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News Published in July 2017

Re: Appeal for Registration 2016/2017 Session

Senate at its reconvened 211th Statutory meeting held on Tuesday, July 18, 2017 considered the various appeals received from undergraduate students who are yet to register for 2016/2017 academic session.

Senate directed that students in this category should appeal individually through the Dean, Student Affairs to the Vice-Chancellor, within two (2) weeks from this day, stating in details reasons(s) why they failed to register within the stipulated time. Such appeals are to be supported with relevant document.

Consequent on the above, I write to inform concerned students to take advantage of special window and appeal as directed by the Senate, to register for Second Semester 2016/2017 session.

Please note that the deadline for submission to the Dean, Student Affairs is Tuesday, August 1, 2017 to enable handling of the appeal.

Governing Council Parleys Staff Unions

To foster harmonious working relationship in the University, the Governing Council has held an informal interaction with all the staff unions’ executive members in the University, namely: Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT), Non-Academic Staff Union of Education and Associated Institutions (NASU) and the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU). The Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council, Dr. Barr. Aboki Zhawa, said that whether one liked it or not, there would always be a meeting point, asking that when an ASUU member is put beside a member of another union, what would happen?

According to him, “We should understand the fact that whether you like it or not, there’s a meeting point”. The Pro-Chancellor further stated that the world is a stage, where everyone must play a part, noting that one should not be negative. He said: “If you can’t contribute to the system, don’t ground the system. God didn’t put you in that position to destroy, but to lead. If we must serve together, we must start leading together”. Generally speaking, Dr. Zhawa stressed that every ethnic nationality claimed that they had been marginalised in the country, deflating the feeling that only one section has been marginalised. He, however, said he expected an enhanced relationship among all the staff unions, within the next six months.

The Acting Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ololade Enikuomehin, had lauded the Pro-Chancellor for mooting the idea of informal interactive session, adding that the University had never had such an opportunity. He noted that the parley was a manifestation of the fact that the University was fast evolving, praying that the expected bonding should continually be strengthened. He stated further that no system could move forward except there was agreement, understanding, mutual respect and a level of trust that grows over time, noting that, “We should create a basis for interaction among ourselves”. According to him, the event was not merely a time for talking but an opportunity for everyone to relax and foster collaboration.  Professor Enikuomehin, therefore, said that the Governing Council was desirous of providing a meeting point for the system to move forward.The Chairman, ASUU-UNAAB, Dr. Adebayo Oni, assured the Governing Council and the University administration of his Union’s commitment at working congenially with them in moving FUNAAB to greater heights. 

Dr. Oni added that his Union would continue to ensure that its activities and events uplift the University academically, while making sure that the best was accorded its members. According to him, “We would also use this medium to implore the Council to ensure transparency, fairness and compliance with our extant laws”. The Chairman, NAAT, Comrade Oluremi Olurinde, said that the Governing Council had started well, praying that it would end well. According to him, “For us, this Council members are starting well and I pray you will end well. By the time this Council would be handing over, we shall all gather like this, to celebrate the achievements recorded”. Speaking further, Comrade Olurinde said that since the newly-appointed Pro-Chancellor stepped his foot on the University, the campus had been enjoying peace.  According to him, “Since we got the wind of your appointment and since you stepped your foot into this campus, we’ve been enjoying relative peace.

We cannot have anybody better than your kind of personality at this moment that we have in FUNAAB and we pray that God will give you the wisdom and the courage to paddle the canoe of FUNAAB, to a safe destination”.

He pleaded with Council to put a stop to the practice of locking up laboratories by 4pm, as opposed to the normal system of running laboratories for 24 hours, to support research, while assuring Council of its backing at ensuring that the tripodal mandate of the University was achieved. The Chairman, NASU, Comrade Ishaq Odunjo, buttressed the importance of peace, saying that the essence of a university was to serve as centre of academic excellence, while bringing up useful ideas on how to produce good leaders for the country. “There is no doubt in it that we need peace, not only between unions, Management and Council, but also among the respective unions”, he added. Comrade Odunjo further stated that to maintain peace, the welfare and career structure of staff must be adequately protected and enhanced by the Council, noting that in the usual habit of NASU, the peace of the University was very dear and that his union would continue to promote and stand for peace. He expressed NASU’s willingness to work with Management to achieve progress, development and University’s objectives.

