ADDRESS BY PROFESSOR SEDDI SEBASTIAN MAIMAKO ON THE OCCASION OF THE PRESS CONFERENCE MARKING HIS FOURTH YEAR IN OFFICE AS VICE-CHANCELLOR, UNIVERSITY OF JOS HELD ON FRIDAY 26th JUNE, 2020 AT THE SENATE CHAMBER, NARAGUTA CAMPUS, UNIVERSITY OF JOS
I want to welcome you, esteemed members of the Press, to this briefing organized as part of activities to mark my fourth year in office as Vice-Chancellor of this great University. We are not unmindful of the challenging times that have befallen us as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic which ordinarily would have dampened our spirits as we mark this milestone in the life of this Administration. However, in view of the fact that the Almighty God has been faithful to us throughout these past four years of service to our fatherland and in realization of the need, as a public institution, to present the community which we are mandated to serve with a scorecard of our modest achievements so far, we thought it necessary to invite you to today’s occasion.
As you are well aware, I assumed office on the 23rd June, 2016 and Tuesday this week marked the fourth anniversary of our quest towards contributing our quota to the development of this great citadel of learning, the nation and humankind at large through this unique privilege in public service. You may wish to recall that at the inception of this Administration, I had broadly outlined some areas of interest which I had indicated would be the main focus our attention. It is in respect of these that we wish to present our performance scorecard so far and allow you to assess whether we are on the right track.
As a matter of principle, we have tried to update the public through the media about many of our activities in the University especially when milestones such as this are recorded. Many of our accomplishments since the advent of this administration and even challenges are therefore in the public domain. It is in this regard that I would wish to restrict my presentation today to what I would refer to as our modest contribution towards enhancing the system in the past one year.
1. ACADEMIC PROGRAMMES
It is obvious that the backbone and pride of every reputable Academic institution especially a well-established University such as ours is the strength of its Academic programmes. In order to ensure that the quality of Academic programmes of every University are of the requisite standard, the National Universities Commission (NUC) as well as some professional bodies periodically carry out Accreditation exercises which is the external mechanism and process of assessing or measuring the strength of such programmes. Within the past one year, the University Administration has strengthened the capacity of its Directorate of Academic Planning and Management Directorate in carrying out its core function of coordinating, streamlining, monitoring and evaluation of the Academic development processes in the University thereby ensuring that the assessment exercises produced positive outcomes.
During the second half of 2019 and early part of 2020, the NUC visited the University to carry out accreditation of two programmes, Veterinary Medicine and Electrical/Electronics Engineering with successful results. While Veterinary Medicine secured Full Accreditation status, Electrical/Electronics Engineering, which had hitherto been denied accreditation, secured Interim Accreditation status. As it stands presently therefore, 43 out of 75 programmes run by the University including Special Education options enjoy Full Accreditation status while 28 programmes have Interim Accreditation status. Two (2) programmes, Dentistry and Plant Science and Biotechnology are classified as ‘Maturing’ with a further Two (2) programmes having the result of their accreditation being awaited. Consequently, you may wish to note that 94.6 percent of the programmes run by the University have been properly accredited with no Denied Accreditation status so far recorded.
It may also interest members of the Press to know that many programmes being run by the University are Professional Programmes and Courses that require accreditation from their Professional Bodies. This process enables Graduates of such programmes/courses to practice as professionals after being admitted as members of their different Professional Associations.
Of the Fifteen (15) programmes being run by the University that require accreditation from Professional Bodies, Ten (10) have secured Full Accreditation status. Three (3) programmes, Quantity Surveying, Veterinary Medicine and Engineering are still considered as relatively new and as such, are yet to be assessed by their Professional Bodies. The Estate Management programme has secured Special Interim Accreditation status which will subsist for four (4) years. Again, none of our Professional programmes has been denied accreditation.
At the 2019 Policy Meeting on Admissions into Tertiary Admissions in Nigeria held recently, the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) rated the University of Jos as the 7th most subscribed University in Nigeria with 46,082 candidates applying for admission in the 2018 exercise. From that number, 8,878 candidates were admitted into the University representing 93.79 percent of the University’s Admissions Quota which is one of the best admission rates in the Country.
