It was an assemblage of the glitteratis and eminent dignitaries from all walks of life on Tuesday 8th of May, 2018 at the prestigious Otunba Gbenga Daniel Hall Main Campus as the staff and students of the Faculty of Law championed the launch of a book entitled “Law and Practice of University Governance in Nigeria”in honour of the immediate past Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Saburi Adejimi Adesanya.
While delivering his welcome address; the Dean of the Faculty of Law, Professor Sesan Oliyide stated that the book was meant to be a structured well-thought out and strategic medium of providing useful solutions to problems and myriad of nagging challenges confronting Nigerian University system.
He said that the choice of Professor Saburi Adejimi Adesanya as the person to whom the book was dedicated to was a man that had become synonymous with good governance in the Nigeria University system having made huge success of all the University Management assignments that he had had in his career.
He stressed that Professor Adesanya attainments were so enormous, deep rooted, and pervasive that they were felt, acknowledged, and acclaimed by virtually every member of the University Community and indeed all stakeholders in the University.
He lauded the attributes of Professor Saburi Adejimi Adesanya to include extra ordinary wisdom, deep intellect, and disarming calmness. He said, he had to emphasize that the book was conceived in 2016 and the decision to dedicate it to Professor Adesanya was communicated to him immediately upon conception. He said while the book identifies under funding as a major problem facing Nigerian universities, it contends also that the unsuitable universities managers and personnel generally constitute the most profound challenges of Nigerian Universities.
He highlighted that the book stresses that the solution to those problems were two-fold. The first solution according to him was that appointing authorities must do everything possible to ensure that those who were appointed as university managers, especially, Vice-Chancellors are most suited for the job-in terms of competence, integrity, experience, ability to attract funding, capability to prudently manage limited funds in order to achieve the very best results that would well position Nigerian Universities for excellence and respectability. The second solution he said was the ability to initiate, coordinate, nurture and actualize innovations and creativity that would make Nigerian Universities contribute significantly to social political, industrial, economic, technological spheres of contemporary and emerging human lives nationally regionally and globally. He outlined part of the second solution to also include ability of the system to acknowledge, acclaim, and celebrate Nigerian-University managers who had exhibited positive and monumental achievements as a way of encouraging all other university managers to also strive to excel in office. According to him, if these were done, the multiplier effect of it on the entire Nigerian University landscape would be salutary.
The chairman of the occasion, a renowned Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr.Tunji Ayanlaja, in his speech, commended all contributors to the book for a job well done. He said the publication and the recognition of the former Vice-Chancellor was auspicious and timely. He commended the immediate Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Saburi Adesanya for his prudent management resources at his disposal.
He said that the former helmsman also possessed an inimitable administrative efficiency which eliminated all forms of bureaucracies in order to achieve his set goals for the premier state University.
He attributed the Vice-Chancellor’ success in graduating many law graduates who are brilliant and exceptional and who know their onions. He said to this fact he had many of the university products in his Law Chamber working assiduously toward realization of his goals in legal profession.
The Chief Host of the occasion, the Vice-Chancellor Olabisi Onabanjo Onabanjo University, Professor Ganiyu Olatunji Olatunde in his speech stressed that he was highly honoured to host the occasion as Professor Saburi’ successor in the university. He said that when he assumed the position, exactly a year ago, he decided to follow the foot path of the immediate past Vice-Chancellor and refrain from deviating from it. He highlighted some of his achievements since assuming the mantle of leadership of the university to include; identifying urgent need to improve the aesthetics and environment friendliness of the campuses of the university, ensuring high staff morale through prompt payment of salaries and other emoluments, unrelenting consideration of promotion cases, deliberately and consciously encouraging robust debates at meetings thereby arriving at most useful decisions, punctuality at virtually all meetings that he was part of, enthroning a security architecture that guarantees safety on campus, especially, through the installation of CCTV around the campus, ensures full NUC accreditation status for virtually all the programmes run by the university, establishing long overdue, functional and quality assurance directorate; fashioning an ICT policy for the University and establishing an ICT policy implementation committee, ensuring the full scale implementation of the ICT generated results scheme, instituting staff development schemes for the benefit of both teaching and non-teaching staff, sustaining the University calendar non interruption regimeof his predecessor, and many more.
Prof. Olatunde recognized the kind hearted and extraordinary prowess of the honoree during his service in the University. He said the book would be another valuable contribution of Professor Saburi Adesanya to the University.
While reviewing the book, Professor Joseph Arjenka, former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Port Harcourt espoused on the content of the book. He said the book chronicled the problems and challenges facing Nigerian Universities and proffers workable solutions to the challenges for the progress and advancement of the Nigerian educational sector. He stated that the book was a rich resource for University Administrators hence its uniqueness.
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The occasion witnessed the launch of the book with handsome donations by all dignitaries present at the occasion.
The highlights of the events were cutting of the cake by Professor Saburi Adejimi Adesanya and his amiable wife whose birthday coincided with the day and presentation of gifts to the honoree.
The occasion was graced by distinguished scholars, government functionaries, eminent personalities, traditional rulers and well-meaning Nigerians from all walks of life.