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News Published in May 2017

DR. (BARR.) ABOKI ZHAWA, OON, THE PRO-CHANCELLOR AND CHAIRMAN OF GOVERNING COUNCIL, FUNAAB

INTRODUCTION

Dr. (Barr.) AbokiZhawa is an  astute administrator, a legal luminary, educationist & politician. A great mobilizer and politician, a true Ambassador of Peace.An ardent lover and supporter of sports with penchant for Youths Development. Minister of GOD. A true and patriotic Nigerian who has served his country with integrity at various stages of national and international engagements. Diligent, modest, accommodating,disciplined &dedicated.

ACADEMIC QUALIFICATIONS

Dr. (Barr.)AbokiZhawa attended SIM/ECWA Junior Primary School, Rubochi for his Junior Primary School education, between 1959 and 1962 and SIM/ ECWA Senior Primary School Yerwa for his Senior Primary School education, between 1963 and 1965. He also attended Government Teachers' College, Keffi, where he obtained Higher Elementary Grade Two Certificate in 1970. He proceeded to the SIM/ECWA Theological Seminary,Igbaja and obtained Bachelor of Theology degree in 1974 as well as Gordon Cornwell Theological Seminary, USA for his Master’s Degree programme in Theological Studies,between 1975 and 1976 and to the Salem State College, USA to obtain Master’s Degree in School Administration in 1977. He also attended the University of Jos for his Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Administration and Planning in 1984. He enrolled at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and obtained another Master’s Degree in Public Administration in 1988.
Dr. Aboki, in his quest for knowledge, proceeded to the University of Abuja for his Law Degree and graduated with Second Class (Upper Division) in 2001.

SKILLS

Dr. Aboki is an Astute Administrator, Educationist, Politician, Leader and Conflict Resolution Arbitration.

MEMBERSHIP OF PROFESSIONAL BODIES

  1. Member, Nigerian Institute of Management (MNIM).
  2. Honorary Fellow, Institute of Chartered Trustees of Nigeria (FICTN)
  3. Fellow, Institute of Management and Administrators of Nigeria (FIMEAN)

 HONOURS AND AWARDS

 Dr. Aboki has bagged several awards. They include:

  1. Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON) - President, Commander-in- Chief of the Armed Forces,
    Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, GCFR (2002).
  2. Appreciation Award for the successful hosting of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting National Taskforce Abuja (CHOGM), December 2003, in recognition of his selfless contribution to the CHOGM Event.
  3. Letter of Commendation by the Chief of General Staff (CGS) in December 1997 for
    Excellent Performance in the Settlement of Boundary Matters.
  4. Certificate of Appreciation by the President, Commander-in- Chief of the Armed Forces, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, GCFR in  December 2003 -Appreciation for selfless Contribution Towards Successful Hosting of Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).
  5. National Development Gold Awards - Hallmark Transparent Leadership Initiative - In recognition of the Exemplary Leadership Qualities and Transparent Antecedents in Public Service.
  6. Honorary Award for Excellence - North Central State Association of Nigeria November 2009 - In Recognition of his Enormous Contributions to Youth Empowerment, Educational Development, Love for the Poor, Less Privileged, Humanitarian Service and Nation Building.
  7. African Meritorious Service Award, African International Media Organisation (AIMO) - November 2010- For Good Conduct.
  8. Best Couple of the Year Award - Fountain Counseling Services (FOCOS) & National Council of Women Societies (NCWS) in November 1999.
  9. Excellence in Service Award - Yar'Adua/Jonathan Solidarity Forum Home and Broad (YJSFHA). June 2008.
  10. Directors Award - Federal Capital Territory Sports Council in Recognition of his Contributions to Sports Development in FCT.
  11. Youth Ambassador for Peace Award - Youth Federation for World Peace November 2008 - In Recognition of his contributionsTowards the Promotion of Peace and for Living an Exemplary Life.
  12. Abuja Special Award - Federal Capital Territory Administration November 2013 - In Recognition of his Contributions to the Development of the Federal Capital Territory for Abuja @ 30 Celebration.
  13. Pillars Awards for Excellence - UNIJOS Alumni Association, Abuja Branch in September 2002. In Recognition of his contributions to the Development of the Federal Capital Territory.

 VOLUNTEER EXPERIENCE & CAUSES

  1. Grand Patron, Boys Brigade, Abuja Chapter (January 1959 – Date);
  2. Civil Rights and Social Action-Mentoring and Modeling lives positively;
  3. Dr. Aboki cares about Education, Politics and Social Services.

Commendation Service for Late Professor Omotainse

The University has held a commendation service in honour of Professor Samuel Omotainse, the immediate past Dean, College of Veterinary Medicine (COLVET) of the University. Ministering at the Commendation Service, Professor Adewale Dipeolu, Director, Centre for Entrepreneurial Studies (CENTS), had described death as an inevitable end for all man. According to him, Professor Omotainse had gone to rest and is in a better place. He charged members of his family not to be bitter, but rather rejoice because he was resting in the bosom of the Lord. Professor Dipeolu tasked everyone present at the service to look unto the Lord and cast their fears on him, because only God is our refuge and strength, saying that in death, there is no second chance. However, according to him, death in itself was really not the end of life, most especially, for those who had given their lives to Jesus Christ.

  The immediate past Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olusola Oyewole had condoled with the family of the late Professor, charging them to be strong and look upon God for support, while praying that God would continue to provide for them in their needs according to His riches. Glowing tributes were paid to the deceased by various personalities from all walks of life. Until his death, Professor Omotainse was the Dean of COLVET, a position he assumed with effect from 1st August, 2016.

 

 

IFSERAR Holds 4th Annual In-House Review Meeting

The Institute of Food Security, Environmental Resources and Agricultural Research (IFSERAR) of the University, has held its 4th Annual In-House Review Meeting with the theme; “Re-Engineering Agricultural Practices for Economic Recovery”. Delivering the keynote address, Professor Tunji Arokoyo, from the National Agricultural Extension and Research Liaison Services (NAERLS), Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria disclosed that Nigeria is an untapped potential agricultural powerhouse that has no reason to either be food insecured or poor.


