Prof. F.F.O. Orumwense assumed office as the 9TH substantive Vice-Chancellor of the University of Benin, by divine providence on November, 30th 2014. May I state here with all modesty, that prior to my appointment as Vice-Chancellor of the University, I have had over two decades of experience in University administration in various capacities, the climax being my appointment by the Edo state Government as pioneer Rector of the state owned Institute of Management and Technology, Usen.Since my tenure, there has been rapid development in various areas in the University.Some of which, to mention but a few are enumerated below:Peace on our CampusesThe primacy of peace in any given environment cannot be overemphasized, as it remains an important ingredient in the realization of an organization’s goals and objectives. The enthronement of peace and tranquility remains a cardinal objective of this administration. On this note, permit me to score this administration high in the attainment of peace on our campuses we have been enjoying relative peace in the University. Added to this is an uninterrupted calendar. My appreciation to all members of the University Community for their understanding and support. The modest achievement of this administration at ensuring peace in our campuses is borne out of the belief that nothing can be achieved in an atmosphere of rancor. Staff and Students Welfare:This administration places huge premium on the welfare of staff and students.• Regular promotion of staff as at when due, conversion and proper placement of staff.• It is also to the credit of this administration that three (3) years promotion gap of staff has been approved in place of the long standing four (4) years gap.• Also, for the first time since the inception of the University of Benin, the career progression for Porter’s cadre which hitherto ended in Grade level seven (7) was elevated to Grade level thirteen (13) our pensioners are not left out as we remain committed to their welfare. This administration is also leaving no stone unturned to create a befitting learning environment for learning by student.State of ICT Platforms in University of Benin• The University of Benin became the first University in Nigeria to develop software independently for the Computer based Test (CBT) for PUME/PUDE and other internal and external examinations.• The Network operation Centre (N.O.C. Room) of the University has been upgraded with the support of the NCC and NUC administration to an international standard that can accommodate the 155mbps.The ICT/CRPU of the University of Benin has also been able to put in the following in place:• Deployment of E-learning Multimedia platform• Deployment of E-Senate meetings/Result presentation• Successfully linked Facilities, Units, and Hostels with fiber optics• Ekehuan campus has been linked with Network operation Centre room to improve internet services in the environment.• The introduction of information technology, massive construction renovation of lecture theatres and construction of new ones in addition to a 24-hour library service.• Uniben Bags Hiana’s Approval: it recorded another first by winning an approval as a certified Huawei Information and Network Academy centre with the academy ID: ANGACZO180828AC. The approval was a follow up to a one week Train the Trainer programme organized by Huawei at the company’s headquarters in Lagos. During the training programme, University of Benin ICT Instructors came top with exceptional performance in the examination proctored from China online out of the eighteen (18) attendees from six other Universities in Nigeria. • In demonstration of the confidence Huawei has in the competency of the certified instructors, the University of Benin was granted express acceptance into the Regional Huawei’s ICT Competition Southern Africa 2018-2019 billed to hold in South Africa this year. While the grand finale will take place in China in 2019. With these achievements, the University of Benin was given approval as a host institution on the global map of Huawei’s prestigious Information and Network Academy(HAINA) training centre. The academy will among others, serve as an ICT Talent Development Hub and delivers global leading training and competence as well as building an ICT Talent Ecosystem, to encourage students and staff to get Huawei’s certification for relevant practice skills in the industry and the University community.Academic StridesMay I state with every sense of humility that since the inception of this administration academic activities here in the University of Benin has taken a giant leap.• Our academic programmes, both undergraduate and post-graduate have run smoothly, placing the University of Benin on second position in the National Universities Commission accreditation.• A significant part of the intellectual foot-prints of this administration is the attraction of the Centre of Excellence in Reproductive Health Initiative (CERHI). A world bank assisted project.• ANNUAL ICT DAY: As part of efforts of this administration in building capacity on ICT proficiency for both teaching, non-teaching as well as students of the University, the CRP/ICT Unit of the University of Benin successfully held ICT Day annually which usually attracted prominent companies and personalities in the ICT industry such as Uniben Alumnus Mr. Mitchelle Elagbe; Founder/Managing Director, Interswitch group, MainOne, Microsoft, among others.• Inaugural Lectures: Our commitment to a culture of academic excellence remains unwavering. Under my watch a total of Sixty-two inaugural lectures have been delivered since December, 2014 to date.• University of Benin Public Lectures Series: Nine public lectures were held. They include one in commemoration of the 60th birthday of our distinguished alumnus and an industrialist of note, Captain (Dr.) Idahosa Wells Okunbo with the title ‘Youth Migration, Consequences and Current Realities’ With the following sub-titles ‘Youth Migration, Deportation and Rehabilitation: The Way Forward’ and ‘Stemming the Tide of Youth Migration: A Viable Alternative’ delivered by Dame Julie Okah-Donli ESQ, Director General, National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) and Professor Osarhieme Benson Osadolor, Immediate past Dean of Students, University of Benin respectively.