Similarly, the Chairman, SSANU, Comrade Rotimi Fasunwon, stated that it was a rare opportunity for all to come together, adding that “In my 14 to 15 years of working in this University, I have never partaken in this kind of programme”. Comparing the University of Ibadan with FUNAAB, Comrade Fasunwon said that in UI, unionists play like brothers and sisters and they access loans together, without recourse to which union one belonged to. “We use to hear; FUNAAB is a family school and that is the story I used to hear. I grew up to know that FUNAAB is a family school. Well, we know that even within the family, brothers and sisters do fight, husbands and wives do fight, but they know how to settle it”. Agreeing to the fact that there should be peace in the University, the Chairman stressed that “I think we’ve come to that point in FUNAAB that we can just close our eyes to what has happened before and forge ahead, for the development and progress of this University”.

After the four union leaders had spoken, the Council members present at the parley also offered various words of wisdom. According to Dr. Yakubu Tor-Agbidye, the University had been lucky to have a Pro-Chancellor, who was very experienced alongside a young and dynamic Acting Vice-Chancellor. Reiterating the need for congenial working relationship, Dr. Tor-Agbidye said that, “Look at the human body; it is made  up of many different parts. The eyes look different from the nose. The ears are different from the mouth and the rest parts, but each part that is found on the body, has a function and because all the functions come together, they make you and I, human beings that could function. When we find ourselves in an environment that has a lot of categories of people; it is not a mistake. Each one of us has found ourselves here because God has designed it, before anybody here was born. He noted that, God brought all of us here, irrespective of our work, God purposefully made it that way. Each of us that came here, has a divine role. We play our roles and each person plays his/her roles that come together distinctively and form the University’s workforce”.

He said that people come together from different parts of the world, to work in the University. So, one should learn how to live with each other peacefully, noting that the University had gone through the stages of forming, storming, normalising and now, it was time to perform. In his reaction, another Council member and the Director, Information and Communications Technology Resource Centre (ICTREC), Professor Adesina Agboola, said that in the spirit of reconciliation, people should work together in the interest of the system. Similarly, Dr. Femi Olufunmilade alluded to a verse in the Holy Bible, which says; “There is time for everything under the sun”, noting that the time for peace in the University was now and that no single person could promote peace alone. According to him, “It is a collective enterprise. So, let us all - individually and collectively - go back, think and act in the direction of peace.  When there is peace, there’ll be progress and everybody will be happy”.

Corroborating his fellow Council members, the University Chaplain, Professor Christian Ikeobi, stated that the essential thing was to find a meeting point and move ahead. “We can only do that by corroborating what has been said, by working out peace. We don’t have permanent friends but we should have permanent interest, which I think is the most important thing. And the interest is the progress and development of the University. So, I enjoin all groups that at times, we’ll lose and at times, we gain. But we’ll all reach our Promised Land”. Also, the Dean, College of Environmental Resources Management (COLERM), Professor Clement Adeofun, said that the University “is our pot of soup”. While making a strong case for the establishment of FUNAAB Staff Club within the main campus, Professor Adeofun said there was no problem with the University, adding that staff unions should gauge, weigh, analyse and assess all extraneous factors and make use of the good ones while the destructive ones would be done away with.

 

Professor Arigbede Advocates for All-inclusive Adoptable Research

A Professor of Ruminant Nutrition and Forage Science in the Department of Pasture and Range Management (PRM), College of Animal Science and Livestock Production (COLANIM) of the University, Professor Oluwasanmi Arigbede, has called for an all-inclusive and adoptable research for the good of the society.

Discussing some of his research findings, Professor Arigbede, who also doubles as the Director, Centre for Innovation and Strategy in Learning and Teaching (CISLT), said that it had been observed, over the years that, there was always lack of adequate feeds, in terms of quality and quantity for farmers to feed their ruminant animals during the dry seasons. This has brought about his concern, on how feeds can be made available for the animals in these categories, in and out of season. This quest has brought about his involvement in various researchers and research institutes that had brought about initiatives such as the Forage-based Pellets and the Forage-based Feed Blocks, which are presently being fed to the West African dwarf rams, for adaptability purposes.


