The newly UI SU Executives were recently sworn in on the 17th of December. The VC gave his speech at the ceremony to officially recognise them and the new Executives.
President :Akeju Oluwasegun
Vice: Temilade Oladiti
Let us change the narrative
Being the address presented by the Vice-Chancellor,University of Ibadan, Professor Abel Idowu Olayinka at the swearing in ceremony of the Students’ Union Executive and the Students’ Representative Council on
Tuesday, 17th December 2019.
It is a great pleasure for me to be here this afternoon for the swearing-in ceremony of the newly elected members of the Students’ Union Executive and the members of the Students’ Representative Council. As you are all aware, we have not had any elected Students’ Union or Students Representative Council here since the Senate of the University suspended activities on Tuesday, 30th May 2017. That was a consequence of demonstration by students of the University outside the campus the previous day, in spite of all the entreaties by the Expanded Management of the institution that had advised otherwise. There have been many representations to the University Management ever since then by well-meaning alumni and alumnae providing justification for us to lift the suspension. We thank all the individuals who intervened. We acknowledge the support and understanding of members of the Senate for lifting the suspension on 30th August 2019. There is a Yoruba saying that we can translate roughly as: “We pray that the God Almighty will not allow us to value what is precious to us”. The import of this statement is that it is only when we lose an invaluable gift that we began to appreciate that gift. We are happy that you have your union back. The hues and cries that have attended the suspension of the union over the last 30 months suggest to me that the generality of UI students take their union to be very precious gift indeed
as an avenue for training in exemplary character. Never again will you lose the Union. This requires patience and understanding from all the stakeholders, especially the internal stakeholders, staff, students and Management. A Senate Ad-Hoc Committee on Leadership Training for Students,under the Chairmanship of Professor Kassey Garba of the Department of Economics, was subsequently empanelled and their report set the tone for the conduct of elections on Saturday, 6th and 13th
December 2019, into the Students’ Union Executive and the Students’ Representative Council, respectively. We congratulate all the candidates who contested various positions for their robust but peaceful elections.
Just yesterday, 16th December 2019, a Retreat was held for all the elected officers on the theme:“Student Leadership for Today and Tomorrow”. I listened to eight
out of the 11 papers presented and I am sure all the student leaders who were at the Retreat would have learnt one or two lessons. Femi Odesola, President of the University of Ibadan Students’ Union during the 2014/2015 Session, asked a rhetorical question which I can paraphrase as follows. “Congratulations on your election as a student leader, but do not let this position of responsibility be your greatest achievement in life”. It is very important for student leaders in particular and the entire student body in general to see management as partners in progress. We are here to ensure that you have a good training in character and learning. We have no doubt that as you pass through the university, you
should allow the university to pass through you. If you have confidence in us as members of staff or Management, there is no reason why there should be recurring crisis between the students on one hand and the Management on the other hand.
meaning. You should apply creative, imaginative and innovative thinking and ideas to problem solving. As subject specialists, you would be expected to understand and respect the values, principles, methods and limitations of your discipline(s). you need to possess a breadth and depth of knowledge within your
disciplinary area(s). it is essential for you to possess discipline-relevant professional skills, knowledge and competencies. We expect you to be intellectually curious and engage in the pursuit of new knowledge and understanding. You should be able to locate, analyse and synthesise information from a variety of sources and media. You should be able to investigate problems and provide effective solutions.
To be resourceful and responsible, we have to ensure that you are experienced in self-directed learning and authentic research-led enquiry. You should be motivated and conscientious individuals capable of substantial independent work. You should be able to manage your personal performance to meet expectations and demonstrate drive, determination and accountability. The need for you to be effective communicators cannot be over-emphasized. In this regard, you should be able to articulate complex ideas with respect to the needs and abilities of diverse audiences. You should present your ideas clearly and concisely in high quality written
and spoken English. You must be able to communicate clearly and confidently, and listen and negotiate effectively with others.
You should be able to defend your ideas in dialogue with peers and challenge disciplinary assumptions. You should possess excellent interpersonal and social skills within an internationalized community. We expect you to demonstrate enthusiasm, leadership and the ability to positively influence others.
