The newly appointed Acting Vice Chancellor, University of Lagos, Prof. Theophilus Soyombo, has called for support from all the labour unions in the institution in a bid to move the university forward.
Soyombo made the call while addressing members of the university community who had converged in front of the institution’s Senate building on Wednesday in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Soyombo was making his first appearance as the acting vice chancellor following the removal of the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, by the Governing Council of the institution.
The institution’s Senate had been accused of several wrong doings by the governing council, which eventually led to the postponement of the university’s convocation ceremony early in the year.
As a result of the development, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Unilag Chapter, passed a vote of no confidence on the Chairman of Council, Dr Wale Babalakin, and declared him, persona non grata.
Babalakin, however, convened a council meeting outside the university where he allegedly conducted a voting exercise that led to the removal of Ogundipe.
Soyombo said: “Let me first start by thanking you for finding time to come out in your numbers to be part of this gathering on this first day of my assumption of office as the acting Vice Chancellor
“It is a demonstration of support. There is no doubt that these are trying times for our dear university but our prayers is that God will see us through this period. Our prayer is that we will all come out stronger and more vibrant.
“University of Lagos will continue to move forward and I will also want to thank you all for the peaceful way you have been conducting yourselves this period.
“I have not heard of any violence and therefore, want to urge you all to continue that way so that things will be okay for us all.
“I want to thank the various labour unions of the institution, the SSANU, the NAAT, NASU and the ASUU, the alumni, students and the general public and to remind them that no matter what, we are together and will remain together. By the grace of God, peace and stability will return to this university.
“ On Aug. 12, the governing council announced my appointment as the acting vice chancellor of this university.
“This appointment was with immediate effect. I saw it as a call to service to this university and it is in this regard that I accepted the appointment in the interest of the institution,’’ Soyombo said.
According to him, there is need for all hands to be on deck in a bid to make the institution better than what it is, adding that there was a lot of work to be done.
“The work on ground is not what one person can do and that is why I call for the support of everybody, so that when we have the success story, it will be for all of us,’’ the former Dean of Faculty of Social Sciences said.
He stressed that his major focus would be on staff welfare, adding that the staff were the core resource.
“Our staff is our main resource for us in Unilag. We must encourage our staff to do more and that is why issues of staff welfare and promotion will be promptly addressed.
“Our resources are limited but we will ensure that within this limited resources, we will explore avenues for Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) to take care of other needs.
“Let me also state that we will appreciate suggestions and comments from individuals, groups and union representatives,’’ he said.
Soyombo also stated that plans were already on to ensure the return of the students to a safe environment
“I am missing the students. As we all know, there is no university if the students are not there. Without them, the university cannot be the same.
“We want them back soon but in doing this, we must ensure that all the safety protocols as rolled out by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) must be in place and that is why we are intensifying efforts in ensuring that we put all the measures that will ensure their safety in place before they resume.
“We are also going to explore the opportunity of online teaching and that is why we are challenging those incharge of our IT to step up to ensure we are able to do this.
“Let us look up to the future with high hope and optimism,’’ he stated.
Edited By: Tayo Ikujuni/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)https://nnn.ng/unilag-ag-vc-soyombo-seeks-support-of-labour-unions/
Osimhen, young lad with head of 40-year-old — Gattuso
Napoli’s coach Gennaro Gattuso on Sunday dished out rare praises on new Nigerian signing Victor Osimhen, describing him as “a young lad with the head of a 40-year-old”.
Osimhen became Napoli’s record signing when he joined from Lille in the summer for a reported 70 million euros.
He was brought on for his debut after an hour of Sunday’s Serie A match and the Nigerian made an instant impact in their 2-0 win.
”I was struck by Osimhen’s serious attitude. He has not forgotten where he came from and the sacrifices he made.
”He built himself up on his own and I congratulate him for his will and desire.
“He is a young lad with the head of a 40-year-old. I hope he does not make mistakes and does not change his attitude,” Gattuso said.
Osimhen, 21, grew up in a tough district of Lagos, lost his mother at a young age and along with his brother and sister, sold bottled water in Lagos traffic to help his family make ends meet.
Gattuso said he wanted to get Napoli back into the top four again after last year’s turbulent season, where they finished seventh after a late recovery and won the Coppa Italia.
”It is natural that, given the history of the last 10 years, we want to return to the top four.
”I want to see a well-organised team that have clear principles in their heads and that know how to make themselves available in difficult moments,” the coach said.
Edited By: Chinyere Nwachukwu and Olawale Alabi)
Iru land is committed to environmental, national development- Oba Lawal
The Oniru of Iru Land, Oba Omogbolahan Lawal, Abisogun II, says the Kingdom is committed to national, environmental and security development for the growth and progress of Lagos State and Nigeria.
