ADDRESS BY THE VICE-CHANCELLOR, PROFESSOR K. O. ADEBOWALE, mni, FAS ON THE OCCASION OF THE 2022 CONVOCATION, 74TH FOUNDATION DAY CEREMONY AND AWARD OF DOCTORATE DEGREES OF THE UNIVERSITY OF IBADAN ON THURSDAY, 17 NOVEMBER, 2022
The Visitor to the University of Ibadan, His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Oyo State, Engineer Seyi Makinde
The Honourable Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu
The Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council of the University, Chief John Evboyomwan Kenneth Odigie-Oyegun, CON
His Imperial Majesty, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, the Ooni of Ife
His Imperial Majesty, Oba Mohood Isola Olalekan Balogun, Alli Okunmade II, the Olubadan of Ibadanland
The Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission, Professor Abubakar Adamu Rasheed, FNAL, MFR, mni
Her Excellency, Prof. Sarah Ayang Agbor, Commissioner, Human Resource, Science and Technology, African Union Commission
Your Excellencies, Members of the Diplomatic Corps
Members of the Governing Council
Vice Chancellors of other Universities
Deputy Vice Chancellor (Administration)
Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic)
Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research, Innovation and Strategic Partnerships)
General Officer Commanding 2 Mechanized Division, Nigerian Army, Ibadan
Commissioner of Police, Oyo State Command
Director, State Security Services
Provost, College of Medicine
Provost of the Postgraduate College
Deans of Faculties, & of Students
Ag. Director, PAULESI
Directors of Institutes and Centres
Members of Senate
Members of Congregation
Heads of Departments
President & Members of the University of Ibadan Alumni Association
Members of the University Community
Celebrated Graduands of today
Members of the Press
Ladies and Gentlemen
Today is the 74th Foundation Day Ceremony of the University of Ibadan and Convocation for admission to Doctorate Degrees of the University. It is with great delight that I welcome you to the University of Ibadan and the 74th Foundation Day Ceremony.
I want to specially welcome the highly esteemed Visitor of the University, His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, whose support to the Premier University has kept us energised and inspired.
I also warmly welcome His Excellency, The Governor of Oyo State, Engineer Seyi Makinde, who has been supportive of the University in diverse ways. In fact, from the way Engineer Seyi Makinde has been supporting us, it seems he has finally recognised our status as the 34th local government area of Oyo State.
I am delighted to welcome our Chancellor, His Eminence Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, CFR, mni, the Sultan of Sokoto, who has been a great pillar of support to our University. The goodwill generated by His Eminence continues to rub off on the University of Ibadan. The University is thus placed on the exalted pedestal on which the reputation of the Chancellor stands in places that matter. The timely intervention of the Chancellor where and when needed on issues that border on the continued growth and development of the University has been of immense value. I salute you sir and pray that the University will enjoy your goodwill for many years to come.
I heartily welcome the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu.
I also welcome the Minister of State for Education.
I wish to express our appreciation to Professor Abubakar Adamu Rasheed, mni, MFR, FNAL, the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), a focused and dedicated supporter of higher education in Nigeria.
May I use this opportunity to welcome our royal and imperial fathers, especially, our landlord, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Mohood Isola Olalekan Balogun, Alli Okunmade II, the Olubadan of Ibadanland. We thank you most sincerely for the peaceful and cordial town-gown relationship that we have continued to enjoy. Thank you for over 1,100 hectares of land given on lease to the University about 74 years ago for 999 years at a price of 1 Guinea.
I like to also welcome colleague Vice-Chancellors and Registrars from other Universities, Former Vice Chancellors and retirees from this University, members of the University of Ibadan Alumni Association, Captains of industries and all other invited guests.
APPRECIATION TO THE GOVERNING COUNCIL, MANAGEMENT AND STAFF
One of the major lessons we are learning as management of the University of Ibadan is that a warm, mutually respectful and cordial relationship between entities in the university is often under-rated. We have come to the conclusion in the quest for sustainable organisational goal, the most important requirement is cooperation and mutual respect; this, I make bold to say, is even more important than resources.