You have to be ethically and socially aware. Consider and act upon the ethical, social and global responsibilities of your actions. You should have good understanding of the Student Information Handbook. We expect all UI students to respond flexibly and adapt their skills and knowledge in unfamiliar situations. You should demonstrate resilience, perseverance and positivity in multi-tasking, dealing with change and
meeting new challenges. To enrich the learning experience of our students, the following student-oriented programmes were organised:
1. GIS Boot Camp: The event was organised for both undergraduate and postgraduate studentsto undergo free GIS Software, Training and Certification between
September 22nd and 29th 2018.
2. Tell Your Story Online Competition: In partnership with GIS Konsult Ltd, HITACHI, Ibadan Urban Flood Management project (IUFMP) and other organisations, another stage in the Geohackathon series- “Tell Your Story Online Competition” ran from 14th of January to March 2019. Participants who won prizes were recognized for their outstanding contribution to the sustainable development of Africa at the Geohackathon event that held 1st week in April 2019.
3. Beyond Smarts Masterclass for UI Students: The beyond smarts masterclass programme was to provoke excellence in students. Final year students with First
Class, Distinction and thestudent with the highest CGPA in the Second Class Upper (Honours) division from each Department were targeted. The programme was structured to provide students with key life
requirements. It held between 29 and 30 June 2018.
4. Emerging Young Entrepreneur Africa Business Plan Competition Training: The programme included training, mentoring, prototyping, technology transfer, incubation
and funding, meant to produce a new generation of young entrepreneurs. It held on 29 and 30 June 2018.
5. Young Professional Bootcamp: This facilitated the attendance of 10 UI students at a fully funded 5-day in-residence program for high potential 20-25 year olds
delivered by an NGO (Covenant Christian Centre) towards world class practical training to inspire innovation and drive success in the marketplace. The programme centered on entrepreneurship, leadership and corporate career training.
6. The 234 Project Challenge: The team listened to six Start-up Business Pitches tostimulate entrepreneurship and innovative thinking. The #250,000 business pitch prize was won by a 600 level Veterinary Medical student (Ruona Onothoja). This programme was coordinated by CEI in partnership with CAMPUSLABS, a youth based NGO.
7. Africa Fintech Festival: The festival had in attendance ten outstanding final year Students of the University of Ibadan from the Departments of Computer Science,
Electrical Engineering and Geology between 3 – 7 December, 2018. The students got an opportunity to interact with Africa’s largest financial institutions, best FinTech startups, Technology Companies and industry experts. The event showcased numerous indigenous African creativity andinnovation at addressing peculiar African challenges while focusing on entrepreneurial opportunities for fintechs adoption, innovation, job creation and ICT contributions to the growth of the economy. Strategic roadmap for key subjects of global
interest such as Financial Inclusion, Regulatory Technology – Regtech, Cybersecurity, Blockchain Technology, Data Security, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Robotics, and Startup Scale-Up.
8. Hutzpa Excellence and Leadership Programme (HELP) Award: The fellowship by the Hutzpa Center for Innovation and Development is a fully sponsored four- month leadership immersion programme in innovation management. For 2018, it was awarded to overall best students from College of Medicine, Faculty of Technology and Faculty of Science.
9.Ui First Bank career fair :This was designed to aid graduating students through the recruitment, application, and networking processes. Career fairs and training expos are held all over the world in academic institutions. This is an ingenious way to meet the needs of both employers and potential employees (our students). The first ever Career Fair in UI was organized in Partnership with First Bank Nigeria Ltd. Conceived to increase the employability potential of UI students it featured 35 potential employers across different disciplines and major Human Resource Consulting Companies. It held on 6th November 2018. The 2019 edition held on 28th November 2019, with 600 students of the University of Ibadan participating as well as about 60 firms.
10. Students Impact Programme: Held on 8 November 2018, on the second day of the UIRESDEV Fair. Participating organizations that mounted floats were Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC) Ltd and Fidelity Bank PLC. Some of the benefits were:
a. One-On-One career advice sessions for students and interactions with keyemployees of NBC and Fidelity Bank
b. Virtual / Interactive Games
c. Branded space where students could find out more about NBC and Fidelity Bank d. Mini educative competitions where students won branded items.
11. Geo-Hackathon events for Students of the University of Ibadan: Facilitated by GISKonsult Nigeria Ltd, an industrial partner: The Geo-hackathon is an innovative technology roadmap that encourage the development of solutions required in Medicine, Agriculture, Security, Marketing, Mining, Banking, other disciplines and sustainable development goals.
