The Registrar of the University of Ilorin, Mr. Emmanuel Dada Obafemi, has restated the commitment of the University to staff training and retraining, a key requirement for boosting its drive for excellence in line with global best practices.
Mr. Obafemi made this commitment penultimate on wednesday while bringing to a formal close the two-week intensive training programme organised by the Centre for Research Development and In-House Training (CREDIT), for the newly recruited technologists.
The Registrar, who observed that this was the first time such training would be organised, enjoined the new technologists to internalise the skills acquired from the training workshop and improve themselves.
He told the technologists, “We have a very fantastic Central Research Laboratory and your “ineptitude” or “lack of knowledge” of what you are supposed to do can destroy that place; that is why we don’t want to put you in an edifice and just leave you blank to do whatever you like.”
Mr. Obafemi, who further counselled the technologists on the dangers of violating administrative protocol or line of communication, which is anchored on the organogram of the institution, explained that such actions can breed discord and animosity within the University system.
He warned,“If you think you have a godfather in the administration, please don’t try it, it won’t work and it does not work.” He added that, “there is no amount of closeness that you can be to the administration that administration will allow you to ridicule your boss, because if you do that, that boss will also ridicule us when we need them most. So, please, as you are starting, learn to know that there are established protocols.”
While pointing out that an administrator is supposed to learn on the job, Mr. Obafemi stressed that the situation with a technologist is different, saying “if we wait for you to learn on the job in the laboratories, many things would have been destroyed.”
The Registrar also urged the Chief Technologists within the University, who had served as resource persons at the training workshop, to be prepared to mentor the new technologists; develop a training programme to train existing staff while enjoining the mentees to also prepare to be mentored.
He pointed out that since his assumption of office as Registrar, he has been able to institute a culture of in-house staff training in
form of Registry staff seminars and workshops; secretaries’ seminars and workshops, and Faculty Officers’ forum, among others, just as he mandated the technologists to conceive of a similar undertaking.
“Today, there is no month that my administrative staff will not have a seminar”, Mr Obafemi said, adding that about 77 administrators have been sent to ASCON for training.
In her address, the Director of CREDIT, Prof. (Mrs.) Temidayo Oladiji, said of the trainees, “We believe that they are worthy to be staff of the University of Ilorin, thank you for giving them the opportunity.”
One of the resource persons at the training workshop and a Chief Technologist, Mr. T. A. Tijani, lauded the Registrar’s initiative in organising the training workshop for new technologists, saying that he and his colleagues never had such opportunity. While expressing the willingness to mentor the new technologists, he told them to put what they have been taught “into practice when you get to your various laboratories and make sure that it is part of you.”
Similarly, the Chief Technologist of the Faculty of Physical Sciences, Mr. J. O. Oyetunji, described the trainees as “pacesetters”, who were “dedicated, ready to learn and ask questions”, urging them to “pass on the knowledge to those coming behind you.”
In his remarks at the workshop, the Chairman of the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT), University of Ilorin Chapter, Mr. Peter Oddiah, said, “Today your horizons have been broadened; now that you have gotten the knowledge, you are no more limited, so take your job seriously. We have reached the apex of our careers and it is our prayers that you get there too”.
Responding on behalf of the newly recruited technologists, Mr. O. A. Abdulrahman thanked the University administration for the training, which he described as “a second chance”. He said, “What has been embedded in us in the last two weeks is life-changing. We came here in the past two weeks as “educated illiterates” but now we are walking out of here as technologists and technocrats. And we know that when we get to our various departments and laboratories, from the way we carry ourselves to the way we speak and our mode of operation, you will know that we have gone through CREDIT and will not disappoint you.”
The Chairman, Training Committee, Mr. I. B. Adewole, in his remarks, expressed gratitude to the management of the University for supporting the training programme.
The Registrar then proceeded to present certificates to each of the 35 technologists who participated in the training programme.