you are a research Professor in a place. You also have your place in the industry; it is the problem in the industry that comes to the university to be solved. When it is solved, it is taken back into the industry”. In Germany, Professor Ajisegiri had worked on determining the optimum temperature, moisture and air velocity for maximum shelf-life. He also recorded research feat in 24 other food items including constituted fruits and vegetable salads.
   
“Let me tell you, it is unfortunate that people do not do meaningful research. They don’t do problem-focused, problem-related research and that is what is supposed to be the essence of research, to solve existing problems, and not just a mere academic exercise towards publications for promotion. There is no handshake between the industries, entrepreneurs and researchers”, he noted. Professor Ajisegiri, who is also a former South-West Coordinator, Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), said the way forward is that research should be given its pride of place.“”This is a knowledge-driven society, without the creation of knowledge, you cannot make it and it is through research that you can create knowledge and good attention should be given to it”, he added.
   
Professor Ajisegiri, who had been a Professor of Food Engineering before he joined the University, recalled that it was the former President of the United States of America, John Kennedy that once said that, the level of development of any nation cannot be higher than the level of development of their education, as he opined that in other climes such as Europe, Asia and Latin America, there was positive correlation between the number of researchers and their levels of development, calling for attitudinal change to move the country forward. He further advised the government to fund research adequately, adding that if only one out of 100 research outputs was successful and could solve problems, it was capable of paying-off for the other 99 that did not succeed.
   
The former Dean of COLENG, whose area of specialisation is food stability and sustainability, said “everything a man does is dictated by the level of moisture (water) that is found inside of him. The way you think, the way you grow, the way you run or die. Everything is based by the level of water inside of you. People don’t know that the most amasing element in life is moisture because it dictates our behaviour, when you give birth, grow, die integrate or disintegrate and that sustainability was the essence of life. By ensuring reduction in food wastages and promoting food security, life and sustainability is promoted. Sustainability is central to food security and by extension, life security. Without food security, there cannot be development”, he stated.
   
Some of the research breakthroughs of Professor Ajisegiri include processing of food, energy conservation and extraction of essential oil, saying he had worked on the extraction of essential oil, noting that people should be made to know that a litre of ginger oil can cost up to US$400.
   
Other areas that he has recorded landmark results include mechanised planting of cassava using a metering device; tractor-to-power borehole drilling, using solar energy to power hatchery for chicks; and the combination of the traditional and modern methods to feed chickens through their cages. Others include milk pasteuriser, meat processing, maize, sorghum and millet stability, rice destoner, continuous oil press, brewery waste, cassava peeler, chipping and harvesting, fish kilns solar dryers. Professor Ajisegiri has also been active in the area of climate change and sustainability. Presently, he is the ACU/AAS Coordinator of CIRCLE (Climate Impact Research Capacity Leadership Enhancement), a programme, through which three post-doctoral fellowships have been awarded to academic staff of the University, saying the next area of research focus was on energy. “Many people don’t see that it is only about 25 to 30 per cent of the petrol or diesel that we burn in our vehicles that go into energy. I have something that can convert the exhaust gas into electrical energy. If even two percent can be saved, the two percent multiplied by the number of internal combustion engine that we have in the whole-wide-world, it runs into trillions of dollars every year, Professor Ajisegiri added.

Expert Highlights Importance of Body Exercise

The imperative of engaging in regular body exercise has been stressed. This piece of information was given by the Acting Director, Directorate of Sports of the University, Dr. Sam Olabanji. According to him, “When you exercise, you are re-strengthening and refreshing the engine inside you. And at the same time, your metabolism rate is very fast and free from any pain".

 The Sports Coach said that people were going through haemodialysis nowadays because their kidney had stopped working, adding that one would sleep soundly and healthily as a result of routine exercise though, “some homes are known by who is inside during sleep. Snoring is not a healthy sleep. When someone snores in the night, it’s a sign of (being) unfit”.

He noted that the Directorate of Sports is also known as Life Plus, stating that “When you come here, we add value to your life. We tell you, you can prevent yourself from going to the hospital by coming regularly to recreate. When you recreate, what you shed out is good enough to keep you away from visiting doctors. We are not saying they shouldn’t do their work. When you refuse to do what you are supposed to do, you would buy what you are not supposed to buy. Let us bail you out of your obesity, sleeplessness in the night (insomnia), deep breathe every time”.

Dr. Olabanji, who bagged his PhD at the University of Ilorin, Kwara State, stated further that the advantage of staff engaging in sports was enormous, noting that the fact that the students were not on ground did not mean that the staff were not recreating. According to him, University staff train regularly on Tuesdays and Thursdays. He, therefore, noted that the training had never stopped for a moment.