This is why I want to specially thank and welcome our Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council, Chief John Evboyomwan Kenneth Odigie-Oyegun, CON,for his guidance, excellent leadership and for the outstanding role he has played in the University of Ibadan project since the constitution of the current Governing Council. Importantly, I thank him and all members of the Governing Council for the high level of cooperation and mutual respect that we have enjoyed.
I must express appreciation to my colleagues in Management: the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration), Professor E. O. Ayoola, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Professor Aderonke M. Baiyeroju, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research, Innovation and Strategic Partnerships), Professor Oluyemisi A. Bamgbose, the Registrar, Mrs. Olubunmi O. Faluyi, the Bursar, Mr. A. Popoola, the immediate past University Librarian, Dr. Helen O. Komolafe – Opadeji whose tenure ended in September. I would also appreciate the Provosts of the College of Medicine and of the Postgraduate College, Professor Olayinka Omigbodun and Professor J. O. Babalola and his deputies, all Deans and Directors, Heads of Departments/Units, Masters/Mistresses and Wardens of Student Halls of Residence, Chairmen and members of various Committees of Council and Senate.
Also on that list, and in no particular order, all staff of the Registry, the Bursary, Internal Audit, Academic Planning, University Health Services, Centres and Institutes, the Works and Maintenance Department, the Physical Planning Directorate, and the Security Unit. The four Staff Unions, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT), and the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) also deserve commendation for their support and cooperation. Importantly, the Students’ Union, under the leadership of Mr Adeyinka Adewole (Mascot), has not only been supportive but also creative, responsive and indeed, responsible.
I like to also use this platform to welcome my colleagues who have invested time and energy in sharpening the skills and research focus and ability of today’s graduands. I cannot round off the list of my appreciation without acknowledging and congratulating the parents, guardians, families and friends of our graduands. We appreciate your support and commitment for the realisation of the goals of today’s graduands.
CONGRATULATING THE GRADUANDS
I like to congratulate all graduands of today and to rejoice with you all for attaining this important milestone in your pursuit of a higher education. I am of the firm belief that you will be good ambassadors of University of Ibadan while making positive contributions to the growth and development aspirations of the Nigerian State.
As I congratulate you, I also wish to challenge you to a deeper contemplation of the significance of today. Today marks the official declaration of your obtainment of the highest academic degree known. You are not just experts; you are now philosophers. You are thinkers whose words and ways must drip with wisdom. This is why you are not doctor of your discipline or specialisation; rather you are doctor of philosophy in that specialisation. One could say your word, and I daresay, your actions are expected to be the epitomé of profound wisdom, clear candour and deep grace.
Therefore, today marks an attainment but also signifies the beginning of a challenge. The best of humans should be philosophers goes the saying. It is our hope that you would indeed be the best of men and women as ambassadors of the University of Ibadan.
The University of Ibadan occupies an important position in the higher educational development of the nation. It has invested in its Faculties for quality teaching and production of quality research and researchers, by building a time-tested academic culture and tradition which it has continued to maintain and improve upon over the years.
The times are tough. All over the world, our reputation as a world-class institution for academic excellence geared towards meeting societal needs is betting bolder and bolder. This is because we have continued to work even in trying circumstances. Our research output, graduation statistics, awards and collaborations all testify to our determination and hard work despite obvious constraints.
Your Excellencies, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, on Monday, 14 November, a total of 1,182 candidates received first degrees in the Faculties of Arts, Science, Basic Medical Sciences, Clinical Sciences, Law, Public Health and Dentistry. On Tuesday, a total of 1,429 candidates were awarded first degrees in the Faculties of Agriculture, Renewable Natural Resources, the Social Sciences, Economics and Management Sciences, Education, Veterinary Medicine, Technology and Pharmacy. A total of 656 candidates were awarded first degrees from various Faculties under the Distance Learning Mode of Study while the Affiliated institutions also presented 1,929 first degrees graduands. On Wednesday, a total of 7 candidates were awarded MPhil, 622 earned academic Master’s Degree, 18 Professional Masters. In addition, 5 Postgraduate Diplomas were awarded.
