TEXT OF PRESS BRIEFING ON THE ONE-DAY STRATEGIC MEETING OF FRIENDS OF FEDERAL UNIVERSITY LOKOJA AND ILLUSTRIOUS SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF KOGI STATE BY THE VICE-CHANCELLOR PROFESSOR ANGELA FREEMAN MIRI AT THE CONFERENCE HALL OF FEDERAL UNIVERSITY LOKOJA, ADANKOLO CAMPUS HELD ON THURSDAY, 11TH AUGUST, 2016 AT 10:00AM PROMPT.
I am delighted to present this press briefing on the upcoming One-Day Strategic Meeting with Friends of the University and Illustrious Sons and Daughters of Kogi State. The meeting is slated to take place on Saturday, 13th August, 2016 at 10:00am prompt.
The venue for the meeting is the University Auditorium, Adankolo Campus, Lokoja, Kogi State.
The One-Day Strategic meeting slated for the 13th August, 2016 with prominent Kogi State Sons and Daughters is to appraise them on the state of the University and to solicit their assistance. This was gladly approved by Council at its 2nd Meeting held in June, 2016 as part of my vision for the rapid development of the Federal University Lokoja.
On assumption of office in February 2016, I embarked on familiarization visits to the Permanent Site and the Adankolo Campus of the University. I also had useful interactions with staff and students to aggregate the challenges confronting the University. Armed with firsthand knowledge of the state of our University, I had articulated my vision for the rapid development of the University (FUL) and presented it to the 2nd Governing Council at its inaugural meeting held on 23rd and 24th March, 2016. Some of the highlights of my vision include:
- To ensure that the Federal University Lokoja emerges as a University in the truest sense of the word – the University being a community of scholars and students engaged in a complex task to which humanity looks up for new knowledge, innovation, invention, ideas and the way forward for overall human progress;
- To develop a University that will live up to its traditional tripartite function, research and community service and be distinguished locally, nationally and internationally;
- To develop and grow the University to a level that it would help to expand admissions and bring professional skills, expertise and modern research facilities close to city and rural dwellers and help talented students to obtain higher degrees;
- To have an ICT driven University through the development and strengthening of Computer-based Management Information Systems with emphasis on networking to enhance management efficiency and information flow;
- Rapid development and movement to the University Permanent Site within the shortest possible time.
I am very delighted to note that Council had approved of my vision and plan on how to place the Institution on a pathway of growth and progress and I am also working on a strategic plan based on the approval given by the Governing Council at its Inaugural Meeting of 23rd and 24th March, 2016.
Our Chancellor, the Emir of Fika and Chairman Yobe State Council of Chiefs HRH ALHAJI DR MUHAMMADU ABALI IBN MUHAMMADU IDRISS CON and the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council Professor Emeritus Nimi Dimkpa Briggs KSC, JP, OON, MB; BS, and indeed all Council Members and the University Community are actively involved in the plan being made by the University Administration to move the University to its permanent site but finance is the major problem the University is facing. With a near absent 2016 Budget, the Administration can hardly provide essential services on Campus, not to talk of embarking on Capital Intensive Projects such as the Perimeter Fencing of the Permanent Site of the University located at Felele along Lokoja – Okene by-pass.
It is of utmost importance that the University moves to its Permanent Site in the very near future as further expansion of the University at the present take-off site is near impossible due to lack of space. Currently, the University operates at the Adankolo Temporary Site with hardly enough space for the existing faculties – Faculty of Science and Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Owing to very limited space, not all science courses are being offered in the Science Faculty; similarly, not all Arts and Social Science Courses are being offered in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. The paucity of space has thus made it difficult for the Federal University Lokoja (FUL) to expand the existing Faculties and to establish new ones. We are therefore experiencing a serious setback in this regard.
The only way forward is to commence the procedure that will move the Federal University Lokoja to its Permanent Site, located in an isolated region and closely hedged in by a thick forest. We consider the Perimeter Fencing the first and vital measure that would guarantee a measure of safety for the staff and students of the University. It is, indeed a major intervention and contribution that would facilitate the establishments of more Faculties and Programmes for the benefit of the Community. If the Permanent Site is fenced, we can establish more Faculties and Programmes such as:
- Postgraduate School
- Environmental Sciences
The Management, in collaboration with the Governing Council of the University came to the realization that Government cannot fund the University alone in view of the dwindling resources at the disposal of the Federal Government and indeed all levels of Government (State and Local). It was therefore decided, that given the calibre of Sons and Daughters Kogi State can boast of, a strategic meeting with them and with Friends of the University should be convened in order to appeal for financial and material intervention/assistance that would fast track the movement of Academic Activities to the Permanent Site in the shortest possible time.
The Permanent Site is in dire need of Perimeter Fencing, basic facilities and physical infrastructures such as road networks, light, water, students’ hostel, office accommodation for staff, more faculties and programmes.
The take-off site is congested with not much space for further expansion. Therefore, we consider the movement to the Permanent Site a vital measure that would guarantee the establishment of more Faculties and Programmes for the benefit of the community as earlier stated namely: Post Graduate School, Agriculture, Education, Environmental Sciences, Management Sciences, Engineering to name but a few.
I have invited Friends of the University and Illustrious Sons and Daughters of Kogi State to discuss and strategize the best way(s) to move the Federal University Lokoja to the next level of academic, physical and infrastructural development. We would be highly honoured to have them in attendance in great number to offer their expertise, input, and advice on the best ways to raise funds and intervene in the infrastructural needs of the University.
We are also collaborating meaningfully with public and non-governmental organizations in the spirit of public-private partnerships such that structures built and donated to the University by any individual(s) or any organization(s) shall be named after the individual(s) or shall remain a signature project of that organization, as a mark of appreciation.
I am also very much aware that some of our invited guests may have very crowded schedules but if it is not possible for anyone of them to attend personally, he/she can send a representative with handsome donations, a few words of advice and encouragement to the historic meeting which will be highly appreciated by all in attendance, especially the University Community.
I would like to use this opportunity to inform the public of Federal University Lokoja Maiden Convocation coming up on Saturday, 22nd October, 2016 during which the first Chancellor of the University HRH ALHAJI DR MUHAMMADU ABALI IBN MUHAMMADU IDRISS CON, the Emir of Fika and Chairman Yobe State Council of Chiefs would be installed. The Governing Council and the Management are doing everything possible to ensure that the Convocation already scheduled for October becomes a reality.
I wish to thank all members of the fourth realm (the press) for your patience and positive contributions through collaborations and partnerships as you continue to provide positive coverage of our activities.
Finally, I would like to use this medium of the press briefing to sincerely wish our revered Chancellor, the Emir of Fika and Chairman Yobe State Council of Chiefs HRH ALHAJI DR MUHAMMADU ABALI IBN MUHAMMADU IDRISS CON, our amiable Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council Professor Emeritus Nimi Dimkpa Briggs KSC, JP, OON, MB; BS, and indeed all our committed Council Members, all our invited friends of the University and Illustrious Sons and Daughters of Kogi State God’s journey mercies as they travel to and from the historic meeting.
Thank you very much for your attention.
Professor Angela Freeman Miri,
Federal University Lokoja,