By Eric Elezuo
The pride with which the alumni, students, management and staff of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, describe the school will tell the listener of onlooker the stock the school is made of. And today, 60 years down the line, the school has transcended average to become one the best schools in the African continent, not forgetting that it is revered as the Most Beautiful campus in Nigeria. The accolade did not come cheap; it came with sixty years of hard work, dedication, determination, commitment and focus.
The name OAU alone has remained a landmark of some sort, and an encounter with the content has left not a few astonished, and longing to have a connection with the citadel of great learning and culture.
It was therefore, not surprising when a combination of well wishers of the institution, alumni, management, students and staff trooped out in their numbers, as the Great Ife rolled out drums to celebrate its 60 years of glorious existence. From royalty to the pedestrian, everyone clamoured to have a say as the weeklong celebrations lasted.
ENCOMIUMS, BLISS AS 60TH ANNIVERSARY LOGO IS UNVEILED
The main hall of the African Centre of Excellence, and the premier hall, Oduduwa Hall of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, were beehives of activities as the university rolled out drums to celebrate a much deserved diamond jubilee anniversary.
The events marking the epoch making anniversary Kickstarted on Sunday with an interdenominational church service where praises were offered to God Almighty for 60 years of goodness and berthed at the main campus for a world press conference anchored by Mr. Abiodun Olarewaju, to address the achievements and challenges of a school described by all as the most beautiful in Nigeria.
On hand to address the media were senior officers of the university including the Vice Chancellor, Prof Eyitope Ogunbodede; the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, Governing Board, Owelle Oscar Udoji and the Registrar, Prof Margaret Idowu Omosule.
In his address, Prof Ogunbodede highlighted mind-blowing landmarks the Institution has recorded in it 60 years of existence including sustaining the legacies of the founding fathers, in excellence, producing multiple society influencing personalities, establishing interventions that are time bound, building a power plant that would sustain the Institution, and free it from incessant power interruptions prevailing in today’s Nigeria and churning out discoveries to the world in inventions.
He stressed with pride that the institution pioneered the Faculty of Pharmacy in West Africa, as well as the first Department of Chemical Engineering, first Technology Production and Development Unit and first campus intranet/internet facility in Nigeria.
Ogunbodede however, lamented insufficient funding as one of the many challenges the school is confronting.
“The insufficient financial allocations to the university by the Federal Government has had adverse effect on service delivery, coupled with students’ failure to pay commensurate tuition fees,” he said.
Lending his voice, the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council, congratulated the management and students of OAU on the milestone celebration, saying he was privileged to be part of it.
He promised that as the new Chairman of Governing Council, he will ensure, in collaboration with the VC, to see to the building of new hostel facilities for students and rehabilitate all other infrastructures.
“We will leave no stone unturned to ensure the growth and development of the institution,” he said.
The major highlights of the day included the unveiling of the 60th anniversary logo by the duo of Prof Ogunbodede and Owelle Udoji, and the cutting of the anniversary cake, supervised by the Registrar, Prof Omosule.
A lot of varieties were also presented to spice up the event. On the performing list were the school’s music department, the security department, the dramatic arts department and kegites club.
Among special personalities that graced the event were the Pro-Chancellor, Owelle Oscar Udoji; a Representative of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi; the Vice Chancellor, University of The Gambia, Prof. Fagir Muhammed Anjum; Deputy Vice Chancellor, UTG, Dr. Momodaianin Tarro, Mr. Ousainou Corr, Deputy Project Manager, Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, Gambia, Mr Ansmanne Demba, Rt. Honorable Barr. Eugene Odo, Prof. O. A. Sowande, Prof. Chris Ajila, Alhaji Daisy Bako Gumel, Mr. Gbolahan Ogunajo, Engr. Temitope Ajayi, Prof. Pierre Gomez, Prof. Yemisi Bola Amusa, Prof. Olubola Babalola, Prof. Yoni Daramola, Prof. Isiaka Aransi, Dr. Bisi Olowookere, Prof. Kayode Ijadunola, Capt. Bala Jibrin and wife and others.
Obafemi Awolowo University, formerly known as University of Ife, was founded in 1961 by the Western Region Government, under the administration of the then Premier, late Chief Ladoke Akintola.
The institution was renamed Obafemi Awolowo University University (OAU) by the Federal Government on May 12, 1987 in honour of the first Premier of the region, late Chief Obafemi Awolowo.
A HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF OAU
The decision to establish the University of Ife (popularly referred to as “Great Ife”) by the ruling Action Group party of the Western Region of Nigeria was in protest at the recommendations of the Ashley Report.[full citation needed] The first Nigerian university was established in 1948 at Ibadan, in the western region as an external college of the university of London. However, the needs of Nigeria (then a British colony) far outstripped the productivity of the only university. In particular the University College at Ibadan had no faculty of engineering or technology, no law school, no pharmacy school or management training abilities. The Ashby commission, set up by the British, was to review tertiary education needs of the soon-to-be-independent nation of Nigeria.
In 1959, the Ashby commission recommended additional (regional) universities in the northern and eastern regions of Nigeria and another federal university in the Lagos protectorate, but none in the more educationally advanced western region which had a ‘free and universal primary education’ program. The government of the western region did not want to rely on the federal universities or those of other regions to admit its numerous secondary school leavers. The protest of the foundation of the University at Ife was not only in rebuttal to the perceived politicization of higher education opportunities in Nigeria and the western region but was also designed to fill the gaps in the manpower needs.
In February 1966, Lt-Col Francis Adekunle Fajuyi, the Visitor of the University of Ife and the first Military Governor of the Western Region, appointed a tall man (Professor Hezekiah Oluwasanmi) as the new Vice-Chancellor, and a short man (Chief TT Solaru) as the pro-chancellor and gave them money and marching orders, to relocate to the permanent campus by October 1966. Fajuyi was killed in the military mutiny of July 1966 at Ibadan, and did not witness the movement he orchestrated. Fajuyi Hall, a residential hall for undergraduate male students was named to honor his contributions in perpetuity.
