SPEECH OF AARE AFE BABALOLA, OFR, CON,SAN AT THE ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF THE TURNING OF THE SOD AT THE AFE BABALOLA UNIVERSITY, ADO-EKITI (1st OCTOBER, 2009)
It is one year exactly today when at the instance of His Excellency, Governor Segun Oni, the turning of the sod ceremony was performed. I wish to express my sincere appreciation for his patriotic and sincere interest in this project. But for him, this project would have been in Oyo State. Those who witnessed the ceremony will recall that this place was a thick forest.
Today, it is a thing of joy that with the help of God and the cooperation, dedication and industry of those who have worked day and night on this site, we have been able to turn the thick forest into a most beautiful city.
I thank all my workers under the able leadership of Prof. Israel Orubuloye and Mr. Dupe Babalola .
As far back as May this year, precisely 7 months after commencement of work, we had completed 2 large College buildings, 4-floor hostels (male and female blocks), Cafeteria which can sit 500 students at a time, and Sports facilities including the Lawn Tennis Court, Volleyball Court, Basketball Court & Football Practicing Pitch, Dual-Carriage Ceremonial road, two (2) Circular ring roads and Exit road. We now have the following facilities on ground:
Two (2) College Buildings consisting of thirty-two (32) large halls and offices which are fully air-conditioned.
Hostel Blocks for 1800 students
500 Capacity Auditorium
Sports Complex (Football practicing pitch, Lawn Tennis court, volleyball court and basketball court)
Two Gate Houses and Fence
Ceremonial Road (½ Kilometer)
Circular Road (1½ Kilometer)
Semi-circular Road (1 kilometer)
Feeder Road (½ Kilometer)
68 Solar Lights
Two Industrial Generators
Three Boreholes (2 domestic, 1 Industrial)
56 Lecture rooms
24 Offices for the Provost, Deans and HODs
43 Lecturers’ Offices
6 Floors with flexible offices for coffee mini shop, stationary shops, etc
Laboratory tables and fittings for Physics, Chemistry and Biology Laboratories (undergraduate & research)
Laboratory equipments and appliances for Physics, Chemistry and Biology
1 E-learning Hall (virtual library) to accommodate 180 students at a time
1 ICT Hall to accommodate 180 students at a time
2 Lecture theatres with 300 sitting capacity
1 College Physical Library
18 Electronic Boards
1,800 reading tables
300 special tables and chairs to fit
174 Air Conditioners
Modern Kitchen Equipments in the Cafeteria
500 Chairs and Tables in the Cafeteria
This is a feat which no individual or government (Federal or State) had achieved or can achieve within such a short time of seven months.
It is therefore no surprise that when on the last visit of the NUC Screening Committee on Private Universities (SCOPU), they declared that our university is a model. Part of the statement reads as follows:
“I can only say that it is a miracle. This is one of the best things to have happened to university education in this part of the world. ……….. They have set a benchmark for other universities on the e-learning facility, which link the university’s classrooms with other universities across the globe for transfer of knowledge. …………………..
The only challenge is that they have raised the bar for others seeking to establish private universities.”
It was our hope that we would admit students in September, 2009. Unfortunately, due to the usual government bureaucracy, we are still expecting the provisional license.
This government believes fervently in private public participation. It is therefore my view that a huge private investment like this which the NUC had commended beautifully should be given the best encouragement. Parents who had indicated their willingness to send their children to this university with unique opportunities are being discouraged by undue delay. Nevertheless, we hope to receive the provisional license soonest.
The Proprietor apart from the high quality educational environment intends to use the university to retrace discipline, infuse academic excellence and bring sanity back to our educational system.
We thank His Excellency, Gov. Segun Oni for his undoubted support at all times. For avoidance of doubt, we are still expecting the contribution of this state which is the immediate beneficiary of the facilities offered by this institution. We also thank members of this government, particularly those present here today. I also thank His Royal Highness, the Ewi of Ado-Ekiti, Oba Rufus Adejugbe, the Ewi-in-Council and the people of Ado-Ekiti.
We also thank those who have supported us financially and morally which include Mr. Bimbo Owolabi who donated a N250m Auditorium, Barrister Gbenga Oyebode who donated a cash sum of N25m (Twenty Five Million Naira) and promised a further sum of N25m, Prince Obateru Akinruntan who donated N25m (Twenty Five Million Naira), Osun state Government who donated N15m (Fifteen Million Naira), Oyo State government which donated N15m (Fifteen Million Naira) and many others who have promised to donate to our endowment fund. I assure you that this university as stated by NUC shall soon prove to be one of the best in the world.
Thank you for coming.