The Acting Director, who joined the services of FUNAAB about 16 years ago, as a Sports Coach II, stressed that University staff stand to gain a lot from participating in sports as everyone wants to be fit.

Highlighting the upcoming events in the Directorate, he said that there are intramural and extramural programmes. According to him, “Intramural programmes are events which we organise within the four walls of the University to cater for students and members of staff while extramural activities include the Nigerian University Games Association (NUGA) and West African University Games (WAUG), among others”. He stated further that all universities, whether federal, state or private, are eligible to participate in NUGA. According to him, “last year, we were supposed to have the Pre-NUGA at the University of Lagos (UNILAG), but it was aborted. I just received a memo summoning me to the University of Makurdi, Benue State for an emergency meeting to resuscitate the Pre-NUGA. NUGA, would be coming on very shortly, hopefully, before the end of the first quarter of 2017”. 

  On the temporary stoppage of Staff Unity Games, he said it was in two dimensions, first of which was the unrest that took place, last year. “We just concluded the Inter-Collegiate and the Staff Unity Games was to follow. All through the period, the games were put on hold as some members of staff that were supposed to participate in the games, were not around”, Dr. Olabanji stated.

He disclosed that on the commercial viability of the games, in terms of sponsorship, the Directorate was segmented into four departments namely; the Intramural, Extramural, Marketing and Sponsorship, as well as Life Plus and Wellness. He noted that certain category of staff had been detailed to look out for sponsorship, saying that sponsorship to major companies was a way to reducing the annual task.

On the participation at major competitions, he said that new equipment were required, which were either consumable or non-consumable equipment. Explaining consumable equipment, he said that they are equipment that when used, should be thrown away immediately; such as table tennis balls as well as the badminton feathers. “You don’t expect me to buy a swimming trunk now and wash it and give it to another athlete to use. The companies would like to promote their products by branding players’ jersey. So, it’s a give-and-take affair. A symbiotic relationship”, he stated.

Dr. Olabanji, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Public Management, spoke on the completion of the grandstand, swimming pool and staff tournament, on staff playing against staff of other higher institutions, Coach Olabanji said when there is an action, there is a reaction. According to him, “When athletes train, we must find the means to test their level of fitness and their potency as well as test the skills they have acquired against a stronger opponent in a comfortable environment. The bilateral agreement between us (FUNAAB) and the Federal College of Education (FCE), Osiele (Abeokuta) was borne out of the relationship that had existed between the coaches of the institution and us, who are here. We are virtually products of the same universities. That brought the relationship and I would personally enhance it”. He, however, promised to encourage sporting activities between FUNAAB and neighbouring institutions, adding that he was in support of whatever that would project the image of the University, positively.

 

How To Minimise Clashes Between Herdsmen, Farmers - Professor Jolaosho

To curtail the incessant problem of farmlands destruction and conflict between Fulani herdsmen and farm owners, a solid arrangement should be put in place, to ensure an all-year-round feed availability for ruminant animals, particularly, the nomads during the dry season. A Professor of Pasture Agronomy, Production, Conservation and Utilisation in the Department of Pasture and Range Management, College of Animal Science and Livestock Production (COLANIM) of the University, Professor Alaba Jolaosho, has stated this while disclosing her research findings bordering on the problems of production, conservation and feed availability to the pastoralists.

According to Professor Jolaosho, seasonal changes and environmental differences affect the availability and quality of feeds, saying that during the raining season, there are always excess forages to the extent that they become a nuisance but in the dry season, there are limited quantities, leading to scarcity of feeds, thereby causing damage to people’s farmlands, noting that the longer is the dry season, the more limited the quantity. She observed that the location of the pastures varied with the type of trees, grasses and legumes, adding that the northern part of Nigeria is drier with longer dry season, does not have much trees and tall bunch - forming grasses like Pennisetum purpureum (elephant grass), Panicum maximum (guinea grass), making the pastoralists to move about during the dry season towards the southern part of the country. 

However, during the raining season they move back north or some stay over and those that are not Nigerians move back to their countries, saying that in the tropics, we have two broad seasons; basically separated by the availability of water through rainfall with two peaks of rainy season in the South and one peak in the North, which is the major cause of the problem of shortage of water and this affects the production of feeds. For example, maize can be produced four times a year because of the short growing period, but because of lack of enough water, it is not possible except with the use of irrigation or grown in areas with low water table in the South. 