Professor Arokoyo described Nigeria as a well-endowed country that is blessed with 17 commodity-based research institutes, 78 faculties of agriculture in registered federal and state universities, three specialised universities of agriculture, 11 international agricultural research centres, 50 federal and state colleges of agriculture and related disciplines (fisheries, animal production and health, and land resources), but is still entangled in the web of poverty like several Africa countries. The Agricultural Extension Don related the problems of Nigerian agriculture to the absence of legislated policy, policy inconsistencies, low level of technology input, low level of farmers, poor and irregular funding of national researchers, poor developed agricultural and rural infrastructure, weak marketing system, low level private sector participation and lack of vision.

He decried the high level of food importation by the country, which he said was costing the country a lot of foreign exchange, saying it was unsustainable. He charged stakeholders in agriculture to look inward and start treating agriculture as real developmental project. He described the ripple effects of import dependency and allied practices as making most of our research institutes to become donor-driven. Professor Arokoyo submitted that to re-engineer the agricultural practices for economic recovery, the country should have a legislated agricultural policy, ensure sustainable funding mechanism for agricultural research and extension, encourage private sector participation and support for research, well-funded and sustainable manpower development that should be targeted towards national research, have a paradigm shift to agricultural research for development by encouraging the use of ICTs for partnerships, networking and e-research/e-extension.

The Vice-Chancellor had welcomed all participants to the in-house review and called for improved qualities of research and researchers by attracting quality research grants that would support ground-breaking research and capacity building. The Vice-Chancellor said the University should strive to forge strong and international linkages, through collaborative research and to also develop good culture of research that is aimed at solving the problems of food security in our society. The Vice-Chancellor, who was represented by the Director of IFSERAR, Professor Akin Omotayo, described IFSERAR as an agricultural research institute that had become relevant in the country’s national research focus by providing answers to food security questions. The Vice-Chancellor also called for the development of new varieties of food, industrial and livestock products through crosses of exotic with local varieties and effective methods to increase harvest in rain-fed, drip and organic agriculture, which, according to him, could only be achieved through partnership with universities, research institutes and industries within and outside the country. The Vice-Chancellor charged the participants to develop research projects that best addressed food security questions in Nigeria during the Research Review Meeting.

The Director of IFSERAR, Professor Akin Omotayo, had earlier welcomed the participants to the Research Review Meeting, as he summarised its core research activities to include agricultural mechanised and energy research programme, aquaculture and fisheries research programme, crop production research programme as well as food and nutrition research programme. Others are: food security and socio-economic research programme, livestock production research programme and natural science research programme. Present at the programme were the Dean, College of Agricultural Management Rural Development (COLAMRUD), Professor Bolanle Akeredolu-Ale; the Director, Agricultural Media Resources and Extension Centre (AMREC), Professor Victor Olowe; the Director, Student Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES), Professor Grace Sokoya and Mrs. Atinuke Adiyeloja, the representative of the Acting Bursar, among others. 

 

World Renowned Mathematician Visits FUNAAB

A distinguished Professor of Mathematics at the University of New Mexico, Gallup, United States of America (USA), Florentin Smarandache, has visited the University to give further elucidation on the applications of neutrosophic set, as propounded by him. Professor Florentin Smarandache, a Romanian-American, who was visiting Nigeria for the first time, spoke to students from the Department of Mathematics, College of Physical Sciences (COLPHYS), saying that the neutrosophic set and logic deal with three components: Degree of Truth-Membership; Degree of Indeterminacy and Degree of Falsehood-Nonmembership.

The Mathematician stressed that while neutrosophic probability and statistics were generalisations of classical and imprecise probability and statistics. According to him, the theory could be applied in Engineering, Finance, Robotics, Information Fusion, Medicine and Management, among others. The Dean of COLPHYS, Professor Amidu Mustapha, said that “We welcome a great Mathematician in our midst. I think we should all consider it a privilege because the person in front of us is not an ordinary Mathematician”. Professor Mustapha noted that Professor Smarandache was a founder of a unique aspect of mathematics. According to him, “It’s not everyday that you see and converse with a founder of an area of knowledge, it is on that note I consider all of us to be privileged and fortunate”.

The Director, Information and Communications Technology Resource Centre (ICTREC), Professor Adeshina Agboola, who is also a co-researcher with Professor Samarandache on the neutrosophic set, reeled out his achievements in the area of neutrosophic theory, developed in 1995 and the theory of the fuzzy sets by Lofti Zadeh, developed in 1965, which he said were widely acknowledged and embraced in many countries in Asia. He added further that many books and journals had been written, based on the theory. Neutrosophy is a branch of philosophy which means the knowledge of neutralthought, which studies the origin, nature, and scope of neutralities, as well as their interactions with different ideational spectra. The words “neutrosophy” and “neutrosophic” were invented by him while books were also donated to the Department of Mathematics by Professor Samarandache at the occasion.

 

26 COLVET Graduates Inducted Into Veterinary Profession

A total of 26 graduates of the College of Veterinary Medicine (COLVET) of the University have participated in the 9th oath-taking and induction into the veterinary profession. Speaking at the occasion, which was themed, “Who is a Successful Veterinarian?”, the Guest Speaker and the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research, Innovation and Strategic Partnerships, University of Ibadan (UI), Professor Olanike Adeyemo, described the veterinarian among several definitions, as someone that is dedicated to caring for the health and well-being of animals and understands the interdependent relationships between animals, humans and the environment. Represented by the Sub Dean, Clinics, Veterinary Teaching Hospital (VTH) of UI, Dr. Adenike Olatunji-Akioye, she stated that there were 10 veterinary schools with about 70,000 veterinarians in Nigeria, adding that 75 per cent of veterinarians were employed in private practice and 25 per cent of them were either in government or other employment. 