Professor Arigbede said that he started his research on the multipurpose trees alongside the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan, where he and other co-researchers were engaged in livestock integration into Alley Farming, under the Alley Farming Network for Tropical Africa (AFNETA), which involves making forage resources useful in various forms, through feeding them to animals. According to him, over the years, they have worked with the foliage, which have earned him and the research team enough publications. As a means of helping poor farmers, Professor Arigbede said that he was committed to achieving his aim by working on Multipurpose Tree Species, and looking forward to commercialising the products, as the research had metamorphosed through various stages, from forage conservation to value addition, to conserved forages, which is aimed at preserving not only the forage and seeds, but also preserve the quality, so that the feeds can last long and the farmers would not be under pressure to give them, as feed to the animals.

Professor Arigbede said the Forage-based Feed Blocks had been tested and the animals were performing well on it while the Forage-based Pellets had just been introduced. The joy of the feed pellet is that, they have a very good weight, preserved longer with high acceptability to ruminant animal. He promised that they (researchers) were already looking into food pellets and their various forms, to know the best combination that animals would most likely get well adaptable to, so that they can mass produce and package in various retail weights for sale to farmers. He listed some of the Multipurpose Tree Species (MPTS) he had worked on to include: Enterolobium cyclocarpum, Ear Pod Tree; Pterocarpus santalinoides, Osun plant; Ficus thoningu; Millettia griffoniana; Grewia pubescens; Treculia Africana (bread fruit) as well as Moringa oleifera.


The Don noted that establishments, such as the Research and Development Centre (RESDEC), which later metamorphosed into the Institute of Food Security, Environmental Resources and Agricultural Research (IFSERAR) of FUNAAB, the Alexander Von Humboldt Foundation (AvH) and the Directorate of Grants Managements, FUNAAB had been very supportive with grants, at various periods when they ought to be, while he, on his part had equally took loans when necessary, just to get things done for his research. He described research as a call for passion, while advising those that do not have passion for it, not to venture going into the exercise, even if they have the resources.

On the nation’s agricultural policy, Professor Arigbede frowned at poor implementation approach adopted by the government, which he said was the bane of its development. He also narrowed down to the issue of grazing reserves bill being debated often among our leaders, as it is presently affecting it. And on herdsmen’s attacks, he said that they (herdsmen) had a long history with some of the people by co-habiting peacefully with them. He asked: why was there killing in some parts of the country? And why are herdsmen the culprits? The Don, however, stressed the need to ascertain, if truly, the perpetrators were Fulani herdsmen from Nigeria or not. 

 

 Business Excellence Summit Promotes Agriculture

Nigerian youths have been charged to embrace agriculture and take advantage of the enormous opportunities that abound in it, as a spring-board to economic success. Making this disclosure at the Business Excellence Summit (BES), held in the University, themed: "Agri-Business: The Real Deal", the Staff Adviser of BES team, Dr. Elizabeth Oluwalana, of the Department of Agricultural Economics and Farm Management, College of Agricultural Management and Rural Development (COLAMRUD), stated that agriculture was the pathway to success in Nigeria and as such, challenged young entrepreneurs to be innovative and come up with ways of solving agricultural problems by promoting the practice of the profession.

According to her, "In Africa and Nigeria in particular, there are lots of agricultural problems that need solution, and as entrepreneurs, the key concern is to identify these problems and proffer solutions to them". Dr. Oluwalana, who noted that students of the University were better positioned to fill that missing gap, as a result of the training they received as students in a University of Agriculture, said: "To ward-off famine in Nigeria, student must be interested and love agriculture, so that Nigeria can return to the period of the groundnut pyramid and food surplus".

Delivering the Summit's Lecture, titled: "Agri-Business: The Real Deal", the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Nigeria Enterprise Project, Mr. Dele Osunmakinde, disclosed that "the next big thing in Nigeria is not oil or information technology. It is agriculture and that is why you must be interested in the agriculture value chain". According to him, Nigeria has a ready market for stable foods produced in the country with a huge population of over 180 million people, who depend on stable food and buy stable food supply from the market. Mr. Osunmakinde, who admonished participants not to despise days of little beginning, charged them to start small by utilising free pieces of lands around them and watch their supply chain grow. He added that in the United States of America, farmers fall among the percentage of five richest people, while he highlighted some lucrative businesses that participants could embark upon to include rice, bean, plantain, pineapple, maize and cassava farming, as well as goat, snail, poultry and cattle-rearing.