Lawal made this known when the Governor of Ekiti State and Chairman of the Governors’ Forum, Dr Kayode Fayemi paid him a courtesy visit on Sunday in Lagos.
The monarch said that various developmental projects were already in place for the benefit of Iru land.
Lawal disclosed that over the past few weeks, Iru land had carried out various exercises bothering around environmental awareness and development such as tree planting and the cleanup of the beach fronts in Iru land.
According to him, the need to maintain a healthy environment will at the long run translate to a generally healthy community, hence the importance of being committed to environmental development.
“I am very grateful and delighted that you are here all the way from Ekiti State. We see all that you are doing in your state and we feel the impacts here in Lagos State as well.
“It is a thing of joy that you have successfully played your part as a governor in developing our nation.
“As governors and traditional rulers, we are enjoined to play our parts in making the nation great again.
“This is why, over the last few weeks here in Iru, we have been engaging in activities bothering around environmental development.
“We started with a tree planting where we distributed no fewer than 1,500 seedlings for coconut and other trees as well as the beach cleanup where we cleaned up waste from beach fronts all around Iru.
“This brings me to the issue of waste management. We need to promote the use of reusable bags as against single use plastic bags,” the Oniru said.
The traditional ruler said that the security of the states’ Liason Offices at the Oniru Beach Front was of optimum importance as the offices were old and dilapidated hence they served as hideouts for miscreants and hoodlums.
“We have written to the Police and I will like you to use your office as the Chairman of the Governors’ Forum to look into this.
“Let us see how the palace can collaborate with those states because a lot of people come into this axis and their security should be our priority.
“We have a lot of financial institutions there, investors as well so we need to redevelop those places.
“There is what we call land value capture in land economics, where property of government, especially those that are not fit for the purpose they were built but are strategically located.
“Such property can still be utilised in some way and it will generate a lot of impact and revenue still comes back to the owners of such property” the Oba said.
The Oniru said that governors and traditional rulers should be able to work hand in hand to bring security and environmental health to people in the community hence, traditional rulers should be included in governance apart from their traditional responsibilities.
He appealed to Fayemi to support the call for giving traditional rulers a role in governance, saying that as traditional rulers, they were more informed about the communities’ needs and they were like a grassroots government.
He said that Iru land always looked forward to a regional integration with neighbouring states such that any development or project proposed was mostly welcome because they would have a positive impact on the national economy.
Earlier, Gov. Fayemi, who expressed delight being at the palace of the Oniru, said that he had no doubts in the abilities of the traditional ruler to deliver his optimum best to the people of Iru land.
Fayemi said that Iru land was one of the primmest and economically viable lands in Nigeria, adding that Oba Lawal was bound to leave it in a better state than he met it considering his many years of experience and the projects that he had already started.
“I am extremely delighted to be here today. This is like a home to me; Kabiyesi has been my brother for years, the better part of the last three decades.
“We have been coming on this journey of progressive development in our communities so I am especially delighted that he has been chosen by our ancestors to continue in the path of our fathers in this very critical community to Lagos and to Nigeria.
“I have no doubts in my mind that his period on the throne is going to be beneficial to our country.
“He is not just a progressive thinker, he is exposed, experienced and has an extensive knowledge of development at the local community and global level.
“The Oniru has received first class education in community development and he has network that will benefit this special community,” he said.
Fayemi said that issues concerning the liaison offices would be looked into by the governors’ forum and everything would be done to ensure the security of the beach front.
He said that he had been abreast of all the developmental projects and programmes that the monarch engaged in since he ascended the throne, adding that he was certain that Iru land was in the best of hands.
“I pray that your reign continues to bring in more prosperity and peace to your people. Everything you lay your hands upon since your ascending the throne will prosper and yield positive results and may God take evil far away from you.
“In the little time I have spent with you, we have discussed nothing but the development of Iru land and you have very grand ideas on how to turn this place around already.
“I am delighted and excited at the opportunities that are staring us in the face with you as our royal father,” Fayemi said.
Edited By: Grace Yussuf
Youths should be drivers of innovation, creativity for a better Nigeria- Ex-VC Bell University
Prof. Isaac Adeyemi, the former Vice Chancellor, Bells University of Technology, Ogun, has charged Nigerian youths to harnessy their knowledge via the internet to be drivers of innovation and creativity for a better Nigeria.
“The youths are the most vulnerable to the post COVID-19 events, including the educational system.
“To position themselves for a successful career, the youths being exposed to technology should take the initiative to see to it that they use the knowledge for innovation and creativity.
‘’That will develop the economy of the country because each country is trying to design means of survival to float,” Adeyemi said.
