To showcase some of their silent accomplishments over the years, another opportunity presented itself for various Centres, Units and Committees of the University of Ilorin as the institution held its 50th Congregation.
The Congregation, coming three years after the last one held on September 16, 2013, availed the Directors and Heads of some academic and non-academic Units the opportunity to render their accounts of stewardship and present their progress reports to an enthusiastic audience of University senior staff, which included the Vice-Chancellor, Professor AbdulGaniyu Ambali, Principal Officers, Deans of the various Faculties and other top University officials.
In their various reports, the officials reeled out several projects completed and others on which works are still in progress.
The Vice-Chancellor, who is the Chairman of the Congregation, told the gathering that “work has commenced on the University of Ilorin solar power project, which is expected to generate 500 megawatts (500MW) of electricity when completed”, adding that “a site has been allocated for the project and survey work has been done”.
Making his presentation, the Director, Computer Science and Information Technology (COMSIT) Centre, Prof Musa Isiyaku Ahmed, disclosed that a campus-wide Close Circuit Television (CCTV) project would soon be completed and that plans are underway to undertake a comprehensive biometric data of all staff and students of the University.
Prof. Ahmed added that a complete automation of the Human Resources activities of the University will soon be carried out.
He recalled that COMSIT had supported the e-recruitment exercise of the University, thereby saving the institution some money.
The COMSIT Director pointed out that the University Server Room had been converted to a data center while some new Faculties that were accessing internet by microwave radio before are now on fibre optics. He said, “We have deployed the LED teaching aids to some Departments, our network is now secured and we have automated notifications on the web server”.
“In the next 10 days, we will launch a new website”, Prof. Ahmed disclosed further, adding that “COMSIT is also working with other universities to develop plagiarism checker and, hopefully, in the next two months, it will be ready”.
He said that the Federal Government had engaged the University of Ilorin on the development of biometrics for the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), pointing out that “when completed, it will be used nationwide”.
According to the COMSIT Director, “This is apart from the development of Hospital Management software for the University of Ilorin Veterinary Teaching Hospital at Sabo-Oke”.
In his own report, the Chairman of the Admissions Committee of the University Senate, Prof. Alhassan Sani, disclosed that for the third consecutive academic year, the University of Ilorin is the most sought after university by admission seekers.
Prof. Sani said, “About 1.5 million candidates sat for the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Examination nationwide this year”, adding that “of this lot, 103, 000 chose Unilorin as their first choice. These are apart from direct entry candidates”.
The Admissions Committee Chairman, who is also the Dean of Life Sciences, explained that “changes in admission procedure this year means that there will not be any post Unified Matriculation Examination (Post-UME) that will lead to additional score again”, adding that “each university has been asked to work out modalities for admission by screening admission requests”.
He said, “At the University of Ilorin, the Admissions Committee and the Committee of Deans recommended to the Senate that screening be done online. Candidates will just upload their results. This proposal has been approved”, he said, adding that Senate has also approved minimum cut-off marks for each Department.
Prof Sani further explained that “JAMB candidates will be rated by JAMB scores and their West African Examination Council (WAEC) results while Direct Entry applicants will be rated by both Advanced Level (“A”/L) results and their Ordinary Level (“O”/L ) results”.
According to him, these ratings will be done by the Faculties and the Departments, taking cognizance of the Federal Government policy of 45 per cent for Merit, 35 per cent for catchment area and 20 per cent for educationally less developed states. He stressed that there is no provision for discretionary lists.
Presenting the progress report of his own unit, the Director of the Physical Planning Unit (PPU), Engr. Ademola Adesiyun, listed several infrastructural development projects completed in the University in the last three years.
These, according to him, include the road linking the College of Health Sciences at Oke-Oyi to the Main Campus, five 500-Seater lecture theatres, dualisation of a portion of the Bank Road, the new Senate Chamber, the Phases IV and V of the Faculty of Science Complex, the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Engineering Centre, blocks of students’ hostels at the College of Health Sciences and at the Main Campus, and the supply of research equipment to several Centres among so many others.
On his part, the Chairman of the University Quiz and Debating Committee, Dr. R.O. Arise, also had cheering news for the Congregation. He said, “We have established quiz and debating clubs that have been winning laurels at national and international levels”, adding that his Committee had been conducting successfully Annual Inter-Faculty Quiz and Debate Competitions. “These activities”, according to him, “have allowed students to showcase their mental abilities”.
The Director of the University of Ilorin Sports Council, Prof O.O. Obiyemi, sustained the momentum, listing games and competitions that the University of Ilorin team participated in and the medals they won.
According to Prof. Obiyemi, “Two of our students represented Nigeria at the Federation of International Students Union (FISU) Games in Korea. Team Unilorin participated in the Lagos City Marathon. This is apart from the monthly keep-fit walk for staff and students”.
In his own report, the Focal Officer of SERVICOM Unit of the University of Ilorin, Mr. N.O. AbdulKareem, dwelt extensively on the recent launch of the Unilorin “Service Charter and Complaint Policy”. He distributed copies of the newly launched Service Charter and called the attention of the Congregation to the provisions of the Charter and the pledge of the Administration and its commitment to quality service delivery.