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EIGHT MONTHS OF ADMINISTRATION: OUR MODEST EFFORTS

EIGHT MONTHS OF ADMINISTRATION: OUR MODEST EFFORTS

By

Professor I. F. Adewole

Vice – Chancellor

University of Ibadan, Ibadan

Address delivered at the 2011 Congress of the University of Ibadan Alumni Association, UIAA, on Saturday, August 6, 2011 at the Senate Chambers, UI.

Protocol

The National President of UIAA

Members of the UIAA National Executive Committee

Elders of UIAA

Past Presidents of UIAA

Past Chairpersons of State Chapters

Distinguished members of UIAA

 

Introduction

 

 I wish to welcome you most heartily back to your Alma Mater, the University of Ibadan on the occasion of the meeting of the Congress of the UIAA. I am particularly glad that the Congress is meeting at the University of Ibadan early in my tenure. This then affords me the opportunity to brief you on our modest achievements, and further challenge the UIAA to actively participate in actualizing the strategic plan of UI administration as approved by Council and Senate of our dear University. In my address to the Lagos State Branch of the UIAA some months ago, I presented the Strategic Plan of the new administration and sought for your support in its implementation. The harmonized document was presented to and approved by Senate on 31st December, 2010 and Council on 18th February 2011 respectively. I have also held fruitful discussions with the National President on how the UIAA can further assist the University. Distinguished alumni, permit me to remind this great audience that the history of the development of those renowned universities in the world cannot be complete without mentioning the laudable contributions of old students of the Universities. This is the reason why I have kept close contact with the UIAA, and I am happy to inform you that I have enjoyed tremendous support from the National President and members of the National Executive Council.

 

Since December 2010, the Strategic Plan as approved by Council had remained the compass of this Administration and had guided our paths as we pilot the affairs of our great University. A mid-year review exercise conducted on 24th July, 2011indicated that we are on track. However, there remained a lot to be done. Ladies and gentlemen, one of the milestones as contained in the plan was to improve UI Webometric ranking at 0-6 months and continuous. I am happy to report that your great university has moved from hitherto shameful position of 11 in Nigeria to 1 and 107 to 41 in Africa. Number 1 is our rightful position in Nigeria, and may I say our “birthright”. We should be happy about this but I wish to advice, however, that rather than celebrate, we should continue to work hard till UI become no 1 in Africa and one of the topmost Universities in the World in the foreseeable future. I have no doubt that this is attainable, and I will like to seek the support of  UIAA to make this happen. I want to encourage the UIAA to also develop and make active its website and link it up with the UI main domain. For instance, I will like to see the names of the details of members of UIAA, and various activities of UIAA published on the web. The Association’s annual alumni lecture will also be a good resource for the web. All of these will serve to enhance UI’s visibility in the world.

 

Our Score Card

 

            The thrust of this administration is encapsulated in the 4 thematic areas that we adopted. These are:

1.      Enthronement of good governance

2.      Improvement in academic activities

3.      Infrastructural upgrade

4.      Enhancement of welfare of staff and students

In pursuance of these goals, we have implemented the following activities.

 

a.         Directorate of Quality Assurance

 

To transform the University to a centre of excellence in teaching and research and enhance the quality of  teaching and learning, and in consonance with best practices around the world, we established the Directorate of Quality Assurance. Workshops have been held for all categories of staff, students and service providers on campus to sensitize the entire community on the quality imperatives of the University. A draft AQ policy was approved by Senate and is being fine tuned before presentation for final approval. All units of the University have also been directed to establish Quality Assurance Committees to key into this important concept. It is expected that with establishment of this Directorate, services provided by the University will be comparable to those provided by the best universities in the world. It is also to inculcate in everybody the ideals of good work. UI is noted for standards, and we are committed to maintaining this.