She highlighted available opportunities in Veterinary Medicine in Nigeria to include those of clinical practice; biomedical research; education; ministries, departments and agencies, adding that other major employers of veterinarians were the livestock farms, pharmaceutical industries in Nigeria, armed forces, Nigeria Police Force, Nigeria Custom Service, banks and insurance companies, among others. The Professor of Aquatic Epidemiology and Toxicology stressed that there were also opportunities for veterinarians in private practice, saying that the areas of interest of the individual would determine the scope of the business such as small animal clinics and poultry consultancy, to mention a few. The Don enjoined the graduands to have vision, sound knowledge, focus, determination, discipline and passion towards a successful private practice.

The Acting Dean of COLVET, Dr. Michael Takeet, stated that since 2009, when the first set of Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) Degree holders graduated to date, the COLVET’s products had continue to do the University proud wherever they go, noting that “The Department of Veterinary Services, Ogun State Ministry of Agriculture recently employed about 20 veterinarians, out of which 15 were products of FUNAAB”.

Congratulating the inductees, the Acting Dean said that “Today marks the beginning of another phase of your life. More than ever before, you would have to fend for yourself. To succeed in this and other areas of your endeavour, strive to be the best in whatever you lay your hands upon”, as he charged the inductees to be active and honest members of their communities, workplace and religious centres. The Vice-Chancellor’s keynote address was delivered at the Dean, College of Plant Science and Crop Production (COLPLANT), Professor Mufutau Atayese, who congratulated the inductees, parents and family members on the joyous occasion. 

Highpoint of the ceremony was the oath-taking and admission of the graduands into the veterinary professional body as well as presentation of certificates to the inductees. Present at the occasion were the representative of the President, Nigerian Veterinary Medical Association (NVMA), Dr. Teddy Essien and representative of the Acting Registrar, Veterinary Council of Nigeria (VCN), Dr. Adetola Adedeji. Others were former Deans of COLVET, Professor Reuben Arowolo; Professor Morenike Dipeolu and Professor Babatunde Otesile as well as the Director, Veterinary Teaching Hospital (VTH), FUNAAB, Professor Bayo Akinloye, among others.

 

FUNAAB Remains the Best, Says Pro-Chancellor

The Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council of the University, Dr. (Barr.) Aboki Zhawa, has lend credence to the fact that FUNAAB remains one of the best universities that he had seen from his inspection, interactions and meetings with diverse interests in the University. The Pro-Chancellor further gave his pass-mark in view of the fact that the University is situated in Ogun State; a state he said had produced many scholars, intellectuals and successful personalities in various fields of human endeavour such as the Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, foremost industrialist and philanthropist, late Chief Moshood Abiola and the elder statesman, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, among others.

At the special interactive meeting with the members of the University Senate, the Pro-Chancellor stated that Senate was like the legislative arm of the University, which is meant to advise the Governing Council, saying the co-operation, support and synergy between Council and Senate was sacrosanct for the betterment of the system, as he called on the members of the University community with diverse opinions to come forward and share them. While informing the Senate that the 6th Governing Council would operate with rules and regulations, devoid of sentiments, bias and prejudices, he advised anyone with germane issues to approach the Council, with solutions. 

The Pro-Chancellor called for support and recognition of excellence, intelligence and hardwork within the system because everybody within the University community needs each other to succeed as no one is a repository of knowledge. He used the occasion to express his personal displeasure over the policy to transfer Universities of Agriculture, from under the purview of the Federal Ministry of Education to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, saying this move would be counter-productive and may end up  leading to policy-summersault.  He, however, confirmed that FUNAAB was still under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Education. Dr. Zhawa equally eulogised the Acting Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ololade Enikuomehin, saying that he was a wonderful man, who was intellectually prepared for the job.  He added that the Governing Council was looking forward to working with him during his short stay in office.

The Acting Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ololade Enikuomehin, said the University believed in the capacity and capability of the new Governing Council to deliver, promising that the Senate would work with the Council members to achieve their lofty objectives. In their separate remarks, Professor Clement Eromosele of the Department of Chemistry, College of Physical Sciences (COLPHYS) and a former Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) of the University, disclosed that the Pro-Chancellor was a man of wisdom, who would provide quality leadership in finding lasting solutions to the challenges confronting the University.  On his part, Professor Okanlawon Onagbesan, Director, Centre of Excellence in Agricultural Development and Sustainable Environment (CEADESE) of the University, reminded Governing Council members that there was a lot of work to be done.  He said what the University needed now was reconciliation and moving forward.  Professor Kolawole Adebayo, Director, Grants Management of the University, added that the Council should work more on getting funds for the University; from local and foreign donors.

Professor Samuel Otubusin of the Department of Aquaculture and Fisheries Management, College of Environmental Resources Management (COLERM), said the Council members were coming on board at the right time to manage the University better.  Professor Peter Okuneye of the Department of Agricultural Economics and Farm Management, College of Agricultural Management and Rural Development (COLAMRUD), advocated for the retention of College of Management Sciences (COLMAS), which was mapped out for scrapping following recent pronouncement by the Federal Government.  For Professor Isaac Ayelaagbe of the Department of Horticulture, College of Plant Science and Crop Production (COLPLANT), creating an enabling environment would bring about development, urging the Council to consider adopting the Public Private Partnership (PPP) model, as a way of moving the University forward.  Professor Babatunde Adewumi of the Department of Food Engineering, College of Engineering (COLENG), said the speech of the Pro-Chancellor had shown that peace and tranquility would reign in the University.

Similarly, the Pro-Chancellor has charged members of the University community to come up with practical solutions and should not bring up more problems. He stated this at the special meeting of the Congregation that was held in his honour.  According to him, the Governing Council and Management would be interacting with members of the University community, from time-to-time. The Pro-Chancellor restated that everybody in the University would be treated according to the rules guiding the day-to-day administration of the University. Responding, the Acting Vice-Chancellor appreciated the Pro-Chancellor and members of Council, saying that the entire University community was confident that they would take the University to the next level.