She noted that there should be a way of preserving the excess feeds all through the dry season. The Don stressed the need to have regular high quality feeds at low cost had led to research on forage conservation. The Professor of Pasture Production, Conservation and Utilisation defined conservation as the process of keeping excess forage when the nutritive value is high from when it is low. It also involves having a year-round-feed for animals without moving about, adding that the aim was to produce at low cost, a stable product that is suitable for animal feeding with minimum loss of nutritive value, saying that when forage are conserved, deterioration due to internal chemical changes and external microbial actions of the cut herbage are prevented. The conserved forage can be taken to wherever the pastoralists are to avoid the stress of moving about and the environmental hazards including communal clashes, she said.


The Don added that the methods of conservation can be grouped into two forms which are the dry form and the wet form. The dry form can be Bush Foggage, Standing Hay, Cut and Preserved Hay, noting that in the case of Bush Foggage and Standing Hay, they are conserved in situ by leaving the excess herbage and browse plants as standing vegetation in the grazing area. But the difference between the two is that for Standing Hay, herbaceous legume is rich in crude protein, especially the use of Stylosanthes humilis (Townsville stylo) are allowed to “hay off”. According to her, the plants are left to produce seeds and dry up in situ, while retaining crude protein of about 12 per cent until the first rain of the wet season. Professor Jolaosho noted that high quality hay can be produced from grasses by cutting, drying and storing in hay barns. “Preserved grass and /or legume in form of hay can be defined as forage that is dried to retain most of the nutrients without the deterioration of the dry matter by its natural green colour, palatability and be capable of being stored over a long period of time, adding that some of the ways to produce this quality hay is to dry the plants naturally using the sunlight or air dry mechanically, but in this University, there has been experiments on use of hay balers and polythene bags. In the case of hay balers, the top loading (vertical) and side loading (horizontal) were designed and used. For the polythene bags, white and black polythene covering on tripod stands were developed with black polythene and is more useful in preventing rain water from entering during unexpected rainfall and black materials trap more sunlight than whitish materials. The University Don disclosed that the time of harvesting matters a lot in the production of hay, adding that they should be harvested at the early flowering stage, because at late flowering and seed production stage, plants transport all the food they produce to the reproductive area, which has implication on the nutrients in the other areas of the plant, noting that the weather conditions should also be considered while making hay hence the statement “make hay while sunshine”, she stated.

She noted that when harvesting forage plants, there must be consideration for retention of enough structural carbohydrate for regrowth as well as quality of the herbage hence, harvesting is done for conservation, mostly between six to eight weeks of growth, stating that while processing the hay, care should be taken to avoid deterioration in feed value and quality because the feeds would be respiring, noting further that they should not be left under direct sunlight, to avoid bleaching and direct contact with the ground. According to her, if the hay is well prepared, the crude protein will be as high as four to 10 per cent and the digestible protein will be between one to six per cent for grass hay and the legumes would get crude protein of about 11 per cent and digestible protein between seven and 13 per cent. 

Speaking further, she said that forage can also be conserved in the wet form as silage. The Professor defined silage as the moist, succulent feed produced as a result of controlled fermentation of fresh forage under anaerobic condition, adding that there are some plants that are good for silage such as maize, grass/legume mixture, sorghum, millet and tall while bunch-forming or turfed grasses like elephant grass are better than creeping, sward-forming grasses like Brachiaria decumbens (signal grass). She noted that the containers for silage range from sophisticated and expensive vertical silos to the simple, inexpensive ones that are commonly used by farmers all over the world such as bags, trenches, plastic drums, bunkers and pit silos, adding that whichever container was used, the herbage must be chopped, wilted, compacted and made air tight. 

Professor Jolaosho observed that excessive amount of air causes spoilage and increases population of Clostridia, which is poisonous to the animals, adding that heavy losses could occur when consolidation is poor, like when the silo is not properly sealed. Losses due to respiration during wilting would be about two per cent/day and if it rained, there may be loss due to leaching. The Professor stated that respiration in the silo continues until the acidity level increased up to pH 4.2, which is the level to inactivate the plant enzymes or when the supply of oxygen is exhausted. She added that to make proper silage, activities like harvesting time, storage equipment, handling, and proper compaction, careful sealing, and mechanical treatment like chopping and laceration of herbage are very important for good silage.