The Convener of the Summit and a 400-level student in the Department of Business Administration, College of Management Science (COLMAS), Miss Oluwatobi Adesina, disclosed that the Business Excellence Summit was targeted at developing entrepreneurial skills among youths and students in tertiary institutions with a view to stirring up the dormant business ideas and entrepreneur power within them. At the event, there was a panelist session, where established entrepreneurs such as Barr. Kayode Akinsola, CEO, Queens Attorney; Mr. Samson Odegbami, Managing Partner, Driving Solutions; Miss Gladys Ajiri, CEO Brookhouse Interiors; Mr. Yinka Babalola, CEO, Ideas Hub; and Mr. Sijuade Otegbeye, Chairman, Institute of Strategic Management, Nigeria (ISMN), Ogun State Chapter; enlightened participants on the rudiments of becoming an established business-owner while exhibition of value-added herbal products, fabric bags and accessories took place at the summit.

 

COLENG Holds First College Lecture Series

As an important means of bridging the gap between its students and lecturers, the College of Engineering (COLENG), has held its First College Lecture Series, themed: “The Ergonomic Paradigm: A Basis for Sustainable Development”, delivered by Dr. Olanrewaju Okunribido, a Health and Safety Expert from the Health and Safety Laboratory, Buxton, United Kingdom.

Declaring the programme open, the Acting Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ololade Enikuomehin, who was represented by Professor Amidu Mustapha, Dean, College of Physical Sciences (COLPHYS) of the University, described the programme as a pure academic event, as he charged the College to sustain the spirit of the lecture for subsequent ones and wished them the best. The Acting Vice-Chancellor said the topic was carefully chosen and described Ergonomics as a paradigm in itself, because it affects every individual in a working environment while wishing participants a rewarding lecture.

The Guest Lecturer, Dr. Olanrewaju Okunribido, described Ergonomics as the process of “improving health and reducing hazards in a workplace”. He said that the operational aims, under the study of ergonomics, were to engender a better working society, advance knowledge of relevant health and safety issues, prevent deaths, injury and ill-health in workplace and, hence, help organisations find and control hazards.  “Ergonomics is more than a science to be studied in the University, but a way to push the world forward, through improving and promoting health of the people by reducing the hazards associated with systems and machines, to improve quality standard in work places by understanding health and
safety laboratory as well as human factors”, he added. 

Shedding light on the human factor and Ergonomics, Dr. Okunribido said that “Ergonomics has a great deal to do with understanding its domain such as social domain, psychological domain and physical domain, which are interrelated”. According to him, the relation, as quoted, involves human and work, while he cited two agreeable approaches, which suggest that work should be designed, so that it is suitable for human workers and that environment should be made to be safe, healthy and conducive to perform tasks. He further called for stakeholders to inculcate safety measures in places of works, while the safety and health professionals should ensure a safer and more efficient working environment, ensure that things are made to fit people, help managers to stop people getting hurt, carry out research about how and why people get hurt and know people’s abilities, behaviours and differences.

Dr. Okunribido identified human factor hazards to include psychological factors, such as work-life balance, perception and relationship; social and organisational factors, which comprise culture, incentives and morale and the physical factors to include air quality, lighting, noise and thermal. Earlier, the Dean of COLENG, Professor Johnson Adewumi, had lauded the College Engineering graduates, noting that they were making FUNAAB proud wherever they were, promising that the College would keep up the spirit and would never let the lecture be the last.

The Dean, College of Plant Science and Crop Production (COPLANT), Professor Muftau Atayese, who stood in for the Dean, College of Agricultural Management and Rural Development (COLAMRUD), Professor Bolanle Akeredolu-Ale, congratulated the College and charged it to do more, as the lecture series had become a tradition among other Colleges in the past, but such a practice seemed to be fading away. The COLENG Lecture, which was held at the Postgraduate Auditorium, attracted a large number of students from the College in addition to academic staff members from the College, among others.

 

Former Nigerian President, Passionate About Anti-Corruption War, Says Pro-Chancellor

A former Nigerian President, Chief (Dr.) Olusegun Obasanjo, has been described as very passionate and fully committed to the fight against corruption in the country, because of the way and manner he tackled the menace.