From the available data, JAMB ranked the University of Jos as the Fourth (4th) best among Nigerian Tertiary Institutions that had admitted candidates from all the 36 States and FCT following the 2018 admissions exercise.
The University of Jos was also rated as the Fifth (5th) best Tertiary Institution in the Country in terms of the number of candidates admitted from the 36 States and FCT with 31 States having not less than 20 candidates admitted into the University during that exercise. It is noteworthy that only University of Jos and University of Ilorin are not first-generation Universities rated among the top Five (5) Universities in that category.
We have continued to pursue an all-inclusive approach in our admissions policy in order to, as much as possible, have candidates from the different States of Nigeria represented in this institution.
3. INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT
This is an area where you would agree with me had posed a great challenge to the University of Jos over the years. This is why this Administration has focused attention in this area with a view to creating greater impact for succeeding Administrations to build on.
During the past one year, this Administration has been able to complete the construction and furnishing of the Faculty of Management Sciences and Faculty of Engineering, completion and furnishing of the Faculty of Social Sciences including a 1000 capacity Lecture Hall through the intervention of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETfund). Other completed projects within the period include the construction of a Piggery, Rabbitery, Poultry, Sheep and Goat Units for the Faculty of Agriculture; construction and furnishing of Block 30 in the Faculty of Environmental Sciences; construction and furnishing of Medical Students Hostel and furnishing of the Faculty of Dental Sciences both at the JUTH Lamingo Campus; installation of Street Lights around the Naraguta Campus and Students Hostel; construction of Canteen at the Senate/Administrative Building and construction of two (2) Tennis Courts and a Basketball Court with chain link fence at the Senior Staff Club, Bauchi Road Staff Quarters. Several Lecture Theaters, Conference and Seminar Rooms, Laboratories, Classrooms as well as Recreational, Municipal Services and toilet facilities were also constructed and furnished within the period under review through the NEEDS Assessment intervention and Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
Major rehabilitation works were similarly undertaken during the period such as the rehabilitation and furnishing of the Central Library Complex, Naraguta Campus; rehabilitation of the ICT Complex II, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Laboratories for the Department of Plant Science and Biotechnology, Vice-Chancellors Residence, Department of Physical and Health Education among many others.
In the coming months, if the COVID-19 situation permits, we are expecting that many other high impact projects will be completed and handed over to the University for use. Worthy of mention are the Central bank of Nigeria (CBN) Centre of Excellence, construction and furnishing of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, construction and furnishing of the Faculty of Agriculture, construction of the proposed Computer-Based Testing (CBT) Centre, construction and furnishing of a Multipurpose Hall at JUTH as well as the construction and furnishing of a 500 capacity Lecture Hall for the Faculty of Management Sciences.
Libraries are the hub and engine room of every University. This is because Libraries are the repository of academic resources that complement and support teaching, research and learning facilities for academic excellence in any University.
Notable achievements within the period under review are the appointment of a new University Librarian in the person of Dr Thomas Adigun who took over from his predecessor on 14th February, 2020. The University Library also moved from the Bauchi Road Campus to the extensively renovated Central Library Complex in Naraguta Campus with several of its key Units now operating from the Central Library including Administration and Systems Unit, Support Services and Subject Libraries.
Assorted books of various Disciplines have been supplied within this period with 422 titles for Faculties of Veterinary Medicine and Environmental Sciences through TETfund intervention while the University purchased 263 Journals for various Disciplines in addition to 81 titles of CIBN Books for Banking and Finance.
The University Library received many Book donations with Forty (40) Cartons of Books received from the USA as donation through Professor Danny Mc-Cain, Twenty (20) Cartons of Books donated by Sir Emeka Offor Foundation through his 2020 National Book/Education Materials Distribution Programme and Twenty(20) copies of Books donated by ICAN through the Department of Accounting, Faculty of Management Sciences.
Contract was awarded for the Procurement of CCTV Equipment and Bookshelves at the Central Library, Naraguta Campus, through TETFund which have been supplied and assembled.
Library Furniture at the Central Library Naraguta Campus have been procured and are being installed while installation and wiring of Network by Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Unit at the Naraguta Campus Library has been completed.
The Library Department has continued its efforts at sensitizing Faculty members and Students on E-Resources available on the University Website for their use.