Ife started the first Faculty of Pharmacy in West Africa, the first Department of Chemical Engineering and the first Electronics component in addition to Electrical Engineering. Its medical school started with an integrated curriculum and community orientation (which was later adopted by the World Health Organization) and a compulsory baccalaureate (BSc honours) before entrance to the clinical school, but this was later jettisoned.
The first vice-chancellor of the new university was Professor Oladele Ajose (MD, PhD) a Glasgow University graduate and Nigeria’s first professor of public health recruited from the University of Ibadan. He served from 1962 to 1966, until political upheavals and military coups led him to be replaced. The second vice-chancellor was Professor H. A. Oluwasanmi, who served from 1966 to 1975.
It has produced among its staff, a Nobel Laureate, six Nigerian National Merit Award Winners and has pioneered kidney transplant in Nigeria through its medical staff.
Nigeria’s only Nobel prize-winner (in literature) and the first African laureate, Wole Soyinka, served as professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Ife from 1975 to 1999. At the close of last millennium, he was appointed an emeritus professor of Dramatic Arts at the university.
VICE CHANCELLORS TILL DATE
Prof. Oladele Ajose (1962–66)
Prof. H. A. Oluwasanmi (1966–75)
Prof. Ojetunji Aboyade (1975–78)
Prof. Cyril Agodi Onwumechili (1979–82)
Prof. Wande Abimbola (1982–89)
Prof. C. Adeniyi Osuntogun (1990–91)
Prof. Wale Omole (1991–99)
Prof. Roger Makanjuola (1999–2006)
Prof. Micheal Oladimeji Faborede (2006–11)
Prof. Idowu Bamitale Omole (2011–16)
Prof. Anthony Elujoba (as Acting from 2016-17)
Prof. Eyitope Ogunbodede (2017–present)
HALLS OF RESIDENCE
Ile-Ife campus is built on about 5,000 acres (20 km2) of a total of 13,000 acres (53 km2) university owned land. Its halls of residence include:
Ladoke Akintola Hall
Murtala Muhammed Hall
The Male halls are Awolowo hall, Angola hall, ETF hall and Fajuyi hall. The female halls are Alumni hall, Ladoke Akintola hall, Moremi hall, Mozambique hall. The postgraduate hall, Murtala Muhammed hall is a mixed hall.
The Sports Centre, prominently located in the central campus provides indoor and out-door sports such as table tennis, badminton, soccer, cricket, judo, track and field events that encourage staff and students to keep fit physically. The centre is equipped with ultra-modern facilities and the students participate in competitive sports such as the Nigerian University Games Association (NUGA), West African University’s Games(WAUG. There are also recreational facilities including basketball court, table tennis etc. in each of the halls of residence. The Staff Club, with its swimming pool is available for registered staff members and their guests.
The University has a vibrant sports culture greatly motivated by an expansive sports center that has hosted 3 editions of Nigerian University Games Association (NUGA) championships in 1970, 1984 and 2013. The sports center is equipped with an IAAD-compliant swimming pool, tartan track, volleyball court, tennis court, squash court, hockey pitch, two football pitches(including one with a covered pavilion), gymnasium and an indoor multipurpose sports court.
The Central Library, known as Hezekiah Oluwasanmi Library consists of two multi-storey wings strategically located in the heart of the campus. It has a seating capacity of 2,500 with the availability of internet access to books and journals. It is a depository for the publications of the United Nations and its Agencies including UNESCO, ILO and ECA. The Library collection includes over 300,000 titles and 762,000 volumes of monographs, government publications, theses and audio-visual material, in addition to the subscription of over 1,000 journals in hard format. The Library collection is made easily accessible to users through online Public Access Catalogue (OPAC), as the library’s circulation services are fully computerised. 297,352 records have been converted to electronic format as well as the digitization of its newspaper collection by online Computers Library Corporation Inc. (OCLC) of Ohio, USA.
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS UNIT
OAU has a well-developed Information and Communication Technology (ICT) system with its own V-SAT access to the internet and a very efficient Intranet. Virtually every building in the central campus is connected and cybercafés are available in different parts of the campus. The internet access bandwidth has been increased from 39Mbit/s as at October 2011 to 183Mbit/s. The increase also led to the expansion of the internet facilities to all the halls of residence on campus. INTECU is entirely responsible for developing Obafemi Awolowo University into Nigeria’s leading ICT University with a campus wide network consisting of a continually expanding fibre optic backbone 23 Intra-Networked subnets and wireless access clouds (WiFi) distributed across what is regarded as one of the most beautiful estates in the world.
MEDICAL AND HEALTH FACILITIES
The Medical and Health Centre, with its medical doctors, nurses and medical health care workers is a primary health care centre, which provides hazardous primary health care services to the community, ensures health care for the poor and children and adults whose lives are endangered, and provides health education services on demand. It operates a 24-hour service and has 16 bed spaces for admitting patients. The Health Centre is divided into nine functional units, namely, Medical Consultation Unit, Nursing Unit, Maternity Unit, Pharmacy Unit, Environmental Health Unit, Laboratory Unit, Radiology Unit, Records Unit, Central Administration Unit and Driving Unit.
