Inset: The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Oluwafemi Balogun addressing members of the visiting team from Lagos
The Vice-Chancellor, University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (UNAAB), Professor Oluwafemi Olaiya Balogun has identified sincere consideration of merit and records of entrepreneurial skill, in the appointment of Vice-Chancellors, for Universities.
Professor Balogun dropped this hint while hosting the Committee on Examination of Sources and Management of Internally Generated Revenue by Lagos State Government-owned Tertiary Institutions, who paid him a courtesy call.
He said genuine drive towards effective generation of funds begins with the appointment of a Vice-Chancellor, selected through a process, devoid of social or political sentiments.
He stressed that such an appointment must be based on merit, which is deeply rooted and firmly established on records of proven integrity with bias for entrepreneurial skill.
Professor Balogun informed that the ability to generate and attract funds should be a paramount barometer in the selection of a potential Chief Executive of any University, adding that the ability to attract funds depended on local, national and international networking.
The Vice-Chancellor, while describing fund leakage as “most detrimental to the system”, said that the leadership of tertiary institutions should strictly be appointed, based on the ability to detect “fund leaking valves and the swiftness to mend it”.
Professor Balogun said UNAAB was able to block its ‘leaking valves’, by setting up the Price Intelligence Unit, which is saddled with the responsibilities of assessing quotations for goods and services.
He stated that “the moment we remove over-invoicing and organized LPOs, we turn leakages to revenue earnings”.
In addition, Prof. Balogun said Vice-Chancellors, must be bold enough to practice sound internally-generated policy and should equally not be timid in the face of threats, by those who may not be comfortable with stringent financial discipline.
Professor Balogun disclosed that since he assumed duty, Management had generated a lot of funds internally, which had been largely spent on capital projects, taking into consideration, critical students and staff welfare.
Responding, the Chairperson of the Committee, Mrs. Yomi Akinwolemiwa, who was represented by the Director of Finance and Administration, Ministry of Finance, Lagos State, Mrs. Olabenjo Omotayo, commended the Vice-Chancellor for his dexterity and enviable managerial skill, particularly in sourcing for funds, for the University.
Omotayo stated that no visitor could miss the obvious evidence of the robust finances of the University as demonstrated by the physical infrastructure, several on-going projects and the well-structured landscapes.
According to her, “from the Gate, your success story was boldly written everywhere. We have seen a lot within the short while we’ve been here. You have really illuminated our paths”.