· Afe Babalola canvasses need for airport in Ekiti
· Osinbajo: ABUTH Will Stop Medical Tourism
· Fayose, Alaafin, Okebukola solicit special funding for private varsities
Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti (ABUAD) and its founder have continued to demonstrate their unrivalled qualities among others, with the commissioning of a world- class Teaching Hospital, aimed at stemming the culture and attraction of oversea treatment among affluent Nigerians.
The establishment of Afe Babalola University Teaching Hospital, (ABUTH), built at the speed of light, located contiguously within the university main campus with the state-of-the-art functional facilities comparable with what is obtainable anywhere in the world, is a novel testament that a Daniel has really come to judgement.
The massively built hospital with its arrays of equipment, human resources, collaborations and its imposing magnificent main administrative building, regarded as the single, largest University Teaching Hospital building in Nigeria is envious, that anybody who studied medicine in another university, might be tempted to renounce his Alma-mata.
The Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, has said that the 400-bed ABUTH, Ado Ekiti, will help in stopping Nigerians from seeking medical treatment abroad even as Afe Babalola canvassed the need for airport in Ekiti.
Osinbajo, who made the assertion at the commissioning of the ultra-modern teaching hospital said Nigerians spend multibillion naira on overseas medical trips annually, revealing that the hospital, which he described a masterpiece will fill the gap and enhance healthcare delivery system in the country.
Osinbajo who was represented at the commissioning by the Minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole praised the founder, Chief Afe Babalola (SAN) for his vision and love for humanity, saying the step taken was a watershed in the history of the nation.
“This hospital will go a long way in conserving funds being spent by Nigerians on medical trips abroad. With this, Nigerians can now be treated by Nigerians. It takes a man with vision and large heart for his nation and people to do this. It will help in addressing the poor heath indicators in our system”, the VP said.
The assertion of the Vice President has set ABUAD apart from others in terms of standards and relevance to the society and the academic world.
The founder and Chancellor of ABUAD, Aare Afe Babalola, who regretted the state of the federal road to the institution in his address, urged the Federal Government to revisit the airport project it planned to establish in Ekiti State.
He regretted that the Ekiti airport project had been stalled by politics while other states, whose similar projects were approved, had either made theirs operational or got them to various stages of completion.
Making a case for the airport, Babalola said: “I apologize for the bad roads, which you had to go through to get to ABUAD. As a matter of fact, the federal road from the town to this place is so bad that the university has been responsible for its repairs and maintenance for the last eight years.
“Yet, our university is the only one that can boast of having students from all 36 states. Thank you for your perseverance. It is for this reason we have been pleading with the Federal Government to revisit the airport, which was approved for this state with Bayelsa, Delta and Gombe in 2007.
“Whereas the other three states have completed their airports, that of Ekiti State was politically aborted because of the then Governor Kayode Fayemi, who said the airport was not his priority even though the Federal Government had allocated N680 million for its take-off.
“Ladies and gentlemen, I plead with all of you today to please plead with the Federal Government to revisit the airport project.”
The Governor of Ekiti State, Chief Ayo Fayose and former Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Peter Okebukola, also solicited special funding from the federal government to drive private universities in the country for better efficiency.
Fayose, who said ABUAD remained the second largest employer of labour in Ekiti State, said the hospital can’t be compared with any in Nigeria and African continent.
“It could have been disastrous to Ekiti if this university is built elsewhere. The facilities in this university and the new hospital have no rival. Those medical treatments you go to London, South Africa and America to do can now be done here in Ekiti”.
Okebukola, who delivered a lecture entitled: ‘The Place and Continued Relevance of Private Universities Globally’, stated that there was need for private universities to be given grant-in-aid and have unfettered access to Tertiary Education Trust Fund(TETFUND) .
Specifically, Okebukola pointed out tha out of the 23,000 universities that exist globally that private universities represented less than 25 per cent, adding that “they are doing excellently well in human security by way of complementing the public universities for human capital development”.
He stated further: “68 per cent of scholars that had won Nobel laurels in Physics, Sciences and Medicine were trained in private universities. Apart from this, many of the world icons, I mean presidents and Prime Ministers of great nations were trained in private universities , so they are making good contributions to nation building and their effects can’t be underestimated”, he said.
He noted that it was wrong for the federal government to restrict the TETFUND solely to public schools since the two were working for the same purposes of producing human resources to drive the country’s economy.
Said he: “Many captains of industries and workers in the multinational organizations were trained by private universities. If you look at their contributions, they pay taxes and since they do this, they should be given grant-in-aid and access to other sources of funding.
“They are good competitors for private universities. They fostered discipline and maintain standards through stable academic calendars. Giving them financial support will help in reducing their tuition fees which were adjudged too high now.
“The FG can give them those financial supports with conditions that there will be staff retention, stable academic calendar , sustained performances and reduction in tuition fees and all these will help in shaping our education sector”.
Okebukola predicted that the future of private universities is bright in Nigeria and that no effort should be spared in helping them to rise to stardom to boost the country’s ranking globally.
The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, also in his speech supported the call on the Federal Government to set up a special fund to cater for private universities.
He said: “With what Chief Babalola has done in this university, nothing is too big for the Federal Government to do for a private university of this stature. This university is an exemplar in learning and character. It is moulding Nigeria’s future leaders in the best fashion. I believe it won’t be out of place for the Federal Government to give special intervention funds to private universities.”