5. ICT DEVELOPMENT
The University administration under my leadership has continued to accord high premium to the issue of adoption and adaptation of Information Communications Technology (ICT) in all areas of the University’s operations. Through strong resolve and commitment, the University has achieved inroads into not only being an ICT-driven institution but also becoming an ICT innovation hub with huge investment in ICT infrastructure and deployment of networking capabilities required for building a community of solution providers.
Within the period under review, the University through its ICT Directorate has carried out the installation and deployment of network equipment at various locations in all our campuses thereby making wireless internet connectivity easily available.
The deployment of these facilities has enabled the University to conduct CBT examinations for GST courses simultaneously at both its Bauchi Road and Naraguta campuses, the first time such has happened. Several Faculties and Departments in the University have now adopted CBT for the testing, evaluation and examining their Students. From the feedback we have received, both Staff and Students are happy with this development. Our expertise in this field has prompted the Pharmaceutical Association of Nigeria to designate the University as one of its Examination Centres. As you well know, the University has retained its status as a JAMB CBT Examination Centre. Furthermore, our Training Centre at the ICT Directorate which is a Cisco Premier Instructor Training Centre, has successfully trained over Forty (40) Computer Science Masters Degree Students in Cybersecurity Essentials and Networking, the first of its kind in West and Central Africa. The University’s Cisco Academy was given a Global Award of Excellence for Outstanding Quality Training and Technical Support to Networking Instructors across West and Central Africa among other laurels.
The University also acquired some Biometric ZKT Iface 302 Smart Card Readers which were configured and deployed to capture Staff information for the Attendance Management System. This is part of the Administration’s deliberate effort to discourage the occurrence of long queues when signing Attendance Registers during Senate Meetings and Library usage among others. The technology also ensures prompt and accurate generation of reports and controls access to certain areas within the University to both Staff and Students.
Other major highlights in the deployment of ICT resources towards enhancing the University’s operational and service delivery mechanisms include the following:
Integration of the Students Information System (SIS) portal with the Library Management Application to enable easy download of Students Library information so they can register with the University Library through issuance of their login details.
Development of a module to enable download of eligible Students details for online CBT examinations. This ensures that only Students who have paid their school fees will be allowed to write examinations in the University
Development of an IT solution to handle all sundry payments to the Bursary through REMITA for easy payment and reporting
Creation of a Convocation Portal to handle Graduands name details, payment and issuance of Convocation gowns and other materials
Development of a web-based application for Postgraduate applicants requesting for waivers due to a deficiency in registration requirement
Development and deployment of SMS and Email notification which guides Students through all the admission processes and payment requirements. This helps to reduce fraud as Students are notified when their payments are received by the University and redirects them to the next step of the registration process.
Development of an online marketplace where the University can advertise and sell memorabilia, souvenirs and similar items to Alumni and others who subscribe
Deployment of a module to capture Students on the University mail server. This would enable the Students to automatically receive an institutional email for use in accessing the NIS, Library and LMS portals.
Integration of the SIS with the University Health Information Management System (HIMS) to enable the concise capture of Students data and synchronization of both systems
Members of the Press, in this COVID-19 season, the deployment of ICT resources has become an essential part of everyday life especially towards adaptation to the new realities and protocols at the workplace. We will therefore, continue to encourage our Staff and Students to key into this new approach by providing them with the working tools and stimulating their creative energies.
6. HEALTH SERVICES
For Staff and Students of the University to be able to function properly and perform their duties optimally, they have to be in good health condition. It is for this reason that the Administration has invested a significant amount of resources towards improving the healthcare delivery system that serves the University community.
In the last one year alone, about ten million naira has been spent in the procurement of drugs, reagents and hospital consumables for the University Health Centre. This is aside the provision of funds for the procurement of immunization vaccines including anti-rabies vaccines for our Staff working in the new Veterinary Teaching Hospital along Polo Roundabout, Jos.