 

 

b.         Improvement in Teaching and Learning Facilities

 

Mr. President, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, with respect to the improvement of teaching and learning facilities, we have commenced a systematic process of rehabilitating our teaching facilities through technical update and installation of audio-visual systems. We should thereafter, re-tool our laboratories. We shall also place great emphasis to developing the Multi-disciplinary Central Research Laboratory, into a world-class laboratory. Our plan also is to refurbish our classrooms before the commencement of the 2011/2012 academic session. Furthermore, in our attempt to create a library of international standard well equipped for effective teaching, learning and research, we have commenced a 24 hour library service, and have provided a generator for the Library to make this work. To the best of my knowledge, UI is the only institution where this kind of service is operated. To also continue in the process of making UI a truly international university, we are poised to ensuring that each department has at least an international staff. This was what some of us enjoyed as students in UI those glorious days. I am sure we can bring this back. We also plan to establish a Pedagogy Skills Centre for new teaching staff in Vocational and continuing education. All academic staff will be made to undergo training in pedagogy, which takes advantage of ICT facilities to the extent that the training can become electronically self teaching systems. We have also initiated the reintroduction of Tutorial classes, with Facilities/Departments involved in the short-listing and recruitment of Tutorial Assistants.

 

c.         The Pan African University (PAU) Project

 

Early last year, the University of Ibadan competed with several other universities for the hosting right of the Earth and Life Sciences Institute of the Pan African University established by the African Union. The University was greatly supported by the Federal Government and I am happy to inform you that great UI won the bid and the University in now a hub for the Earth and Life Sciences (including Health and Agriculture) thematic area for the West – African Sub – Region. The Institute has taken off with stakeholders’ meetings and curriculum development. There are ten flagship programmes as proposed to the PAU but five have been approved for take-off. These are: 1) Plant Breeding, 2) Reproductive Health, 3) Geosciences and 4) Environmental Management. I have also appointed an Acting Director for the Institute. Tomorrow, the AU High Commissioner shall be visiting us for an on the spot assessment of our facilities prior to take-off of academic activities. No doubt, this achievement has further positively positioned our university in the global world.

 

d.         The University of Ibadan School of Business (UISB)

 

The Administration has also kick-started the establishment of the age-long proposed UI School of Business. When fully established, it will be the first Business school to be located in any University campus. The vision is to make the School at par with the best anywhere in the world. The facilities will be first class while academic staff will be predominantly international staff of repute in their fields. We have revised and modernized our MBA curriculum which will be housed by the UISB. We also plan to host a Nigerian Institute for Leadership and Management. To actualize this, study tours to some of the best Business schools in the world have been undertaken, and we hope to deploy the lessons we have learnt to make the school the first choice for students in Nigeria and the African region.

 

e.         The Teaching and Research Farm (TRF)

 

For those of you who graduated from the Faculty of Agriculture years ago, you would have a mental picture of what a truly TRF should look like. However, due to many years of rot, the TRF before we came on board had become a shadow of its old self. Upon assumption of office, we pledged that the TRF would be revamped, and I am happy to report that we have taken steps towards this direction. We visited the Songhai Integrated farm settlement, owned and managed by an individual, at the Republic of Benin and we were marveled at what we saw. This further challenged us as an institution. To this end, upon approval of the Governing Council, we have awarded contracts worth One Hundred and Fifty Million Naira (N150, 000, 000.00) for the upgrade of the TRF. Two new tractors and other farming equipment worth Twenty Three Million Naira (N23, 000, 000.00) have been purchased for the farm to enable it function as a 21st century teaching and research farm and it is being upgraded to the status of an integrated farm. I enjoin you to visit the TRF and see the gradual transformation that is taking place. The Governing Council also approved the establishment of an Animal Production Venture with a seed loan of Fifty Million Naira (N50, 000, 000.00). The APV will ensure daily availability of livestock, dairy and poultry products. In line with the vision and belief of this administration, that “the University can feed the nation”, commercial sales of fish commenced around March this year. This is a testimony of the abundance of expertise available at the University and the belief that with some push, we can achieve our aims. With a small loan of two million naira granted the Department of Fisheries, which is nearly completely repaid, fish is now available at the University for sale every Friday. It is our belief that apart from the sales being made, the effort will also contribute to the effective training of our students. Efforts are also being made to invest in other areas like Teak tree plantation, poultry, other livestock and services.