The former VC said through collaboration with local or international agencies or organisations, some of which are online, youth can leverage and adapt knowledge to suit local situations.
“This can translate into national or state activities that can grow the economy of Nigeria and put it in the global stage.
Also speaking at the event, Prof. Seyi Osunade, Associate Professor, Computer Science department, University of Ibadan, said based on what was happening right now with the effects of COVID-19 pandemic, government and education stakeholders should do more of advocacy.
“That is creating an awareness for the youths on what the pandemic is, that it is real and people still need to take precautions.
“Though the number of infected people are dropping, people still need to take precautions and as schools are preparing to resume, people should work towards maintaining the safety protocols and adhere to COVID-19 guidelines.
“Our curriculum should focus more on practical skills and expressions, that is they should teach things that our students can do here to provide local solutions to our challenges.
“Things they can develop into products, because if we can adapt the knowledge we have into a working solution it will go a long way for us.
“Technical and vocational education should be encouraged more even in our normal school curriculum,” Osunade said.
The Pioneer of SSII, Mrs Omokehinde Deji-Akinpelu said the organisation was focused on community service.
She said that the initiative started formally in 2014 with mentoring of undergraduate students at Lead City University.
Deji-Akinpelu stated that the vision of the organization was to raise purpose driven young men and women who would become world renowned in conduct, character and competence.
“We are set out to impart them with positive values and right attitude to life that will enable them become accountable and responsible adults
“You will agree with me that part of what we are facing today with our political leaders in Nigeria is lack of right mentoring.
“Some of these youths are taking wrong steps and decisions because they lack right and proper mentoring, we need to address this for a better Nigeria.”
Deji-Akinpelu further stated that youths would rather model their lives after celebrities and people they don’t even have direct access to and that had its disadvantages.
Two of the participants who spoke to NAN, Oluwatobi Oduola and Ayomide Olukorede said their passion to influence teenagers and mentor them towards greatness fueled their participation.
They identified lack of sense of direction and career choice as major challenges teenagers are faced with and the need to help as many youths to succeed in life despite all odds.
Edited By: Bayo Sekoni
CSR: Dangote Cement commits N4bn to projects in Ogun host communities
Dangote Cement Plc, says it has committed over N4 billion into various Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) projects in its 14 host communities in Yewa land in Ogun.
The company made this known in a statement signed by the Media and Community Relations Manager of Dangote Industries Limited, Mr Francis Awowole-Browne, on Sunday.
“Since the inception of Dangote Cement in Ibese, in the last eight years of creation in Ogun, we have focused on construction and repairs of roads, building of blocks of classrooms, construction and repairs of healthcare facilities.
“We have also provided boreholes, some electricity transformers, among others,” he said.
The company itemised the projects as 40 classrooms, three health centres, 22 boreholes, three transformers totalling N4.1bn
Among various ongoing projects were 18 classrooms, four roads, one borehole, one health center and five transformers estimated at N278m.
Mr Azad Nawabuddin, Dangote Cement Company Plant Director, said the company was willing to spend much more because it owed its continuous operations to the peaceful conduct of the communities.
Nawabuddin said the company was irrevocably committed to the training which was part of its Host Community Youths Skills Acquisition and Empowerment Programme.
He said the management of the company believed that “education is power” and this was responsible for the company’s consistent investment in the training of the youths to ensure self-reliance.
“Education is power, skill is power, and Dangote cement places a premium on education and skills acquisition; that is why we are encouraging our people to be educated,” he said.
According to the statement, the company also inaugurated the 2020 Acutherapy training for youths in the area.
He explained that the acutherapy training would last for two months and urged the beneficiaries to make the most of the training and its offers as a means of livelihood to serve as an alternate means of income.
He stated that 635 youths from the communities in various institutions across the country had benefitted from the company’s annual scholarship award while 20 youths had been sent to Dangote Academy, Obajana for various trainings.
He added that Dangote Industries had begun rice outgrower programme in Ibese to improve youth employment, create wealth and support the government in its fight against food insecurity and deficits in balance of trade.
While assuring of the company’s commitment to continuous provision of necessary corporate social projects, he urged the people to continue to provide the enabling peaceful atmosphere so that both the company and the people could cohabit in tranquility.
In his remarks, Dr Oluwadare Kehinde, Ogun State Commissioner for Youths and Sports, commended the company for living up to its billing in the provision of social service to the people.
He said the state was particularly delighted about the Dangote Industries’ efforts to create shared value among all residents of the country, irrespective of tribe, religion and political affiliations.
“We need to commend Alhaji Aliko Dangote for all these economic interventions.
“It is crystal clear that government can not do it alone, hence, we need partnership for good governance,” the commissioner said.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Wale Ojetimi