Given our new reality of operating in a COVID-19 era, two complexes at the Health Centre have been earmarked to serve as annexes of the service delivery point in order to bring the services closer to Staff and Students as well as ensuring that overcrowding is reduced to the barest minimum and in practicing social/physical distancing. The University Health Services Directorate was also granted approval to procure Hand Sanitizers, Dispensers and other protective equipment like Masks, Gloves, Goggles, Hazmat Suits, Head and Feet Gears, Face Shields, Coverall Gowns and Aprons. These measures are geared towards instilling confidence in the Healthcare practitioners to continue to provide the needed services to Staff and Students without fear of contracting infection.
And to strengthen the adoption of preventive healthcare strategies, the University has commenced the construction of a Disease Prevention and Environmental Sanitation building facility. A new set of more effective Cleaning Services Contractors have also been engaged to ensure that the Campuses are kept clean at all times.
7. STUDENT MATTERS
This Administration is not oblivious to the fact that Students are the main reason for our being here and therefore it is our responsibility to cater for their welfare. Pursuant to this, we have been able a create a synergy between the Students through their elected representatives and the University Management.
Within the past one year, we have constructed a new Sixty-two (62) bed hostel to accommodate Medical Students at the JUTH Lamingo Campus, renovated toilet facilities and water taps at the various hostels, fenced and demarcated the different hostels while also establishing a Hostel Management Committee and initiating online allocation of hostels. Successful elections were also conducted for the Students Union Government with an interface created between the Students and the NYSC Desk Officer. The Students have demonstrated their gratitude by conducting their affairs peacefully throughout this period.
8. STAFF DEVELOPMENT AND WELFARE
As a deliberate policy, our Administration accords great premium to the issue of human resource development. In strengthening the capacity of our Staff towards discharging the University’s core mandate, we have collaborated with TETfund in the area of Staff Training and Development. To this end, twelve (12) Staff have benefitted from international training through TETfund scholarships between June 2019 and June 2020 while Eight (8) Staff are undergoing local training. For Professional Conference attendance, ten (10) Staff were sponsored to attend International Conferences with thirty-seven (37) Staff being sponsored to attend Local Conferences during the period all through TETfund’s funding.
The University has gone further to grant approval and sponsor Fifty-three (53) Teaching Staff and 120 Non-Teaching Staff to undergo further studies in different institutions in the country within the period under review.
The Administration also enjoys a very cordial relationship with all the Staff Unions as it has ensured that all legitimate claims and welfare packages due to them are disbursed within available resources.
As an innovative and Research-intensive University, we are aggressively pursuing socially impactful research activities with utility value and practical application. The University, through the Office of Research and Development (ORD) has made significant achievements in contributing to the expansion of the frontiers of quality knowledge by the pursuit of innovative and adaptive Researches relevant to the development of its immediate community.
The ORD working with a Researcher in Obstetrics and Gynaecology won a research training grant from the National Institutes of Health, (NIH) in January 2020 while a research collaboration with Banghor University, UK was entered into by the University in the area of Environmental Biology Research in April 2020.
Through the Support and Capacity Development Programme at ORD, the Office submitted three (3) research proposals between March and May 2020, to the Royal Society London and is awaiting the outcome.
It is in acknowledging the University’s prowess in the area of Research and Innovation that TETfund, pursuant to President Muhammadu Buhari’s authorization to focus on the development of Centres of Excellence in the nation’s University system, approved the establishment of a TETfund Centre of Excellence in Food Security in the University of Jos. The proposed Centre is to engage in impactful multidisciplinary research that will impactfully contribute to the current Agricultural Transformation Agenda and ensuring food security in Africa. The major disciplines are envisaged to include but not limited to the following:
Agriculture: including agricultural economics, extension, agronomy, soil fertility and management, livestock breeding, production and management, arable and irrigated crops production, horticulture, fisheries, etc.
Veterinary Medicine: treatment of livestock diseases and management, public health issues involving zoonotic diseases.
Environmental sciences; especially climate change and mitigation measures and their effects on food security
Health Sciences, especially nutrition and food safety
Natural Sciences especially plant science and biotechnology; deployment of contemporary technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT), and Data Science
Engineering; especially appropriate technologies for production and value addition
Management Sciences – includes Agric Economics and management
Areas of research will cut across the main fields above such as Adapting alternative energy and low cost irrigation farming techniques for food security as well as the development of vaccines in different areas. Already, TETfund has awarded the sum of Forty-Five (45) Million Naira to the University as its intervention towards inaugurating the Centre.