This observation was made by the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council of the University, Dr. Barr. Aboki Zhawa, during the visit of members of Council to the former President at his Hilltop Residence, Abeokuta, Ogun State. According to him, “Even the people very close to you have been sent to prison. You brought about the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) that helped in fighting corruption during your tenure and EFCC is still there till today”. Dr. Zhawa noted that maybe Nigeria was far behind the former President because the country seemed not to understand how to fight corruption and hence, corruption had started fighting back.

The Pro-Chancellor gave the main reason why the delegation visited the former President; to register their presence in Ogun State, adding that it was also to request for his prayers, saying “The reasons we have come to see you are two, which are to register our presence and to pray for us”. Dr. Zhawa, who reminisced on his first official relationship he had with the former President, when he was standing in for the erstwhile Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Chief Ufot Ekaete, noted that the former President was fond of telling anyone who worked with him that “Never say ‘no’ to your boss”. The Pro-Chancellor, who described Chief Obasanjo as someone who had high regards for superior opinion, stated that nobody had a monopoly of knowledge.

“I am pleased to inform you that the Governing Council of FUNAAB, is made up of highly intelligent people. The University cannot survive without your blessing and we would always consult you; to tap from the wisdom God has given you”, he stressed. The Pro-Chancellor, who holds a national honour of Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON), requested that the former President should be part of a programme in the establishment of a Diabetics Centre for the University, saying that “We have to tap from your experience, and your presence which will bring a lot of things”. Responding, the former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo reminded his guests of the immense support he got from the Nigerian civil service while superintending over the affairs of the country. He stated that what he learnt from civil servants was that, they never say ‘no’, adding that the good ones would give advice while the bad ones would neither say ‘no’, nor carry out directives.

The former President, who is an honorary awardee of FUNAAB, recalled that the University passed through a period of turbulence, recently, charged the Pro-Chancellor and Council members to reinforce their efforts at holding the University together. He noted the high contribution of agriculture to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), adding that there was virtually no state in the country, where agriculture was not the mainstay. Chief Obasanjo, however, stressed that that the impact of FUNAAB and other universities of agriculture should be felt more in Nigeria, noting that universities should think outside the box. He said, “We have to act, not only think, we have to pursue and be unique”. Congratulating the Governing Council members for their worthy appointments, the former Nigerian number one citizen prayed that they would have a successful administration.  According to him, “I believe in prayer and God has never disappointed me”.

In a related development, the Council members visited the Alake and Paramount Ruler of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo, who reiterated the need for the government to suspend the idea of scrapping management courses in FUNAAB. Oba Gbadebo restated this call while receiving the Council members at his Ake Palace, Abeokuta. The monarch contended that agriculture cannot stay without proper management training, imploring the newly-inaugurated Council members to make Abeokuta the food basket of Nigeria. According to him, “Agriculture without management can never stand on his own”.

He expressed delight at the current peaceful state of the University, urged that FUNAAB should rise up to become the number one university in Nigeria. “We are particularly concerned about FUNAAB. Some years back, it was ranked Second Best University in Nigeria. I am not sure of its current ranking now, but I urge you to take the University to the top and let us have the full effect of the University. It’s achievable. All you need to do to get there is available to you”. Commenting on the leadership qualities of the Pro-Chancellor, the Alake said that he had done a little bit of background check on him; to conclude that he was a confirmed leader. According to him, “You are a proven leader and I have done a bit of study about you. As a leader, I have no doubt in my mind that government has done what is right in bringing you to FUNAAB”.  Oba Gbadebo, however, stated that he hoped that the University would continue to be peaceful as an academic community.

The Paramount Ruler of Egbaland said FUNAAB had been the best thing that had ever happened to Ogun State. “When we are particularly concerned about the progress of that place, do not blame us. Just understand that we want the effect of that University to permeate the society”. He, therefore, clamoured that results of the University’s research output, as regards extension services, to get to Ogun State farmers.

Earlier, the Pro-Chancellor, Dr. Barr. Aboki  Zhawa, commended the Alake for making the environment habitable for the University, while seeking for his continued support. According to him, “We have come to see you and pay our respect and thank you for making the place habitable and for providing a serene atmosphere for us to be able to operate”. Dr. Zhawa stated that members of the Governing Council had resolved to have a working relationship with the traditional council, adding that anytime the Council ran into difficulties, the Alake could always advise. He noted that traditional institutions provide stability, saying that anyone who wanted stability, should obey the tradition.