She added that additives were used to improve silage preservation by ensuring that lactic acid bacteria predominate the fermentation phase. The Professor of Pasture Agronomy said that she went into this research in order to contribute her quota towards achieving all-year-round feed availability for pastoralists in the country, adding that the way these animals roam around was not good enough, as they contribute to causing road accidents with the resultant effect of national calamity that are imminent if something was not done urgently. She noted that if one sets fire on grasses even in the peak of the dry season, it would grow back and this fact elicited her interest in the first place in Pasture Agronomy, from the first encounter of the course, as an undergraduate student. Highlighting some of the benefits of this research, Professor Jolaosho said that the outcome of her research would help reduce the Fulani herdsmen and communal clashes. Grasses, known as early colonizers, would be used to curb oil spillage problems in the Niger Delta, adding that with enough forage in place, Nigeria’s problems on most environmental issues would be minimised and with time, we can arrive at peaceful coexistence, as she suggested that an Institute for Grassland Research should be established in the country. This will allow long term holistic, collaborative, economic and socio-cultural research that would focus on solving the problems of the people.

Speaking on the challenges that had come her way and the remedies, she called on the government to work with researchers and institutions, to avoid research findings gathering dusts on shelves, by providing a conducive environment for researchers to work, in order to achieve the desired results, noting that they (researchers) lack the needed equipment to work with, such as combined harvester, forage chopper-blower and seed storage equipment. She called on the University Management to enlarge its scope and employ adequate staff, preferably, among the students, since they have been trained, adding that her Department should be upgraded into an Institute so as to serve them better.

The award-winning Professor, whose research work spanned more than 25 years, advised individual researchers to collaborate with each other while universities should link up with industries, saying there should be link between education at all levels, adding that the necessary things needed in the departments like laboratories should be refurbished. She stated further that funds should be allocated according to the needs of the various universities’ departments, noting that the level at which research was operating in Nigeria does not seem to encourage researchers.

Professor Jolaosho further stressed the need for Farmers’ Forum, which could be held monthly, quarterly or annually in order to create a platform to discuss existing problems and the way forward in agriculture. She further advised upcoming researchers to be upright and hardworking without depending on any godfather. She charged them to collaborate with each other in carrying out problem-solving research, more focus on academic breakthroughs and warned against the negative influence of religion and ethnicity that tend to divide researchers rather than bringing them together.

 

FUNAAB Students Shine Abroad

Students of the University’s College of Engineering (COLENG), made waves in Johannesburg, South Africa during the final event of African Unilever Idea Competition. They are: Ayobami Kalesanwo and Oluwaferanmi Muraina, both in 500-level Electrical Engineering and Mr. Oluwapelumi Kolade, 500-level Civil Engineering.


The team, which was christened “Team Innovatus”, represented Nigeria alongside “Team Adobe” from the University of Ibadan. They competed against nine other teams from  African countries such as: Ghana, Kenya, Zimbabwe and South Africa, including their fellow citizens in Team Adobe. Team Innovatus, however, emerged First Runner-Up with Team Sparkle from South Africa clinching to the first position. Team Innovatus would, therefore, jointly represent Africa with Team Sparkle at the global finals in London later, this year.


Out of the over 2,000 entries, Team Innovatus was selected among few others to convert a written essay into a 40-second video advertisement. The outstanding students were subsequently selected to be part of the 36 students from universities all over Nigeria to attend a boot camp session in Lagos. The 36 students comprise of 12 groups of three team members, each.


The boot camp ran for a period of four days from August 23 to 26, last year and they were trained in marketing and sales techniques. Team Innovatus came out successful and proceeded to the semi-final round of six teams.

 

Don Makes Progress in the Fight Against Malaria

Efforts at curbing the menace of malaria fever received a boast, going by the recent research conducted in the area. Malaria has been a leading cause of mortality and morbidity in the developing world, including Nigeria. This has remained so because of the widespread drug resistance against commonly-used anti-malaria drugs such as chloroquine and pyrimethamine/sulfadoxine that have been reported in different parts of the world, thereby leading to changes in the treatment regimen in areas of chloroquine resistance with the use of alternative drugs, consisting of artemisinin derivatives.

According to a Medical Parasitologist in the Department of Pure and Applied Zoology, College of Biological Sciences (COLBIOS) of the University, Professor Olufunmilayo Idowu, Artemisinin was proven to cure malaria in areas where chloroquine failed for some years, until the emergence of rrtemisinin-resistant strains of the parasite. This, she said, led to the World Health Organisation’s recommendation of the use of Artemisinin Combination Therapies (ACTs), as the first line of treatment of malaria in Sub-Saharan Africa.