Today, 153 candidates from various disciplines would be awarded the Doctor of Philosophy Degrees. The Faculty of Education leads the pack with a total of 29 Doctoral graduands followed by Faculty of Arts with 24 graduands. The others are:
Faculty of Agriculture – 22
Faculty of Multidisciplinary Studies – 14
Faculty of Science – 12
Faculty of Economics and Management Sciences – 10
Faculty of Technology – 7
Faculties of Renewable Natural Resources & Law – 6 each
Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences – 5
Faculty of Clinical Sciences & Institute of African Studies – 4 each
Faculty of Pharmacy & Institute of Education – 3 each
Faculty of the Social Sciences – 2
Faculties of Public Health & Veterinary Medicine – 1 each
As we are all aware, funding continues to be the greatest challenge facing the Nigerian University system and the University of Ibadan is not an exception in this regard. However, in spite of this debilitating challenge, I am exceedingly elated to report that our great University remains the first in the country, in West Africa and has now moved to the seventh in Africa. We are in the 401 – 500 category by the Times Higher Education for 2023. Our citation remains one of thew highest in the world (83.5%). This is a testimony to the excellence of plan and hard work of the previous Vice-Chancellors, administration and staff. May I, therefore, use this opportunity to congratulate and appreciate the University’s dedicated and ingenious Faculty, Senate, Governing Council and other stakeholders in the UI project who have made these achievements possible.
Our programmes have continued to enjoy accreditation year in, year out. In 2022, all the twenty-seven programmes which were due for accreditation scaled the hurdle. This is to show that the commitment and dedication to these programmes have been sustained and even surpassed.
STAFF DEVELOPMENT AND WELFARE
For the period under review, the Administration has continued to give support for attendance at conferences and workshops both locally and internationally, to improve staff capacity for enhanced performance, in spite of the lean resources available to the University.
Quite a number of staff had requested for letter of institutional support to various institutions for collaborative research or short term training programmes.
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, one of the areas in which we have remained resolute and uncompromising is in the welfare of our students. We are convinced that a conducive environment was non-negotiable for the optimal performance of students. As a result, as the resources permitted, we have been renovating students hostels to make them conducive to learning, acceptable and habitable for students. Management has continued to explore creative alternatives such as partnership with private hostel developers under stringent conditions that favour students’ interests above other considerations.
Security remains a global challenge over which the best of nations and institutions have experienced and expressed despair in the last few years. This explains the reason Management have remained firm and unwavering in its commitment to the security of lives and property on the main and other campuses.
Among the many steps taken was enlisting the assistance of the Oyo State Police Command to support the University Security Unit in order to further address the issue of security on the campus. I am grateful to the past and present Commissioner of Police in Oyo State.
As a result of these steps, security breaches have been reduced to the barest minimum and a sense of safety pervades our Main and other campuses. In this regard, we must express our appreciation to the Chairman, Council Committee on Security, Professor A. K. Aremu, for the excellent job of his Committee as well as the Chief Security officer, Mr. V. G. Fadeyibi. The Administration will continue to provide the necessary support to the Security Unit in order to sustain the progress recorded in securing the campuses.
ADDRESSING OUR CHALLENGES
This administration has continued to tackle challenges associated with providing a healthy, safe and conducive environment for sound education.
Power supply has been a major challenge nationwide, however, Energy/power supply is an issue which is beyond all the Universities, as it is provided by the government. It may be imperative for Universities to consider thinking of alternative source of energy supply. We are taking steps in this direction.
Internet connectivity is also a great challenge, steps have been taken to increase the bandwidth with a view to expanding internet access across the campus.
It is with the above in view that I specially appeal to the Federal government to increase the level of funding to Universities for quality research and ICT infrastructure development.