The medical research facilities are embodied in the spawning teaching hospital, Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospitals Complex comprising the Ife State Hospital, the Wesley Guild Hospital Ilesha, and Comprehensive Health Centers as well as the Multidisciplinary laboratories at the main University Campus. Original discovery/contribution of global import in medical research undertaken at University at ife include; the potential anti-sickling properties of fagara zanthoxylloides, mechanisms of chloroquine -induced pruritus, a pharmacogenetic variation common in blacks and linked to opiate receptors and which has expanded the neuroscience of pruritus, the role of eosinophilia in the pathogenesis of endomyocardial fibrosis (EMF), the role of thiamin deficiency induced by anaphe venata entomophagy, in the causation of Ijesha shakes or seasonal ataxic syndrome. Further neuropharmacological discoveries include the GABA-ergic sedative, antipsychotic, and anticonvulsant actions of Spondias mombin, a plant used for mental and neurological treatment by Nigerian herbalists and traditional healers. Others biomedical research discoveries undertaken on ground at ife include, the predominance of unipolar rather than bipolar mania, the practice of Yoruba traditional psychiatry, gynecomastia and prolactinemia induced by Cannabis -abuse, the efficacy of honey compared to Eusol in pediatric wound dressing and faster healing times, the antimicrobial properties of Acalypha Wilkensia and the hypoglycemic properties of local flora. Still other research discoveries include the etiology of renal diseases in black Africans, the rationalization of antihypertensive/anti-heart failure therapy in blacks, as well as the mechanisms and reversal of cardiac cachexia by inhibition of the renin -angiotensin system. Hypertension and hypertensive heart disease was shown to be the commonest cause of sudden cardiac death in Nigerians, in contrast to patterns in Western nations (mostly by acute myocardial infarction), and combined renin- angiotensin and sympathetic nervous inhibitors was demonstrated to reduce congestive heart failure mortality by up to 50%.
The University Teaching Hospitals is consistently cited has a highly reputable teaching hospital based on his numerous records. it has served as a training site for Nigerian foreign-trained doctors, who are required to pass the medical licensing examination organized by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria. The first Siamese twins to be separated in sub Saharan Africa was carried out at its teaching hospital, Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital. Consequently, the separation of Siamese twins has been successfully carried out on different occasions while successful cochlear implantation has been performed repeatedly in the otorhinolaryngology unit. The university teaching hospital has a standard renal center with active renal replacement by hemodialysis, CAPD and renal transplantation. The gastroenterology unit is well equipped and manned by professors and residents in endoscopy and colonoscopy and who have undertaken research on gastroenterology of peptic ulcer disease and tumors associated with Helicobacter pyloris, Hepatitis B and C in collaboration with the Department of Pathology and Morbid Anatomy. Researchers at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology have investigated the high incidence of fraternal (dizygotic twinning) at the Ife-Ijesha zone and attributed it in part to polyovulation inducing phytoestrogens present in locally consumed yams. Other research from that department entails the mechanisms and risk factors for and prevention of maternal mortality and infertility.
The feat of the first Renal Transplantation to be undertaken by a Team of Indigenous Surgeons in any Public Institution in this Nigeria was successfully carried out in the Department of Surgery of the teaching hospital in May 2002. The ophthalmology unit has continued to practice modern techniques like the small incision cataract surgeries and is developing the Vitreo-Retinal Surgery unit. With over 250 laparoscopic surgeries performed since 2009 and a wide range of diagnostic and therapeutic gastrointestinal, respiratory and urological endoscopic procedures performed on routine basis, the Department has blazed the trail in minimal access surgery and surgical endoscopy. All arrangement is being made to commence open heart surgery in the Department in the next few months.
Many lecturers in the Department are External Examiners and Visiting Professors to other Medical Schools in the country and a number serve as Examiners in the Postgraduate Medical Colleges. Ife alumni and faculty have won many national and international honors and distinctions including, a National Science Foundation Career award, MLK-MIT Fellowship, Bruce-Shonberg Awards for Neuro-epidemiology (2), Merck International Fellowships (3), Young Investigator Awards by several American Clinical or biomedical research societies (3) . Others are The Outstanding Young persons [ TOYP ] of Nigeria for academic accomplishments (2)organized by the Junior Chamber International, many international prestigious and distinguished Fellowships of the Royal Colleges of Physicians, Surgeons, obstetrics and Gynecology, of the British Pharmacological Society, American College of Surgeons, American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, American Association of Pediatrics American College of Cardiology, American College of Physicians and a membership of the International Order of Merit (IOM), and named professorships at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), University of Texas at Austin, Harvard University, and a Distinguished professorship at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.
Ife alumni hold faculty positions or full professorships at Johns Hopkins University, Haverford College, Baylor College of Medicine, in addition to other institutions earlier mentioned. At least two Ife University alumni or former faculty have been awarded honorary doctorate degrees (D.Litt) in humanities in the UK and United States (Prof Toyin Falola of the University of Texas at Austin, and Prof Olupona of Harvard University). Ife alumni and faculty have authored and co-authored many Textbooks and monographs in their respective fields of training.
The university pioneered the resuscitation and modernization of the traditional bronze-casting technology. It also pioneered the introduction of entrepreneurship education at the undergraduate level and this has now been adopted nationally and by the National Universities Commission (NUC). It is the leading ICT University with a bandwidth of 113 Mbit/s as well as a pioneer in iLab. The first iLab in Africa, south of Sahara was developed and established in OAU in collaboration with MIT.
GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS
Akinwumi Adesina, President of African Development Bank & former Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development
Amal Pepple, former Nigeria’s Minister of Lands, Housing & Urban Development and former Head of Nigerian Civil Service
Lai Mohammed, Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture
Babalola Borishade, former Nigeria Minister of Aviation
Abdur-Raheem Adebayo Shittu, former Minister of Communications
Oladapo Afolabi, former Head of Nigerian Civil Service
Olusegun Mimiko, former Governor of Ondo State, Nigeria
Olagunsoye Oyinlola, former Governor of Osun State, and former Military Governor of Lagos State, Nigeria
Olusegun Oni, former Governor of Ekiti state, Nigeria
Fidelis Oyakhilome, former Governor Rivers state, Nigeria
Dominic Oneya, former Governor Kano state, Nigeria
Oluremi Tinubu, former First Lady and Senator of Lagos State, Nigeria
Babafemi Ojudu, Senator of Ekiti State, and Presidential Aide
Christopher Omoworare Babajide, Senator of Osun State, Nigeria
Abike Dabiri, former Member of the House of Representatives and Chairman, Diaspora Commission
Sarah Alade, Central Bank of Nigeria
Jimi Agbaje, Notable Pharmacist
Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to President Buhari on Media and Publicity
Femi Otedola, Chairman, Geregu Power Plc
Jimoh Ibrahim, Lawyer, and billionaire businessman
Ibukun Awosika, former Chairman, First Bank of Nigeria Limited
Dele Momodu, Celebrated Journalist and Businessman and CEO, Ovation Media Group
Olajumoke Adenowo, Nigerian architect and businesswoman
Isaac O. Ogundipe, Electrical Engineer, former General Manager Electrical & Telecoms of FAAN currently CEO of Isolog Schools
Demola Aladekomo, Computer Engineer, technology expert, entrepreneur and philanthropist
Funke Osibodu, ex-CEO of Union and Eco Banks
Femi Falana – Nigerian Human Rights Lawyer
Nkemdilim Izuako – Nigerian Judge and member of the United Nations Dispute Tribunal
Yusuf Olaolu Ali – Lawyer, Senior Advocate of Nigeria
Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu – former NBA Chairman and Current Governor of Ondo State
Fatou Bensouda – Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in the Hague
Gbenga Oyebode MFR – founding partner and Chairman, Management Board of Aluko & Oyebode
Helen Prest-Ajayi – Nigerian lawyer, writer and former beauty queen.
