The Management of Federal University Lokoja (FUL) has signed a Mutual Accountability (MA) Framework with Abdul Samad Rabiu Africa Initiative (ASR Africa) on the proposed construction of a Central Research Laboratory using the approved grant of Two Hundred and Fifty Million Naira (N250,000,000.00) awarded to the University under ASR Tertiary Education Grants Scheme (TEGS) for infrastructural development.
The signing and exchange of documents such as the award letter, structural drawings, and Bill of Quantities (BOQ) for the commencement of the project, which is to be completed within six (6) months, took place at BUA Estate, Kado in Abuja on Thursday, 26th January, 2023.
In his opening remarks during the signing, the MD/CEO of ASR Africa, Ubo Udoh, who is a Ph.D student to Professor Olayemi Akinwumi, congratulated the University for emerging as one of the beneficiaries of the grant, having participated in the long process beginning from the application to the point of award and signing of documents. He expressed his excitement about getting the project off the ground and commended the Vice-Chancellor for his staunch commitment to seeing FUL grow to become one of the top-ranking Universities in Nigeria and Africa.
He affirmed that Professor Akinwumi has an innate legacy and hunger for growth and development right from when he knew him at Nasarawa State University, Keffi (NSUK), and has equally seen what he has done in FUL within a short period in office, adding that such sterling qualities were some of the criteria used to assess and select beneficiaries for the grant.
Udoh also maintained that the Chairman of ASR Africa and Founder, BUA Group, Alhaji Abdul Samad Rabiu was very passionate about education, health, and social development, noting that his desire to give back to society motivated him into establishing initiative platforms to enable Africa to solve her problems without looking outside.
Speaking further, the MD assured that the signing of the Mutual Accountability Framework was the beginning of a lifelong relationship between FUL and ASR Africa as they would work collectively in building the future of this great country. He added that the project would be executed in line with the Build Back Better framework to incorporate disability access and renewable energy like solar and natural lighting for sustainability and equal accessibility.
Responding, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olayemi Akinwumi, who described the MD as a wonderful brother, friend, and student, noted that since assumption of office, he had been going out "begging" people to help the University, and was excited that such personal efforts were beginning to yield positive results for the development of the Institution.
While praying for long life and good health for the donor, the Vice-Chancellor solicited more intervention and consideration in terms of medical equipment for the College of Health Sciences and the University Teaching Hospital in the subsequent grants.
On his part, the Director, Physical Planning and Development (PP&DD), Dr Bankole Mutalib Adeowu, gave an overview of the different sections of the proposed research laboratory including preparation rooms, mini laboratory, central courtyard, conference room, conveniences, and an office for the Director in charge, among other major components of the building. He equally provided the required documents for the construction, furnishing, and procurement of equipment for the laboratory which were presented to the MD.
In her vote of thanks, the Registrar, Dr (Mrs) Rebecca Okojie on behalf of Council, Senate, Management, and particularly the students whose cause they were embarking on the partnership, expressed profound gratitude to the Chairman, ASR Africa, Alhaji Abdul Samad Rabiu for his philanthropic gestures, praying that history would judge him kindly and fairly. The Registrar also solicited more support for the University urging that the partnership be sustained.
Following the short ceremony and taking of group photographs, the meeting broke up into a technical session with the Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) committee for a detailed analysis of the drawings and other documents that would facilitate the immediate commencement of the project.
Other Principal Officers and members of the team from FUL included the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Professor M.S. Audu; Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration), Professor Abdullahi E. Bala; Bursar, Mr John Sule Shilo; the University Librarian, Dr Mrs Sarah Yani; the Director, Research and Innovation, Professor M.N. Suleiman who represented the Dean of Science; Director, Quality Assurance, Professor Jide Ebietan; and Director of Works, Engr. Kayode Ojo; among others. See more pictures here