The FUNAAB Muslim community has held its 27th Annual Ramadan Lecture, to commemorate this year’s Ramadan Fasting. Welcoming members of the Muslim community and guests to the lecture, the University Amir, Professor Kehinde Okeleye, appreciated the University Management and most especially, the Acting Vice-Chancellor, for finding time to attend the lecture.
He revealed that the sum of Forty Six Million, Two Hundred and Ninety-Six Naira (N46,000,296) had so far been spent on the building of the University mosque, of which about 85.2 per cent of the money was realised from members’ monthly payment, through salary deductions, while the rest was generated from external donations from FUNAAB Alumni Muslim members and others.
He charged members to pay attention to the day’s lecture and wished all Muslim faithful successful completion of the Ramadan fast.
Delivering the lecture for the day titled: “Mis-education of Muslims: Issues and Way Out”, the Guest Lecturer, Dr. Ahmad Yahya stressed the importance of religion in education by stating that the genesis of education is found in religion. According to him, education was a serious business that has to be taken seriously, and should not be left in the hands of any person to run. He tasked every community to value the education of their people, saying that a serious country should not let education be run by private individuals, as it was becoming of Nigeria, with numerous private schools across all levels.
Dr. Yahya gave a brief history of education in the country, to revolve around commerce, religion and colonisation. According to him, the early educationists came in as missionaries, by building schools, hospitals and churches, in the Southern part of the country, with the establishment of Qur’anic schools in the Northern part; a movement the people consented to. According to Dr. Yahya, no one can educate an individual without his or her consent. Thus, whoever wants to get mis-educated must have given his or her consent. He tasked various individuals and the government, to get involved in educating the masses than the private sector does. For teaching and learning to take place, he stressed that engagement was very important, while he admonished all professional teachers to be more interested in learning than in teaching.
News Published in June 2017
The FUNAAB Muslim community has held its 27th Annual Ramadan Lecture, to commemorate this year’s Ramadan Fasting. Welcoming members of the Muslim community and guests to the lecture, the University Amir, Professor Kehinde Okeleye, appreciated the University Management and most especially, the Acting Vice-Chancellor, for finding time to attend the lecture.
The Acting Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ololade Enikuomehin, has described graduates of the College of Management Sciences (COLMAS) of the University, as good resource managers, because they have been well trained to become managers of farm personnel, material resources and finances. The Acting Vice-Chancellor made this known while clarifying the fact that the College, being called COLMAS, does not have any bearing with agriculture, stating that the creativity and innovative abilities by the College students make them unique.
Professor Enikuomehin, noted that through most of the courses being offered in the College were not published by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), in its Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations (UTME) brochure, due to Federal Government’s directive, prospective students were still allowed to enroll for Entrepreneurship studies. The Acting Vice-Chancellor, however, expressed optimism that the policy would be reversed, considering genuine moves by relevant stakeholders to convince government on the importance of allowing specialised universities to run management courses, adding that such an opportunity would enable Direct Entry candidates, to apply, to study either Accounting, Banking and Finance, Business Administration and Economics in the University for the 2018/2019 Academic Session.
Meanwhile, parents, students and prominent Nigerians have continued to comment on the recent pronouncement by the Federal Government, which directed that all specialised universities to henceforth adhere to their core mandates. The Alake and Paramount Ruler of Egbaland, Oba (Dr.) Adedotun Gbadebo, expressed deep concern over the directive and appealed to government to have a rethink on the matter. Similarly, a parent of one of the affected students, Mr. Olumuyiwa Adebari, had said that the government’s action would have lasting negative psychological effects on the students, adding that the implication of the plan would demoralise some of them. According to him, “It would cause confusion. Unless the government comes out specifically to let us all know how they are going to implement this new policy. For example, what is going to be the fate of those who are already in the system like my son, Olasubomi, a 300-level student? What is going to be his fate? I remember those days especially FUNAAB, when it was initially called the Federal University of Technology, Abeokuta and later, they merged it with the University of Lagos and it became FUTAB. And, I remember too when they said it was going to be known as the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB).
Mr. Adebari stated that the course; Economics, that his son was taking was still relevant; noting that inadequate number of universities in the country had long been a bone of contention. He stressed that expanding the core mandates of the specialised universities would, in no way affect them, saying that institutions like the University of Ibadan, take courses that were similar and beyond FUNAAB’s core mandate and they still get results, saying the plan would not augur well with the nation.