ARTS AND MEDIA
Lagbaja, Nigerian artist
Biyi Bandele, Nigerian Novelist and Playwright
Femi Euba, Nigerian Actor and Dramatist
Dizzy K Falola, UK-based Nigerian singer
Ibiyinka Alao, artist
Seun Osewa, founder of Nairaland
Dizzy K Falola, singer
Osonye Tess Onwueme, Nigerian playwright, poet and Professor of Global letters
Toyin Adewale-Gabriel, Nigerian literary critic, poet and writer
Funso Aiyejina, Nigerian poet, short story writer and playwright, Dean of Humanities and Education University of West Indies
Wole Oguntokun, Nigerian playwright, stage and film director, theatre administrator and newspaper columnist
Ibiyinka Alao, Nigerian Artist
Olusegun Adeniyi, former Presidential spokesman for the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and Chairman of the Editorial Board, Thisday Newspaper
Afeez Oyetoro, Actor and comedian
Femi Branch, Nigerian actor
Tade Ipadeola, Lawyer, Prize-winning Poet and Author. President of PEN Nigeria
Idowu Bantale Omole, Professor of International Relations and Former Vice Chancellor (Obafemi Awolowo University)
Karin Barber, Professor of African Cultural Anthropology at the University of Birmingham, England
Bolaji Aluko, Professor of Chemical Engineering at Howard University, Washington DC and was Chair of its department from 1994–2002 currently Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University Otuoke, Bayelsa State
Nahzeem Olufemi Mimiko, Professor of Political Science and former Vice Chancellor of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko Ondo state, Nigeria
Toyin Falola, Nigerian Historian and Professor of African studies
Francisca Oboh Ikuenobe, Professor and Head of Geology and Geophysics at Missouri University of Science and Technology
Akintunde Akinwande, Professor in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Royalty and society
Pastor Enoch Adeboye, General Overseer, RCCG
Adesimbo Victor Kiladejo, Traditional Ruler of Ondo Kingdom, Nigeria
Ernest Ndukwe, is a Nigerian Electrical engineer and former Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC.
Gbenga Sesan, a social entrepreneur, information and communications technology profession
OAU’S LANDMARK ACHIEVEMENTS
Obafemi Awolowo University is a comprehensive public institution established in 1961, by the regional government of Western Nigeria, as a conventional University that places premium on Teaching, Research and Community Service. The university which commenced classes in October 1962, as the University of Ife, was renamed Obafemi Awolowo University on the 12th of May, 1987 in honour of Chief Obafemi Awolowo (1909–1987), first premier of the Western Region of Nigeria, and one of the founding fathers. The take-off site was the campus of the defunct Nigerian College of Science and Technology, Ibadan. The University is presently situated on a vast expanse of land totaling 11,861 hectares in Ile-Ife, Osun State in the South-West of Nigeria.
The visionary Founders of Obafemi Awolowo University set out to establish a University that would be unique in a number of ways. They dreamt of a university of “the highest standard and of world-wide repute in the Western Region” of Nigeria. Fired by the nationalist spirit of the age and the fervour deriving from newly won political independence, they conceived of a university that would not be a mere colonial ivory-tower, but rather a true African university both in form and in substance. The university would not merely ape older African universities; it would rather seek to rectify their perceived limitations and deficiencies. The University started the first Faculty of Pharmacy in West Africa, the first Department of Chemical Engineering, the first Technology Production and Development Unit and the first campus Intranet/Internet facility in the country. The arts and the sciences were given adequate space to co-mingle with ease, so that a graduate of the sciences could feel at home in the world of the liberal arts, and in the same manner, the arts graduates could pick their way through our increasingly scientific and technological world. The idea was to make the products of the institution emerge as well-rounded educated people with a capacity for adapting to change.
The guiding philosophy of the University set by its founders emphasised the Omoluabi (moral integrity) principle which entails hard work, integrity, public spiritedness, and an honour code. OAU, also referred to as “Great Ife”, has in its 60 years of existence lived up to this expectation. Also, a core value of OAU is the defense of the rights of individuals and groups in the society. The motto of the University is “For Learning and Culture”. Education is seen as the dominant tool for the development of the society. The mission of the University is to nurture a teaching and learning community; advance frontiers of knowledge; engender a sense of selfless public service; promote cultural adaptability and add value to African culture. The University strives to ensure that our graduates meet not only the employment requirements of the nation and the world at large, but also the challenges of principles higher than mere self-interest and self-fulfillment in a rapidly changing technological world.
