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    Galaxy of Stars in FUOYE’s 7th Convocation ceremony

    …as Fasina achieves uncommon feat in 2 years

    By Wole Balogun

    S.A Media to VC

    Some were born to be great, while others worked hard to attain the enviable height of greatness. But when the twin routes to greatness happen, it becomes an uncommon greatness: For Prof. Sunday Abayomi Fasina, he was born to be great and he is working hard to attain the height of greatness, and indeed, he is becoming uncommonly great as the two years of his administration as the Fourth substantive Vice-Chancellor of the upwardly mobile Federal University Oye-Ekiti (FUOYE), has testified.

    Christened, ‘God wins’ for his divinely ordained appointment as FUOYE’s VC, Prof. Fasina is winning on all fronts in discharging his duty as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the University. This is equally exemplified in the week-long activity of the 7th Convocation ceremony that commenced on Monday 6th February, 2023 and ended with a glorious grand finale on February 11th, 2023, the exact day Prof. Fasina celebrated two years’ anniversary as VC. The ceremony was organized by the Prof. Tajudeen B. Opoola’s chaired University ceremonial committee, comprising all Deans of faculties, principal officers and heads of units.

    The ceremony began with the Vice-Chancellor’s Press Conference, while other major highlights of activities included the presentation of the 8th Inaugural Lecture of the University by Professor Ajiboye Akeem, Dean of the Faculty of Science. Earlier, (Professor Tajudeen Opoola, Dean of Faculty of Arts, had delivered the 7th Inaugural Lecture on 19th January; and the 9th in the series was later presented on February 14, by Professor Bolaji Bukola, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering), Other landmark convocation events included the instructive, educating and entertaining convocation play: “Prodigals and a Parable of Motherhood’ written by Prof. Bakare Ojo Rasaki, (and performed by the Department of Theatre and Media Arts, whose head is Associate Professor Lilian E. Bakare), the Convocation Lecture delivered by the highly cerebral scholar and lawyer, Vice-Chancellor, Professor Wahab Egbewole (SAN) of the University of Ilorin, community health outreaches in Oye, Ikole and adjoining communities organised by FUOYE’s Director of the Directorate of Medical Service, Dr. Olawale lbrahim, among others.

    At the grand finale, held on Saturday, February 11, FUOYE shone amidst glitz and glamour as colourful events excellently anchored by the duo of Prof. Dosu Malomo and Barr. Dr Bernard Jemilohun, University orators, kicked off on a brilliant note. First was the investiture of the Chancellor, Atah Igala, Alhaji Mattew Opaluwa, this was pronounced by the Visitor to the University, President Mohammed Buhari who was represented by the Minister of State for Education, Mr. Goodluck Opiah. Afterwards, the Chancellor was also garlanded with the Honourary Doctor of Peace Studies (honoris Causa).

    Following the honour bestowed on the Chancellor were deserving garlands that went to three outstanding Nigerians who have exceedingly excelled in their various fields of human endeavour. First among this distinguished trio, is the legal luminary and Nigeria’s pride, Chief Wole Olanipekun.


    Also a respected Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN). Olanipekun is a Philanthropist, and seasoned legal practitioner whose legendary practice as solicitor and advocate has earned him well deserved national laurels including the Officer of the Federal Republic (OFR). The incumbent Chairman of the Nigeria’s body of Benchers has also served the nation as the national President, Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) among other dislgnified positions. Olanipekun was rewarded with wild applause from the students and others when he graciously accepted his appointment as a Visiting Professor of Law to the prestigious University and promised to commence work almost immediately.

    In recognition of his outstanding service in defending the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and using this to get justice for many of his clients, FUOYE garlanded the renown lawyer with a Doctorate Degree in Constitutional Law.

    Stephen Olabisi Onabanjo, the former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the prestigious First Bank Nigeria PLC, was the second distinguished Nigeria, honoured by FUOYE in grand style. Onasanya, like the elderly Olanipekun, has served the nation admirably well. His track records of great performance as a brilliant and exemplary Chartered Accountant, and financial expert has earned him several garlands home and abroad. He currently manages a real estate business that, in the words of Chief Olanipekun, “has made him “
    .
    Onasanya was garlanded with FUOYE’s Doctorate degree in Finance in recognition of his overwhelming track record as a financial expert who has achieved a milestone in his career.

    The Mathematical Segun Odegbami, Nigeria’s soccer legend, was the third, proud recipient of FUOYE’s honoris causa, precisely the honourary Doctorate degree in Sports and Human Kinetics. This was to recognise his exemplary and legendary contribution to the nation’s football development and his admirable service to the nation in this respect. Odegbami has also earned the national honour, Officer of the Niger, (OON).