While advising the students to take heart, he said there was nothing new under the sun. He solicited for the students’ interests to be properly taken care of, saying that some of them could be asked to go and complete their courses in other institutions. He admonished the University Management to find a way of liaising with relevant authorities on the implications of the new policy. For him, “Our policy makers just wake up, without adequately weighing the wider implication of what an action of such would cause a larger society. They roll out policies without proper consultation and input from the larger society. The information was not properly given. I think the government should consult widely on how they are going to implement this new policy in such a way that it would not really dampen the morale of the students”.
He further counselled parents to be patient, adding that they should follow events and look out for information as well as ask questions. “They should not entertain fear. It is not something new. It is possible that someone offering Economics might not be doing that again, but doing something related to it. I also think the University should establish a forum, to meet with the parents of the students concerned”. Mr. Adebari, however, pleaded that those students; who were already in school should be allowed to finish their courses; asking, where would they put the staffers and the resources on ground? Lately, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), recently donated a building to COLMAS while the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), also granted the Accounting course full accreditation status. ICAN had gone further to exempt FUNAAB students from taking preliminary examinations.
Corroborating Mr. Adebari, Mrs. Iyabo Oloruntola, the mother of another student in the Department of Economics; Success, said that she was unhappy on hearing the news, adding that she was wondering where the students would start from. According to her, the impact on the students was that “It would affect their emotions as they would be starting all-over again. They would change school and economically, it would affect the parents, too”. She, therefore, advised the Federal Government, to maintain the status quo, saying that it should continue with the previous academic pattern.
Responding to the claim that specialised universities were deviating from their core mandates, Mrs. Oloruntola stressed that, “It doesn’t really matter if they have deviated, but if they are benefitting the students and the masses, they should continue, even if it is wrong, provided it is beneficial”. She noted that some students had already graduated, adding that the various university communities also benefitted from having the students around, due to the economic implication. “Students would buy food and rent houses from the communities. The communities are benefitting economically”, as she revealed that FUNAAB community had expanded largely due to an increase in the population of students.
A student in the Department of Entrepreneurial Studies (COLMAS), Afolabi Lukmon, also condemned the call for the scrapping, describing it as retrogressive, considering the rate and influx of students seeking admission into management courses. Afolabi, who was the Speaker, Students’ Representative Council (SRC), of the FUNAAB Students’ Union Government (FUNAABSUG), said that such a policy would create an unhealthy environment, because it would end up affecting students, who are seeking admission into higher institutions. He added that it would only increase the backlog of students seeking admission year-in-year-out, more than what it used to be and can only create problems, as the frustrated ones may have no choice but to engage in crime, to survive because, “an idle hand is the devil’s workshop”, he added. Afolabi charged the government to classify education as a right of every Nigerian youth, not a privilege. He stressed that the government would also end up creating business avenues for some neighbouring African countries like Togo, Benin Republic and Ghana, among others, because most of the Nigerian youths being denied admission would be forced to go to those countries for their tertiary education. On the long run, he said that the plan would not be advantageous to the country. He charged the government to let the universities diversify and exploit new frontiers rather than putting them in a way, as to toy with the future of the teeming youths that are seeking university admission. He said that most of the courses being offered in Nigerian universities were interwoven and symbiotic because someone cannot practice agriculture without technology and the knowledge of business, management or entrepreneurial skills.
Also, Oluwaseun Akinyemi, who just graduated from the Department of Entrepreneurial Studies in the University, also condemned the pronouncement, saying it would affect many and most especially, those seeking admission. She also reiterated that the University did not just wake up on its own, to start running the College but was done with the directive of the government and that courses being offered in the College were duly accredited by NUC, which gave them the right to go on with their activities. With the College still in place, Oluwaseun said that many of the agriculture and science-based students had been coming to offer
A call has gone out to Nigerians to take keener interest in the consumption of fruits and vegetables as an important component of nutrition for healthy living and a boost to their mental health. This call was made by Professor Isaac Aiyelaagbe. According to him, “Whether you admit it or not, as a nation, we are paying a high price for malnutrition; If a man is not properly nourished, even if he is seated at his work station, he is not operating at full potential and not earning his pay. Nutrition has a strong link with mental health and physical health. If I have go to the hospital for four days every month, due to ill-health, who is going to cover my beat or pay for those four days that I leave my work undone and what will be the long term effect on the institution?”