I wish to again plead with Mr. President that the University of Ibadan be given a special priority attention in form of special reconstruction and rehabilitation funds as well as increased allocation spread over a period of ten years for the University to favourably compete with other top institutions not only in Africa but all over the world.
SOME OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENTS AND HONOURS
The Department of Virology, College of Medicine, as one of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control network of laboratories continue to serve as a major centre for surveillance and testing of viral infections including COVID-19, Haemorrhagic fever viruses etc. To date, the Department has processed over 40,000 samples for COVID-19. The Department also received funding from University of California, Los Angeles, USA for strengthening interprofessional education on HIV/AIDS and COVID-19 in Nigeria. The project is in collaboration with thirteen(13) other institutions in Nigeria and the University of Buea in Cameroon;
The Management of the University of Ibadan Distance Learning Centre collaborated with EduTech Portal to organize a day specialized workshop for the Centre’s E-Tutors. The workshop was designed as a refresher training for the UIDLC E-Tutors to become online course and delivery specialists. It will enable them to design and update course content, and deliver a rigorous programme of technology-enhanced online and mobile learning modules for UIDLC Learners, in line with National Universities Commission (NUC) approved ICT-enabled curriculum delivery. Also, as part of the Management’s quest for excellence, the Centre won a 5,000 Canadian Dollars grant by the Commonwealth of Learning for a Sensitization Workshop for its E-Tutors and staff.
As part of external collaborative efforts, the Faculty of Science initiated discussions through the UI Office of International Programmes with relevant Faculties in the Tunkul Abdul Rahman University College (TARC), Malaysia. The ongoing discussion is expected to facilitate exchange of students, staff and research collaborations ;
The President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR conferred on Emeritus Professor G.O.S. Ekhaguere, the title, dignity and all privileges of the Nigerian National Order of Merit(NNOM) at Abuja on 08 February, 2022;
13 delegates, comprising 3 staff and 10 students from the Department of Computer Science represented the University of Ibadan at the launching of the new Office Facility of the Microsoft Africa Development Center (ADC), the first engineering center of Microsoft in Lagos, from 21 and 22 March, 2022;
Many of our colleagues have recorded outstanding research achievements within the last one year thus promoting the visibility of the University of Ibadan on the international scene. Examples include:
Professor Deborah O. A. Ajayi and Dr H.P. Adeyemo, both of the Department of Mathematics, who were spotted for their outstanding research and invited to the Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford, United Kingdom from 17 January to 16 March, 2022 and 06 January to 30 March, 2022 respectively for research;
Dr E. A. Orijemie of the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology who was elected as an Executive member (Member-at-large from Africa) of the Society of Africanist Archaeologists (SAfA) on 24 February, 2022. This makes him one of the two Executive members from Africa;
Dr K. Adekola, also of the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology, who was a research guest at the Centre for Archaeological Research, Ancient and Mediaeval History (CRAHAM), University of Caen, Normandie, France from 17 January to 16 February, 2022. The trip was sponsored by the French Embassy in Nigeria;
Professor A. A. Olapade, Head, Department of Food Technology who was elected a fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Food Science and Technology(NIFST) on 17 October, 2022 at the National Women Development Centre, Abuja;
Dr Abiodun Claudius-Cole who facilitated the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the University of Ibadan and AgBiome towards the development of biological control solutions for Agricultural Pest Management, specifically nematodes;
Professor Prisca O. Adejumo of the Department of Nursing who was inducted into the 2022 International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame at Edinburgh, Scotland in July, 2022 during Sigma Nursing Research Congress;
Twenty-seven individuals from University of Ibadan recently participated in a Partnership for Enhanced and Blended Learning West Africa (PEBL-WA) training project sponsored by the Association of Commonwealth Universities in collaboration with the National Open University of Nigeria. The project involved 11 training institutions from Ghana and Nigeria;
University of Ibadan won the West African Cup of Arab/Africa International Collegiate Programming Contest 2021 Edition;
Prof. Olawale Ogunkola of the Department of Economics has been appointed a Visiting Professor by the London School of Economics and Political Science from 1 November, 2022 to 1 February, 2023.
