Engr. IfeOluwa Oyedele, National President (Worldwide), University of Lagos Alumni Association has assured the 13th, and First Female Vice Chancellor, Prof. Folasade Ogunsola, that the alumni would partner with her administration for greater Unilag.
This assurance was made on Thursday, January 19, 2023, when the National Executive Committee (NEC) paid a courtesy visit to the Vice Chancellor in her office.
While declaring that the alumni would work hand-in-hand with the vice chancellor, he advised that future buildings in the university be eco-friendly, and disability -considerate. He also recommended modernisation of J.F. Ade Ajayi Auditorium to be more functional and meet current standards.
“We are on to something big with the Unilag VC. We look forward to partnering with you. You brought forward great ideas. I want to assure you that the goodwill you brought in the last two days is well noted. I want to encourage you to build on the euphoria to do the impossible, to dare. May your tenure become a standard worldwide, ” he said.
Oyedele stated that NEC has its work cut out for it, and will not be reinventing the wheel, as the preceding administrations had laid solid foundations, which align with the vision of the current administration, and thus will be built on by the current administration.
He assured the Vice Chancellor of his administration’s readiness to assist the University always, stating that Unilag Alumni is a phone call away. He noted that members who were hitherto not active are willingly stepping forward to join in the quest to take Unilag further and make it the University of the Future.
Oyedele however urged the university to work assiduously with a taskforce mentality towards the issuance of transcripts, saying it should not take more than 24 hours to get it.
The president also decried the poor reporting of the 83-year-old Journalist, Dayo Duyile, that reported the establishment of UNILAG by an act of parliament in 1962, and bagged a PhD at the latest convocation.
Oyedele, however, warned that nobody should bring the Unilag brand to disrepute.
In her response, the Vice Chancellor, Professor Folasade Ogunsola declared that the university cannot survive without her alumni. She also averred that the university needs not just money, but connections to make things happen.
“When the alumni works with the university, the university is unbeatable. The university needs alumni presence and support. There are so many hurdles, hidden and otherwise, for the university to cross. The university needs the alumni,” she said.
In the area of buildings, she declared that the era of cement-heavy construction is gone and eco-friendly buildings will be the blueprint going forward saying, ” the university needs alumni help with old and new infrastructure.”
Baring her mind on the transcript issues, she explained that the challenge with transcript processing as there is a deluge of requests, up to 600 daily, many of which are made by graduates from earlier years (2009 and prior) which are yet to be digitalised and tougher to retrieve from the files.
“The records from 2010 to 2022 have been fully digitalised. We need scanners to digitally record spreadsheets. The university is currently undergoing a software audit and trying to determine the kind of ERP to obtain towards getting the various silo management systems to dovetail into one another. We will be grateful for help in that regard,” she urged.
The University Don also complaint about the huge cost of electricity. According to her, the university expends N90m per month on power bill when students are not on campus and double that when they are in session, whereas the government only gives N65m subvention.
“The reality is that the university is larger than many local governments in the country and runs a community whether or not in session. A sum of N27bn per annum is what would need to be generated to adequately meet its needs.
*The students fees are a far cry from economic reality. The university needs alumni to talk to government, ASUU, parents. A new reality has dawned upon us and we must face it and act accordingly,” she said.
On the impact of emigration, the vice chancellor lamented that the japa syndrome has hit many departments. “Creative Arts has only 14 lecturers left. The College of Medicine has also been hit as medical doctors earn better in practice than in the classroom.”
While commending the alumni for supporting indigent students, she urged that commercial and industry experts should manage hostels while the university is free to face its icore competencies.
In his remarks, the National President explained that the alumni would look into the points raised and see how to come in. In the area of scanning machine, he said he would see how industry partners can assist.
In his personal capacity, the president promised to help the university achieve 24-hour power supply.
Present at the visit were: Deputy Vice Chancellor, (Academics), Prof. Bola Oboh, National Vice President 1, Dr. Bala Yesufu; National Secretary, Chief Adebisi Ogundipe; National Treasurer, Mr. Harris Alade; National Publicity Secretary, Mrs. Funmi Falobi; National Legal Adviser, Mr. Soni Bobi Ogheneghare; National Social Secretary, Mr. Francis Shonubi; Ex. Officios: Mr. Olumide Akinola, Prof. Khalid Adekoya, Mr. Lekan Ajisafe; Director, Office of Advancement, Mr. Seth Dare; Executive Secretary
Mrs. Yetunde Abatan and Alumni Relations Manager, Mr. Seun Badejo.
National Publicity Secretary