Professor Aiyelaagbe, Humboldt Fellow, former Head, Department of Horticulture in the University and erstwhile Coordinator of the West African Network for Organic Agriculture Research and Training (WANOART)/Reseau Ouest Africain pour la Recherche et la Formation en Agriculture Biologique (ROARFAB), added that as people age, the efficiency of their bodies in extracting nutrients and utilising them declines, thus they need to step up intake of fresh fruits and vegetables and not just the starchy staples.
The Professor of Pomology’s (Fruit Science’s) research spans ecophyisoplogy of tropical fruits such as papaya, citrus, plantain and passion fruit. He has also had the opportunity to work on a temperate fruit-sweet cherry through his collaboration with the University of Bonn, Germany. He is currently working on improving the productivity of pineapple; specifically the ‘sugar loaf’ variety, which is good for the fresh fruit market, because it is very sweet and has a low acid content. He enumerated the benefits of pineapple to include high content of Vitamin A, which aids good eye sight, Vitamin C, which aids healthy teeth and gums and redresses scurvy and other benefits include tackling osteoporosis; a situation whereby human bones are deficient in calcium and become fragile.
While explaining what osteoporosis is, he said a person having the deficiency could just suddenly have his/her legs get broken without any external force applied. “You also have probably heard that people have had sudden heart attacks because of blood clots. Pineapple contains some chemicals that if you eat it regularly, reduces the risk of such blood clots. Other benefits from pineapple, include, juice from pineapples, slices of solar dried pieces which you can pop into your mouth just like candies, bromelain for tenderising meat and bran which can be fed to livestock.
Commenting on the commercial viability of pineapples, he noted that the market for pineapples is not saturated in Nigeria”. According to him, “We don’t even produce enough, talk-less of exporting. Benin Republic produces too much and dumps quite a lot at Mile 12 in Lagos”. He, therefore, wished to see increased awareness and investments in exploiting the inherent benefits of the fruit as a commodity, to be harnessed for food self-sufficiency, job creation and import substitution. He decried the low level of investment in research in Nigeria, especially, regarding hardware (equipment and infrastructure), stressing that technological success is not a happen-stance; it is the fruit of focused endeavour. As part of my own little contribution, I commit to continue to tinker at development-oriented research, until people see the sparks get encouraged and join to fan the sparks to flame”.
On what needs to be done to improve the situation, Professor Aiyelaagbe responded that it should always be remembered that FUNAAB is a Land Grant University, not a classical university. So, our approach should be to redirect our limited resources at solving top priority problems generated from the field, so that our clients in the private sector will court our favour and readily commit funds to help grow the research capability of the university in the face of dwindling public funds. This will require building stronger synergies between the Colleges, IFSERAR, AMREC and DUFARMS”. Refocusing on his research efforts, he stressed that based on his previous studies in FUNAAB, about 15 tonnes per hectare of poultry manure per annum should suffice to get good yield of Smooth Cayenne, the variety of pineapples that DUFARMS grows on a commercial scale. This variety is mainly for processing but is currently purchased largely for the fresh fruit.
“About six years ago I tasted the ‘sugar loaf’ variety of pineapple, considered the taste excellent and look forward to having DUFARMS and other commercial growers also adopt it. So, I set for myself the goal of helping to popularise the variety in Nigeria with the hope of diversifying pineapple production and reducing the need for imports of fruits and products. In line with the surge in demand for organic fruits, I have tilted my endeavours to feed this niche; the new research focus is determining the organic fertilizer needs of the sugar loaf pineapple for optimum yield; especially the potassium requirement. Currently, my students and I, are investigating the potential of ash from oil palm fronds and spent fruit bunches, which are waste materials from FUNAAB oil palm plantations, as a potential source of organic potassium. It is still ‘work in progress’, as he affirmed that in science, you can’t say you have arrived. You solve one problem, and without intending to do so, you create another one. I think the next step is to raise the level of local awareness on another variety of pineapple the MD2 which is the money maker on the international market because it is reputed to be ten times sweeter than the Smooth cayenne and with a higher Vitamin C content too and targets the fresh fruit market. This variety will interest growers interested in exporting fresh pineapple fruits. Fortunately, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and the Food and Agriculture Organisation have a collaborative project, which targets providing six million plants for uptake by farmers in Nigeria. When the project is fully implemented, it will strengthen the pineapple industry in Nigeria and create more opportunities for interdisciplinary demand-driven research. Ultimately, I hope the concerted efforts will lead to having self-sufficiency in pineapples in Nigeria; both for the processors and the fresh fruit marketer”, Professor Aiyelaagbe said.