 

f.          UI Water Project

 

In bid to increasing the internal revenue profile of the University, this administration has also taken steps to resuscitate the UI commercial water project. A committee has been set up towards this end and it is our hope that very soon, UI bottle water will be on sale throughout the city of Ibadan and neighbouring towns. We also invite the UIAA to partner with us in this project, which will be mutually rewarding to all parties.

 

g.         Improvement in Power and Water Supply

 

It is on record that Council appreciates the enormity of the power problem. Giant steps were taken to improve the internal power generation capacity. Council at the last regular meeting help on 28th May, 2011 approved the purchase of a 2.0MW generator at a cost of N142, 289, 650.80 for the main campus of the University. We re-negotiated and got a discounted price of N250 million for the purchase of 2 Generating sets. The Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council gave approval for the transaction and we have initiated the processing of purchase. The acquisition of two additional 2.0MVA 11KV Cummins generators, will add a total of 2.56MW of useful energy to UI power system, bringing the total of internal generation capacity to 5.12MW. In spite of the foregoing, it is still very important to attain a measure of independence in terms of power generation to facilitate delivery of uninterruptible power supply.

 

At the beginning of the year, we had an allocation of N296 million for capital expenditure. It is heart warming therefore when, in response to the plea and pressure being put on Government, there is an inclusion of  a sum of N1, 609, 895, 375.00 in the 2011 budgetary allocation to the University of Ibadan for power generation and completion of Ajibode road project.

 

This Administration is fully committed to not just improving power generation but totally overhauling the system and ensuring stable power supply. To this end Council has approved the project and the financial outlay as presented by the University Management. Already, some cables are being replaced and it is hoped that the effects will soon be felt by the entire community. The advert and call for tender for the power improvement project is out and when fully implemented should lead to 24 hour power supply in UI. In addition we have selected Queen, Idia and Tedder Halls for pilot run for solar technology power supply as a backup. With respect to improving water supply, we have started the process of replacement of some of the electro-mechanical devices used in treating water, in addition to initiating the purchase of two more tankers (one would be dedicated to student’s hostels), the drilling of boreholes after appropriate site investigation and the replacement of old water pipes that supply water to student hostels, offices and residential areas.

 

h.         Welfare of Staff and Students

 

            We promised to pay salaries regularly and I am happy to report that we have kept faith with this promise.

 

            The health of staff is of paramount importance to my administration. This is in line with the dictum “health is wealth”. Hence, a university-wide medical examination was conducted for every staff of the University and I am happy to say that some cases that could have otherwise resulted to sudden death were quickly arrested in the course of the exercise.

 

 

 

i.          Administrative and Financial Reforms

 

The new Administration has beamed its searchlight on the activities of the Distance Learning Centre and the Postgraduate School to raise the standard and make the two units more responsive and in line with best practices.

 

j.          Lifting of Ban on Student Union Activities

 

In keeping with our promises, we sought Senate and Council approval to lift the decade long ban on student union activities. I am happy to report that we now have a democratically elected Students Union Executive and a functional Students Representative Council in place. We have also organized workshops for the new students leaders to enable them appreciate the values of responsible unionism. We believe that this should be a place where students should develop their leadership potentials for they are the leaders of tomorrow.

 

k.         Industrial and labour Relations

 

I must admit that while we have enjoyed full support from the Unions, the same cannot be said of our students.

 

We have had three major protests from our students. The first challenge came from the Muslim Students Society of Nigeria that agitated over demolition of a place of worship. The second came from the bigger student group while the third arose from Sultan Bello Hall where our students demanded for the removal of the Hall Warden.