Some of our cutting-edge researches are being carried out in our Centre of Excellence for Phytomedicine and Development (ACEPRD) where efforts are ongoing to develop herbal remedies for the treatment of Cancer, Diabetes, Anti-Microbial Resistance and Neglected Tropical Diseases.
The Centre also recently produced an Anti-snake venom called COVIP-Plus which is currently undergoing clinical trials.
Other research outputs from the Centre include production of Shampoos, Soaps, Creams, Lotions and Soaps for the treatment of Scabies and Skin Diseases. Other products include anti-fertility contraceptive, anti-cancer preparations, anti-erectile dysfunction and anti-diabetic drugs. The Centre is also cultivating Medicinal Plants for research and sales to Trado-Medicine Practitioners as well as Medicinal Plant Researchers, in addition to Mushroom cultivation for commercialization and research.
The Plateau State Government has itself recognized the critical role the University plays in churning out relevant and empirical based research. This may have informed the State Government’s decision to appoint one of our own, a distinguished Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Professor Noel Wannang to head its Research Committee on COVID-19 and other infectious Diseases. Almost all the members on that Committee are either Staff of the University or Studied at the University and we must appreciate the State Government for according us this recognition.
On the University’s part, we have also put together a crack Team of very cerebral Scholars and renowned Researchers to look into this COVID-19 scourge with a view to finding lasting solution to the damage caused by the pandemic.
With the delicate security situation in the country, the University is making efforts to ensure that all lives and property within our area of jurisdiction are adequately protected. While improving the capacity of our internal security personnel to be more proactive in responding to security threats, we are also closely collaborating with the conventional Security Forces to ensure that our Staff and Students are safe when going about their normal activities.
The University’s Internal Security Personnel have been undergoing training on relevant methods of public safety administration in addition to being provided with the requisite equipment to enhance their on-the-job performance levels. Such equipment include Walkie-Talkies, Close Circuit Television (CCTV), Torchlights and Uniform among others. The University has also installed Street Lights at the various campuses to assist the Security Personnel on Night Duty.
The offices of the Security Division have now been relocated to the former Physical Facilities building at the Naraguta Campus to give them more space to coordinate their operations.
11. ACCOUNTABILITY AND TRANPARENCY IN GOVERNANCE
Being a public institution, the University has no option but to institute control measures aimed at ensuring prudent use of the limited funds available to it. In doing so therefore, some internal mechanisms have been put in place which were reinforced during the past year. Through the Directorate of Internal Audit, there is strict monitoring and enforcement of compliance with financial guidelines regarding expenditure and projects execution. The Price Control Unit has been further strengthened to function effectively and raise observations where necessary for prompt compliance.
In addition, the University’s Procurement Unit has worked assiduously towards ensuring accountability, efficiency and transparency in the procurement process. The Unit monitors the processes that are properly established to carry out procurement procedures in a fair and transparent manner with the aim of obtaining value for money. The procedures and instructions are laid out to promote the fundamental principles of transparency,
competition, efficiency, fairness and
accountability. This approach has substantially addressed the issue of revenue leakages in the University.
12. LINKAGES AND AFFILIATIONS
The University of Jos has continued to establish linkages and affiliations with international partners towards creating a global presence and strengthening the promotion of international academic and cultural cooperation.
The University was awarded a full FABLAB (Fabrication Laboratory) by the Government of France through the France Research Team in May 2020. The FABLAB is to be domiciled at the Faculty of Engineering with a Mechanical Workshop to enable local fabrication of some equipment that will assist local artisans and will be useful for laboratory practical.
The University has signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Universities of Lyon and Grenoble Alpes to strengthen human resource capacity, research and development.
Through joint sponsorship (UNIJOS, French Embassy and TETFund) six Staff are currently on PhD programme at the University of Grenoble Alpes since September 2018 to 2022 when they will be graduating.
This is to encourage Staff mobility for the purpose of sharing expertise, research findings and trainings.
The University is one of the seven institutions involved in the Climate Change project being funded by the French Government. The UNIJOS team has participated in the brainstorming session organized in France at University of Grenoble Alpes and was part of the capacity building summer training at Grenoble Institute of Technology (aka Grenoble INP) for six weeks from June to July, 2019.