Reflecting on horticultural research, he said; “When I look back, after 35years of being in the business of research and training. I am grateful to God for the modest achievements made in research and capacity building. It has not been easy, but it has been fulfilling nonetheless. I started as a Research Officer II in Fruits Agronomy in 1982 at the National Horticultural Research Institute (NIHORT), Ibadan and Kano and I left as Chief Research Officer in 1999 to join the services of FUNAAB. I resumed here as a Senior Lecturer and I just kept working, learning new things and inputting my knowledge and skills into building local capacity in fruit science. I must put on record that it was in FUNAAB that I came in contact with organic agriculture and took an interest in it. With support from FUNAAB, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Germany, the UK Government and the EU, the Working Group in Organic Agriculture in FUNAAB, on which I served, helped to increase the visibility of organic agriculture in Nigeria and in West Africa. I look forward in the near future, to seeing some of my former students begin to make significant contributions in the science and business of horticulture and organic agriculture in Nigeria and beyond, then my joy will come full circle. In between now and then, I’ll simply get busy teaming up with my colleagues to increase the diversity of fruits on the offer, all the year through and at an affordable cost, so that Nigerians can reap the full benefits of increased consumption of fruits”, he added.
In line with the commitment of the University Management to promoting students’ welfare, off-campus students’ hostel registration has now fully started. This piece of information was given by the Dean, Student Affairs, Professor Adeniyi Olayanju, who paid a working visit to the Directorate of Public Relations of the University, on an off-campus hostel registration briefing. According to the Dean, off-campus hostels had been categorised into A, B and C. Category A, are the sets of hostels with the owners staying with them, Category B are hostels with less than 20 rooms while Category C are hostels with more than 20 rooms. Professor Olayanju noted that there were three set of forms for hostel owners to fill, to ascertain the amenities in each of the hostels while the fourth form would elicit information on the students, saying that, “We’ve been able to interact with the students. We’ve seen some landlords. We’ve seen some security men. Even in some places where there was no water and no security, we noted them”.
He stated further that “Even the places that are popular and we would have believed naturally will not have problem, they are even the ones now having problems, because on getting there, no potable water was found. When you look from afar, you’ll believe that the students are well taken care of and what the students are telling us is that the hostel, which has more than 100 rooms, has no water flowing. I don’t know how we can place that. Just today alone, we spent three hours. It would be too early for us to jump into conclusions”.
The Dean stated that the Student Affairs’ Division’s role was more of a monitoring team, adding that the Division had been cautious of its assignments. He noted that the Division might not be able to decide what happens to erring landlords, but it could have control over where the students would stay, because “If we find out that you are not doing well, you are not meeting our standard, as a University in our policy, it’s for us to advise our students not to patronise the hostel. It’s not registered with us”. Sounding a note of warning to some students, the Dean stated that “If you do, you are on your own. If there is security threat or an outbreak of one disease or the other that affects that hostel, we’ll not be there to answer to it”.
He further stated that “If there’s no light, we’re not going to provide light, we’re not going to poke our noses into getting water there, but we are saying are you able to give or provide water for these children?. If you have 100 rooms and students have no water and they are now going to someone that has 10 or 12 rooms to fetch water. If that one doesn’t have water, are you saying all these students are not going to bathe?. If you know you want to do business, provide the service. You are a service provider, so that is what we’re doing. The University, for any reason, is not going to spend a dime on any hostel. It’s more of a community thing. In our record, it will be so clear that the last time we were in this hostel, this and this are the challenges we faced. So, that when we put it online, students that are coming, next session, would be able to have foresight information about where they are going and by so doing, we may have checked inside the hostel. When you have a hostel like 50 rooms and nobody is taking them, you will know that you need to wake up. So that is what we’re doing”.
On the University’s expectations from the Community Development Areas, the Dean said that there were common facilities like grading of the roads, security of the entire street, such as erecting main gates of the street. On the minimum standard as expected from hostel owners, Professor Olayanju stated that the minimum was a function of the category. According to him, “What is expected from Category A is different from that of Category B. Whether the landlord is staying or not, the house that the students are staying in, should be fenced and be gated. That should be the minimum, because when you are talking about security, you should be able to control the inflow and the outflow of the way students go in and out.