 

We give God the glory that we survived the heat and have become stronger. We have institutionalized a forum for stakeholders as part of a University wide strategy for crisis prevention and management. This forum now holds every month.

 

l.          Campus Security

 

            This is a top priority matter for the Administration. We have recruited additional staff, procured some equipment and embarked on training of the entire workforce in intelligence gathering and campus policing. We have also taken delivery of 2 new vehicles to enhance security patrol effort. I wish to state that for members of UIAA who work and live on the campus, security is the duty of everyone and we should endeavour to be security conscious and alert at all times and report any sign of insecurity to the appropriate quarters without delay.

 

 

 

 

Any Role for UIAA in all of these?

 

            My answer to the above question is YES. We require the support and assistance of the UIAA now more than before. I wish to challenge the Association to institute a yearly infrastructural development project to complement our efforts at repositioning our great university. I have said it several time that if the UIAA charges all alumni an annual development of 10, 000 Naira, we will be making a lot of money needed for our numerous developmental programmes. We need student hostels to cater for our growing student population, we need to upgrade our facilities, we need to increase our internally generated revenue base and we want to ensure regular electricity and water supply among others. The UIAA has a key role to play in all of these. As I mentioned at the beginning of my address, world-class institutions like Oxford, Harvard, Princeton, Yale, University of Cape Town, to mention a few, attained their current enviable status partly through various contributions and endowments instituted by graduates of those universities. With your support, we can make UI great gain.

 

Looking into the Future

 

In our eight months of operations, we have laid solid foundations, effects of which will be seen in the short, medium and long terms. The glory of the future lies in our efforts. I therefore, solicit your cooperation to help lift the University up and move it forward. I sincerely hope that we can go from here and make our University a place to produce world-class research and graduates who are worthy in learning, character and sound judgement thereby contributing to the transformation of society through creativity and innovation.

 

Mr. President, distinguished members of UIAA, I have spoken today from a position of hope. Having been part of UI for many years, I have absolute faith in our capability to deliver. We need a vibrant University of Ibadan that will be capable of redeeming the wrath of infrastructural decay and a myriad of social problems, which continue to drive development away from Nigeria. This is a challenge before all of us, and I believe that together, we can make this happen.

 

I thank you for listening.

 

Thank you and God bless.

 

 

Professor I.F. Adewole

Vice Chancellor

06 August, 2011


WELCOME ADDRESS BY THE NATIONAL PRESIDENT, UNIVERSITY OF IBADAN ALUMNI ASSOCIATION, MR. HYACINTH A. KYAAGBA, AT THE SPECIAL CONGRESS OF THE ASSOCIATION HELD ON SATURDAY, 6TH AUGUST, 2011

          It is my singular honour and pleasure to welcome all Greatest Uites to this special congress of our Association, which has been convened for the sole purpose of ratifying amendments to our constitution. I thank the Almighty God for granting us journey mercies to Ibadan.

          Permit me to welcome very specially, the Vice Chancellor of the only University in Nigeria, Professor Isaac Folorunso Adewole, who has made time from his crowded schedule to be with us. Sir, we thank you for the good work you have started towards repositioning our alma matter. This is evident in the confirmation by the latest webometric ranking of 20, 000 institutions in the world that the University of Ibadan is the first and best in Nigeria. We believe that as more of the achievements of the University are reported on the web, its ranking in Africa will rise significantly. We also appreciate your kind support of providing refreshment for us at this congress and arranging NTA coverage of the Honours Awards, Dinner and Fund-raising event coming later in the evening.

          Greatest Uites, as you are aware, the Congress is part of our Homecoming Programme, which has been planned to bring our members back to U.I to enable them feel the pulse of current developments of the university. It is our hope that by so doing, we shall all appreciate the enormity of the challenge the university council and management face in making the institution a world class university. I appeal to all of you to find time to visit your departments, halls of residence, the Ajibode Project and other places of interest on the campus and endeavour to make the institution also feel the impact of your presence.

