ADDRESS PRESENTED BY PROFESSOR PATRICK OLADIPO AINA FAS,
VICE-CHANCELLOR, EKITI STATE UNIVERSITY, ADO – EKITI,
AT THE PRESS BRIEFING FOR THE 20TH CONVOCATION CEREMONY
EKITI STATE UNIVERSITY HELD ON MONDAY, MARCH 16th, 2015
It gives me great pleasure to welcome you all to this Press Briefing, on behalf of Senate and the entire staff and students of Ekiti State University. The purpose of this Press Briefing is to inform the whole world about the forthcoming festivities, marking the 20th Convocation Ceremony for the award of Degrees, Diplomas and Certificates. The event will formalize the graduation of 2,973 full-time, 1,411 Part-time, 485 Sandwich, 1,731 Affiliate Programme, and 307 Postgraduate students.
As it is my customary assignment and privilege to offer at each Convocation, a report on the passing academic year, but because this is the last convocation ceremony that I will call in my 4-year term as the 6th Vice Chancellor, I will give a brief account of my stewardship that has pleased God to allow and bless me with, in the saddle. It is not so much about flashing the score cards, but rather it is a sincere thanksgiving to God since, no one calls himself or herself to any service without the providential grace of God. It is noteworthy that in highlighting the grounds covered so far, I am also directly applauding the efforts of all of us, members of the University community for a job, which in all modesty, is well done within the limits of our meager resources and sometimes not so comfortable environment.
Let me start this Press Briefing on a good note that the College of Medicine has now been fully accredited by the National Universities Commission (NUC) while the report of the Medical and Dental Council is still being awaited but with good prognosis.
Upon my resumption as Vice-Chancellor on December 2, 2011, I was outrightly confronted with the seemless integration of the 3 erstwhile University of Ado-Ekiti (UNAD), University of Science and Technology, Ifaki (USTI) and The University of Education, Ikere-Ekiti (TUNEDIK) with serious funding and infrastructural realities which were successfully tackled. Next was the successful clearing of a backlog (from 2008 to 2011) of four Convocations in March 2012 at the 17th Convocation and 30th anniversary of the founding of the University. Since then Convocation has been a regular annual event in the University. With a backlog of students’ results now cleared and in fact being computerized, certificates of all graduands are now ready and available for collection at every convocation.
The University continues to record heart-warming accomplishments by the grace of God through judicious deployment and management of human capital and material resources even as the University is looking ahead and exploring new frontiers to reposition itself as a world-class university. God has indeed been with us. Our focus has been on building a culture of academic excellence that is founded on adequate infrastructure and a conducive environment for research, teaching and learning. This goal has largely been accomplished and has led to an aggressive infrastructure development leading to the erection of state-of-the-art buildings and laboratories within and outside the grounds (EKSUTH) of the University, renovation/remodelling to get the University’s infrastructure, equipment and Teaching and Learning Resourcesmodernized, renewed and upgraded to world-class standards, reinstatement of municipal facilities, acquisition of laboratory and engineering workshop equipment and cultivation of corporate social responsibility.
These include acquisition of Switch Gear in June 2012 to connect the University to the National grid and the establishment of a dedicated powerline from Basiri, Ado-Ekiti to the University, construction of 1.6km perimeter fence, 2km Internal Road network, 2 Industrial Boreholes, new buildings to accommodate 8 Faculties, College of Medicine, School of Postgraduate Studies, Entrepreneurship Studies Centre, Centre for Gender and Development studies, Senate building, Medical Library, students hostels, construction classrooms and lecture theaters totalling additional 4,400 capacity to the existng ones, new laboratories for Science and Agriculture, Block of Staff Offices, Farms livestock facilities, Central Science Laboratory, ICT Data Centre, 1,000-seater e-Examination Centre, donated Students’ Centre, Faculty of Engineering Workshop (2) and equipment and acquisition of specialized facilities (ICT Infrastructure, special laboratories and conference facilities); Renovation/remodelling of 12 buildings, including the University Library, Staff School, Omolayo Administration Block Reception Entrance Foyer, Council Chamber, and old Lecture theaters.
Attaining the goal of building a vibrant academic culture characteristic of World Class was driven by several other successful activities, including the restructuring of the Part-Time Programme to allow for new programmes and quality control, the banning by University Senate of the sale of handouts to students, the promotion of academic publishing, bringing Students’ results up to date in less than two years, re-screening of students in December 2012 to firmly establish the strength and quality of our studentship, successful accrediatation of 47 academic programmes in 2012 by the National Universities Commission (NUC) and relevant professional bodies, resuscitation of the graduate assistantship programme which had earlier been suspended, accessibility to TETFund funds for training of our junior academic staff and learned conferences for both academic and non-teaching staff; For instance, over 25 of our junior academic staff are in topnotch overseas Universities on various collaborative training programmes leading to Ph.D.
For the first time in the history of the University a 5-year (2015-2019) Institutional Strategic Plan has been developed. The plan is afoot for a comprehensive review of all our academic programmes to allow for the development of programmes in emerging new target-oriented and needs-driven fields of knowledge that will enhance the global competitiveness of our graduates and define EKSU as a leading University. Already some of such programmes which have just been established include Theater and Media Arts; Peace, Security and Governance; Gender and Development Studies, Distance Learning, Entrepreneurship Studies, and Counseling and Human Development Centre.