The Dean, however, lauded the Directorate of Public Relations for what he described as "the wonderful job of publicising the activities of the Division", adding that without publicity, it would seem as if nothing was being done. According to him, “Even if you are doing well and you are not getting across to the people, it will be as if you are doing nothing. But even if you do little and people can hear it and you have feedbacks, you can always improve on it”. The Head, Directorate of Public Relations, Mrs. Emi’ Alawode, while promising regular publicity of the activities of the Student Affairs’ Division and other offices in the University, appreciated the DSA and his team for the visit, saying that “You have been doing a very good job. The social media presence is really commendable, because the guys and gals of nowadays are passionate about these platforms”.
The Walter Sisulu University (WSU), Eastern Cape, South Africa, is ready to collaborate with the University in the areas of agricultural business, medicinal plants, waste products and food security. The Vice-Chancellor and Principal of WSU, Professor Rob Midgley, who was in FUNAAB, in the company of Professor Adebola Oyedeji and Dr. Vincent Nakin, sought to know how to turn farming in the rural area into an economy, how to turn a subsistent farmer into a small scale farmer, as well as how a small scale group of farmers can be turned into a commercial entity. He added, “How do I generate business around agriculture? WSU provides a gateway from poverty to some kind of economic improvement for families”.
Describing agricultural engineering as the study of the provision of tools for food security, the scholar said that the section could provide benefits within same community, other than being taking into another community and benefitting from that community. Professor Midgley stated further that WSU team was in FUNAAB, partly to see what kind of opportunities there are to tap from, as well as assess the way which things, as regarding agriculture, were done. His words: “How can we ‘steal’ some of your ideas and implement them there?. How we can get projects that we collaborate and may be able to do a research work together?”. He stressed that both universities share some similarities, noting that they are not different from each other as the problems were alike, as well as the opportunities. He further stated that both institutions could work on the same project and look for funding opportunities together.
Professor Midgley restated the transformation processes of the university, saying that three higher institutions of learning were merged in 2006 to produce WSU. Professor Midgley, who said WSU was a comprehensive university, noted that it has four different campuses in four different cities and has produced four leaders in the Republic of South Africa. He explained the rationale behind the merger, as being economical, so as to guard against having many Vice-Chancellors and Registrars. He, however, noted that the merger was not easy, as various institutions with different cultures were put together.
Responding, the Acting Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ololade Enikuomehin, said that the parley had set a template for both teams to work with, as the Deans and Directors were enjoined to articulate all the views mentioned and come up with a brief that would be examined by the University Management. Professor Enikuomehin, while making a slide presenting about FUNAAB, reeled out the mission and vision statements of the University. He noted that the University was advancing towards a world-class status, a feat that could not be achieved in a day. He highlighted the world-class agenda of the University to be: visionary leadership; commitment to quality, sustainable funding and fund management, research - relevance and quality. Others are: teaching sckills and competences for meaningful learning, community engagement as well as collaboration, partnership and internationalisation. He expressed satisfaction over the imported Kalahari goats from South Africa, saying that they were a pride to the University, which now possessed improved species named Kalahari Red Goats.
The Acting Vice-Chancellor showcased some economically-viable products the University was producing, through the Industrial Park Unit that produces Cassava products, such as ‘garri’, ‘fufu’, cashew nuts, FUNAAB bread, honey, palm oil, palm wine, fish and fish products, cocoa plantation as well as animal products which were poultry and beef, among others. He, however, noted some challenges being encountered in the production processes such as lack of energy and water supply, funding, personnel and equipment, adding that this had posed major obstacle to the entrepreneurial drive in the University. Professor Enikuomehin, who noted that FUNAAB was ready to collaborate with WSU, stated that in relation to building the image of the University to a world-class status, through entrepreneurship and industrial linkages, the University was expected to collaborate with other universities in project work, create a linkage with industries and have the opportunity to enhance the lives of the people.
Highpoint of the parley was the presentation of University’s memorabilia to the guests. Present at the meeting were the Acting Registrar, Dr. Linda Onwuka; Acting Bursar, Mrs. Oluremi Oyewunmi; Librarian, Dr. Mulikat Salaam; Dean, College of Agricultural Management and Rural Development (COLAMRUD), Professor Bolanle Akeredolu-Ale; Dean, College of Plant Science and Crop Production (COLPLANT), Professor Mufutau Atayese; Dean, College of Animal Science and Livestock Production (COLANIM), Professor Oluseyi Oluwatosin; Dean, College of Engineering (COLENG), Professor Johnson Adewumi; Dean, College of Biological Sciences (COLBIOS), Professor David Agboola; Dean, Student Affairs, Professor Adeniyi Olayanju; Acting Dean, College of Veterinary Medicine (COLVET), Dr. Michael Takeet and the Director, Centre for Internationalisation and Partnerships (CENIP), Dr. Sheriff Adewuyi. Others were the Deputy Dean, College of Physical Sciences (COLPHYS), Professor Akinola Akinlabi; Deputy Dean, College of Food Science and Human Ecology (COLFHEC), Dr. Adegoke Bakare and a former Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic, Professor Toyin Arowolo.