The University also entered into a partnership with Goethe University (GU), Frankfurt, Germany which involves University of Jos, National Film Institute Jos (an Affiliate of UNIJOS) and the training arm of the Nigerian Film Corporation.
This has resulted in the mounting of a two-year Masters Programme in Film Culture and Film Archiving which commenced on October 2019 and also involves the Arsenal Institute for Film in Germany. This programme is the first of its kind in Africa and one of about a dozen worldwide aimed at training scientific personnel for Film and Media Archiving, training institutions of Film Culture across Africa and building capacity for the preservation of the audiovisual heritage of Nigeria and Africa.
As a result of all these and many other opportunities in national and international research, Staff and Students exchanges and sabbatical placements are taking place which has enriched our global visibility.
13. ALUMNI RELATIONS
In order to harness and exploit the vast potentials inherent in the University alumni, a platform has been provided by which alumni, their activities and relationship with their alma mater can be made more visible and viable. This is mainly through the Directorate of Alumni Relations which was established to serve as an avenue to encourage Alumni as individuals and in groups as well as an organized body such as the UniJos Alumni Association (UJAA) to pool resources both in cash and in kind for the progress of the University.
Within the past one year, the Directorate has leveraged on this to promote the University of Jos brand as well as generate revenue for the institution through the opening of a gift items shop stocked with University crested items. The items can be purchased by Staff, visitors, Alumni and friends of the University as souvenirs.
Many distinguished Alumni of the University have also been brought on board through the Distinguished Alumni Lectures series to foster better Alumni engagement and create platforms for interactions between the Alumni and pre-Alumni (students).
In order to keep tab on the activities of Josites in the United Kingdom (UK) and other European countries, UJAA UK chapter was inaugurated. Before now, they have held different meetings in different cities with little or no liaison with the University. The Vice-Chancellor, the Director of Alumni Relations and the National President of the UJAA were in the UK to officially inaugurate the chapter.
One programme that inculcates in Students and Staff the spirit of giving back to their alma mater is the Leave-a-Legacy Project. Some of the projects undertaken under the umbrella of the project within the last 12 months include the distribution of White Boards to some Faculties as a means of supporting the accreditation process and installation of Projectors, Projector Screens and accessories in different Departments and lecture halls. Through the Leave-a-Legacy Project, the sum of N3 million Naira was raised and contributed towards the renovation of the University of Jos Veterinary Teaching Hospital at Polo Roundabout.
Due to massive sensitization and mobilization of Alumni to support the Administration’s developmental initiatives, they continue to make donations in support of the University. Some of the donations within the last one year are as follows:
N2 million was donated by the Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen, during the 31st/32nd Convocation, as scholarship for female students.
N1 million was donated by Prof Dakas C. J. Dakas, SAN, during the 31st /32nd Convocation Lecture. He also donated some books to the Library.
Donation of 18- seater Bus by the premier class of Medical Sciences, to the College of Health Sciences.
Mrs. Tina Odinakachi Iirmdu donated a 12-Inch Max Power Rechargeable Speaker with Trolley and Microphones to the Department of Geography and Planning.
Arc. Yilleng Paul Felix and Arc. Kefas Plankat Jatau donated Twin Shelves and an Executive Table to the Department of Architecture.
Alumni from the Department of Mass Communication also mobilized and organized their first ever reunion since the creation of the Department during the period under review in preparation towards future support to the University.
We continue to enjoin all Alumni amongst you and all over the world to always think of how you can contribute towards improving the fortunes of your alma mata.
Despite the huge successes we have recorded so far, it has not been plain sailing all the way. The University has been confronted with several challenges along the way. The issue of security has continued to be a source of concern with the increased demand to protect lives and property of the University’s resilient and hardworking Staff and Students but without the commensurate financial resources to adequately and comprehensively do so.
Similarly, University of Jos has experienced serious infrastructure deficit over the years. However, in recent years, there has been a marked improvement in Federal Government’s intervention through TETfund, the NEEDS Assessment Programme and other Projects which has enabled the University to gradually meet some of its pressing infrastructural requirements. The Phase Two acquisition and encroachments on the land earlier earmarked for the University’s development as well as ecological issues have also posed a daunting challenge. There has been an on-going dialogue with key stakeholders to revert the land to back its original purpose while efforts are also being intensified to ensure that substantial parts of the University land affected by erosion are reclaimed before proceeding with further development.