He, therefore, clarified the rationale behind the courtesy visit, saying that “On assumption of office, I felt it was incumbent on me and the Council to pay our respect to the traditional institution. You cannot just go into anybody’s house without taking excuse and, therefore, we felt we should come and take excuse from you, to bless us”. The Pro-Chancellor said that the University would need the assistance of the First Class Monarch from time-to-time, adding that he (Alake) made himself available for the different programmes the University had embarked upon.

Meanwhile, the University Management, has paid courtesy calls on some important personalities in Ogun State. At the Federal College of Education (FCE), Abeokuta, the Acting Vice-Chancellor, Professor Enikuomehin had a meeting with the Provost, FCE, Abeokuta Dr. Ayodele Ajayi and the Management team. During the visit, Professor Enikuomehin appreciated the Provost, Dr. Ajayi for accepting the request for the courtesy call and made it known that the main aim of the visit is to introduce the leadership of the University to the Management of the College and also to thank them for their supports in all ramifications to FUNAAB, especially, in leasing their land at Camp, which FUNAAB presently uses, as the pick-up point and the bus-stop for the FUNAAB Bureau of Transport (FUNAABOT) buses, conveying the students to and from the University and to also appreciate the College for its support for FUNAAB during its trying moments.

The Acting Vice-Chancellor described both institutions as partners in progress with common issues of interest to share. He relished the opportunity to meet the Provost one-on-one, and thanked the Colleges’ Management for the good work they were doing as an institution of learning. Responding, the Provost of FCE, Abeokuta, Dr. Ayodele Ajayi thanked FUNAAB team for the visit. He said that the College was glad because of the very smooth relationship that existed between both institutions. Dr. Ajayi described the relationship between both institutions as symbiotic and pledged that the Colleges would gladly be ready to render any support to FUNAAB, especially, when it had to do with FUNAABOT Bus-stop at Camp. Top management team from the University in attendance included the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic, Professor Oluyemisi Eromosele; University Librarian, Dr. Milikat Salaam; the Director, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Bureau of Transportation (FUNAABOT), Dr. Olasunkanmi Ismaila and the Head, Directorate of Public Relations, Mrs. Emi’ Alawode.

He noted that he had equally observed that the pressure at the Camp junction had escalated over the last two years, due to urban restructuring, which had brought about the migration of business people and artisans. Dr. Ajayi wished the Acting Vice-Chancellor to have a successful tenure in office. Meanwhile, the Acting Vice-Chancellor also visited the Ogun State Commissioner of Police as well as the Director, Department of State Services, Ogun State, as part of his familiarisation visits.

 

UN Endorses FUNAAB’s OFSP

The Sustainable Food Systems (SFS) Programme of the United Nations' 10-Year Framework on Sustainable Consumption and Production (10 YFP), has endorsed the Organic Food System Programme (OFSP) of the University, as one of its eight core initiatives. FUNAAB and the Food Quality and Health Association, as the lead organisation of OFSP core initiative of the SFS programme, had earlier gone into partnership, with the intent of forming a successful team, to realise UN objectives.

According to the OFSP Co-ordinator in FUNAAB and a member of the Organic Agriculture Project in Tertiary Institutions in Nigeria (OAPTIN), Professor Victor Olowe, OFSP, as a forum, was set up to correct the dietary patterns of Nigerians, especially the elite that are becoming more ‘westernised’ with dire consequences for public health. It also created awareness for consumers to eat organically-produced foods such as vegetables and animal products. He noted that OFSP was designed for all stakeholders, along the value chains of diverse agricultural commodities, to interact and make significant contributions towards the reorientation of producers and consumers on the need to eat healthy foods.

Professor Olowe, who is also the Director, Agricultural Media Resources and Extension Centre (AMREC), disclosed that the programme combines sustainable food production (organic agriculture) and sustainable food consumption (organic consumption patterns) in a system, with its overall goal of bridging the existing value gap between production and consumption, through the implementation of result-oriented projects across the globe. He hinted further that the Organic Food System Programme, comprises growing number of partner organisations and individuals, seeking to transform communities toward true sustainability, based on regenerative production practices, healthy diets and sustainable lifestyles. According to him, by aligning with its like-minded initiatives of the 10YFP’s Sustainable Food Systems Programme, new opportunities for synergy and increasing positive impact, would be developed.