Twenty-one-year old Ahwin Kevin Akporode, of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, was the best graduating student with a Cumulative Gross point Average (CGPA) of 5 points among 869 graduates.
An American philanthropist and President of Project CURE, a humanitarian organization, Dr. Williams Douglas Jackson, as well as a former Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Peter Okebukola, were conferred with honorary doctorate degrees.
While Jackson got an honorary Doctor of Medicine degree, Okebukola got honorary Doctor of Letters degree.
Ahwin attributed his feat to ideals he imbibed from his parents and Babalola.
He said: “I owe this achievement to my parents. My father’s strict military background and my mother’s guide as a teacher helped me a lot.
“When I got to ABUAD, I also applied the aphorism of our founder, which is: industry, determination, learning and character. All these helped me a lot.”
The warren of Awards, commendations and encomiums as well as laurels that has been the lot of Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti in Ado Ekiti has continued with 11 Final Year Law Students of the University winning this year’s edition of the Lagos Model United Nations (LMUN) Competition.
The Competition was among 200 students from 25 Nigerian Universities and two from the United Kingdom.
The 11 bright and lucky Law students that have done the university proud and put it on international grid of excellence once again are: Ayomide Olanrewaju, Ogor Esenwah, Unyimeh Eyo, Idara Mark and Olunlade Olwasegun as well as Tonyola Eke. Others are Ejibunu Abidemi, Oreofe Olorunsogo, Ayodeji Johnson and Daranijo Joshua as well as Egbude Blossom Ada.
This feat came some three weeks after 14 students of the university travelled to China on July 4, 2017 on a three-week scholarship to sharpen their proficiency in Chinese language and culture.
The three-day International Relations Simulation Conference organized by the Faculty of Law of University of Lagos was a unique avenue for delegates/participants to interact effectively using debates and other methods of communication and negotiation to provide innovative and ground-breaking solutions to African and global issues.
The LMUN which flagged off in 2016 with over 100 delegates is the largest United Nations Model conference organized by any university in Nigeria and indeed the West African sub-region.
During the simulation, the students took on the roles of Diplomats from other countries and International organizations to simulate various committees of international bodies such as the United Nations and the African Union.
Throughout the entire LMUN process, delegates/participants were able to sharpen their communication skills, learnt the art of Diplomacy, Public speaking, Resolution writing, International Law, International Politics, International Economics/Trade Relations and the complexities of International Negotiations as well as Teamwork/cooperation.
The Conference was made up of five Committees of the United Nation and two committees of the African Union. They are: The Security Council, the United Nations General Assembly, The United Nations Human Right Council, the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Executive Council of the African Union as well as the Economic, Social and Cultural Council (ECOSOC) of the African Union.
The ABUAD delegation was assigned two countries, USA and Libya, which they represented as delegates. The delegates were thereafter placed in the various Committees to address, deliberate, draft and pass resolutions on topics in accordance with the peculiarities of the countries assigned.
Some of the topics discussed across the various committees were Ensuring a Suitable Environment for Post Conflict Rehabilitation by Establishing Sustainable Economic, Political and Social Structures (The United Nation General Assembly), Empowering Grass Root Innovation and Local Entrepreneurship in Developing Countries for Poverty Reduction (The United Nations Development Program) and Addressing the Custom of Child Marriage, Female Genital Mutilation and Other Harmful Cultural Practices and Its Impact on The Girl Child (The United Nations Children Fund).
Others included Enforcing Emergency Action, Sanctions and the Sovereignty of Nations (The United Nations Security Council), Addressing the Long Term Debate on Torture, Inhumane Treatment and Death Penalty in Africa on the LGBT community (The United Nations Human Rights Council of Nations), and Eliminating All Forms of Violent Crimes and Religious Extremism in Africa (The Executive Council of the African Union) as well as Fostering Global Partnerships for Financing Development (The Economic, Social and Cultural Council of the African Union.)
After three days of deliberations, debating, drafting and passing of resolutions, the conference came to an end with the ABUAD Delegation winning the best University delegation amongst top universities like Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), University of Lagos (UNILAG), University of Ibadan (U.I), Babcock University (BU), University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID) to mention a few.
In addition, Mr. Daranijo Joshua and Olunlade Oluwasegun won individual Awards as Distinguished Delegates.
The LMUN 2017 also involved deliberations during Committee sessions and encouraged innovative ideas towards proffering solutions to specific world issue through the LMUN Idea Fair. Besides, it endeavoured to smoothen the career paths of future Diplomats and Ambassadors by providing a Career Fair to facilitate their being admitted to the institutions of Higher Education in any part of the world.
According to Oluwasegun Olunlade, “Our ability to stand out with unique to proffering innovative solutions and exhibiting diplomatic skill during the competition was a product of our training as ABUAD students where learning always meets innovation”.
He added: “The most impressive part of our story during the competition was that among the 27 universities, including two universities from the United Kingdom, Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti won the Most Outstanding Delegation.
“We are highly honoured to have represented the University at the event and we know that this is just the beginning for the institution in producing young minds who are eager to show the world the stuff Afe Babalola University students are made of and what they are capable of achieving”.
Gbenga Sodeinde, Ado Ekiti