As the institution invents bullet proof gadgets, OLADIPO Magaji, in this report explains that the announcement of the discovery of tin metal on the university’s land and the invention of bullet- proof gadgets by the university, make the 34th convocation of the University of Ilorin a unique event.
The 34th convocation of the University of Ilorin which was held on Tuesday, October 23, 2018 was indeed a unique one.
The convocation of the ” Better by far” university was unique in many ways.
Firstly, the institution reputed for its stable academic calendar held the convocation of 12,000 graduands in a day as against the old practice of holding the convocation in two days. The ceremony was also held in the stadium arena instead of the usual venue- the university auditorium.
The holding of the event in the open place added colour to it, as there were enough ventilation and opportunity for sight seeing, to the comfort of the graduands, their parents and well wishers.
But, more importantly, the university used the ceremony to showcase its breakthrough in research.
At a press conference to usher in the 34th convocation on Friday, October 19, 2018, the vice chancellor of UNILORIN, Prof Sulyman Age Abdulkareem, who is just one year in office, made public the institution’s break through in invention of bullet-proof gadgets.
He also disclosed that a large quantity of Tin metal was discovered on the university’s land.
The VC said the bullet proof gadgets had been tested and accepted by the Nigerian Army.
Abdulkareem, who said due to the sensitive nature of the security gadgets the university would not be able to mass produce the device, however he expressed delight that with the invention the university was already improving its impact on the world and particularly, its immediate environment.
He stated: “We have been able to sign an MoU with the Nigerian Army on the invention and development of polymer composite for strategic and protective defence. In concrete terms, we have invented a bullet-proof gadget, which has been tested and accepted by the Nigerian Army.
“With this, we are already improving our impact on the world and on our immediate society and this is a gratifying achievement that will ultimately propel the University to the Zenith of global recognition and reputation we desire.”
On the discovery of tin metal on the university’s land, the VC said “As a result of our intensive research efforts, we have discovered tin metal on our land in such a quantity and quality that can be extracted for business and economic gains.
“In no time, University of Ilorin will be one of the opulent and prosperous universities in the world”. He added that the university has commenced to do the necessary paper works and agreement with the federal government for licence to mine the solid mineral.
“We have also made efforts to bring in reliable investors who can turn it into a big business after we might have gone through the process of notification and approval from the appropriate quarters,” AbdulKareem said.
Abdulkareem said the university in its efforts at generating knowledge that can change the world, has proposed two innovative African Centres of Excellence which would be funded by the World Bank.
“One is on Advanced Electrical Power Engineering and Green Energy Research (ARPEGER)and the other is on the setting up of West African Centre for Infectious Disease and Epidemiological Surveillance,” the VC added.
The VC further disclosed that the institution under his watch has also achieved some feats in innovation, adding “In this regard, we have been able to achieve some feats in innovation. We now have more patents.
“Prior to 2017, the university had 15 patents, six of which humbly are mine. And since I assumed office, we have added another eight. More than ever before, researchers are encouraged to carry out their investigation to patent-filling stage.”
The VC added that in an effort to improve the University’s Internally Generated Revenue, the management would soon sign an MoU with the Central Bank of Nigeria on the exploration and maximisation of the university’s land.
“The MoU will allow the Central Bank to use our land for cultivating certain crops for the University, which the Central Bank will readily buy back from us.
“This, to us is a good initiative for solidifying our philosophy of combining academic with entrepreneurship,”he said.
The VC also said that the university would soon come up with a plan to yield an hectare of land each to 1,000 individuals who may wish to embark on mechanised farming.
“The individuals will be drawn from students body, unions, and farmers from outside the university.
“Arrangement for the proper allocation of land for this project has been completed,” the VC said.
With this project, the VC added that the University would be contributing its own quota to the Federal Government’s Agricultural initiative.
During the convocation day on Tuesday, October 23, 2018, a visitor to the institution, President Muhammadu Buhari tasked stakeholders in the education sector to redesign school curriculum in such a way that it will bring about economic prosperity.
On the 2019 general elections, the President asked Nigerian youths to resist being used as agents of destabilisation by some selfish politicians.
He also advised parents and guardians to impress it on their children and wards the need to behave responsibly before, during and after the elections.
President Buhari was represented at the event by the Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof Abubakar Rasheed.
“I urge Nigerian youths to resist being used as agents of destabilisation of our country by politicians who do not mean well for our democracy and our dear nation in the 2019 general elections. I advice parents and guardians to implore it on their children to behave responsibly before, during and after the elections,” he stated.
Director, Quality Assurance, NUC, Noel Salihu read the president’s speech on behalf of Prof Rasheed.
Buhari added : “My dear graduands your parents and our nation have invested so much in your future and it is my advice not to allow yourselves, who have been carefully trained, continuously nurtured to be turned into agents of destruction by a selfish few.
“You are the future of this country and so you must not allow the future to be destroyed by anyone no matter how highly placed or materially endowed.
“It is also imperative to make this appeal for authorities of tertiary institutions in the country, to wage a relentless war against all forms of indiscipline towards protecting the sanity of this segment of our population. You must fight examination malpractices, hooliganism, cultism and sexual harassment.”
Earlier, former Nigerian Ambassador to the United Nations (UN),Prof. Ibrahim Gambari had asked the federal government to allow the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct a free and fair election in 2019 and beyond.
The renowned envoy spoke on “Education for peace, democracy and development.”
Gambari said “Nigeria has another opportunity to reposition and deepen its democracy in order to deliver dividends such as quality social services, including especially education and health, prosperity and security of life and property.
“The 2019 elections must be a game-changer. Nigerians want to see non-selective intensification of the anti-corruption battle on all fronts with thorough investigations and convictions which serve as credible deterrence.
“They want to celebrate the end of Boko Haram and end of insurgency; they want to see a fiscal regime that firms up the Naira against the other currencies through effective control of the oil and a well diversified economic culture; they want to see and live in a society where kidnapping is effectively checked etc.
“Those who lead and govern must be made to be more accountable and transparent in their actions, while demonstrating commitment and dedication to the growth and sustenance of our dear nation.”