UI VC Race: 18 candidates jostle to head Premier University



No fewer than 18 candidates are in the race to fill the vacant office of the Vice-Chancellor (VC) of the University of Ibadan (UI) come Dec. 1.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports on Sunday that the candidates who are all professors have begun campaigning to members of the Premier University community to gain acceptance.

Those in the race are Profs. Kolapo Hamzat, Rasak Kalilu, Kayode Adebowale, Oladele Layiwola, Anthony Onifade, Emiola Olapade-Olaopa and Babatunde Adeleke.

Others are Profs Olusegun Ademowo, Clement Kolawole, Temitope Alonge, Raji Oyelade, Babatunde Salako, Adeyinka Aderinto, Ebenezer Farombi, Raheem Lawal and Hakeem Fawehinmi among others.

According to some members of the community, who pleaded anonymity, the process of appointing a new VC has been compromised by some of the nefarious allegations and counter-allegation.

Mrs Morenike Afolabi, Deputy Registrar Senate, Admission and Affiliated Institution, in a memo, said nine professors submitted their nomination forms for Senate Representatives on the Joint Council and Senate Selection Board for the appointment of the VC with a single tenure of five years.

NAN reports that two of the nine, who expressed interest would be elected as Senate Representatives by Sept. 21, via a zoom platform by members of the UI community.

The two candidates, who emerged as the elected Senate Representatives would then select one of them to become the new VC on Sept. 23.

The two Senate Representatives will join the Chairman of Council and two other council members (External), making five people that will select the VC from the screened candidates.

Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde
Source: NAN


COVID-19: Nigeria must embrace e-learning now – Olanipekun  



Chief Wole Olanipekun, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), has said that Nigeria must embrace e-learning for educational development amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Olanipekun stated this on Thursday during the inauguration of projects and unveiling of new Vice-Chancellor for Ajayi Crowther University(ACU) in Oyo.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Olanipekun is also the Chairman, Governing Council of the University.

At the event, Olanipekun unveiled Prof. Timothy Adebayo as the new VC to succeed Prof. Dapo Asaju by end of October.

Olanipekun said the major lesson from COVID-19 in terms of education was the need to key into e-learning.

He said that embracing e-learning at this period was the only way the nation’s education sector would not take the back seat.

“I think by now, the federal and state government ought to have learnt that COVID-19 has come. We pray that it shall not come to stay.  But again, nobody can foretell what tomorrow has in stock.

“Life itself is full of ups and downs. It cannot be rosy all the time. And therefore, it is necessary for the government and the people to always prepare for the rainy day.

“On education, I am pleading with government and the people to always prepare for the future. This is because people like us are beneficiaries of good education in Nigeria.  We went to university,” said.

The governing council chairman recalled the efforts of the university at ensuring its students concluded their classes and examinations virtually.

He said that their teachers and students were not on campus, adding they related and interfaced virtually.

“Their papers have been marked.  Their results are out.  Their certificates have been signed by the Vice-Chancellor. The only inhibition we have now is from government hang-off.

“Are they ready to have them to go for their National Youth Service Corps?  No. When you look at the federal and state government universities, they have not been able to conduct any examination.

“They have not been teaching.  They have been on vacation. They have left the campuses. There is no relationship between the teachers and the student,” he said.

On his part, Asaju, the outgoing Vice-Chancellor, said the country needed to change its curriculum to raise people who think properly, adding the colonial model of education must go.

“Nigerians must believe in this country. They must have a sense of patriotism. And let us begin to change our curriculum to raise people who can think properly.

“Let us have African thinking, principles, training, morality and see how we can make progress. In the days of our fathers were they not building,” he said.

He also stressed on the need for the country to convene a conference of its brains to produce blueprint on how to fix agriculture, employment, housing and youth empowerment.

“We need to heal the inner man. To heal the inner man, we need people like Awolowo whose books can be read and you will know his ideas.

“Whoever is going to build this country and change it must first of all think out his ideas. Don’t just tell his ideas, tell us his ideology,” he said.

Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Ismail Abdulaziz
Source: NAN
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UI VC Race: Candidates make pledges to UI community



Candidates vying for the position of  Vice-Chancellor of University of Ibadan (UI) have made presentations and stepped up consultations,  preparatory to the final appointment of a new occupant of the post.

The candidates  made various pledges to the premier university community on Thursday, as they met stakeholders and other members of the community at a forum tagged: “One Cap; 18 heads.”

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the UI Community Forum 2020 was organised by the five unions in the institution.

They included the Students’ Union (SU), Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), among others.

In his remarks, Chairman of the event, Amb. Yemi Farounbi, a former Nigeria Ambassador to the Philippines, commended those who participated in the struggle for university autonomy in Nigeria. 