Professor Olowe noted that with partner organisations and involved individuals on all continents, OFSP would help to share the benefits of organic practices with interested initiatives across all societies, while adding that the University was a recognised partner of OFSP. The OFSP Co-ordinator further disclosed that other FUNAAB OFSP team members include Professor Adewale Dipeolu of the Department of Agricultural Economics and Farm Management, College of Agricultural Management and Rural Development (COLAMRUD); Professor Ibiyemi Olayiwola of the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, College of Food Science and Human Ecology (COLFHEC); Professor Dorcas Adegbite of the Agricultural Media Resources and Extension Centre (AMREC); Dr. Abiodun Adeola of the Institute of Food Security, Environmental Resources and Agricultural Research (IFSERAR) and Mrs. Oluwatosin Adeyeye of  Agricultural Media Resources and Extension Centre.

 

FUNAAB Holds 7th Distinguished Lecture Series on Environment

Furtherance to the 2017 World Environment Day celebration, the University has held the 7th Distinguished Lecture Series on Environment themed, “Connecting People to Nature”. Speaking on the lecture, titled, “Re-Aligning People With Nature: A Necessity For Good Livelihood”, the Guest Lecturer, Adetokunbo Adeola, a Professor of Ecology from Nasarawa State University, Keffi, stressed the need for all to appreciate the beauty and importance of nature.

Represented by Professor Matthew Oyun, from the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), Professor Adeola described the term ‘natural environment’ as the complete ecological unit that functions as natural systems without any massive, civilised and human intervention. He gave examples of natural environment to include vegetation, micro-organisms, soils, rocks, atmosphere and natural phenomena that occurred within their boundaries, such as rivers, forests and oceans. He added that connecting to nature meant a sense of joint destiny and belonging, between humans and the rest of the natural world. The Professor stressed that the secret to being wealthy, emotionally-sustained and resistant to everyday stress, was to stay connected to nature, advising that individuals, who live in city areas, should consider exploring and getting closer to nature, on a regular basis.

Professor Adeola stated that “as a people, we need nature as our food, water and livelihood since all came from nature, stressing that the challenges facing nature, in terms of oceans, rivers and forests affect us and the task is for all of us, to work together to tackle them”.  He added that saving nature was the only way to preserve the human environment. “We need to work at every level, from remote villages to urban cities, so as to find innovative solutions to our planet’s most pressing problems”, he noted.

The Director, Federal Ministry of Environment/FUNAAB Linkage Centre, Dr. Jubril Soaga, stated that June 5 of every year had been set aside, to promote worldwide awareness about the environment and an opportunity for decision makers to re-affirm their commitments to safeguarding the future generation. According to him, “Across the globe, there is drastic alteration in the natural environment resulting in catalogue of problems such as erosion, aggravated flooding, loss of crop yield, declining air and water quality, climate change and loss of biodiversity”. He noted that human activities such as farming, logging, grazing, hunting, exploitation for a variety of products, urbanisation and infrastructural development, had largely contributed to changing the original vegetation cover. Dr. Soaga reiterated that this year’s theme was designed to remind humanity of the numerous benefits derivable from the natural environment, adding that it was a pointer to the dangers inherent in forest degradation, deforestation and ecosystem disturbance that seriously threaten man. He further noted that the current rate of deforestation across the globe was alarming and estimated to be 14 million hectares per annum. 

At the occasion, the Acting Vice-Chancellor of FUNAAB, Professor Ololade Enikuomehin, who was represented by the Dean, College of Biological Sciences (COLBIOS), Professor David Agboola, lauded the conference organisers, as he charged them to sustain the passion and determination to protect the human environment. Highpoint of the event was presentation of books to representatives of secondary schools that graced the event.

 

Microfinance Bank Launches ATM Card

To ensure that its customers enjoy quality services that are comparable with other banks in the country, the University of Agriculture, Abeokuta Microfinance Bank Limited, Abeokuta (UMFB), has formally launched its Automated Teller Machine (ATM) Debit Card. According to the Managing Director of the bank, Mr. Abimbola Adewale, the UMFB Freedom ATM Card is of the same standard with what is obtainable in other regular banks across the country. The unique features include pin protection, national acceptability on point of sale (POS) terminals, as well as safe, secure, easy, convenient and available 24 hours in a day and seven days in a week.