At the University Library, the Pro-Chancellor charged Management, to as much as possible, decentralise library activities, stressed that Colleges should have functional libraries such that a reader would only resort to the main library, if he/she is unable to get the needed publications at the college library. Dr. Zhawa reiterated the need for a 4-year plan for the library’s development, which he said would promote electronic library. 

 

Professor Enikuomehin Becomes Acting Vice-Chancellor  

An Acting Vice-Chancellor has been appointed for the University. He is Professor Ololade Enikuomehin of the Department of Crop Protection, College of Plant Science and Crop Production (COLPLANT) of the University. The Senate of the University, at its special meeting, recommended the appointment of an Acting Vice-Chancellor, in accordance with extant laws of the University. Consequently, the Governing Council, at its 94th Meeting, approved the recommendation of Senate and appointed Professor Enikuomehin, a Professor of Plant Pathology and Mycology, as the Acting Vice-Chancellor with effect from May 24, 2017.

At the handing over ceremony, the newly-appointed Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council of the University, Dr. (Barr.) Aboki Zhawa, congratulated the immediate past Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olusola Oyewole, for the period he served as the Chief Executive Officer of the University. The Pro-Chancellor, who had earlier embarked on a tour around facilities in the University, stated that he was impressed with the serenity of the environment and beautiful landscape, saying "I am impressed with what I have seen", as he wished Professor Oyewole success in his future endeavours, while thanking him for completing the ongoing physical structures he met on ground, when he assumed office.

The immediate past Vice-Chancellor, while handing-over, expressed gratitude to the past and present Council members, Deputy Vice-Chancellors, staff and the entire University community for the co-operation and support given to him during his tenure in office. He assured that the University was in good hands with the new Acting Vice-Chancellor, as well as the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council. Congratulating the new Acting Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Zhawa wished him the very best in office and assured him of the Governing Council's support and co-operation. The Pro-Chancellor, who stated that he would operate on the policy of always giving his best in whatever he does, charged the Acting Vice-Chancellor to do same.

It would be recalled that at the first Consultative Meeting of the Governing Council of FUNAAB, held recently in Abuja, the new Pro-Chancellor had expressed the readiness of the Governing Council to work tirelessly for the upliftment of the University within the next four years, while calling for the support and co-operation of all stakeholders in the University, he said the new Council would operate by following laid down rules and regulations, to avoid any administrative mistake.

The Acting Vice-Chancellor obtained his Bachelor of Science degree from the Bendel State University, Ekpoma and Master’s, as well as Doctorate degrees from the University of Ibadan. Professor Enikuomehin was the Best Graduating M.Sc Student in 1990. He is a member of several learned societies, which include the Nigerian Society for Plant Protection, Organic Agriculture Project in Tertiary Institutions in Nigeria and the American Phytopathogical Society. He has served the University in several capacities such as Dean, Postgraduate School; the Chairman, Committee of Deans and Directors; Member, University Governing Council; and Member, Anti-Corruption\ and Transparency Committee of FUNAAB. Professor Enikuomehin has supervised several graduate and postgraduate students and has published many books, monographs and journal articles. Until his appointment, he was the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Development) of the University.

 

Call for Applications for a Training Workshop on Policy Communication

About the Workshop:
The Training course is organized by the Centre for Agricultural Development and Sustainable Environment (CEADESE) under one of its programmes - Agricultural Economics and Environmental Policy Programme.

Date of the Training Workshop: June 6 – June 7, 2017
Short Course Description
Policy Communication is becoming increasingly important as a management and research tool to influence effective and evidence-based policymaking. With increased attention being given to the quality of policies developed and implemented, there is a growing global demand for improvedcommunication of evidence to policymakers. These developments have fostered increased interest in enhancing policy communication across various levels of program and policy implementation.
ThisPolicy Communicationworkshop is designed to provide participants with a practical framework for understanding and integrating communication concepts, approaches, and methods into program planning, policy planning, implementation and program management. The training will emphasize on developing participants’ knowledge and skills to effectively communicate program and policy data that can be used to support decision-making within the context of the country’s national development agendas
Training Audience
The workshop is targeted to faculty members and graduate students who have little or no formal training in Policy Communication.
Training Outline
The training will cover

  • Introduction to Policy Communication
  • Understanding Policy Communication language and frameworks
  • Policy Communication uses and users
  • Policy Communication tools
  • Measuring Policy Communicationeffectiveness

Training Methodology and Format
Training participants will gain hands-on experience in the fundamentals of policy communication that can be applied to various contexts through the use of exercises, group discussions, and facilitator-led presentations. Training materials will include presentation slides, a policy communication readiness assessment tool, handouts and worksheets, and additional reference materials. The course will be taught to a maximum number of 30 participants over a period 2 days.
Facilitators:
The course will be facilitated by Mr. John Mazunda (Country Program Manager, IFPRI-NSSP, Abuja) with support from Ms. Bisola Oyediran (Communications Assistant, IFPRI-NSSP, Abuja).
Method of Application
Interested candidate are therefore require to register  on or before Thursday 1st June, 2017 through either email, text message or go directly to the centre  with their full name, address and contact details as ask for
Mr. Somefu  M.A.
Tel. 08094041289 or 08056544477
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

CEADESE Hosts NUC Accreditation Team

The Centre of Excellence in Agricultural Development and Sustainable Environment (CEADESE), recently received a team from the National Universities Commission (NUC), to accredit the various programmes being run by the Centre. The Director of CEADESE, Professor Okanlawon Onagbesan, emphasised that this was the first time that the NUC would be conducting accreditation in science courses for postgraduate studies in FUNAAB.


Professor Onagbesan said that the visit had signaled the permission by NUC for the University to award higher degrees in Food Processing and Value Addition, Agricultural Economics and Environmental Policy, Environmental Systems and Agriculture, Crop and Pasture Production and Sustainable Environment, Agricultural Mechanisation and Sustainable Environment, as well as Livestock Science and Sustainable Environment; all at Master’s (M.Ag.Se) and PhD (PhD Ag.Se) levels.