The University currently has two Colleges, 13 Faculties and 93 Departments. There are Institutes and Centres including the Centre for Distance Learning; Centre for Gender and Social Policy Studies; Institute for Entrepreneurship and Development Studies; Institute of Cultural Studies; Institute of Ecology and Environmental Studies; Institute of Education; Institute of Public Health; African Institute of Science, Policy and Innovation; and the World-Bank assisted African Centre of Excellence in Software Engineering. The University is also host to a number of national and international Research Centres which include; African Regional Centre for Space Science and Technology Education – English (ARCSSTE-E); Centre for Energy Research and Development (CERD); National Centre for Technology Management (NACETEM); Regional Centre for Training in Aerospace Surveys (RECTAS); and Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IAR&T), Moor Plantation, Ibadan.
The University has in recent years achieved rapid growth and development, particularly in the areas of Academic programmes, Research, Staff Training, Infra-structural Development and Staff/Student Welfare. Some of the achievements recorded in the years reviewed (2010 to 2020) are hereby listed.
A. ACADEMIC DEVELOPMENT
The University has been able to sustain the two College; College of Health Sciences and the Postgraduate College. It has also expanded the number of programmes and students’ enrollment in the 13 Faculties; Administration, Agriculture, Arts, Education, Environmental Design and Management, Basic Medical Sciences, Clinical Sciences, Dentistry, Law, Pharmacy, Science, Social Sciences and Technology.
All the 93 academic programmes in the University are currently accredited by the National Universities Commission, making OAU one of the few Universities with 100% accreditation of its programmes.
In recent years, five newly developed Undergraduate programmes have successfully passed the stages of Resource Verification and Accreditation by the National Universities Commission. They are:
BSc. Entrepreneurial Studies (2017)
B.Ed Adult & Lifelong Learning (2017)
B.Ed Educational Management (2017)
Bachelor of Science in Surveying and Geoinformatics (2019)
Bachelor of Science in Business Management (2020)
Bachelor of Library and Information Science (2020)
The Postgraduate programmes are Master of Science (M.Sc) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) programmes in
Intelligent System Engineering
Information System and
The following short-term courses were also developed under the World-bank assisted Centre of Excellence in Software Engineering (ACE) project: Cyber Security; Cloud Computing; Database Management; Data Warehouse; Web Technology; Design and fabrication of Machine Components; Robotics; Mechatronic; Machine Vision; Automobile maintenance; Software application in Drug Prescription and Inventory management; and Research Uptake and Management.
Seven new programmes are being introduced awaiting Resource Verification by the NUC:
Bachelor of Technology in Aeronautical Engineering
Bachelor of Science in Mass Communication
Bachelor of Science in Broadcast Journalism
Bachelor of Science in Film Production
Bachelor of Science in Information Science and Media Studies
Bachelor of Science in Human Nutrition and Dietetics
Introduction of “Blended-Learning” as a means of mitigating the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic on academic delivery. The lockdown and ravaging effects of the COVID-19 pandemic caused the University to put in place the necessary machinery to facilitate the deployment of appropriate technology for Online teaching in the University. The following specific actions were undertaken:
Training of all members of the Academic staff and Technologists in the Online delivery mode of Teaching and Learning.
The post-UME examinations were also successfully conducted virtually in December 2020, with the candidates sitting in the comfort of their homes and writing the examinations from whatever country in the world. The examinations were supervised by Proctors using online cameras. It eliminated the attendant risks and enormous cost of travelling to Ile-Ife for the examinations.
The Commissioning of the Electronic-Library housed within the main University Library.
Upgrading the University’s Radio Station to enhance its academic programmes as well as provide more visibility for the institution.
The University runs a Centre for Distance Learning (CDL) and all the programmes in the Centre are currently accredited by the National Universities Commission. The CDL Obafemi Awolowo University is a leading Centre among the eleven Centres accredited for the delivery of Open and Distance Learning (ODL) in Nigeria. The CDL currently runs four Undergraduate programmes, with a total enrolment of 1027 students and five Postgraduate programmes with total enrolment of 207 students. Therefore, the University CDL currently has an overall total of 1234 students.
The University has greatly improved its service delivery in teaching, research and community service. This is evidenced in our performance in the annual Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings, which is usually widely reported in Nigerian newspapers and the Electronic and Social media. This has helped to boost the institution’s reputation nationally and internationally. The University intends not to just maintain our current ranking but improve on the performance.
The University signed a substantial number of Agreements/Memoranda of Understanding between the University and other Institutions (Home and Abroad).
The University has made significant advances in research resulting in nationally and globally-significant success stories. The University has produced, among its staff, a Nobel Laureate and six Nigerian National Merit Award Winners. Nigeria’s only Nobel prize-winner (in literature) and the first African laureate, Wole Soyinka, was Professor of Comparative Literature at OAU and currently Emeritus Professor of Dramatic Arts at OAU.
The University pioneered kidney transplant in Nigeria in 2002, the first Renal Transplantation to be undertaken by a team of indigenous surgeons in any public institution in Nigeria. The research contributions of global significance in medical research include; identification of the potential anti-sickling properties of Fagara zanthoxyloides; mechanisms of chloroquine-induced pruritus and the role of thiamin deficiency, (induced by anaphe venata entomophagy) in the causation of “Ijesha shakes” otherwise known as seasonal ataxic syndrome. The first separation of Siamese twins in sub-Saharan Africa was carried out at the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital. A feat that has been successfully repeated on different occasions. Also, successful cochlear implantation has been performed repeatedly in the otorhinolaryngology unit.
The medical research facilities are embodied in the sprawling Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospitals’ Complex comprising the Ife State Hospital, the Wesley Guild Hospital Ilesha, and Comprehensive Health Centers, as well as the Multidisciplinary laboratories at the main University Campus. Departmental laboratories are also well equipped for cutting-edge research.
Recent national and globally significant success stories in OAU Research include the following:
Substantial Grants from the National Research Fund (NRF) across various Faculties in the University. The number of awards for NRF and IBR funds increased tremendously in the period under review when compared to those of previous years.
The global competition of the COVID-19 African Rapid Grant fund of the National Research Foundation (NRF) and Research and Innovation Support and Advancement (RISA) for 2020 higher institutions was awarded to three of our academic staff members.