“Their struggle culminated immensely in the management of universities in Nigeria; one of them is the amendment to Section 3a and b of Acts No. 11 of 1993.

“By this amendment the university council now selects and appoints the vice chancellor and only informs the Visitor of the university. 

“With this amendment, the university acquired full rights to hire and fire its vice chancellor, who doubles as the Chief Executive Officer as well as the  Chief Accounting Officer,” Farounbi said.

He also commended those who gave birth to the idea of the University Community Forum in 2000 as a way of democratising the process of appointing a vice chancellor.

Farounbi enjoined the next vice chancellor of the institution to rise above the contemporary contradictions and ineptitude to offer fresh opportunities for building a greater Nigeria.

“That is the challenge a vice chancellor of this great university must embrace.

“The 13th vice chancellor should not abandon yesterday and today, but must consolidate and build on the strength of yesterday and today,” he stated.

NAN reports that 16 of the 18 aspirants, were physically present, while one participated online and the other, absent.

Prof. Adeyinka Aderinto, one of the leady candidates for the position, pledged to make the premier university a solution centre to the country’s challenges.

According to him, Nigeria will be running to the institution for solutions to challenges, while promising to ensure that the premier university contributes to policy development, debates and engagements.

Aderinto further promised to pursue aggressive fund mobilisation, stating that UI would be repositioned to proffer solutions to Nigeria’s problems.

Also, Prof. Kayode Adebowale, pledged to make the institution a global first rate institution, distinguished in creativity and innovation, as well as service.

“Our administration will focus on funding and finances, UI like other universities, is presently underfunded largely due to the policies of the Federal Government. 

“It also has a lean IGR base. To address our funding challenge, we will be, transferring the management of all our revenue generating centres to one of our newly registered company, the UI Platinum Enterprises, to remove bottlenecks and enhance profitability and effectiveness.

“We will also encourage town and gown collaboration, so that research outcomes will be processed by the industry, to patent right product commercialisation to generate revenue,” Adebowale said.

Another candidate, Prof. Babatunde Adeleke, said he had been in the university system since 1986 and  had made modest contributions in various segments of the university life, in the University of Ilorin.

“And this I hope to bring to bear if I have the opportunity to lead this institution.

“I would ensure credibility is sustained in the academic programmes in terms of the admission process. We will also make sure that the good name of the University of Ibadan is sustained.

“We would sustain the accredited programmes and new programmes will be brought, to add value to the university in terms of generating revenue,” Adeleke said. 

Also speaking, Prof. Olusegun Ademowo, highlighted various challenges bedeviling the university which had affected its ranking and effectiveness. 

He pledged to confront the myriads of such challenges through consolidation and innovation, to transform the university into a world class institution that would be self reliant.

Prof. Aderemi Raji-Oyelade vowed to pursue a proactive welfare system that would discourage industrial strike and engender collaborative re-focusing research for a post-oil economy.

Also speaking, Prof. Kolapo Hamzat promised a technology driven and research intensive university that would empower graduates to be self-sufficient.

Other candidates also promised to reinvigorate the university as a world class and truly international institution for global competitiveness. 

NAN reports that all the candidates jostling for the position identified under-funding and infrastructure limitation, as impediments to the actualisation of the full potentials of the institution.

They also identified challenges of  welfare, instability in the academic calendar, poor research funding  and others and promised to aggressively reverse the trend.

Edited By: Chinyere Nwachukwu/Wale Ojetimi
Source: NAN
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Paramount rulers, State Security Adviser pledge support for Unical VC elect



The Paramount Ruler of Bakassi Local Government Area and Chairman of Cross River Traditional Rulers Council, Etiyin Okon-Edet, has pledged his support and cooperation for the incoming Vice Chancellor elect of the University of Calabar, Prof. Florence Obi.

Okon-Edet, who received the VC elect in his palace on Wednesday in Calabar, congratulated her for breaking the jinx of becoming the first female to be elected to head the 45-year-old institution.

He said that Obi’s emergence would stabilise the University system by way of promoting academic excellence and research.

“I want to tell you today that your victory is widely celebrated. The university system deserves the best hands and I know that you will deliver.

“We will support you because we don’t want anyone to distract you as a woman. I urge you to raise the institution higher when you assume office, on Dec 1, 2020.

“I want you to put God first in the administration of the institution and be fair to all,” he said.

The Paramount Ruler, who noted that the VC elect always appear in traditional attires, presented her with some “wrappers” as a gift for visiting his palace.

Similarly, the Paramount Ruler elect of Calabar Municipality, Ndidem Eta Bassey-Eteta III, said he was happy to receive the VC elect in his palace.

According to Bassey-Eteta, he received the news of the emergence of Obi with joy, adding that Calabar Municipality will continue to promote a peaceful environment for the institution to thrive.