The Director added that the postgraduate students, spreading across the various programmes, were happy and elated to know of the full accreditation status of the Centre. Professor Onagbesan added that one unique thing about the programme was that students would graduate in good time, which is two years for Master’s and three years for PhD, while adding that the programme would soon be integrated into the University system, as plans were ongoing to ensure that the CEADESE became a Centre of envy and achieving its aim in the area of agricultural education and research.

 

Handle Rugs With Proper Care - Professor Bankole

Professor Olufunmilayo Bankole of the Department of Microbiology, College of Bio-sciences (COLBIOS) of the University, has highlighted the inherent dangers and health hazards of using rugs, saying that harmful bacteria could be found in them, such as Salmonella sp, Shigella sp, Staphylococcus sp, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumonia, Pseudomonas sp, Enterobacter sp and Bacillus sp, among others.


Speaking on her research findings titled, “The Use of Rugs and its Bacterial Safety in Human Living Environment”, Professor Bankole stated that her interest in the research area was triggered-off by the documented fact that rugs cause asthma and hypersensitivity pneumonitis, adding that there was a relationship between rugged areas, asthma and allergies, saying that rugs harbour a lot of dust within its woven fibers, containing many hidden micro-organisms.


The Professor of Food-Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology, described rugs as thick, heavy and soft floor-mats used in interior spaces, where they provide decorative and functional advantages such as comfort, aesthetics and positive psychological impact, adding that the interior spaces are private homes, hospitals, schools, offices and  event centres. She noted that rugs physically give less strain to the leg and foot when walking or standing, while they can also prevent slipping and falling, adding that for these reasons, most people like to use rugs.


According to her, rugs are produced from sheep wool that is dyed and weaved using looms. She observed that presently, there are varieties of rugs due to technological manufacturing procedure, which include woven carpet, needle felt rug, tufted rug and embroidered rug. She noted that despite the fact that modern rug-manufacturing procedure uses synthetic fibers like nylon, polypropylene, polyester and Polytrimethylene Terephthalate (PTT), which are not expected to support bacterial growth and retain little humidity; the soil obtained from such rugs still harbour bacteria. She added that some of the bacteria are spore formers, which can remain dormant for a very long time in the soft woven thread of the rug until such a condition like warmth and moisture, which are conducive for their growth, showing that rugs can be a reservoir of disease causing-bacteria in human beings.


Professor Bankole added that the research carried out on rugs used in homes, hospitals, schools, offices and event centres, confirmed the presence of bacteria, which are hazardous to man, noting that the environmental air around the rugged rooms, shoes brought onto the rugs, the body and apparels of occupants and other activities of occupants; such as coughing, laughing, sneezing, eating, food and drink spills can turn into avenues for harbouring bacteria on the rugs, adding that animal pets can also introduce bacteria from their bodies to rugs. Professor Bankole also observed that the more the population of the users of rug, the higher the number and type of bacteria in them, adding that research findings revealed that all the rugs used as floor mats, harboured bacteria. She noted that the bacteria load in hospitals, event centres and schools were more than those found in homes and offices.


Speaking on the benefits of this research, Professor Bankole said that her study had helped to expose the health hazards of rugs, adding that most people were carried away by the decorative, beautiful and aesthetic value of rugs on the floors, without realising the fact that they harbour harmful organisms to man.

The University Don noted that it was very difficult for her to collect samples from homes, hospitals and event centres, since they felt reluctant exposing their privacy to strangers. She disclosed further that necessary infrastructure were absent such as constant power supply needed for culturing, noting that inadequate laboratory equipment for complete identification and confirmation of molecular characteristics were missing, as she called on the government to set up adequate laboratories for staff and students in tertiary institutions, to enable them have proper molecular identification, gene sequencing and confirmation of micro-organisms.

Advising her fellow colleagues and upcoming researchers, Professor Bankole opined that they should not give up on researching, saying they should rather be encouraged, collaborate with each other and be good mentors to the younger ones, adding that they should liaise with other researchers in Nigeria and outside the country, to be exposed to new research techniques. Professor Bankole called on all rug-users, to imbibe the habit of cleaning them regularly, using vacuum suction and disinfectants, to remove or reduce microbial contaminants, eliminate stains and bring out the beauty of the rugs. She added that a general understanding of the rug treatment system used in the textile industry was important for rug-users, to help prevent infections, most especially, respiratory diseases.

 

FUNAAB Wins Another Foreign Grant

The University has added another feather to its cap by winning a new grant for research. The grant is called M-BOSs, which the Director of Biotechnology Centre of FUNAAB, Dr. Olusegun Obadina, said was based on the project titled, “Up-Scaling Millet Grain Sourdough Technology and Extruded Snacks for Sustainable Livelihood in West Africa - Millet - Sourdough”.

According to Dr. Obadina, the award is a follow-up to the successes of the previous grant called the African Brazil Agricultural Innovation Market Place; a body organised by EMBRAPA, a Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation that has different centres, which deals in agriculture with specialisation in food commodities such as roots and crops, vegetables and animal husbandry, spread across various parts of the country. An initiative of EMBRAPA in Brazil and Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), the Africa Brazil Agricultural Innovation Market Place, aims at addressing the common agricultural challenges between Africa as a continent and Brazil as a country, because it is believed that both nations have similar agricultural challenges, based on their climatic conditions and the need to come together and develop a platform that they could both operate, in order to reduce the challenges of food insecurity.