    Indeed, the deserving honour given to the trio of Olanipekun, Onasanya and Odegbami brought unprecedented fortune to FUOYE graduands as the duo of Olanipekun and Onasanya gave awards in millions of Naira to outstanding graduands in Law and Accounting. While Olanipekun gave a whoopping N10 million to 20 best graduating Law students, Onasanya gave a million Naira each to best graduating accounting students of the University.

    The academic ritual of the convocation of 3,914 graduands of the University, followed suit as 91 in First class honours, 1,423 in upper class honours,
    1,845 in second class honours,
    452 in third class honours, as well as 21 in Ph.D degrees, 79 in Masters degree, and 3 in Post Graduate Diplomas degrees, were gracefully pronunced graduates of the prestigious citadel of learning. The graduands’ applause rented the air in joyous mood as this academic ritual was gracefully concluded.

    Another highlight of the event was the recognition of best graduating students of the University, with the overall best student being Miss. Akinde Mojisola Adunni of the Department of Finance with a CGPA of 4.98. Other overall best students in each faculties included Orimaye Olakunle Muyiwa (Hospitality and Tourism Management) of the faculty of Agriculture, Oke Emmanuel Omotola (Theatre and Media arts), of the faculty of Arts, Ayeni Seun Emmanuel (Agricultural Education) of the faculty of Education, Adejumo Oluwapelumi Oluwaseyi (Mechanical Engineering) of the faculty of Engineering, Odukoya Oluwabukunmi (Bio-Chemistry) of the faculty of science, Towoju Mercy Oyinkansola (Political science) of the faculty of Social Sciences and Akinde Mojisola Adunni (Finance) of the faculty of Management sciences.

    Several other distinguished Nigerians who have made significant contributions to the growth and development of the University were equally garlanded. They included Prince Dr. Akintunde lshola Ayeni, aka Yemkem, Architect Dipo Ajayi, Barrister Kanayo O Kanayo, Otunba Olarewaju Adesuyi, Barrister Dare Owolabi, Barrister Kayode Filani, Dr. Tunde Samuel Adaju, Agba-Akin Oluyemi Solomon Solade, CP Deji Ogundele, Niger State Commissioner of Police, Niger State Command and CP Abiodun Alabi, Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Command.

    The most significant and celebrated moment of the event was the reeling out of outstanding achievements of the Fasina’s administration in the last two years. These were contained in the VC’s thrilling speech, which is a glowing account of verifiable claims on the successes and victories of the two eventful and colourful years. For the purpose of clarity, we bring here excerpts of the speech:

    FUOYE AT A GLANCE.

    Federal University Oye Ekiti (FUOYE), as we all know, is one of the nine universities established by the government of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan in 2011. The primary objective was to absorb the teeming number of young people seeking higher education and also assist in eradicating unemployment in Nigeria. The dynamics of local politics generated contentions about its location, leading to the adoption of the dual campus model, one in Oye Ekiti and the other in Ikole.

    As it has turned out, this development has resulted in mixed outcomes. On the positive side, the university has positively impacted the local economies of the host communities and their surrounding communities in many respects, including employment generation and facilitation of several small and medium scale business enterprises. On the negative side, the university has had to contend with the duplication of all facilities on both campuses, and also balance relations between the two host communities. Both of these tendencies have been Herculean.

    Despite the challenging foundation, the university management has continued to deliver on its mandates. I acknowledge the good work of my predecessors upon which we have continued to consolidate. As I will demonstrate in this address, the university has continued to wax stronger. I am indebted to the ever committed, innovative and supportive Governing Council, Senate, management, staff and students of the university. Without them, the achievements I am about to reel out would not have been possible.

    PROGRESS REPORT AND SCORE CARD
    With the support of God and all critical stakeholders, notably the Governing Council, Senate, the management team, staff and students, Union leaders, traditional leaders, the media, our host communities, notably Oye, Ikole, Ayegbaju, Ilupeju, Itapa, Itaji, Ire, Ifaki, Ayedun and friends of the university, we have been able to achieve a lot within our short period in office (precisely two years today). Some of our most outstanding achievements, driven by my publicly avowed mission and objectives of taking FUOYE to the next level, include but not limited to the following:

    ENTRENCHING A CULTURE OF PEACE AND STABILITY IN THE UNIVERSITY
    I inherited a university always in the news for the wrong reasons. At the height of the problem was the high level of instability. The situation was so bad that hardly would a semester pass without students and staff protests, some leading to closure of the university. Determined to put an end to this unenviable trend, the first cardinal things my administration did was to put in motion machineries for the attainment of peace and stability in the University and its environ. Specifically, I introduced weekly meeting of University Management, the first of its kind in this university, where all university matters are presented and debated at the meeting to arrive at collective decisions; embarked on genuine reconciliation with all aggrieved parties within the university, a process that has yielded positive results, including the reinstatement of the suspended former Chairman of ASUU, Dr. Gabriel Omonijo; and the democratization of university governance through the strengthening of the Committee system for participatory and inclusive governance, with regular consultations and interactions with critical stakeholders in the university, including management team, Deans, Heads of Departments/Units, Staff and Students’ union leaders, as well as host communities. We have maintain stable academic calendar and we have not merged any session.

    ACADEMICS MATTERS
    ACCREDITATION
    In the last two years FUOYE has hosted the National Universities Commission (NUC) on Resource Verification and Accreditation exercise as well as professional and examination bodies like the Medical and Dental council of Nigeria(MDCN), Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria, Pharmacy Council of Nigeria, Institute of chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) and COREN. It is satisfactory to report that FUOYE has never been denied accreditation and the University takes special pride in the fact that quality academic programme are prioritised.

    COMMENCEMENT OF NEW ACADEMIC PROGRAMMES
    Quite a number of programmes have been introduced by this administration in the last two years. These programmes include:

    • College of Medicine
    • Data Science and Analytics
    • Agric Business Management
    • Agricultural Economics and Farm Management
    • Agricultural Extension and Rural Development.
      We have also established the following Directorate below
    • Affiliated Colleges
    • Sandwich Programmes
    • Part-Time Programmes
      Also, the quota for Bachelor’s degree in Nursing Science increased from 50 to 100, as approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN)
      ACCREDITATION OF MATURED PROGRAMMES
      As a follow up to the accreditation exercises done before this administration took charge, some mature programmes have thus far been presented for re-accreditation and none of them was denied.
      PROFESSOR OF PRACTICE AND DIASPORA PROFESSOR INITIATIVE
      This administration introduced the diaspora Professor’s initiative recently to boost the human resources of the University. This initiative will drawn high ranking Professors from all over the World to engage our students. This will definitely help our ranking (international and Local ). We have agreement with them to teach undergraduates and Supervises Postgraduate students in some courses.

    THE ONE-DAY VICE CHANCELLOR
    The University recently approved the One-day Vice-Chancellor’s initiative as a stimulus to build the leadership capacity of students. Through a very competitive process, three students will emerge in the order of winner, first and second runner-ups. These trio are then made Vice-Chancellor and Deputy Vice-Chancellors respectively, with all rights and privileges conferred on these students for the one-day adequate publicity and media appearance within the University

    STAFF AND STUDENTS WELFARE
    The welfare of staff and students has been one of the cardinal priorities of my administration since assumption of office as the first democratically (Council) elected Vice Chancellor of the university. We have lived up to this promise, surpassing expectations in most cases. Among others, we have made the promotion of staff a top priority. In two years, we have promoted a total of 762 staff across different categories, including over 50 into the professorial cadre. There is no pending promotion under my watch. We do all our promotions as at when due. Other attainments here include the provision of Shuttle Bus for staff and students (Oye-Ado Ekiti-Oye; Ikole-Ado Ekiti-Ilole) at a highly subsidized rate. Again, this is the first of its kind in the history of the university; Payment of the arrears of Hazard Allowance to all deserving staff; Donation of an SUV Bus to the Students Union Government (SUG); Provision of street light on both campuses powered by solar energy. I invite all of you to drive round our campus at night and see the difference; Admission for biological Children of staff, Approval of study leave for differnet categories of Staff, Review of Conditions of Services to remove contradictions and conflicting areas and many others too numerous to mention.

    INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT
    My administration has also invested heavily in infrastructural development of the university. Specifically, we have been able to construct over 30 Lecture Halls from the IGR of the university, with capacities ranging from 300-500. We are also one of the few universities in Nigeria that is up-to-date in the utilization of TETFUND and capital grants of the federal government. Moreover, we have not only completed the construction of a ring road linking the boys and girls hostel in Oye Campus, but also the one linking Phases 1, 2 and 3 of the university. Our exploits in road construction has also seen us completed the second phase of the university access road, with a befitting new university gate. The landscaping of the university has been ongoing, with the newly constructed Parks and Garden, with a beautiful fountain as its main highlight. I like to commend our Department of Crop Production, particularly Professor Olarewaju Joseph and Dr Osundare Opeyemi for spearheading the exercise. Only recently we completed and furnished a new and standard University Library for Ikole campus. During this week convocation programme we have commissioned a lot of facilities on campus as listed below:

    1. Faculty of Environmental Science New Building
    2. Three in One Laboratory for Faculty of Pharmacy
    3. Two lecture Halls for Faculty of the Social Sciences
    4. Two-Twin Lecture theatre for Faculty of Science
    5. 250 Capacity lecture theatre for Faculty of Education
    6. Central library at ikloe
    7. Parks and Garden at Oye
    8. Part-time centre at Ikole.

    CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT.
    Training and capacity development are central to university development. Our administration has always given this a great attention. Apart from the judicious application of TETFUND interventions for staff development through which we have awarded several Masters, PhD, conference attendance and book development scholarships, both at home and abroad; many of our staff and students have won prestigious grants and scholarships across the globe. Among many others, the Bill Gate and Melinda Foundation grants won by Dr Emmanuel Bakare and his team has allowed us to commence post doctorate studies in Data Science and Analytics. These are apart from many other highly reputable grants, including the highly competitive TETFUND National Research Fund (NRF). One of our staff (Professor Ojo Olusola) was one of the winner of the highly competitive NRF Fund for 2022. Our newly established Directorate of Integrated Services and Training has also carried out a series of training programmes for selected staff on various aspects of university administration. The process is ongoing.

    ESTABLISHMENT OF NEW DIRECTORATES AND UNITS
    The various Faculties /Directorates/Institutes have recorded some landmark achievements within their short period of existence. We have been able to established new Directorates/Ventures/Institutes. They are listed below:
    i. Fuoye Printing Press
    ii. Fuoye Bakery
    iii. Fuoye Table and sachet water
    iv. Fuoye Staff canteen
    v. Directorate of Quality Assurance
    vi. Directorate of Training and Integrated Services
    vii. Directorate of Works and Services.
    viii. Directorate of Advancement Centre.
    ix. Directorate of Part-time studies
    x. Directorate of Ventures.
    xi. Institute for Food Security and Commercial Agriculture (IFSCA).

    RESEARCH, DEVELOPMENT AND LINKAGES
    When we took over in 2021, the University was more or less a teaching University considering the passive disposition of staff to research and development. We have since change the narratives by being more intentional about research. First, we published and gave all our academic staff our research policy,brochure and we did several research trainings for all academic staff on how to write and win research grants. This has brought about a rapid change in the disposition of staff to research. Right now, staffs individually seeks for research opportunities within and outside the country with testimonies of internal and external grants attractions and winning of scholarships and postdoctoral fellowships. Several members of academic staff are outside the country on short and long time postdoctoral fellowships. We have also established international and local collaborations/linkages with the following organizations:
    a. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA),Vienna ,Austria.
    b. De Montfort University, UK on the establishment of Artificial Intelligence
    c. Robert Boyle Institute, Jena, Germany.
    d. Tropos , Liepzig Germany.
    e. International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan ,Nigeria.
    f. Nigeria Horticultural Research Institute,(NIHORT),Ibadan.
    Right now on Scopus, the University has 1,360 documents from 650 authors with 3,244 articles .

    UNIVERSITY GOVERNANCE/ADMINISTRATION
    I also made a commitment to restructure university governance to make it open, transparent and efficient. This is important to demystify the office of the Vice Chancellor, whose occupant sees him/herself as nothing more than first among equals. We have made steady progress in this regard, notably participatory and inclusive governance, introduction of the Directorate System of administration; strengthening of the Committee system, digitalization of the Registry and Bursary of the university; and the review of Conditions of Service and Scheme of Service recently approved by the Governing Council.
    ICT DEVELOPMENT
    ICT is critical to the effective governance of the university at all levels. We have made concerted efforts to reposition the Directorate through reorganization, expansion/renovation of physical and ICT infrastructures, increase internet Bandwidth of the University from 1STM (152mbps) to 3STM (456mbps) with the appointment of Airtel to provide competition for existing providers; and accessing TETFUND intervention in the area of the distribution of internet across the University perimeter.
    UNIVERSITY SECURITY
    My administration pays significant attention to security matters in all ramifications. Among other investments in the sector, we have just recruited 40 additional security men and women on contract (IGR); introduced Digital Security Operations, including the installation of CCTV in vital locations on our campuses; procured security gadgets, including Walkie–Talkie for security personnel for proper communication and effective coordination; and revived and strengthened the moribund University-Host Community Relations Committee. Above all else, the first phase of the perimeter fencing of the university is ongoing and is almost completed. This will help, in addressing the issue of encroachment on our land and attendant security concerns. All these measures have worked well because of our commitment to inclusive and participatory governance that creates a sense of belonging with all critical stakeholders.