Speaking earlier, Obi assured the Paramount Rulers of her desire to improve the quality of academic activities in the institution, adding that she will run an all inclusive administration.

The VC elect also visited the State Security Adviser, South, to Gov. Ben Ayade, Mr Ani Esin in his office, where she commended the Security Adviser for his laudable steps in fighting all forms of criminality in Southern Senatorial District.

Responding, Mr Ani Esin congratulated the VC elect for her victory, assuring her that his office would work closely with the University in maintaining peace and order.

He maintained that the collaboration will foster a cordial working relationship in checking all cases of insecurity within the university community.

The VC elect also visited the Department of State Service where she solicited their support in the area of security and surveillance within the university community.

Edited By: Ismail Abdulaziz
Source: NAN
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First female Unical VC receives accolade from C/River NASS members, Speaker



Some members of the National Assembly from Cross River have congratulated Prof. Florence Banku-Obi on her emergence as the first female Vice Chancellor elect of the University of Calabar.

Their congratulatory letters were made available to the News Agency of Nigeria on Monday in Calabar.

Prof. Banku-Obi was elected as the 11th substantive VC of the University on Sept. 10 in Calabar while her appointment letter was presented to her by the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the institution Governing Council, Sen. Nkechi Nwaogu, on Sept. 11 in Calabar.

The Senator representing Cross River Central Senatorial District, Prof. Sandy Onor, said in his letter that the appointment of Banku-Obi was a call to higher service.

“With every sense of responsibility, I write to congratulate Prof. Banku-Obi on her resounding victory at the interview for the selection of the 11th Vice-Chancellor of the University of Calabar.

“As an acclaimed quintessential amazon and trail blazer who has distinguished herself in scholarship and administration, your victory has not come as a surprise to many of us.

“Your well-deserved appointment is a call to higher service and we pray that you use the office to set a trajectory for others as you have always done.

“You have traversed the length and breadth of the academia and you are most strategically equipped to deploy your wealth of experience to reposition the University of Calabar for global competitiveness,” Onor said.

He prayed God to grant her wisdom, foresight and the spirit of excellence as she mount the saddle as the 11th Vice Chancellor and the first female Chief Executive of the University.

Similarly, Sen. Gershom Bassey, who represents Southern Senatorial District, stated that her victory was not only a win for all, but a great stride in the liberation for all women.

He said it was an indication that the University of Calabar has keyed into the actualisation of gender equality which is Goal 5 of the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.

“University of Calabar has set the path by having her first female Vice Chancellor, showcasing that women engagement in leadership is crucial to National development and the general development of any institution,” he said.

Bassey also expressed his confidence in the capacity of Banku-Obi to consolidate on the gains of her predecessor and her ability to take the University of Calabar to an enviable height.

Rep. Legor Idagbo, representing Bekwarra/Obudu/Obanliku Federal Constituency of Cross River in the National Assembly, described Banku-Obi appointment as “historic and outstanding”.

“Having emerged first among more than 10 other candidates who vied for the position was a testimony to her intelligence and academic prowess and I am confident of her managerial competence and exceptional leadership ability,” he said.

Also, Rep. Mike Etaba (Etung/Obubra Federal Constituency of Cross River), said Banku-Obi emergence as the head of the institution is not a fluke but a result of hard work, perseverance, and steadfastness which she has carried since joining the university 30 years ago.

He maintained that Banku-Obi who was the former Dean of the Faculty of Education, will carry with her the experience and acumen upon which she has displayed in other leadership positions to the VC-ship and lift the University of Calabar to an enviable height.

“Prof. Banku-Obi comes with a wealth of experience, having risen from the rank of a Graduate Assistant to being a Head of Department, the only Dean of Faculty of Education to be re-elected back into the office, and Deputy VC Academics in the university.

“Prof. Banku-Obi is a committed and student-friendly Don, and has carried with her that reputation everywhere she goes, building a vast network of contacts, both within and outside the University, and it is my hope that she is not shy to call on this bank of connection for the good of our university,” he said.

Speaker of Cross River House of Assembly, Mr Eteng Jonah-Williams, also congratulated Banku-Obi for becoming the first woman to pilot the affairs of the institution 45 years after its establishment.

“This is a well-deserved appointment, as your wealth of experience as a former Deputy Vice Chancellor, former Dean as well as your commendable engagement within and outside the university community has prepared you for this enormous responsibility.

“As a renowned academic, there is no doubt that you will bring your expertise as a scholar and manager of people to bear in your new role as the Vice-Chancellor of the University.

“It is our hope and expectation that you will put your leadership skills to bear and continue to make the university a pacesetter in the nation’s educational sector.

“We are confident that with your leadership, the university will continue to produce great men and women that will bring about a better Nigeria and also improve the world at large,” he said.

Edited By: Ismail Abdulaziz
Source: NAN
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