Speaking on the genesis of the UMFB Freedom ATM Card, Mr. Adewale said that on his appointment in 2013, he prepared and submitted a five-year strategic plan to the Board of Directors for consideration, which included the introduction of ATM cards and dispensing machine, among other electronic channels. The Managing Director disclosed that in partnership with Fidelity Bank Plc, UFMB had succeeded in installing an ATM Cash Dispensing Machine in 2014, with an assurance to deliver on the promise of the bank's ATM card. He expressed gratitude to the Acting Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ololade Enikuomehin, and the bank's Board of Directors for their immense support and co-operation towards making the launching a reality. Mr Adewale particularly appreciated the Board of Directors for approving the acquisition of a new software, acquisition of electronic banking platform and a 3.5 KVA solar system, which were instrumental to the successes recorded.
The Managing Director disclosed that aside cash withdrawals, the card could be used "to make purchases on POS, pay bills such as DSTV, GOTV and other utilities on various channels". According to him, "a rigorous user assessment test of the card had been undertaken, using several ATM machines across Abeokuta, Ilaro, Ijebu-Ode in Ogun State, as well as Lekki in Lagos State. For the upwardly mobile class of our clientele, we have also deployed mobile app of your ‘innovative bank’ and this can be downloaded from Google Play, then search for UNAAB Mfb, download the app on your android telephones and enjoy a world of limitless possibilities". 

The Managing Director hinted that some of the facilities that could be enjoyed by customers that bank with the UMFB, include instant salary advance, personal loans, consumer and micro-lease, long-term loans such as ‘auto loan’ and ‘UNAAB MFB Micro-Housing Loan’, while adding that the bank's agriculture finance product, which was being administered in partnership with the National Agricultural Insurance Corporation and the Development Finance Department of the Central Bank of Nigeria, have been commissioned and code-named "Farmers Delight". The Acting Chairman, Board of Directors, UMFB Limited and Director, Centre for Entrepreneurial Studies (CENTS) of the University, Professor Adewale Dipeolu, stated that UNAAB Microfinance Bank would continually strive to live up to its mission by rendering excellent, prompt, efficient and effective services, as a way of the enhancing better livelihood and promoting wealth creation, using dedicated staff and affordable technology, adding that the bank had a vision to be a first-class microfinance bank in Nigeria by delivering quality service towards poverty alleviation and wealth creation. 

Professor Dipeolu highlighted other core objectives of the bank to include: enlightening people on the utilisation of credit for wealth creation and expansion, provision of excellent customer services, promoting group approach to alleviating poverty, enlightening people on the art of saving, providing business advisory services, pursuing business policies that would make opportunities available for people with little or insufficient capital and to engage in capacity building for development of entrepreneurial skills and abilities for managing small businesses in crafts, trades, services and farms. On the expansion plan of the bank, the Acting Chairman noted that, on medium to long term basis, the bank intends to expand beyond its present catchment areas, state-wide and beyond, so as to make its presence better felt, in as many localities as much as possible. He lauded the bank's Managing Director, noting that he had taken the bank to enviable heights since his assumption of office, adding that in the past three years, the bank's customer base alone had grown from 6,500 in 2014 to 10,460 in 2016, while deposits, loans and advancement had also increased steadily.

Speaking at the occasion, the Acting Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ololade Enikuomehin, appreciated the achievements and total transformation recorded by the bank under the watch of the incumbent Managing Director, stating that the previous experiences of funds mismanagement and fraud had made people to lose trust in the bank. He also commended the Board of Directors for ensuring that the bank lived up to its vision and mission, adding that the University was proud to associate with the bank. Describing the microfinance bank as an asset to the University, Professor Enikuomehin noted that it made FUNAAB to be a complete higher educational institution, while adding that the value of the bank to students on campus was immeasurable, particularly, with the introduction of ATM card. Professor Enikuomehin noted that the success being celebrated could not be complete without mentioning the name of the immediate past Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olusola Oyewole, who was the substantive Chairman of the Board, under whose leadership, many ideas were conceived and implemented. He, thereafter, appealed to members of the University community to patronise the bank.