Meanwhile, FUNAAB is one of the three Nigerian universities visited by the WSU team, others being the University of Ibadan (UI), and the University of Lagos (UNILAG), to establish institutional collaborations.
The Director, FUNAAB Universal Conservices Limited (FUCONS), Professor Adeyemi Bamgbose, has revealed that FUNAAB Water, apart from increasing Internally-Generated Revenue (IGR), could serve as a way of projecting the image of the University, positively. Professor Bamgbose disclosed this while speaking on his activities in the course of water production. According to him, “If you observe, almost all higher institutions; be it colleges of education, polytechnics and universities; have embarked on water production, as a way of projecting the image of the institution and as a source of Internally-Generated Revenue (IGR)”.
The Professor of Animal Nutrition in the College of Animal Science and Livestock Production (COLANIM), stated that FUNAAB was peculiar, adding that in the University, there is a Department of Water Resources Management, College of Environmental Resources Management (COLERM). He noted that FUCONS had linked up and interacted with them. Responding to why FUCONS was engaging in water production, the Director said that, “We have water analysis facility in the past, because of the University’s proximity to the Ogun-Oshun River Basin Development (OORBDA). We felt that going into water production would enable the students to do their practicals, while fellow researchers would be able to bring their research breakthrough or outcomes to bear”. He explained that, the thought now was how could this be included, as entrepreneurial activities for FUNAAB graduates, as well as learning what it takes to produce hygienic water, by starting their own on a small scale.
Commenting on the day the first production of water was done in FUNAAB, he stated that, “If I could recall, attempts were made by the past Vice-Chancellors and Directors of the Consult, to start water production, but there were little challenges, which resulted into the stoppage of the production”. He, however, said that the production was able to manifest under the administration of the immediate past Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olusola Oyewole, adding that he was able to approve the establishment and construction of FUNAAB Water factory building, at the Institute for Human Resources and Development (INHURD), Mawuko.
Reacting to what makes FUNAAB Water to be different from others, he said that “It is one thing to go into water production; another thing is to be able to market it. FUNAAB Water has the unique advantage for the fact that it is designed for agricultural-based courses and would now have this corporate image”. He stated that FUCONS ensured that the water was of premium quality and very hygienic, adding that the good branding of FUNAAB bottled water of 50cl and 75cl assisted in the marketing. He noted that FUCONS was aware that the Federal Government was phasing-out the production of 50cl, adding that efforts were being made to concentrate on the 75cl. He noted that FUNAAB Water was certified and accredited in 2009 by the National Agency for Food, Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), which showed that it had gone through quality assurance and quality evaluation process. On the future of the enterprise, Professor Bamgbose said that as the Director of FUCONS, “Our plan is that we would continue to produce quality hygienic water, to satisfy members of FUNAAB community. For now, bottled water is being produced on request. For instance, it was used during the 60th birthday of a staff, at the wedding ceremony of another staff and at my own father’s 80th birthday. We were able to produce and supply customised bottled water at these occasions”.
Professor Bamgbose said that plans were on ground to ensure the supply of water to neighbouring towns, states and the whole of South-West states. According to him, “As of now, we have a stock capacity for the sachet-fill machine that produces about 130 and 150 bags, per hour, which are two in number. We are looking forward to getting additional machines by appealing to the University Management, to get additional utility vehicles for the enterprise. Presently, we are operating at between medium to commercial level”.
He said that part of FUCONS’ future plan was to be able to operate at the commercial level, in order to increase the profit margin, adding that it was also to ensure that FUNAAB Water became a house-hold name to members of the University community. He stressed that collaboration was ongoing with the Centre for Entrepreneurial Studies (CENTS) of the University, so that FUNAAB students that were on training could come in and learn to see how commercial water was being produced.