Professor Olasebikan Fakolujo, the immediate Past Dean of the Faculty of Technology, was appointed Vice-Chancellor Joseph Ayo Babalola University, Ikeji-Arakeji, Osun State, effective 1st October 2022.
Prof Ogugua Charles Aworh of the Department of Food Technology was conferred a fellow of the African Academy of Science on 31 October, 2022. In addition, he has also been appointed President, International Academy of Food Science and Technology from 2022 – 2024.
Engr. Prof. Emmanuel A. Ajav of the Department of Agricultural and Environmental Engineering was conferred Fellowship of the Nigerian Society of Engineers FNSE on 1 November 2022 at Abuja
Prof. Iromidayo Bamidele Olu-Owolabi of the Department of Chemistry and Prof. Simeon I B Cadmus of the Department of Veterinary Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine were conferred Fellows of the Nigerian Academy of Science FAS on 12 May, 2022.
Prof. Selim Adewale Alarape of the department of Veterinary Public Health in the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine was awarded the 2022 BactiVac Catalyst Training Grant. The award is a laboratory Exchange towards Vaccine development for the circulating Aeromonas strains in Clarias Gariepinus
The following are some of the completed projects which had been commissioned since the last convocation programme:
§ Construction of a new Lecture Hall for the Department of Human Nutrition and Dietetics;
§ Deployment of an E-Classroom funded by the First City Monument Bank (FCMB), complete with an innovative platform to deliver a hybrid (both virtual and physical) classroom experience;
§ University Health Service OPD Extension
§ University Health Service Pharmacy Store
§ University of Ibadan Vocational Training Hub, donated by the Nigeria Content Development and Monitoring Board
§ Borehole project at the Students’ Union Building
§ Commissioning of a Digital Billboard and Signage in the Faculty of Agriculture
§ The Multipurpose Centre Building for the Faculty of Science: A 2018 TETFund Zonal Intervention Project which was commissioned on 03 March, 2022 by the Executive Secretary of TETFund
The University of Ibadan has enjoyed goodwill and benefactions from individuals, groups and corporate organisations too numerous to mention. I use this opportunity to once again express appreciation to all our benefactors private and corporate who have, at one time or the other, extended hands of fellowship to the University in cash and in kind. The various donations and awards had been duly acknowledged. May God bless you. Below are some of the major benefactions :
Ø HarvestFields Industries Limited, an indigenous agro-industry, donated the sum of One million, five hundred and seventy-four thousand(
N1,574,000) for the rehabilitation of the Seminar room in the Department of Crop Protection and Environmental Biology;
Ø The Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation received a Fifty Million Naira grant from the Export Expansion Facility Programme of the National Export Promotion Council for infrastructural development of the Centre;
Ø Donation of a Complete Rapid Mooc Studio to the Department of Communication and Language Arts;
Ø Renovation of the Communication and Language Arts Departmental Library by the graduates of 1994 to the tune of
For us at the University of Ibadan, it was not always good news. We had our own share of losses and pain. Within the last one year, we have lost about 20 members of teaching and non-teaching staff: some of these were still in active service while other have retired.
I wish to, once again, commiserate with the families of these worthy colleagues, and pray for the repose of their souls.
In closing I like to address the graduands once again. As I have often said, the worth of a university degree is not in the number of years spent to acquire it; neither is it in the amount of industry or hard work that was expended while one was a student. The name and reputation of a university may matter but these do not singularly decide the worth of its degree. The worth of a university degree is in the industry, learning and character that the holder of that degree displays on a daily basis from the moment of obtaining the degree. You now have the degree of the University of Ibadan; now go forth to prove its worth in you daily display of learning and character.
I am looking forward to a better University of Ibadan than I met it and to achieve this, I am counting on your unflinching support and cooperation to make the University of Ibadan Project work.
My sincere gratitude to all of you for your attention.
Professor K. O. Adebowale, mni, FAS