Most Recent News

Address by Professor Olayemi Akinwunmi, Vice-Chancellor Federal University Lokoja on the Occasion of His Inauguration as 3rd VC of the University on Monday, 15th February, 2021



Pro-Chancellor and Members of Council, FULokoja

The Principal Officer’s

Deans and Directors

Members of Senate



Members of the Press

Ladies and Gentlemen

On the Friday 13th, the realms of office were handed to me and today marks my formal inauguration as the third Vice-Chancellor of this emerging University.  I am happy to introduce myself to you all. I am Olayemi Akinwumni, a Professor of History at the Nasarawa State University, where I was serving as Deputy Vice-Chancellor. 35 years ago, I left the University of Ilorin campus after completing a four-year stint as a student in the Department of History. I proceeded to the University of Lagos and from there to Von Humbolt University in Germany for my doctorate. My University teaching career began at my alma mater, Ilorin, and at Nassarawa State University, Keffi, I served as Head of Department of History, Dean of Faculty of Arts for two terms, Director of the Institute for Governance and Security Studies Dean, Post Graduate School and Deputy Vice-Chancellor. My academic world view has been shaped by the 3 universities where I studied and the 2 universities where I have worked. I have been married to my heartthrob for 31 years and we are blessed with three children. My eldest daughter is married, and I should be a grandfather very soon. 

The Task at Hand

You will agree that the Federal University Lokoja is a child of destiny. Since its birth, two respected academics have been administrators: Professor Hassan Rafindadi and my sister, Professor Angela Freeman Miri. The University has in ten years, attracted a solid pool of academic, administrative and technical staff. It has also attracted students from all over the country. My primary goal is to add value to the University's stated vision, which is "To be the best among the nine newly established Federal universities in Nigeria in 2011 and one of the top ten ranking universities in Africa." Out of the current top ten Universities in Africa, I have been a Fellow to one of them. Stellenbosch, in South Africa. I thus know what I need to do if FULokoja is to move to the top ten. The first part of the vision is relatively more straightforward. I have personally been to all of the 11 Federal Universities established in 2011. Webometrics currently ranks us 7th out of  11 in this category. The top three are Dutse, Oye Ekiti and Kashere. We are 78 in Nigeria, 255 in Africa and 10,600 in the world. Ladies and gentlemen our efforts to improve on our ranking commences from today. I possess varied local and global experience. I know the zeal and determination; the goodwill of our employers via the governing Council; and that of the host community. Most importantly, I know how passionate the students and staff's of this University are. With all these, I am determined to raise the bar in the standards and fortunes of the Federal University Lokoja. 

The University has a unique mission. "To train employable graduates through competency-based teaching, applied research and practical community service to the catchment area, Africa and the world. The keywords there are Train and employable graduates. The methodology for these are competency-based training, applied research and community service. At the interview that gave me this job, I submitted a vision plan that outlined what I would do if I got the job. Now that I have the job, I have reviewed the plan alongside the University's Strategic Plan. I will share the plan with an expanded Management Committee and subsequently Senate so that it will be adopted and wholly owned by the University. The plan builds on my predecessors' foundation and consists of ten focal areas laid out as key objectives. They include; 

  • Improved Funding
  • Institutionalization of University Culture 
  • Meeting the needs of Faculties, Departments and Units.
  • Promoting Quality Applied Research.
  • Ensuring Staff and Students Welfare 
  • Addressing Labour Matters.
  • Investment in Technology solutions for Teaching, Learning and Research
  • Infrastructure Development and Improved Environmental Sanitation on campus
  • Introduction of new academic programmes
  • Establishment of Linkages with local and global Bodies

Utmost on the agenda is to relentlessly pursue the generation of funds to augment the Federal government's support and agencies. Indeed, I have been given marching orders by the Council to commit to an aggregate IGR contribution to the University's annual budget. We thus have to grow our bottom line and seriously watch our expenditures.  

I have been studying the handover notes, and in the week, I will be receiving briefings by the various line managers. By the first week of next month, I will share my vision plan with an expanded management committee and set up three 120 day agenda of implementation plans. Monitoring, Evaluation and Benchmarking will be taken very seriously and driven by internal mechanisms and external watch agents. 

Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, as we now know very well, the Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted our world as we used to know it. The disruption has been very perversive in the education industry. The way we teach, learn, conduct research, attend meetings, seminars and conferences have changed very rapidly in the past year. The changes have come with tremendous challenges but with equally some exciting opportunities. Remote Learning has become a fact of life, and we must adjust to it. Our mission talks about competency-based learning, and we will drive that vigorously. We will introduce some novel ideas to ensure that our students emerge equipped the skills and competency to operate in a digital-driven world. We will transform our campus to a beautiful green one. All new undergraduate and post-graduate students must plant and nurture an economic tree from entry to graduation. By the time I complete my term in 1,825 days, we should have a minimum of 10,000 economic trees on our campus.  

It is no longer news that data is the "crude oil" of the information age. My plan is to position FUlokoja as the Datahub of Kogi state. We will map and capture all essential data for education, social and economic services, and create a repository of information and knowledge. As digital natives, our students will be equipped with skills that will help them understand the science of numbers and how to use numbers to make decisions. Sports and entertainment will also be promoted vigorously under my watch. We will identify a few essential sports and grow their participation so that a national champion in one of them will emerge in three years. 


To conclude my short inaugural address, I want to state that I am a straightforward man by nature. Humility is very dear to my heart. I have an open-door policy but I absolutely hate abuse of privilege. I like work, and I work hard. I believe in hard work, and that positive outcomes should also be adequately rewarded as this triggers more hard work. I cherish my private time, and I know that I will not have a lot of it going forward. I like excellence and brilliance. I am a Child of God who is also a risk-taker and a survivor. I am in Lokoja on a national assignment, and together with you all, I will do my work to the Glory of God and humanity.