- VC Highlights Administration's Commitment for the Year
The Senate of Federal University Lokoja (FUL) held its first meeting in the New Year (2023), which was the 75th in the series of meetings, on Monday, 30th January at the Senate Chamber, Permanent Site, Felele. The meeting was not only unique, being the first in the year, but also symbolic and special as it was held to usher the University into a new phase of academic growth and all-inclusive development which was succinctly captured in the Vice-Chancellor/Chairman's opening address delivered at the meeting.
Additionally, the meeting was remarkable as distinguished Senate members arrived at the venue to witness a new seating arrangement different from what they were used to in the previous year. The meeting equally witnessed the introduction of the academic red carpet by the Registrar, Dr. (Mrs.) Rebecca A. Okojie, to mark the symbolic crossover and official welcoming of newly promoted Professors as practiced in other established Universities.
This group of new Professors who marched gallantly through the red carpet, as announced by the Vice-Chancellor at the 73rd meeting of Senate held earlier in November 2022, included Profs. Olajide Ifedayo Ibietan, Musilimu Adeyinka Adetunji, Olalekan Wasiu Salawu, Isabona Joseph, Ebenezer Ejalonibu Lawal, Joseph Yinka Fashagba, and Ofurie Odede Maria Aito. Others were Profs. Lawal Olarewaju Adesina, Jeremiah Ayok, Suberu Ochi Abduhahman, Abdullahi Musa Yusufu, Imoni Sunday Obomeviekome, and Edgar Osaghae. The red-carpet procession was ably led by Prof. Ezra Shiloba Gbaje, who was the last Professor promoted in FUL before this set, amidst cheers and a rousing welcome by other Senate members.
Notably, some outstanding academic and non-academic staff who have distinguished themselves by dint of hard work and commitment to their duties were honoured with Merit Awards as part of the administration’s yearly reward system for deserving staff members. This category of staff included Prof. Joseph Isabona, Department of Physics - as Researcher of the Year (2022); Chris Yahaya, Vice-Chancellor’s Office; Safiyanu Salihu Abdullahi, Farm Manager at the Directorate of Consultancy Services & Ventures; Arome Offor, Office of the Registrar; Mark Tungkuda, Directorate of Academic Planning; Suleiman Sheikh Musa, University Library; Bala Ibrahim, Environmental Unit; Precious Alao, Environmental Unit; Adamu Abdullahi, Security; and Momoh Jimoh Sadiku, Registry Unit. According to the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olayemi Akinwumi who presented the awards to the awardees, the staff were recognized for excellence, selfless service, and dedication to duty.
Earlier in his opening address tagged 'New Year, New Leaf for a New Federal University Lokoja' which was produced in hard copies and distributed, the Vice-Chancellor and Chairman of Senate appreciated members for their immeasurable support and cooperation in the preceding year despite the daunting challenges occasioned by the eight-month nation-wide strike. He appealed passionately to staff to completely put the issues generated by the ASUU strike behind and develop a change of attitude in their services to the system this year for the benefit and uplift of the University.
On the capital budget allocation, the Vice-Chancellor, who was greeted with a cheery birthday song and standing ovation by Senate members on the occasion of his 59th birthday held recently, said: "The 2023 capital allocation to FUL in the Budget is a paltry sum of N180,000,000.00 (One Hundred and Eighty Million Naira) only to execute two projects - provision of electricity for the year, and fencing of the University land. You will all agree with me that this amount falls far short of what FUL needs for capital development in the year.
"I however, want to assure Senate that by the end of the year 2023, we will heave a sigh of relief because, through personal efforts, we have been able to attract support for the construction of an Assembly Hall, an Auditorium and some classrooms on the Campus.
"I am happy to inform Senate that the construction of a four-floor Senate Building has commenced. The contractor has mobilized to the site and it is hoped that the project will be completed as soon as possible."
Speaking further on the highlights of his administration's commitment for the year 2023, Professor Akinwumi outlined aggressive drive for more infrastructural development, increased IGR, resource verification of proposed programmes, and establishment of additional academic programmes, among others.
"While appreciating you all for how far God has helped us since 2021 when I assumed the office of the Vice-Chancellor of our University which has made us to achieved 70% of our vision plan, I want to put before Senate the highlights of my commitment for 2023:
"Aggressive drive for Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), Provision of Laboratories for the College of Health Sciences, Re-accreditation of programmes in the Faculty of Science, Resource Verification for Engineering programmes, Resource Verification for Nursing programme, Establishment of Agricultural Institute, Establishment of Faculty of Agriculture, Establishment of Zoological and Botanical Gardens, External linkages, Aggressive drive for infrastructure (Block of offices, Block of classrooms, Assembly Hall, Auditorium), Creation of Mass Communication studio (Radio and T.V. Stations - broadcast), Resolution of water and electricity problems, and Resolution of ICT/CBT challenges," while promising to provide details of the action plan in the subsequent meeting.
Furthermore, the Vice-Chancellor was excited to report to Senate that Management was able to meet up with the deadline set by NYSC for the upload of results of graduating students for 2023 Batch A. He maintained that instead of delaying the students further till June, having suffered a setback caused by the 8-month national strike, the University Management led by himself along with the ICT staff sacrificed sleepless nights and worked round the clock to ensure that FUL graduates were mobilized for the Batch A scheduled for January.
“I wish to inform Senate that Management received an urgent call from the NYSC Head Office that mobilization of Batch A of graduates for NYSC was scheduled to close in January failing to get mobilized will mean waiting till June 2023.
“To avoid putting our graduates at a disadvantage, Management had to appeal to the Deans of Faculties to get the results of their graduating students prepared for the Vice-Chancellor to approve on behalf of Senate to enable their mobilization. This I had done on your behalf with the hope that the approved results are being processed for the ratification of Senate at this meeting.”
Similarly, the Chairman informed Senate that a Masterclass Workshop on Grant Proposal Writing was being proposed to educate academic staff, especially Graduate Assistants and Assistant Lecturers on the proper way of writing acceptable and competitive research proposals to attract grants. He, therefore, urged the Deans to mobilize concerned staff for the all-important workshop once the date is announced.
During the Senate session also, Prof. Jacqueline Azumi Badaki made a comprehensive and thought-provoking presentation on mentorship and the need for it to be encouraged in the University, which received wide commendations and contributions from members, among other important issues discussed extensively at the inaugural meeting for the year. See more pictures here