Members of the Press, in these past four years as I have hitherto mentioned, we have witnessed many successes but have also experienced myriad of challenges. I wish to extend my profound appreciation to all those who stood by us through our happy moments and especially those who were by our side during the trying periods. You may wish to recall the unfortunate incidence of the leaked video of my interaction with members of the House of Representatives Committee on Federal Character. I was truly humbled by the way in which Plateau citizens rose up in unison to my defense irrespective of ethnic, religious, political or other affiliations. Although I may not be able to recall the names of all the various individuals, groups and communities that lent their support during those difficult days, I wish to mention a few whom I would like to use as a point of contact to all those who expressed so much concern about the situation we found ourselves in. They include the Plateau Youth Council (PYC), Plateau Indigenous Development Association For the Advancement of the Natives (PIDAN), Gamai Unity and Development Association (GUDO), Gamai Youth Movement (GYM), Coalition of Plateau State Ethnic Nationalities, Concerned Staff of Unijos, Pan Development Association (PDA), Qua’an Pan Youth Council, Pan Youth Movement, Plateau Our Heritage (POH), the University of Jos Community and the various Media outfits who took to the cause of defending the Administration of the University of Jos without any prompting. Your efforts are greatly appreciated.
I owe a debt of gratitude to the other Principal Officers of the University for their continuous support and sacrifice and for always standing strong even in the face of difficulties. I must also thank our Staff and Students for inspiring us to deliver quality service through their unalloyed cooperation. To the many stakeholders who have offered their guidance and encouragement over the years, you have my immense gratitude.
We will continue to count on all your goodwill as we undertake the last lap of this journey towards making Unijos the most preferred destination for achieving “Performance, Prosperity and Happiness”.
I believe that with all our hands on deck, we can work together for the betterment of our great University and the country at large.
Thank you and God bless.
Professor Seddi Sebastian Maimako FCA
TEXT OF AN ADDRESS BY PROFESSOR SEDDI SEBASTIAN MAIMAKO AT THE PRESS CONFERENCE MARKING HIS FIRST ANNIVERSARY AS VICE-CHANCELLOR OF THE UNIVERSITY O F JOS ON THE 23RD OF JUNE, 2017 AT THE SENATE CHAMBER, UNIVERSITY OF JOS
- Members of Management
- Members of Senate
- Heads of Departments and Units
- Members of the University Community
- Members of the Third Estate of the Realm
- Ladies and Gentlemen
I want to welcome you to this auspicious occasion, the Press Conference heralding our one year in office. Ordinarily, one year out of a-five year tenure may seem too insignificant for any stock taking, but we are convinced that stock taking shows the direction in which an administration is headed. We decided to do a self-evaluation to know whether we are moving in the right direction or not.
When we assumed office on the 23rd of June, 2016, we were jolted by the realities we met on ground but we had to tighten our girdles for the challenges ahead. One year after, how has the journey been?
I am delighted to present to you my score card. My first year in office is the story of challenges and successes.
These challenges can be termed Personal and Institutional. Barely one month into my tenure, on the 27th July, 2016 was my personal residence attacked by armed men which led to the instant death of one University security personnel on duty, Mr. Owes Jibrin. The Police man on duty was fatally wounded during the attack. He is currently recuperating from that attack. While we were still mourning the death of Mr. Owes Jibrin, my nephew, Mr. Rientoe Raphael Maimako died in a fatal accident on the 5th of August, 2016. In the last one year, we have recorded the deaths of close family members, friends and colleagues. These have been very emotional and traumatic challenges. May their souls rest in peace, amen.
On the 8th of October, 2016 at the peak of the first semester examination for the 2015/2016 Academic Session, the Main Library Complex of the University situated at the Naraguta Campus was gutted by fire. The fire incident destroyed the learning resources of six Faculties. Two Faculties and six Departments that had cohabited with the Library were also destroyed. This incident created huge deficits in learning resources and infrastructure.