• Also a symposium on the ‘Problems of Drug/Substance Abuse.’ The resource persons were Professor Owoidoho Udofia, the Registrar, National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria who was the lead speaker and who spoke on the topic, ‘Drug Scene in Nigeria: Individuals Must Choose’ and Professor Moji Christianah Adeyeye, the Director General, National Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), among others.• Centre for Global Eco-Innovation:• During the period under review, the University successfully launched the Centre for Global Eco-Innovation which was done in collaboration with Lancaster University, United Kingdom. This attracted participants as well as goodwill messages from African Union Scientific Technical Research Commission, Nigerian Airforce, Manufacturer Association of Nigeria, Raw Material Research and Development Council, National Biosafety Management Agency, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Association of Nigeria, National Environmental Standards and Regulatory Enforcement Agency, Nigeria Meteorological Agency, Standard Organization of Nigeria, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board and several others.• The United Kingdom Global Challenge Research Grant Fund (GCRF) Grant:• Also, during the period under review the University of Benin in partnership with Lancaster University (UK) and Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (Ghana) won a Global Challenge Research Fund (GCRF) grant. The grant which is part of a new 225 million pounds rate of investment, aims to grow research capability to meet the challenges faced by the developing world. The Great Britain 6.8 million projects will be led by Lancaster University (UK), with the University of Benin and CSIR Ghana as core partners.• University of Benin MoU with Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada.• The need for research collaboration and academic exchange took centre stage during the period under review when the University of Benin entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada. The Memorandum of Understanding seeks to explore areas of common interest between the two universities and strengthening of bond in engineering related disciplines. Furthermore, the MoU also provide for staff/students exchange programmes at the Undergraduate and Post-graduate levels as well as jointly supported PhD scholars, joint Masters Program, Research cooperation and funding opportunities.• Award of Exellence in Pharm D project: At the 2018 Nigeria Association of Pharmacists and Pharmaceutical Scientist in the Americas (NAPPSA) incorporated conference, held in Charlotte U.S.A from 20th-23rd September 2018 an Award of Excellence was given to the University of Benin in recognition of the tremendous contribution of the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Benin in piloting and setting the pace for the Pharm.D programme in Nigeria and indeed the whole of Africa. Futhermore, during the period under review, students of the University of Benin also won Academic scholarships across various faculties and departments as well as secured for themselves placements in international trainings and conferences.• Uniben Lecturer Joins Team of Record Breakers: The image of the University of Benin recently soar when one of her academic staff, Dr. Joseph Igetei of the Department of Animal and Environmental Biology, Faculty of Life Sciences joined a four-man research team to discover a molecular mechanism that could explain why allergies are less common in developing countries. This breakthrough could be the first stop to developing new immunotherapy’s to prevent allergies.• In a similar University of Benin professors have brought honour to the University by their recent appointments as Vice-Chancellor, Igbinedion University, Okada, Edo State and Rectors, Edo State Institute of Management and Technology, Usen, Edo State. They are the immediate past Deputy Vice-Chancellor Administration and Academic of the University of Benin, Professor L.I.N. Ezemonye of the Department of Animal and Environmental Biology, Faculty of Life Sciences and Professor Abiodun Faludun of the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Benin respectively. Others are Professor Akii Ibhadode of the Faculty of Engineering appointed Vice-chancellor of the Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun Delta State by the Federal Government. Professor Sunny Onoheabi also of the Faculty of Engineering as pioneer Rector of the Institute of Building Technology, Uromi. Professors Friday Okonofua and Emmanuel Ojeme of the School of Medicine and Faculty of Education as Vice-Chancellor, Medical University, Ondo and Provost, Delta State College of Education, Mosogar, respectively. Professor Austin Asagba of the Faculty of Arts was also appointed Vice-Chancellor, Western Delta University, Oghara, Prof Aluyor of the faculty of Engineering was appointed Vice Chancellor Edo University, Iyamo,Auchi, Professor S.E.O Aduwa Ogiegbaen of Faculty of Education and Deputy Vice Chancellor Ekehuan campus has been appointed as Vice Chancellor Tayo Apkata University,Ekiadolor, Benin and Professor Frank Otunta was appointed Vice Chancellor Federal University of Agriculture,Umudike. Prof Lilian Salami, DG, NIEPA, Ondo State by the federal government.• Three eminent lectures delivered by the former American ambassador to Nigeria, His Excellency, Ambassador Walter Carrington and several faculty lectures. Noble Laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka, and Mr. Godwin Emefiele, Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria.• Also not left out are our students who have earned one form of recognition or the other. One of our students emerged 2nd best in the forum of Agriculture Research in Africa (FARA) in the FAEA Agriculture student Essay competition.• Similarly, another of our ex-student Imafidon Ehiwelen of the Department of Soil Science emerged one of the winners of the 2014 President’s National Youth Service Corps National Honour Award. I feel highly elated to enjoin you that he was decorated 2nd March, 2015 by the then President Dr.Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. Research: In recognition of the pivotal role of research and development on the stimulation of national growth and development.• The University under my tenure kick started the University of Benin Annual Research Day (UBARD). A day devoted to highlighting as well as, showcasing researches conducted by member of academic staff of all categories as well as students.• Our efforts at positioning the University to produce graduates that are ready and relevant for industrial work is already yielding dividends with the successful hosting by the University of Benin of an Academia-Industry Interface in collaboration with Lancaster University in the United Kingdom. The forum which had several industries in attendance is to further strengthen our human capacity development.• May I make bold to say that successes are already being recorded in our Geo Science Centre of Excellence where graduates not only get immediate employment upon graduation but are getting employment even before they finish their programme. This, indeed is why we are the best amongst other Centres of Excellence.Teaching and Recognition: In a bid to build the capacity of our teaching staff, with the overall objective of enhancing teaching and effective delivery, the University recently organized a series of capacity building workshop for various categories of academic staff of the University. Tagged “Workshop on Pedagogue for Young/ Intermediate Lecture in the University of Benin”. The capacity building workshop has recorded its second edition. The rich content of the workshop coupled with its professional handling bears elegant testimony to the success of the exercise.Physical DevelopmentsWithin the limits of available financial resource, this administration has initiated and completes some physical projects since its conception and some are being prosecuted in earnest.These Projects are listed as follows:The construction of the following:These projects are:• Newly completed and fully furnished Post Graduate Hostel• 500 Capacity Lecture Theatre at the Faculty of Life Sciences• Main Library Extension Phase II• Newly Completed and fully furnished Lecture Theatre and Halls at the Faculty of Education• Newly completed and fully furnished Female Hostel• Newly completed Library and Studio at Faculty of Environmental Sciences• Newly completed Lecture Hall/Seminar Room and Laboratory at the Faculty of Pharmacy• Newly completed Classroom/Lecture Hall Building at the Faculty of Physical Sciences• Newly completed Laboratory and Staff Offices at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine• Newly constructed 2nos. Main Bowl Football Pitches at Site B.• Newly completed Library for Ekehuan Campus• Newly constructed Centre of Excellence in Reproductive Health Innovation (CERHI)• Science Laboratory Technology Building in the Faculty of Life science.• Seminar Halls/ Laboratory for the Department of Mathematics Statistics and Computer Sciences.• Attraction of new lecture theater donated by ICAN to the Faculty of Management Sciences. It may interest you to know that this has already been commissioned.• Ongoing construction of Microteaching Laboratory for the Faculty of Education.• Shell Petroleum Development Company working with this University of Benin for greater development. Shell Petroleum Development Company is one partner that has expressed keen I interest in the University of Benin. I feel proud to inform you that the current Managing Director, Mr Okunbor is a worthy alumni’s of the University of Benin. The company has expressed interest in constructing an ICT Building for the University. It is worthy of mention that the company involve in the renovation of and upgrading of facilities in the Sport Complex.• Construction and commissioned a hall for the Academic Staff Union of Universities, Uniben Chapter.• Attraction of donations from various organizations. This administration has been able to attract over six million dollars donation to the Geo-Science Centre of Excellence from Schlumbeger.• There was also a donation of Steel Basket Ball Upright in the Sports complex of Uniben by friends of the University known as “Access to Success”.• The Alumni body of the University has also recently donated 25 turbine hard pieces to clinical Dental students, while another branch of the body donated computers to Medical students of the University.• You will recall that the North American Branch of the Alumni body had earlier help to computerize the operations of the Exams and Records Department of the University which now made it possible for transcripts to be obtained online.• A donation of equipment worth Millions of Naira was recently donated to the Department of Optometry by Dr. Otobo; an ex-student of the department to further facilitate the smooth operations of the department.Public-Private-Partnerships: Our Public-Private-Partnership engagements have yielded the following dividends:• The Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission(NERC) has just granted the University a license to operate under the Public Private Partnership arrangement a 15 mega watt photo voltaic solar power project and this is being driven by the United Kingdom branch of the University Alumni body• The University is also currently negotiating with various local and international organizations in the area of Hostel development and staff housing projects. It is hope that when this is completed it will provide more opportunity in residency for staff and students for improve security.RELATIONSHIP WITH OUR ALUMNI ASSOCIATIONAs part of efforts at harnessing the full potentials of our Alumni body, the Alumni Relations Division had been upgraded to the status of a Directorate and a Director who is an alumnus is appointed to oversee its affairs.Also new Branches of the Alumni Association were inaugurated bringing the total number of Branches/chapters to twenty eight in Nigeria, ten in the United States of America and one in the United Kingdom. Let me at this point acknowledge the enviable constituency of our Alumni to the overall progress and development of the University individually and collectively.
Please follow and like us: