WELCOME ADDRESS BY THE FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT OF AFE BABALOLA UNIVERSITY ADO EKITI, AARE AFE BABALOLA, SAN, AT THE WELCOME FORUM ORGANISED FOR THE NUC RESOURCE ASSESSMENT TEAM FOR NEW PROGRAMMES FOR THE UNIVERSITY HELD ON 13TH SEPTEMBER, 2011
I am very happy to welcome you all to our University. I am indeed very delighted to receive this calibre of highly trained professionals; specialists in the various fields of medical sciences, technology and geology. The high quality of intellectuals comprising the team goes to show that the National Universities Commission (NUC) uses nothing but the best available human resources in the country in performing its daunting task of quality assurance in university education in Nigeria.
We have often received high profile visitors from different walks of life both from Nigeria and overseas. We have hosted former presidents and heads of state of Nigeria, like General Yakubu Gowon (Rtd) and Chief Olusegun Obasanjo; Chief Justices of the Supreme Court and other Judges, Executive Secretary of NUC – Prof. Julius Okojie, the Council of Legal Education, the members of SCOPU of NUC; Prof. Suswam of Chicago University and Vice President of McArthur Foundation, the Nigerian Army Major Generals, several Obas and Emirs, Bishops, the ICPC among many others. Some visitors came to see physically what they had seen on television while others like 20 Army Generals came because they wanted to learn from what we are doing; existing universities and prospective university promoters came because the NUC itself recommended that they should come and learn from our strides in education reform in Nigeria by example.
Suffice it to state here however, that this is our first time of receiving at once this large number of high profile intellectuals. I am indeed delighted to receive you, but I must quickly add that I am humbled by your towering profiles, the commitment you have shown to this call to duty by the NUC and the interest you have demonstrated in our institution. An example was Prof. Useh M. F. who in company of Dr. (Mrs.) J. 0 Akoptuzol arrived late in Lagos from Uyo by Air at 6pm. Yet they left Lagos and drove to Ado-Ekiti. They arrived in Ado-Ekiti at 10:20pm. When asked why they did not sleep in Lagos, their answer was that they had to see what was on ground in advance.
Permit me to appreciate the Vice Chancellor of this university, Professor Sid iOso, for being indefatigable in bringing the team together. She has had to travel several times, even at odd hours to make this visit possible. There is no doubt that the success of this week largely lies in her commitment to do all that is necessary to bring it to fruition.
I also pay tribute the ABUAD team, starting with the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Professor Michael Ajisafe, Professor Orubuloye, the Registrar, Lady Christie Oluborode, the Bursar, Pastor ModupeBabalola, Director of Works, and the Provosts of Colleges, other professors, teaching and non-teaching staff of the University. Thank you for your usual support and for upholding our culture of teamwork which regards any university programme as our collective responsibility irrespective of the College or department primarily involved.
The National Universities Commission (NUC) established in 1962 is the Federal Government of Nigeria’s agency mandated to regulate and supervise universities in Nigeria. Its mission and key tasks are: granting approval for all academic programs run in Nigerian universities; granting approval for the establishment of all higher educational institutions; ensuring quality assurance of all academic programs; and coordinating higher education policies.
I hereby acknowledge the good work NUC has been doing under the leadership of the Executive Secretary, Professor Julius Okojie in tackling the challenges posed by Nigerian factor in education. The NUC has proudly described this university as a benchmark and reference point and have been directing those wishing to establish universities to come to AfeBabalola University and follow suit. This acknowledgement of ABUAD by NUC as a benchmark makes us proud as it shows that our mission to reform education by example is succeeding. We are encouraged by their remarks and support.
However in spite of this acknowledgement and recognition, many of our facilities and buildings are under-utilized, hence the need for approval of additional courses.
TH E UNIVERSITY
ABUAD was established in 2009 specifically as an agent of transforming education in Nigeria in view of the decay I saw with my eyes when I was the Pro-Chancellor of University Lagos. It is the only university in Nigeria which is registered as a non-profit (charitable) university in Nigeria. Neither the founder nor any member of my family holds any share in the university. Indeed nobody holds any share for profit sharing in the university. All profit made by the university will be invested in the university. The university is designed to be a reference point for other universities on planning, environment, aesthetic structures, furniture, teaching aid and quality education. It is the first University in Nigeria to commence academic activities on the permanent site with all the state-of-the-art facilities in place within a period of less than one year upon the turning of the sod. What Nigeria needs is 21st century modern universities. We need universities which are universities in fact and in name i.e. quality universities and not universities in names alone. The guiding principles of our University are discipline, industry, determination, service, integrity, sound education and quality leadership. These have been incorporated in the university anthem drafted by the founder and which students are enjoined to sing every morning before the commencement of work.
THE URGENT NEED FOR MEDICINE
ABUAD has a solid and quality College of Basic Sciences which runs the following courses;
Dept of Biological Science
• Microbiology/ Biotechnology
• Human Biology
• Plant Science Botany
Dept. of Chemical Sciences
• Industrial Chemistry
Dept of Mathematical &Physical Science
• Computer Science
• Information & Communication Technology
• Physics with Electronics
• Medical Physics
• Computer Science and Information Technology
Dept. of Health Science
• Human Nutrition and Dietetics
• Sports and Health Science
Dept. of Agric Business and Post Harvest Technology
• Agribusiness and Economics
• Agricultural Extension and Rural Sociology
• Food Science & Technology
• Crop Science &Animal Production
Ladies and gentlemen, every parent wants his child to be a professional. This is why in this year alone, we have received over 1000 applications from those who want to study law, yet we can only admit 100. We have in this place aesthetic buildings and modern facilities to enable us teach Medicine, Nursing, Laboratory Technology and Geology.
Most of these facilities are wasting away. Furthermore, parents are also pleading with us on daily basis to commence these courses. It is for these reasons among others that we have applied to NUC to assess our facilities to enable us run these courses.
The Federal Government is particularly delighted to partner with AfeBabalola University in running a Medical School. Consequently, the Federal Medical Centre in Ido-Ekiti which is one of the best equipped hospital in the country has voluntarily and gladly entered into formal Memorandum of Understanding with our university.
By the time you go round our university and you physically inspect our facilities and those in Federal Medical Centre, ldo-Ekiti, you would agree with Professor Jubril Amin, Chairman Screening Committee of Private University of the National Universities Commission, when he said
“AfeBabalola University has now become a reference point for us. They helped us to raise the quality bar for private university. Am glad all those that visited the university have agreed with us”.
The statement was true when he made it in 2009, it is still true today and will remain true for ever. I urge you to refer to the university brochure which we have distributed and see the statements of some of the people who have visited the university including statement by NUC, Prof. Sam Aluko, NANS President, President Jonathan, President Obasanjo, African Student Union, ICPC, President Gowon, Prof. Suswam of Chicago University and Vice President of McArthur Foundation and so on. The summary of what they said is that ABUAD is
“a model, a reference point, the fastest growing private university in Africa, a pace-setter and agent of transformation”.
We respectfully urge you to join us in our crusade to transform education in Nigeria by approving our application and you would automatically qualify and certified by ABAUD as agent of transformatory education in Nigeria. I assure you ‘Deovolenti our medical school shall be one of the best in the world. May you live long to see our dream come true.
Once more, I welcome you warmly to Afe Babalola University, a vision in motion, please feel free and enjoy your stay in this serene and conducive academic environment with none like it in Africa.
AARE AFE BABALOLA, OFR, CON, LL.D, SAN