Speaking on the first grant, which eventually earned them the second, Dr. Obadina disclosed that in 2013, when the Agricultural Innovation Market Place started, it offered a call for scientists or researchers from the African continent to collaborate with an identified researcher in EMBRAPA, Brazil and he applied in collaboration with a colleague at EMBRAPA Food Technology at Rio de Janeirio, Brazil and got the grant, which ran from 2013 to 2015. "The project, then, was on Nutritional Properties and Health Functionality of Whole Grain Millet Sourdough and in that project, what we tried to do was to use millet, which is a common cereal in Nigeria that is underutilised and nutritious, to produce bread from a technology known as sourdough. In this part of the world, Nigeria, to be specific, sourdough is new but not to the western world. It is a simple technology, where bread is being produced without the addition of yeast, as against the normal procedure, where yeast is responsible for the fermentation in making the dough. The same technology is used here but the only difference is that yeast, which is the raising agent, is not added. In this technique, natural microorganisms, is used to do the fermentation. After getting the flour and other ingredients, we allow it to ferment naturally and the result of our research shows that this leaves a sour taste for the dough and so, that is where the name, sourdough technology, comes from".

Dr. Obadina disclosed that the unique attribute of the project was the use of millet, an underutilised grain of which Nigeria is second largest producer, as against wheat, because of its high cost of importation, adding that it had been discovered that millet is more nutritious than wheat. He also pointed out that another good thing about the project was that since the increased awareness on gluten-free product, people had been avoiding gluten product because of a disease called celiac, which arises from too much of gluten in the blood system, stating that millet was the alternative. The University Don stated that the research work carried out was on the two major varieties of millet in Nigeria; pearl millet and finger millet and from the research, it was discovered that pearl millet sourdough was more acceptable to consumers, in terms of acceptability and nutritional value.

The Director, Biotechnology Centre said that in 2016, EMBRAPA and FARA came together and put forward another call, known as  MBOSs, which is all about building on the successes of the Africa Brazil Agricultural Innovation Market Place, "meaning that for you to participate in MBOSs, you must have undergone a project under market place, which must have been successful. So, it is the successes on that project in marketplace that now needs to be built on by up-scaling on the idea or project in the first project". According to Dr. Obadina, the Millet Sourdough Project titled, "Up-scaling Millet Grain Sourdough Technology and Extruded Snacks For Sustainable Livelihood in West Africa" would be implemented in three West African countries namely; Nigeria, Ghana and Benin Republic, with technical backstopping from EMBRAPA, Rio de Janeirio. The implementing institutions are the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB) as the leading African partner; Food Research Institute (FRI), Ghana; University of Abormey Calavi, Benin Republic and EMBRAPA, Rio de Janeirio, Brazil. The project has a 30 months’ duration with a total funding of $663,589.70 and would be scaling-out the successes recorded in our Agricultural Innovative Marketplace-funded project titled; ‘Nutritional Properties and Health Functionality of WholegrainMillet Sourdoughs’.

The Millet-Sourdough project is expected to increase the utilisation of indigenous millet varieties for bread and snacks-making in West Africa. The use of wholegrain millet sourdough technique would produce more nutritious, more flavour-intense and low glycemic-index bread. Dr. Obadina added that some challenges to be addressed by the project include overdependence on imported wheat for producing flour for baking industries in West Africa, adding that the health challenges posed with the consumption of bread and confectionery, made from 100 per cent wheat flour, had necessitated the probe into the use of composite flour with the inclusion of indigenous nutritious grains flour. "Millets are commonly grown in the selected countries, where they are processed into flour for making traditional thick-and-thin porridges, steam-cooked products like Couscous, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. They have not been widely used in bread and extrusion-making because they lack the structure-forming protein, gluten, present only in wheat. However, the use of sourdough technique is known to improve the baking potential of non-wheat flours".

The Director, Biotechnology Centre noted that the innovative component of the project was the production of millet sourdough, using the pearl variety. The sourdough is to be used to produce bread and extruded snacks that would be used to improve the nutritional and health status of school children, saying extrusion technology was particularly important for obtaining processed foods that are stable to temperature variation and safe of microorganism. It is easy to store without refrigeration, therefore, low energy is required. The technique can be adopted by small and medium scale enterprises. Also, the versatility on the use of the blends of cereals, legumes and even dehydrated local fruits that are nutritionally combined can provide snacks, ready-to-prepare flours and ingredients for bakeries and this would reduce the dependence on wheat in the bakery industry.

Speaking on the advantages to be derived from the project, Dr. Obadina stated that the project would cover the purchase of a pilot scale state-of-the-art extrusion machine and baking equipment, which would be domiciled at the Department of Food Science and Technology, College of Food Science and Human Ecology (COLFHEC), FUNAAB; Food Research Institute (FRI), Ghana; and University of Abormey Calavi, Benin Republic. In the University, the grant would offer full scholarship to four PhD and three M.Sc students, to be attached to the project from the Departments of Food Science and Technology; Nutrition and Dietetics; and Agricultural Extension and Rural Development.

Other team members on the project include Dr. Oluseye Onabanjo, Department of Nutrition and Dietetics (COLFHEC); Dr. Petra Abdulsalam-Saghir, Department of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development (COLAMRUD); and Mr. Bernard Siwoku, Cassava Adding Value to Africa (C:AVA II), Nigeria and implemented with technical support from experts, who would serve as consultants to the project.

 

Student Affairs, Environmental Unit Get Vehicles

Rising from its resolve to buy two utility vehicles for the Student Affairs Division and the Environmental Unit of FUNAAB, to help in providing security within the campus environment, the University has presented two Toyota Hilux utility vehicles, to the Dean, Student Affairs Division, Professor Adeniyi Olayanju and the Assistant Chief Environmental Officer, Mr. Bolarinwa Peters. The vehicles are to be used for off-campus field work, reaching out to the various adjoining communities and for security patrol within and outside the University premises. Presenting the vehicles, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olusola Oyewole appreciated the Assistant Chief Environmental Officer of the University for doing a good job.

Professor Oyewole said that the patrol vehicles should add value to the operation of the units, as he disclosed that two of such vehicles were equally bought at the inception of the current administration. He equally appreciated the Dean of Student Affairs while presenting the vehicles to the two offices. Responding to the gesture, Professor Olanyanju appreciated the Vice-Chancellor and described the vehicle as coming handy at the right time they were mostly needed, promising to make judicious use of the them..

 

FUNAAB Hosts NIPSS Participants

The University recently hosted participants of the Senior Executive Course (Sec) No. 39 from the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, Plateau State, who visited FUNAAB, as part of their local study tour. Speaking on their mission, the NIPSS Team Leader, Dr. Nasirdeen Usman, disclosed that the Senior Executive Course, which is the flagship programme of the institute, is a 10-month intensive programme, which includes local and international study tours. He noted that the institute was policy-based and engages in evidence-based research with the theme tagged; "Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) for the Development of Agriculture and Agro-allied Industries in Nigeria".

Dr. Usman added that every year, the Presidentof the Federal Republic of Nigeria, usually chooses a theme, based on current national importance, where participants would be required to conduct indebt research and at the end, a comprehensive report would be submitted to the President-in-Council with key recommendations and implementation strategy. "This year, in the wisdom of Mr. President, he chose a theme, which is quite central to FUNAAB. Mr. President wants this course to investigate on the deployment of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) for the development of agriculture and agro-allied industries in Nigeria. Based on the theme of the course, there is no way we would visit Ogun State without visiting FUNAAB because that is the engine room, to derive any STI that would improve agriculture and any allied industry”.

Dr. Usman stated thatNIPSS, which was established in 1979, serves as an apex and high-level centre for policy, research, reflection and dialogue and has the primary objectives of serving as the nation’s foremost policy‘think-tank’ by developing a crop of top-class technocrats of high intellectual capacity, who would conceptualise and anchor the implementation of innovative, dynamic policy initiatives and strategies that are critical for national development.According to him, the institute aims to be a model institution for inculcating the highest national ideals and achieving the best results from a rational deployment and utilisation of resources, adding that to achieve these objectives, the institute conducts courses for top level policy makers and executors, drawn from different sectors of the country, with a view to widening their outlook, perspectives on issues and by improving their conceptual capacity, quality of analysis and decision making.

Others include conducting research into the social, cultural, economic, political, scientific, technological, security and other problems that face Nigeria, in order to contribute to the search for their solutions, conducting of seminars, workshops and other action-orientated programmes for leaders and potential leaders in the public service, private sector, political organisations, professional bodies and other groups so as to enhance  their appreciation of long-range national plans and objectives by applying themselves to solving these problems as well as organising brainstorming sessions for the purposes of discussing urgent national issues and recommending policy measures for a way out.

The Vice-Chancellor of FUNAAB, Professor Olusola Oyewole, while welcoming the team members, appreciated the Permanent Secretary, Political Affairs and Administration, Ogun State Government, Mrs. Funmi Ajayi, for leading the team to the University. He gave a brief presentation on the University’s vision, mission, strategic goals and mandates. The Vice-Chancellor added that graduates of the University were trained to be employers of labours and not job-seekers, noting that recently, graduates of the University were adjudged to be the second best and most employable graduates in Nigeria. The team toured the University’s Industrial Park Unit, farms, fish pond, ‘fufu’ processing plant and bakery, among others.

 

US Government to Partner FUNAAB

The United States of America government, through its representatives from the American Embassy in Nigeria, has sought to collaborate with the University on the Fullbright Academic Exchange Programme.The expression for the collaboration was made known during a visit by a 3-man team, led by Mr. Aruna Amithaneyagum, from the American Embassy, Abuja to the University. Speaking on behalf of the team, Mr. Clemson Ayegbusi, who is representing the US Consulate, Lagos said that they were happy to be in the University and learn about its unique programmes.

According to Mr. Ayegbusi, “Universities of Agriculture are some of the universities we should be working with, going by the Federal Government’s plan to diversify the economy, as the various Universities of Agriculture are pivotal to promoting the nation’s economy. Therefore, in fulfilling that, the University (FUNAAB) has a role to play”, he added.Mr. Ayegbusi said that so far, the US government was working with 26 universities that are presently on its Fullbright Programme in the country. He added that the criteria for selecting a university would ensure that such had the capacity to host US scholars that would be coming to the University throughout the period of the programme.He described the programme as a ‘win-win’ situation for both the University and the US government such that the US government would be responsible for the cost of flight and salaries of the scholars sent down, while the University would be responsible for the scholars’ accommodation and welfare throughout the period. He disclosed further that another day would be scheduled for the team from the US Embassy, to come back and inspect facilities on ground.

The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olusola Oyewole, who was represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, (Development), Professor Ololade Enikuomehin, appreciated the team for visiting FUNAAB and assured them that the University was fully ready to welcome the inspection team whenever they were ready to do so.He said that a University, as big as FUNAAB, had the capacity they required to host American scholars that would be sent down for the exchange programme. Present at the occasion were the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, (Academic), Professor Oluyemisi Eromosele; the University Registrar, Mr. Mathew Ayoola; the Acting Bursar, Mrs. Oluremi Oyewunmi; and Dean, Post Graduate School, Professor Wilfred Alegbeleye.

 

FG Inaugurates New Governing Council for FUNAAB

The Honourable Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, has inaugurated a new Governing Council for the University, with a charge to ensure prudent management of scarce resources and broaden the Internally Generated Revenue base of the University. The new Governing Council members are: Barrister (Dr.) Aboki Zhawa, Pro-Chancellor and Chairman; Dr. Yakubu Toragbigiye, Mr. Charles Antakiya, Dr. Femi Olufunmilade and Mrs. Nkem Ezeomah.

Mallam Adamu gave the charge while inaugurating 23 Governing Councils of federal universities at the National Universities Commission (NUC), Abuja. “In view of the current economic situation in the country, I call for prudent management of scarce resources while efforts should be intensified to broaden the Internally Generated Revenue base of each university and ensure judicious application of revenues so generated”. While calling on the newly-inaugurated governing council members to live above board, the Minister urged them to join the war against corruption in the country, as corrupt practices, such as staff indiscipline were bound to have destructive effect on the system, saying, “as you are well aware, the visitor of all federal universities, thePresident and Commander-in-Chief (of the Armed Forces), is on a crusade to clean the system of all forms of corruption and so far, the country is winning the war”.