12. Emerging Young Entrepreneur (EYE) Initiative Agripreneurial training for Students: The training was designed to foster interest in Agribusiness in the minds of students and create a network of young Agripreneurs who will build the foundation for an emerging capitalist Africa. The Memorandum of Understanding brokered
between EYE and the University of Ibadan makes UI a host location of the EYE initiative. The First training was conducted between 21 February and 23 February with 15 Students in attendance. The enrollees went through trainings on entrepreneurial mindsets, motivations and behaviours, industry status and conditions as well as macroeconomic changes and the opportunities they present. To round up the idea generation phase, value innovation and the business model canvas was also taught.
13. Internship opportunity with S IBTC Plc :The CEO of Stanbic IBTC PLC who was invited to Chair the Opening Ceremony of the 2017 University of Ibadan Research and Development Fair graciously granted that UI students with CGPA of First Class Honours and 2nd Class Honours (Upper Division) may apply for internship with Stanbic IBTC PLC and can be subsequently employed after graduation.
For the first time in the University, as from 7th November 2019 students are being provided access to ICT network services and facilities. The Student Network Access comes with sessional internet bundle usable at any location on campus particularly in the Main and Faculty libraries which were recently strengthened with wireless access points and hotpots. To accommodate this, the bandwidth has been increased by more than 200% from 310 Mbps to 935 Mbps over the last two years. We are very grateful to the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) for coming to compliment our efforts, under its School Support Project. The NCC school support equally provides internet access in two of the Halls of Residence, namely Balewa and Mellanby Halls.
We believe that our students are entitled to decent accommodation, conducive to healthy living and effective learning. There are currently 12 Halls of Residence with a total optimum capacity of about 8,500. Only one out of every three students can be accommodated. The oldest of the Halls, Mellanby, was formally opened on 17 November 1952 while the newest, Abdul-Salam Abubakar, was opened in 2000.
Eight to 10 students now use rooms officially allocated to three or four students. The end result is that the facilities are overstretched; students live in such squalor living conditions that are not conducive to learning. Power outages, irregular supply of water and dilapidated infrastructures in the halls of residence constituteserious health hazards.
To upgrade facilities, we designed the 2019 Benchmark for Hall Infrastructure. It has the following components:
• Plumbing and water supply: Water should flow on all
floors and in all water closets. Toilets should flush.
• Painting (internal and external).
• Building of incinerators, particularly in female halls, but recommended for all.
• Refurbishing inverters with the assistance of the Equipment Maintenance Centre.
• Regular Fumigation.
• Other projects according to the peculiarities of each hall.
In carrying out the above:
• We are determined to be prudent in expenditure, opting for highest quality materials at the cheapest cost, after
the Ransome Kuti Hall model.
• Direct labour is preferred to reduce cost.
• As end-users, we should pay close attention to the quality of installations and fittings. We should not brook shoddiness.
• Decisions on Hall projects should be in consultation with student leaders and each hall warden should ensure that plans to improve infrastructure are communicated
to the generality of Hall residents.
• A Task Force headed by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration) was established on the benchmarks and to negotiate bureaucratic bottlenecks with the
Maintenance Unit and the Bursary.
Attempts are being made by the respective Hall Management Committees to upgrade Hall facilities, including water and electricity supply, carry our general
repair works which included fixing broken doors and louvres, deforestation and fumigation. Internal and external painting is on-going and many of the Halls now wear a new look. The University Management ensured prudent deployment of the funds so that there would be value for money. The Students as end users were part of the process.
I have gone into the above details just to underscore the modest efforts being made by the university administration in order to ensure that you have a rewarding experience while here. We know for a fact that we are not there yet. It is still work in progress. We need to change the narrative from a confrontational union leadership to one that sees Management as partner in progress. We will leave our comfort zones to
dialogue with you on a continuous basis. Your welfare is of utmost importance within the limits of available resources.
The point has to be stressed that all of us are under authority. As students you are expected to comport yourselves well in your departments, Faculties, Halls of Residence, among others. You can and should
demonstrate leadership skills anywhere you find yourself.
I wish President Olusegun Akeju and his executive committee members and all members of the Students’ Representative Council a successful tenure of office.
Thank you all for your kind attention.
Abel Idowu Olayinka
University of Ibadan,
Tuesday, 17th December 2019.