The Acting Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ololade Enikuomehin, has toured the various halls of residences in the University with assurances of improving on the available facilities and effecting repairs on the damaged ones. During the visit, the Acting Vice-Chancellor directed that there should be regular and routine maintenance of facilities in the various hostels in the University; a declaration that elicited joy from the students.
Professor Enikuomehin charged the students to complement the efforts of the University by maintaining the existing facilities, as he admonished the students not to hesitate to forward any complaint to the University Management, through their hall wardens and the Office of the Dean, Student Affairs. The Acting Vice-Chancellor revealed that, “I have come here to build trust and credibility”, as he called on the students to bear with whatever inadequacies they were presently facing, which would all be addressed as soon as possible, while he mandated both the Acting Director, Works and Services and the Dean of Student Affairs, to act fast in addressing some of the urgent needs of students in the various hostels.
Speaking at the occasion, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Professor Oluwayemisi Eromosele, tasked the students to keep their halls clean, avoid cooking in the rooms and shun going against hostels’ rules and regulations. She equally asked them to put the toilets into proper usage, to avoid a breakout of epidemics in the hostels. Professor Eromosele used the opportunity to bring the attention of the students to the urgent need for registration of courses and the payment of their school fees without further delay, stressing that “My function is to ensure you do what you ought to do”.
Some of the complaints lodged at the various halls of residence include the call for the provision of more septic tanks, kitchen sockets, lightings systems, sinks, chairs in the reading rooms and upgrading of the common rooms in the hostels. Others are the upgrading of the basketball and football courts, erecting of Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) and well-channeled water supply system. The school hostels visited were the Iyalode Tinubu Hall of Residence, popularly called IYAT; the Umar Kabir Hall of Residence; the newly-constructed Female Hostel, opposite the Veterinary Teaching Hospital, also known as Marble Lodge and their adjoining sections; which houses foreign and regular Nigerian postgraduate students.
Dr. Linda Onwuka, Deputy Registrar I with the Distance Learning Programme of the University, has been appointed as Acting Registrar for the University. The University Governing Council, at its 94th Meeting, approved her appointment as Acting Registrar with effect from June 1, 2017. At the handing over ceremony, the Acting Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ololade Enikuomehin, on behalf of the University Management, congratulated the immediate past Registrar of the University, Mr. Mathew Ayoola, for the services he rendered to the University.
Responding, Mr. Ayoola appreciated the University for giving him the opportunity to serve from June 1, 2012 to May 31, 2017, adding that whatever that has a beginning would have an end. According to him, “Today, here I come, giving glory and thanks to God Almighty for working with me thus far. It is possible for some people to start a race, for one reason or the other, by accident or by design, they may not be able to complete the race, but in this case, I am fit and firm, I am able to come this far”. Mr. Ayoola, therefore, congratulated the Acting Registrar, saying “you have been there before and whatever is here cannot be new to you”.
While receiving the reins of power, as the Acting Chief Administrative Officer of the University, Dr. Onwuka stated that a lot might have changed administratively, noting that it would not be entirely different from what she already knew.
The Acting Registrar obtained her Bachelor of Arts Degree and Ph.D from the University of Ibadan, Ibadan and Master of Arts Degree from the University of Calabar, Calabar as well as her Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE). She won the Distinguished Alumnus Award of the University of Ibadan Alumni Association, Warri Chapter, in 2011. She is a member of several professional bodies, which include the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management (CIPM), Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM), as well as the Association of the Nigerian University Professional Administrators (ANUPA).
Dr. Onwuka is also a member of numerous academic bodies such as the National Association of Teachers and Researchers in English as Second Language (NATRESL); National Oral Literature Association (NOLA) and the English Language Teachers Association of Nigeria (ELTAN). She has served the University in several capacities such as Secretary, Postgraduate School; College Officer of the former College of Natural Sciences (Now College of Biological Sciences and College of Physical Sciences), as well as Acting Registrar, when the substantive Registrar was on annual leave in April, 2007. Prior to her appointment as Deputy Registrar I in the University, Dr. Onwuka was the Pioneer Registrar of the Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun, Delta State.
It was an historic moment for the University, as the Acting Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ololade Enikuomehin, was joined by the Ogun State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ahmed Illyasu, to lay the foundation stone for the FUNAAB Adjoining Communities Police Station, meant to forestall the lingering cases of theft and burglary within the precincts of the University campus. Speaking at the venue, located at the Harmony Community, near the University main gate, the Acting Vice-Chancellor stated that FUNAAB students constituted the largest number of individuals inhabiting the adjoining communities.