Mallam Adamu, who reminded them that the powers of each Governing Council were to be exercised in line with the extant laws and statutes of each university, charging them to study the laws and statues, government policies, white papers, circulars, gazettes and other relevant document that would assist them in taking decisions that would move the university system forward. He added that such move would help the new councils to avoid conflicts between them and other stakeholders in the university.Minister said the tertiary education sector, particularly, the universities were critical to the actualisation of the change agenda of the Federal Government, adding that government was aware that Nigerian universities face challenges of inadequate human and material resources, physical infrastructure, general insecurity, examination malpractices and poor management of funds, among others but that the government had resolved to tackle these problems head-on with the full cooperation of the new council members by making the desired impact and be a vehicle for the realisation of government laudable objectives.

According to the Minister, the Governing Council is the highest policy organ with the overall responsibility for making statues for the organisation, policy, structure, power, development, financing and general management of the university, hence, should know that governance and management are two distinct responsibilities in the university system. Therefore, it is pertinent for the council members to know this and avoid conflict of interest.delivering his welcome address, the Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), Professor Abubakar Rasheed, appreciated the critical roles of governing councils in the effective governance and development of universities. He urged them to recognise their place in the university, particularly, as employers of labour and bring their wealth of experience to bear on the fulfillment of the desires of the government in the education sector.

The Executive Secretary enunciated that all the governing councils for the 23 federal universities would be supported to make them succeed in the new task of providing effective, efficient and credible governance, by organising a retreat for them in the first week of July, to keep them abreast of the challenges of governance in the Nigerian university system as well as global best practices. The councils were admonished to display high sense of commitment, dedication, honesty, fairness, sincerity, excellence, teamwork and determination, no matter the challenges that confront them.

In their separate goodwill messages, the Minister of Youth and Sports, Barrister Solomon Dalung, said the new councils were coming at a critical period in the nation’s history. The minister frowned at privatisation and commercialisation of the education sector, while calling for massive investment in the sector, as part of measures to remedy poor access to education. Barrister Dalung supported the Federal Government’s policy to restrict Federal Universities of Agriculture to their core mandates, while appealing to the National Assembly to allocate 26 percent of the nation’s total budget to education, in line with the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) recommendations.

On his part, the Chairman, House of Representatives’ Committee on Tertiary Education and Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), Hon. Aminu Suleiman, said the executive arm and the National Assembly were working to improve funding in tertiary institutions and particularly, the universities to enhance their capacities for research and development, which would in turn, rub-off positively, on the socio-economic sector of the country. He assured that the National Assembly would join hands with the Federal Ministry of Education, in carrying out oversight functions of the universities. On behalf of the new governing councils, the Pro-chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council, University of Lagos, Dr. Wale Babalakin, assured the Minister that members of the governing councils would justify the confidence reposed in them and turn around the fortunes of federal universities, positively.

Meanwhile, at the first Consultative Meeting of the Governing Council of FUNAAB, held in Abuja, the new Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council of FUNAAB, Dr. Aboki Zhawa, expressed the readiness of the Council to work tirelessly for the upliftment of the University within the next four years, while calling for the support and cooperation of all stakeholders in the University to succeed. Dr. Zhawa, a national honorary awardee of the Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON), said the 6th Governing Council would operate by following laid down rules and regulations, to avoid any administrative mistakes.

 

FUNAAB Gets ECOWAS, PASANAO Commendations

The University has been lauded for maintaining high level of implementation of its research funds. Giving the commendation was the Coordinator of both the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Regional Agency for Agriculture and Food (RAAF) and the Support Programme for Food and Nutrition Security in West Africa (PASANAO), Mr. Amadou Konate, during the FUNAAB-RAAF-PASANAO project assessment and evaluation visit to the University, where he revealed that FUNAAB had benefitted from the One Hundred and Eighteen Thousand, Nine Hundred and Fifty-six Euros (€118,956) project, funded by ECOWAS’ RAAF and PASANAO with the support of the French Development Agency (AFD), which was meant to last for one year.

Mr. Konate stated further that the programme was aimed at supporting Food Security and Nutrition in West Africa, and it is an organ of ECOWAS based in Lome, Togo. He said RAAF was mandated to support the project of ECOWAS through PASANAO, by calling for proposal for a pilot project that is focused on different topics such as Youth Empowerment in Rural Areas, Credit Insurance, Storage and Smart Agriculture. He noted that FUNAAB was the first Nigerian university to benefit from the funding and that presently, 24 projects were spread across different West African countries such as Burkina Faso, Niger, Togo, Benin Republic, Liberia, Nigeria and Senegal.

The FUNAAB Project Coordinator, Professor Adebayo Shittu of the Department of Agricultural Economics and Farm Management, College of Agricultural Management and Rural Development (COLAMRUD), who is also supervising the project being carried out in partnership with the National Cereals Research Institute (NCRI), Badegi, Niger State, stated that the essence of the team’s visit was to evaluate the progress made so far on the project. Professor Shittu said the project had been running so smoothly with challenges that were surmountable. The Professor of Agricultural and Resource Economics, thanked the University Management and the Directorate of Grants Management (DGM) of FUNAAB, for the speedy approval of funds whenever request was made. 

“With six PhD and four Master’s students getting direct data, to help carry out their research, the project has also been helping the University to carry out its core mandate of teaching, research and extension”, adding that so far, four conference papers had been submitted from the preliminary results gathered, while it had been a ‘win-win’ partnership between FUNAAB and NCRI, which have five members on the project in which one of them was a PhD student. He said the farmers were the final beneficiaries of the research findings as they (the farmers), through interaction, engagement and education by the research team, were getting to know the causes of climate change, as against their initial, erroneous and superstitious belief that witches and wizards were responsible for climate change.

 

2015/2016 ACADEMIC STAFF TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT GRANT: EXTENSION OF CLOSING DATE

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