However, she said these successes  were being  threatened  by  the   emergence  of   ACTs-resistant strains of Plasmodium falciparum  from   the  Thai-Cambodian and  Thai-Myanmar  borders; The University Don, who noted that ACTs resistance was a major threat to global health, particularly in the Low and   Middle-Income  Countries (LMICs), characterised by  high disease burden, substandard or counterfeit  ACT  compounds in circulation  and inadequate systems for the monitoring  and  containment of  resistance, pointing out that little evidence had been produced in that regard, adding that the situation was capable of crippling efforts that had been put in place to control malaria in Nigeria. "Caution should be exercised in the use of ACTs in the treatment of malaria to avoid the development of resistance by the parasite. Indiscriminate use of antimalarial drugs without confirmation of infection by diagnosis, either by microscopy or use of Rapid Diagnostic Test ( RDT), should be avoided", she added.

Professor Idowu further stated that one of her PhD students, Temidayo Soniran, through the assistance of Malaria World Society and her collaborators in Cornell University, travelled to the United States of America for further study on malaria drug resistance.

Sharing his experience at the Cornell University, United States of America, Mr. Temidayo Soniran, the PhD student of the University's Department of Pure and Applied Zoology, (COLBIOS), disclosed that the Malaria World Society had solicited financial support on his behalf from the scientific community to enable him to visit the Cornell Medical College (New York Presbyterian Hospital) and Professor Kirk Deitsch’s Laboratory, as a “Visiting Graduate Assistant” in December, 2014 for his PhD malaria research to study malaria drug resistance.

According to him, during his visit, he had thorough hands-on-training on ‘nucleic acid extraction from human blood, regular Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) amplification, PCR-Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphisms (RFLP), agarose gel electrophoresis, and some knowledge of PCR primer design and real time PCR’. With the skills acquired, he said he had worked on his Nigerian field samples (dried blood spots collected from both rural and urban areas) and studied biomarkers dictating Plasmodium falcparum drug resistance to chloroquine, sulfadoxine pyrimethamine and artemisinin (Kelch 13 propeller protein mutation).

The study documented high level of resistance of malaria parasite to  sulfadoxine pyrimethamine in Ogun State; there was high level of  chloroquine resistance especially in the rural community, making it unfit for use in malaria treatment in this region; there was no  record  of any resistance to ACTs in the study area, he added.

 

Professor Ariyo Showcases Valuable Agricultural Crops

A Professor of Plant Breeding and Genetics, College of Plant Science and Crop Production (COLPLANT) and a former Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Development) of the University, Professor Omolayo Ariyo, has identified some crop varieties that can adapt to all environment and  can grow in specific locations. Professor Ariyo, whose research work has spanned over 25 years, disclosed this while recounting his research findings. He noted that as a breeder, who can work on any crop, he had worked on seven different crops namely: soya beans, okra, maize, groundnut, cocoa, cowpeas and rice.

According to Professor Ariyo, who has done much research on genotype and environment interplay in crop production, crop genotypes respond to the environment in different ways and at varying levels, which had made multi-environment study very necessary in plant breeding. He added that this study had helped breeders to select desirable genotypes for high yield and stability under a suitable environment.

Speaking on what spurred his interest in this area of study, the University Don said that this research area had been on the front-burner of plant breeding for many years and scientists see it as the most appropriate process in crop development. Since 1938, scientists had been looking for the most appropriate technique to measure stability, noting that genotype and environment interplay in crop production was a living topic, since every process of crop development  must pass through it. He added that it was very important for every breeder to have a good knowledge of it. He lamented that despite all the study, so many breeders were yet to follow the right trend.

Professor Ariyo further stated that this research area was very important because every process of variety must be subjected to stability analysis before it can be released, noting that if any crop fails the stability test, it can be thrown away. He added that he had collaborated with International Institute for Tropical Agriculture  (IITA) and Nestle Food Plc to get a variety of soya beans that would be suitable for their farms in Kaduna, adding that he also developed cowpeas and maize trials with IITA.

The Professor of Plant Breeding and Genetics disclosed that the major achievement of this research had led to food safety and security in the country, adding that most of the varieties were accepted and had been released to farmers for cultivation, noting that it has also contributed to international discussion on the matter, adding that it encouraged collaboration and team work with other breeders.Professor Ariyo observed that despite all the achievements recorded, he faced some challenges such as inadequate facilities and needed infrastructure like good laboratories. He noted that it could have been more difficult if not for interventions that had assisted in providing all the needed materials for their research. He, therefore, suggested that the University should ensure that the needed facilities, farm labour and technical assistance to make their work less hectic are available. To his colleagues and upcoming researchers, he charged them to be courageous because the research environment presently is harsh and unfriendly, adding that the opportunity is not there like before, saying that they should work harder and be focused in order to achieve more.