Professor Enikuomehin stressed that the University was aware that the economic value of the community was based on the presence of the students, saying “If they are not here, there would be nothing to talk about. Therefore, we should learn to balance it. While curbing social vices, the students should be accommodated because of the positive side of their presence”. The Acting Vice-Chancellor assured that the University would do as much as it was obligated to do, to ensure that FUNAAB students were held in positive light within the neighbourhood, noting that whenever serious issues arose with the students, it should be reported to University authorities.
“I would like to plead that if you have issues with them, rather than going to the extreme with the students, please, get across to us. We won’t indulge them. We have rules and regulations that are even guiding off-campus accommodation. We now have a policy that gives us the right to even challenge and penalise students that misbehave even here, because they are still our students”. He reiterated the recent University’s policy covering the misdemeanour of students staying off-campus, saying that the fact that a student lives in town does not give him/her a leeway to misbehave. According to him, “You can’t fight in Harmony Hostel, because you are living outside campus. You’re still covered by the fact that you are our student. Those are the kind of things that we’ve put in place and I want to plead with everyone. Please, bear with them and be open to tell us, as much as we need to hear”.
Earlier, the Ogun State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ahmed Illyasu, had stated that each time he heard of community policing, he was always delighted about it, saying that one could only succeed when working with people because people and communities around always know what was happening. He added that, it was in the best interest of police officers to associate or partner with groups, so as to know what was happening in their environment. “Today, we are celebrating a new phase in policing and what we have achieved, under my leadership, we would continue to partner with each and every citizen to push in one accord, what we call micro-policing. We are working even with hunters and we have been achieving much”.
Commenting on the relationship between police officers and FUNAAB students, Mr. IIlyasu stated that the police headquarters had been networking with the students, to foster mutual co-operation, adding that the headquarters would still continue to give support, even after the commissioning exercise. While commending members of the University community, the Commissioner of Police said that “We were once, part of the academia and we believe in what they can do; hence, the reason why we are partnering with you. You are honest partners; people who are willing to serve the needs, yearning and aspirations of people”, while appreciating the University Management for the mutual understanding and for making security a top priority.
The Dean, Student Affairs, Professor Adeniyi Olayanju, reminisced on the last students’ unrests of August last year, saying that the University Senate had constituted a committee, to formulate relevant policy for off-campus students. According to him, the policy was formulated by the committee, which had two main purposes: security and accommodation, as well as the welfare of all off-campus students. “So what we’re seeing today is one of the components, which is the security of the students. How do you secure off-campus students without a police station or a police divisional headquarters around? And so, having settled the people, whose properties were destroyed in the riot, the thinking now is; those that are off-campus and on-campus need security. But the ones we’re talking about now are the off-campus students”.
Professor Olayanju, however, reiterated that the police station belongs to the FUNAAB adjoining communities, adding that the building’s name, as a matter of fact, should be called: ‘FUNAAB Adjoining Communities Police Station’. The Dean stated further that “There are students in other places around and that is why it’s referred to as adjoining communities. The point is that, Harmony Estate, through one of us, has donated the land and whether we like it or not, a police station has to be domiciled in a place and that is where Harmony Estate comes in. We should be warned, not to think that this is for Harmony Estate alone. Other communities around should have the feeling that the police station is for everyone”.
The Chairman, Harmony Community Development Association, Mr. Emmanuel Abu, stated that over 90 per cent of the residents were FUNAAB students, adding that as the number grows, the penchant for youthful exuberance and its attendant attraction of socially-undesirable elements would make the physical presence of formal security services, a must.
According to him, “An inevitable part of development is an increase in anti-social activities. This event of laying the foundation of a police station was a cumulative outcome of several and previous attempts, to address these and other-related issues”. Mr. Abu, who is a retiree of the University, therefore, appreciated the immediate past Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olusola Oyewole, who approved a donation of N15 million, to support the construction of the police station, while commending Professor Kola Adebayo, the Director, Grants Management of the University, for donating the four plots of land, on which the police station was being built.
The Chairman, Police Community Relations’ Committee (PCRC), Obantoko Division, Honourable Taiwo Akinlabi, charged all to contribute their quota to effective policing in their various domains, by supporting the police in their areas, through the provision of useful information, capable of tracking criminals before the commission of crimes. Honourable Akinlabi, however, solicited for a robust collaboration with the police through the PCRC, saying that it was an arm of the Nigeria Police Force that was ever willing to embark on mutually-rewarding partnerships with collaborators.