Staff members attracted research grants for equipment and research materials through the University’s partnership with the African Private Business enterprise, and the Future Leaders African Independent Research (FLAIR) fellowship run by the African Academy Sciences (AAS) in partnership with the Royal Society, supported by UK’s Global Challenges Research Fund.
External (Research) Grants received from 2010 to 2020 is in Four categories;
Dollar ($) – Twenty (20) grants amounting to $12,583,291.54
Pound (₤) – Thirteen (13) grants amounting to ₤383,381.05
Euro (€) – Seven (07) grants amounting to €576,515.48 and
Naira (N) – Eighteen grants amounting to N815,526,741
The University is collaborating with various international partner institutions in Europe, USA, Canada, and Germany, among others. Strong links have also been established with the Federal Ministry of Health, Osun State Government, Federal Ministry of Agriculture, and Federal Ministry of Science and Technology.
The first iLab in Africa, South of Sahara was developed and established in OAU in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). It has continued to make significant contribution to teaching and research.
In-house development of software for university administration and records; Result Processing (RPS Software); Transcript Processing Software etc
The University has developed a robust Entrepreneurship programme supported by TETFUND to improve the employability and ability of our graduates to contribute effectively to National development. This is accessible to all undergraduate students of the University.
Awards, Honours, Distinctions and Leadership roles. Alumni and Staff have won numerous Awards, Honours and Distinctions. The roll call includes: Two State Governors, three Ministers, top levels in the Military, President of African Development Bank, President of African Export Import (Afrexim) Bank, Chairmen/CEO of Commercial Banks in Nigeria, Vice-Chancellors of Universities, about a third of all the Senior Advocates of Nigeria, Top Management levels of the major Pharmaceutical industries in the country, The electronic and Print Media, and the Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) Industry. They also occupy named professorships at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), University of Texas at Austin, Harvard University, and a distinguished professorship at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.
Significant Inventions and Patent. A number of patents, arising from personally funded research outputs of academic members of staff have been processed by the Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer Office (IPTTO) of the University. These are in the areas of Health, Agriculture, Drug, and Technology.
The Status of Patents obtained through the University Intellectual Property Technology Transfer Office (IPTTO) from 2016 till date is as follows:
Medical Electronic Percussion Appliance by L.O. Kehinde et al (2016)
A new Anti-cancer Oleanolic acid glycoside from the leaf of Massularia accuminata G. Don (Bullock) Ex Hoyle by Aladesanmi et al (2016)
Sweat TB Test. A non-invasive rapid diagnostic test to detect tuberculosis by Adewole and Erhabor (2016)
Cardio-Pulley by Awotidebe (2016)
Siculine Syrup. A herbal medicine for the management of sickle cell anaemia by Elujoba et al (2017)
A conductive rotary batch dryer for Gari and similar materials by Sanni (2017)
PleuraCHECK: A rapid diagnostic test to diagnose Pleural Effusion by Adewole (2018)
Multiple-Drum and Multi-Purpose Continuous-Flow Conductive Rotary Dryer for Granular Free-Flowing Materials. Sanni (2018)
QTB Test (Nisun TB Test): A non-invasive rapid diagnostic test to detect active tuberculosis. Adewole (2018).
Development of a Biogas Fired Dryer. Adewole (2018).
Sex Prediction Electrocardiographic Appliance (SPEA). Ogunlade (2018).
Jeddy Decotion: a pharmaceutically-composed herbal formulation for Jedijedi, a disease syndrome in Nigerian indigenous medicine. Elujoba (2018).
MAMA Powder Products: antimalaria herbal formulations. Elujoba et al. (2018).
A Synchronized Medium-scale Palm Oil Fruits Processing Mill. Afolabi (2019).
A Multi-purpose Diesel-Fired Fire-in tube Vertical Insulated Boiler. Afolabi (2019).
TIGER NUT YOGHURT: Assessment of the Nutritional Quality of lactic Acid Bacteria Fermentation of Tiger Nut (Cuperusesculentus) milk for Yoghurt Production and its use as weaning food in infants. Adeyemo and Omolola (2019).
Green Synthesis of Silver Nanoparticles for Optical Detection of Escherichia colt. Daramola and Alayande (2019).
Community Theft Proof Power Captive System. Babalola (2019).
A Machine for Simultaneous Pulverizing and Sifting of compressed Dewatered Cassava Mash and other Similar Agricultural Materials. Sanni (2019).
Laboratory Scale DC/AC Cluster Resource Smart Distribution. Babalola (2020).
Biosynthesized Silver Nanoparticles as Biosensor for Timely Detection of Post-Harvest Deterioration of Fruit. Kolawole et al (2020).
Efficacy of Clay Minerals and Shea Butter Composite on Wound Healing Processes and Treatment of Skin Infections. Adediran et al (2020).
Medical Percussion Device (MPD). Ogunlade (2020).
ASMATEL Products: a family of herbal remedies against the symptoms of asthma and immune suppression. Elujoba (2020).
Others including the strategies for achieving the Universities Research Functions
The University encourages staff to publish in High-Impact journals and organizes several research-grant workshops and seminars to widen the capacity of the staff in grantsmanship. The University subscribes to information resources on grant awarding organization and makes these readily available to staff. Staff are also sponsored on local and foreign Staff Development Training programmes (Post-Doctoral Research, Ph.D Training, Professional Development). The University will like to acknowledge the financial contribution of The Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) in facilitating the participation of many of our staff in these programmes.
The Central Office of Research (COR), which houses the University Research Committee, advises the Senate on the development of Research in the University and co-ordinates all research activities in the University whether funded by the University or by outside grants. Each Faculty/Department developed its own research focus consistent with the overall strategic plan of the University. Individual scholars were also encouraged to select the subject matter of their research, seek support from any source for their work, and draw their conclusions based on their own research findings. The University monitors and ensures that research techniques comply with established professional ethics pertaining to the health, safety, and fundamental human rights or to the infliction of injury or pain on animals. Also, individual researchers were by University policy bound to ensure that the sources of funding for research, and its perceived applications, are in harmony with universal ethical principles and consistent with individual judgment and conscience.