    INAUGURAL LECTURE
    Inaugural Lecture offers a veritable platform to Professors appointed by the affected university, in this case FUOYE, to showcase to the whole world not only their professions that earned them the coveted title of Professorship, but also their future research directions. Under my leadership, we have held five (5) Inaugural Lectures, with the 9th coming up next week. Going forward, we have now made it a monthly routine so as to promote a culture of academic excellence and advancement of knowledge. I am glad that our colleagues have boldly accepted the challenge.

    STUDENTS PATRONAGE AND ADMISSION
    I am also delighted to report that in line with our core mandates of boosting higher education in Nigeria through enrolment, our students intake has continued to rise progressively. From a total of 512 at inception in the 2011/2012 session, the university now boasts of about 40,000 students. This geometric growth rate comes with its own challenges, including population pressures, shortage of facilities and infrastructures. We are happy to cope with these challenges, trusting that the attendant gains, especially the expansion of access to higher education, are too pertinent to discountenance. Specifically our university ranked as the fifth and 6th most subscribed university in Nigeria during the 2021 and 2022 JAMB results, with over 53,000 and 45,000 applicants, respectively, beating most first and second generation universities in the process. More importantly, despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and the eight month ASUU strike, forcing many universities to either cancel or merge sessions, I am glad to report that my administration has been able to device creative ways of managing the situation without cancelling or merging sessions. Doing so would have deprived many prospective applicants such an important opportunity. As a pro-active administration, we are always conscious of the negative implications such could have on the young applicants and their parents.

    RECOGNITION, AWARDS, FELLOWSHIPS AND ACCOLADE FOR THE UNIVERSITY
    The following are some of the recognitions, awards, fellowships and accolades that the University has attracted over the years

    1. Fuoye Student came first overall in the South-West Enterprise challenge competition among all the Federal, State and Private Universities in 2022
    2. Fuoye Entrepreneurship staff won a slot at TETFAIR (TETFund Alliance for Innovative Research) a year-long development of an innovation idea into a product.
    3. Development of a hybrid bicycle into a transport device on campus. No Carbon, No Petrol and extremely cheap.
    4. Various medals were won at the last Nigeria Universities Games (NUGA) held at University Of Lagos – They are listed below :
      a. 4 by 1 Relay Race (Male) – Silver
      b. 800metres (Male) – Silver
      c. 400metres (Male) – Bronze
      d. Judo (Male) – Bronze
      e. Taekwondo (Female) – Bronze
    5. The Institution took part in the 2022 Higher Institutions Football League (HIFL) and came second in the Federation
    6. Six (6) Fellowship Trainings attracted from International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Vienna, Austria by the Vice-Chancellor for the overseas training of Six Academics staff

    Our Warmest Congratulations to all the graduands of today for the successful completion of your programmes here at FUOYE. We celebrate you all on this remarkable achievement. The world needs your newly acquired knowledge and competencies, so I enjoin you to impact the society positively and be good ambassadors of this university in whatever capacities you find yourselves. May the favour and the grace of the Almighty God shine on your path and May you continually receive help from above before the need arises. I look forward to hearing good news of great joy of your successes and I wish you the best for the future.

    OUR FUTURE ASPIRATIONS

    Your Excellencies, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, we are yet to attain the FUOYE of our dream. We will never rest on our oars until that is done. Our genuine aspiration is to transform FUOYE into a cynosure, an institution worthy in all ramifications to be called a university. Our target now is to be globally competitive on all metrics nationally and internationally. We desire to make positive impact on our local environment in all ramifications. We call on all stakeholders to join us in this noble adventure: the Visitor and main financier, Governing Council, Management, Senate, Congregation, Staff and Students Union Leaders, host communities, traditional institutions, development partners, the media and all and sundry. On our own, we will always provide the developmental leadership required to galvanise the process and all actors.

    OUR CHALLENGES
    Your excellences, the University has been confronted and hampered by a number of challenges. These include inadequate funding, security issues such as trespass on our land due to lack of perimeter fencing, inadequate infrastructural facilities and so on. The COVID-19 pandemic only complicated the situation. Whereas TETFUND has been the mainstay of our infrastructural development, let me make an open plea to the Executive Secretary of TETFUND, to consider us for additional special intervention funds, especially in the area of academic building, perimeter fencing and construction of Lecture Auditoriums. I also appeal to all other stakeholders for assistance.

    Photographer,:Nifesimi Ogungbe

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