          I am very much mindful of the fact that as a special congress, we have only one item on the agenda, that is, the ratification of the constitution. I am equally conscious of the need for judicious time management to enable you look around before the main event this evening. I crave your indulgence however, to briefly highlight the current state of affairs of the Association.

          Our Exco is three years old in office that is to say that, we are into the final year of our second term. We inherited a factionalized house with Oyo State and Abuja Branches virtually pulling out of the Association. We extended our hand of fellowship to the two branches, and with the support of elders and other well-meaning members, Abuja Branch came back on board, followed by a divided Oyo State Branch. I am grateful for the intervention of the Vice Chancellor, who hosted a reconciliation meeting in his office yesterday at which the two factions agreed to fuse into one executive.

          The Association has recorded modest achievements to date. We were able to complete the block work of the Guest House Extension. We have painted the Alumni Centre, renovated and furnished the National President’s Office and sustained the programmes of the Association such as the Alumni Lecture, Book Support and Joint – Sponsorship of the Annual Inter Faculty Soccer Competition with the University Management. Only yesterday, we donated books to the University Library.

          We have also recorded some success in the area of establishment of new chapters and resuscitation of moribund ones. In this regard, I am happy to report that Rivers State and Ogun State Branches are back in operation while new chapters being established include NIFOR, Iyanomo and Ekiadolor in Edo; Katsina –Ala in Benue State, Ota in Ogun State and Secretariat Chapter in Ibadan, Oyo State.

          Greatest Uites, our Association has also faced some challenges which include financial constraints, lack of commitment on the part of members and branches and the sheer apathy of many highly placed Uites who can make a big difference to the affairs of the Association. One of the aims of the Homecoming Programme, particularly the Honours Awards Ceremony later in the day, is to bring this class of members on board. It is our hope that the twenty two members to be honoured will help to preach the gospel of support for the Association among their peer groups. I appeal to all of us here present, to make it a point of duty to assist in mobilizing membership for the Association as our strength lies in our numbers.

          At this juncture I would like to touch briefly on the proposed constitutional amendments. The National Executive has already received written reactions to some of them, which indicate that if we do not hold our emotions in check, we may have a very turbulent congress. I want therefore to appeal to all members to endeavour to employ logic and persuasion rather than violent language to promote their views. Amendments are intended to strengthen the Association, not weaken it. We all must seek to uphold the good of the Association.

          Going strictly by the provisions of our constitution, we are supposed to consider only those amendments that were proposed and communicated to branches and chapters at least one month to the date of the congress. I wish however, to present a few that have been canvassed outside this time limit in the hope that congress in its wisdom may consider them. The first is the request from the management of the University for inclusion of a high-ranking officer, such as Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic), as one of the Ex-Officio members of the National Executive Committee. This request is borne out of the Vice Chancellor’s strong desire to work closely with the Alumni Association.

          Given that our congresses every two years are always for purposes of election, they tend to generate so much heat and acrimony that other matters brought before congress are hardly attended to. Some members, including I must admit my humble self, are of the view that we should have two congresses: one elective and the other non-elective. The elective congress should be a delegates congress while the non-elective congress should be open to all financial members. The former will be devoted to elections only while the later will discuss indepth the finances, programmes, challenges etc. of the Association.

          There are other smaller matters, such as should the national officers be referred to as National Executive Committee (Exco) or National Elected Officers Committee (NEOC)? (Article Six). What about the issue of quorum of the National Executive Council, which under the existing provision of the Constitution (Article Eleven), is only six members?

          Vice Chancellor Sir, Greatest Uites, once again I welcome all of you to this special congress. I wish us all fruitful deliberations towards fashioning a new constitution that will stand the test of time.

          Thank you and may God bless us all.



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