The Hezekiah Oluwasanmi Library has been having significant impact on teaching and research as students and staff could search the on-line catalogue for availability of books from anywhere on campus and beyond. The University in its effort at ensuring the efficiency of the intra- and internet facilities, upgraded the bandwidth capacity. The University has also embarked on the progressive application of ICT to all its functions and services – academic, research and administration. The University became the World Bank Centre of Excellence in Software Engineering in 2014.
Funding has been accessed for Academic Staff Training and Development (AST&D) to pursue Master/PhD programmes in different institutions outside the University. Over 50 members of staff of the University (Academic and non-academic) have attended local and international conferences and workshops through TETFUND support while many others have attended such workshops and conferences through support from international donor agencies.
Training of University Staff on Advanced Digital Appreciation Programme for Tertiary Institutions (ADAPTI) took place from Monday 16th to Friday 20th November 2020;
Annual Registry Lecture series. The most recent titled “Critical Skills and Tools for the 21st Century Higher Education Administrators” was held on Thursday, 10th December 2020 via the virtual platform and delivered by Chief (Mrs.) Moji Ladipo, former Registrar, University of Ibadan.
The University Staff and Students organised and/or participated in several policy discourse aimed at addressing political, social, economic, legal and technological problems that bedeviled most African nations and their people.
In cementing the cordiality between the ancient city of Ile-Ife and the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), the University embarked on the production, sensitization and distribution of relief materials to the Ife community through the Ife Development Board as part of its contribution to fight against Coronavirus. All the items donated to the Ife community were produced by the University.
The University through the Central Technological Laboratory and Workshops (CTLW) developed a “Pedal-Operated Hand-Washing Device” in combating the Covid-19 pandemic. The dispensing of soap and water for washing hands are both achieved via a pedal, to complement the efforts of the government in containing the deadly disease and particularly in preparation for the resumption of full academic activities.
The University commenced an annual special Physical/Online Entrepreneurship Lecture for OAU Community and other interested participants in 2018. This is supported by First Bank of Nigeria Ltd. through Dr. (Mrs.) Ibukun Awosika, an alumnae of OAU.
The University is presently collaborating with relevant government agencies and corporate organizations to construct an airstrip capable of serving as a training ground for the newly established Aeronautic Engineering programme and also supporting national, regional movement of goods and services.
E. PHYSICAL DEVELOPMENT:
1) The University undertook the procurement and installation of thirty-nine (39) Desktop Computers; procurement of Generator and Equipment for Woodwork, Fashion designing, Photography, Air Conditional diagnosis, Aluminum Fabrication, Leatherworks and Painting for Entrepreneurship; Procurement and installation of Teaching and Learning Equipment to meet the accreditation needs of 30 Departments and Units; Radio Station Equipment; two Toyota Hilux vehicles and one 33-seater bus.
2) The following projects are also either completed or on-going:
Construction of Environmental Design and Management (EDM) Building
Construction of Environmental Design and Management (EDM) Building (Mechanical and Electrical Works)
Renovation of ETF 500-seater capacity lecture theatre.
Construction and Furnishing of 250-Seater Lecture Theater, Storm Waste Drainage and Pedestrian walkways
Construction of Electronic and Electrical Engineering Building (Undergraduate Laboratory)
Construction of Electronic and Electrical Engineering Building (Academic Offices)
Construction of Aeronautical Department
Rehabilitation of ETF Hostel Building
Procurement, Installation, Testing and Commissioning of 3Nr Dental Set Gnatus G3
Construction of International Student Exchange Centre with immediate external works
Procurement and Installation of Radio station equipment
Construction of 7 Nos. Public Toilets for Male and Female Students
Procurement of 33-Seater Bus INNOSON IVM6800
Procurement and Installation of Office Equipment comprising 21 Nos HP 20 AIO Desktops Intel Pentium 4GB PC3L, 21 Nos Bluegate UPS 653 VA and 9 Nos. HP2035 Printers with capacity up to 300ppm
Construction of Medical Library Building
Construction of Student Affairs Building
Construction of Institute of Education Building
Construction of Nursing Building (Phase 3) (Capital Project)
Construction of Access Road/Car Park to Entrepreneurship (Capital Project)
Furnishing of Auditorium 1, BOOC, and Dental Clinic Lecture Theatres
Furnishing of 1000-Seat Lecture Theatre
The Rural Electrification Agency (REA) 8.03MW power project for the supply of electricity to the University is on-going and almost completed.
The University processed and obtained from the Transmission Corporation of Nigeria the Marketing License as an Electricity distributor, the first Nigerian University to enjoy the privilege.
The rehabilitation and upgrading of the Opa dam which provides for the University’s water needs is progressing satisfactorily.
Construction is also progressing, though unacceptably slow, at the Central Bank of Nigeria Building “Jubilee House”.
The University has embarked on a Staff Housing Scheme as part of its efforts to address the welfare of Staff. The project is proposed for a land area of 123.407 Hectares (305 Acres) which has already been acquired.
Construction of Hostels under Phase 3 of the Students’ Village Project is progressing.
The Aeronautic Engineering programme will be based in a new Department which is already under construction and will also have an Airstrip located on University land along the Ibadan-Ilesa Expressway axis.
Establishment of a high standard Driving School and Driver’s License Centre – known as “OAU Model Driving School and Driver’s Licence Centre” with the aim of providing driving lessons and training to interested members of the University community and the general public and facilitating the procurement of driver’s licence to deserving and qualified candidates who had received such trainings that would entitle them to the issuance of a driver’s licence.
The University Alumni have been of great assistance in supporting various projects and programmes in the University but more intervention will be required from the Federal Government.
THE VICE CHANCELLOR, PROF EYITOPE OGUNBODEDE AT A GLANCE
1. PERSONAL DETAILS
Professor Eyitope Ogungbenro OGUNBODEDE was born January 23, 1957 at Owo, Ondo State, Nigeria. I joined the services of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Nigeria as a Medical Training Fellow in March 1987 and rose to become Professor in the Department of Preventive and Community Dentistry in October 2000. Professor Ogunbodede is currently Vice-Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University. He is married with two children (30 and 25 year olds).