University Laws were reviewed and legislated by the State House of Assembly to accommodate developments, including the new national University retirement age of both academic and non-academic staff.
Research and development programmes as well as human capital development and training received great impetus. To enhance EKSU’s reputation as a research and training institution that is actively contributing to the production, dissemination and application of advanced knowledge, and advancing the frontiers of research to meet world-class research benchmarks, our academic staff have been motivated through restructured and more functional Centre for Research and Development, and a generous TETFund support to positively engage in high quality impactful research in globally relevant niche areas of Renewable Energy, Food Security, Biotechnology, and Peace and Conflict Studies.
Our ICT deployment in partnership with Google witnessed a leap in the last three years, and the development recorded have moved the University fully to the digital highway along with the 21st century Universities.
In sports, Ekiti State University performed brilliantly at the 24th Nigerian University Games (NUGA), winning Gold and Bronze medals. The University has been encouraged to develop sports facilities to enhance further performance of our sports men and women. These include new Table Tennis and Lawn Tennis (Donation), and a new standard Football pitch with Cinder Track.
Our increasing global reach through many linkage programmes initiated with Universities in the United States of America, United Kingdom, Australia and South Africa that represent beacons of good practice internationally is very promising. The university is also, more than ever before, increasingly arresting and gaining the confidence of the corporate world, attracting many corporate responsibility projects, such as donations of buildings, laptops, medical and law books, scientific research equipment, etc.
A university is known by the quality of its products. Our students are exceedingly excelling and the seemingly tall dream of EKSU becoming a world class university is gradually becoming a reality. A number of laurels received in the last two years by our students not only in areas of academic, but also in entertainment and beauty contests include the following:
- EKSU Student ENACTUS (Entrepreneurship Action in Us) Team led by Miss Dolapo Odupele, a 300-level Banking and Finance student on July 18, 2014 emerged ahead of over 35 participating Universities, the national Champions that was to represent Nigeria in October 2014 at the ENACTUS World Cup Challenge in Beijing, China.
- In November 2014 EKSU ENACTUS Team came third among 40 universities and 20 professional Institutes in the first annual National Entrepreneurship Competition organized by NUC with Bronze medals and certificates of excellence.
- · The Faculty of Agricultural Sciences Students won the inter-university debate ahead of 18 other universities including the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Ladoke Akintola University, University of Ilorin, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, and University of Ibadan;
- · One of our female students, Miss Damilola Oluwafemi, a Medalist at the 2012 National Sports Festival in Lagos and Gold medalists at the 2014 NUGA games was invited to the National Camp by the Nigerian Squash Federation.
- An undergraduate of Ekiti State University, Miss Feyisekemi Ayomiposi Akinwale was 2014 crowned the Next Movie Star Africa at a talent hunt event held in Lagos ahead of 16 other contestants from African countries.
- A 200 level undergraduate student of Ekiti State University, Mr Alalade Ololade won the regional Airtel Talent Hunt Award and the prize of a new KIA car on Feb18, 2015.
- In the comedy category of the Talent show, another EKSU undergraduate, Ajagbe Dolapo Adedayo emerged champion, with a one year endorsement deal with Airtel.
- As leaders in entrepreneural education, our University successfully hosted the 2015 Enactus Nigeria National Leadership Conference – top ten for ten training to over 530 student participants and 29 staff advisers from 35 participating tertiary institutions across the country.
- The Faculty of Law Students came first in the national Bar Part II Examinations in 2012;
We have been aggressively responding to the challenges of funding by diversifying the sources of and increasing the IGR through the establishment of following:
- Advancement Centre to garner external financial support for the university
- Research and Development Office for revenue generation from research outputs
- University (Commercial) Ventures
- University Consultancy Unit
This year’s Convocation ceremony is scheduled for between March 16 and 20, 2015. We expect a hitch-free Convocation by the grace of God. I am using this opportunity to warmly invite the public, friends of the university and stakeholders to this year’s Convocation ceremonies. The highlight of the convocation ceremony activities is as follow:
- Monday March 16; 10.00am: Vice-Chancellor’s Briefing
- Tuesday March 17; 10.00am: Variety Shows, Games, Exhibitions, Convocation Play
- Thursday March 19:
11.00am: Convocation Lecture The Entrepreneurship Education Initiative: Implications for Higher Education Administration in Nigeria by Prof Oluwafeyisola Sylvester Adegoke, FSAN, FAS, FNMGS, NNOM, Professor of Geology, and Chairman, Governing Board of the Nigerian National Merit Award (NNMA).
4.00pm: Vice-Chancellor’s Night Dinner at 3000-Lecture Theater, Ekiti State University, Ado – Ekiti.
- Friday March 20; 10.00am: Conferment of First Degrees and Award of Prizes
- Saturday, March 21: 10.00am: Conferment of Postgraduate Diplomas and Higher Degrees.
Finally, I gratefully acknowledge the uncommon and passionate support of the Visitor to the University, Governor Peter Ayodele Fayose, TETFund support for an unprecedented spate of infrastructure development in the University, EKSU National Alumni Association for instituting a Scholarship Scheme for our students, EKSU staff and students, and friends of EKSU, who have supported us in various ways. Once again, I thank you gentlemen of the Press for your coverage of this Press Briefing.
Thank you very much.
Professor Patrick Oladipo Aina
Vice-Chancellor, Ekiti State University