He was a Visiting Professor, Oral Health Policy and Epidemiology, Harvard School of Dental Medicine, USA from May 1 2012 to April 31, 2013. He was also a Honorary Visiting Professor to the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa, one of the oldest universities in Africa from 2000 to 2010.
2. ACADEMIC AND PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATIONS
(i) Bachelor of Science Honours (BSc. Hons) Health Sciences – 1981
(ii) Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BCHD) – 1985
(iii) Master of Public Health (MPH) – 1989
(iv) Dental Diploma in Public Health, Royal College of Surgeons
(DDPH RCS), England – 1992
(v) Fellowship of the Faculty of Dentistry, Royal College of Surgeons
(FFD RCS), Ireland – 2011
(vi) Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree of the University of the
Western Cape, South Africa. – 2014
3. PROFESSIONAL AND UNIVERSITY ACTIVITIES
Member, Governing Council of Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria from 2009 to 2011;
Member, Governing Board of the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospitals Complex, Ile-Ife, Nigeria (2007-2009)
Provost of the College of Health Sciences (with three Faculties; Basic Medical Sciences; Clinical Sciences, and Dentistry) from 2007 to 2009.
Dean of the Faculty of Dentistry, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria from 1999 to 2002.
Head of Department of Preventive Dentistry for 12 academic sessions (1989-1991, 1993-1998, 2002-2007)
Honorary Consultant (Preventive Dentistry) to the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospitals Complex, Ile-Ife, Nigeria, 1993 till date.
Member, Strategic Planning Committee, Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria (2002-2011)
Member, Central Monitoring Committee for External Grants and Sponsorships, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. 2006 to 2011
Chairperson, Ethics and Research Committee of Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospitals Complex from 2004 to 2009;
4. SERVICES AT THE NATIONAL LEVEL
Established the First and only Dental Museum in Africa (DEMA Foundation Dental Museum, Ile-Ife) which is also the first specialized museum in Nigeria, commissioned by the National Commission for Museums and Monuments in September 2015 and open to the general public, at no charge, since then.
5. SERVICES AT THE INTERNATIONAL LEVEL
Member, 12-member International Governing Board of the International Association for Dental Research, 2015 till date. IADR is the only globally recognized organization for all dental researchers in the world, Headquartered in Alexandria, USA.
President, African and Middle East Region of the International Association for Dental Research (IADR) 2014 till date;
Only member representing Africa on the Oral Health Working Group of the International Consortium for Health Outcomes Measurement (ICHOM), a global organization founded on the principle of value-based health care.
External examiner at both graduate and postgraduate levels University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya. 2012-2014
External examiner at postgraduate levels to Universities of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa. 2015-2017
External examiner at postgraduate level, University of Kwazulu Natal, Durban, South Africa. 2012-2014
Regional Councillor for Africa and the Middle East, Global Oral Health Inequalities Research Network (2013-2016);
Honorary Visiting Professor to the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa (2000-2010);
Distinguished Visiting Scientist, Medical Research Council of South Africa (1998/1999);
Honorary Clinical Fellow, London Hospital Medical College, Whitechapel, London, UK. 1992-1993;
Commonwealth Medical Fellow, Joint Department of Public Health and Community Dentistry, University College London, London, UK (1991-1993).
6. CONTRIBUTIONS TO KNOWLEDGE (PUBLICATIONS, PRESENTATIONS AND RESEARCH GRANTS)
I have published 101 full-length peer-reviewed scientific journal articles, 2 Books, 3 Chapter contributions to books, 3 Monographs, one Technical report, one Inaugural Lecture and 43 Conference abstracts.
Attended over 120 scientific conferences in countries as diverse as Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, Kenya, Republic of Benin, South Africa, Ethiopia, England, Scotland, Netherlands, Ireland, Sweden, Kuwait, Australia, France, Spain, Tunisia and the USA. I personally presented papers in over 40 of these.
Principal or co-investigator in 15 Grant-supported national and international researches.
Foundation Editor-in-Chief of the African Journal of Oral Health (AJOH) a publication of the Nigerian Division of IADR, and Reviewer for many professional journals.
Currently serve on the Editorial boards of four leading international dental Journals (Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology, Gerodontology, Tanzanian Dental Journal and Annals of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery) and two National journals (Nigerian Journal of Health Sciences and the Nigerian Dental Journal).
7. POSITIONS HELD IN PROFESSIONAL ORGANISATIONS
Member, Governing Board, International Association for Dental Research, Alexandria, Virginia, USA (2015-2018).
President and Regional Board Member, African and Middle East Federation of the International Association for Dental Research (2015-2018).
Regional Councillor for Africa and the Middle East, Global Oral Health Inequalities Research Network (GOHIRN) (2013-2015)
Convener and Foundation President, International Association for Dental Research (IADR), Nigerian Division
Honorary Fellow, Dental Technologists Association of Nigeria (Conferred August 2016).
Diplomate, Royal College of Surgeons, England.
Vice President, Nigerian Association for the Study of Community Dentistry (NASCD)
Fellow, Faculty of Dentistry, Royal College of Surgeons, Ireland.
8. DISTINCTIONS, HONORS AND AWARDS
Distinguished Leadership Award, College of Health Sciences Alumni Association, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria. 2012.
Award of Honour by the Nigerian Dental Association for Outstanding contribution to Dentistry. 29th April, 2008.
Distinguished Alumnus Award, College of Health Sciences, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria. 2002
Distinguished Visiting Scientist Award, Medical Research Council of South Africa. 1998/99.
Visiting Scientist Award, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. 1997.
Commonwealth Medical Fellowship to the University College London (1991-1993).
9. INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH GRANTS AND AWARDS
Professor Ogunbodede has enjoyed numerous grants and academic research awards.