- STAFF DEVELOPMENT AND WELFARE
In spite of these challenges that heralded our administration, we resolved that our spirit would not be dampened. We made it a deliberate policy that human resource development would be pivotal to the success of our administration. Our slogan from the beginning was “Performance, Prosperity and Happiness.” As a result of this, we have never lost focus towards achieving perforamnce, prosperity and happiness of our staff.
Hitherto, our staff who were on approved full time study leave used to lose promotion because they were not on ground, but since our assumption of office, we have introduced a new policy on promotion which has been approved by the Governing Council. By this new policy, any staff who returns from study leave is promoted once he meets the criteria.
In the same vein, within the period under review, we have been able to offset backlog of salary arrears of Assistant Lecturers and Graduate Assistants which had been pending for several years.
We have also paid Hazard Allowance to NAAT members, while the arrears of Responsibility Allowance for 2016 has been paid to entitled staff.
In line with our policy of making staff welfare a priority, we were able to redeploy staff of the Centre for Continuing Education, Remedial Sciences and the University Staff School to relevant units and departments of the University so that the University will take full responsibility for their salaries.
Another milestone we were able to achieve was to secure the approval of the Governing Council for a new scheme of service.Before now, staff in the Registry and Bursary ended their carriers as Deputy Registrars or Deputy Bursars on level 14, but now with the new scheme they can advance to level 15 as Senior Deputy Registrars and Senior Deputy Bursars.It is the same for Academic Technologists who can now get to level 15; before now, they ended their carriers on level 13. New cadres have also been created for staff who had no cadre and stagnated since assumption of duty in the University.
We have equally reintroduced Part-Time Training Leave for staff to make it more convenient for them to learn while working.We have equally started implementing Research Leave for qualified academic staff.
Relationship with staff Unions
We have maintained in the last year cordial and harmonious working relationship with the four staff Unions on campus. We shall work hard to sustain the cordial working relationship and hope to improve by constant dialogue. We welcome constructive suggestions from all the Unions on how to make the University of Jos a better learning environment.
- ACADEMIC CALENDAR/ADMISSIONS
We wish to report that with the support of staff and students, we had a seamless academic calendar in the 2015/2016 Academic Session.
We are happy to say that broken or damaged seats in classrooms have been fixed and new ones added to improve on the learning environment of students. This has also made it possible for examinations to be conducted on stipulated dates without undue postponement which was hitherto the order of the day.
The University of Jos is steadily becoming the destination of choice for prospective JAMB candidates seeking admission into Nigerian Universities.In the 2016/2017 Admissions, over twenty five thousand candidates applied for admission into the University of Jos as first choice, but we were able to consider only about six thousand.For nearly five years now, candidates who were found wanting in their subject combinations for the course they were admitted for were out rightly rejected, but since we came on board, we have reintroduced Change of Courses for this category of candidates to departments that they are registrable.This has greatly reduced depression usually experienced by newly admitted students who were not registrable for the courses they were admitted for due to certain deficiencies.
We are also happy to announce that the University has commenced the IJMB programme.
We are also glad to announce that we have improved tremendously in processing transcripts for our old students who need them
In addition to having a seamless academic calendar, we have been working round the clock to see that programmes that were denied accreditation are back on stream.We have within the past one year made sure that funds were promptly released to upgrade facilities for the NUC Accreditation.It is in the light of this that we recently conducted and secured full accreditation for Postgraduate programmes in the Faculty of Management Sciences and Pharmaceutical Sciences.We are currently awaiting the result of NUC accreditation to undergraduate programmes.
- STUDENTS’ WELFARE
Conscious of our responsibility to the students who are the reason for our being here, we have within the period under review renovated the hostels and tried as much as possible to address the issues of light and water supply.
The shuttle buses which used to convey students from the hostels to the academic areas got grounded more than six years ago, but to God be the glory, we have repaired the buses and they are now fully on the roads conveying the students for lectures and back to the hostels thereby reducing the risk of commercial vehicles and the high cost of transportation for them.They are a lot happier for this.
The Directorate of Students Affairs is currently organizing elections into various positions of the students Union. We encourage and advise our students to remain law abiding the motto of the University is “Discipline and Dedication.” Students are reminded that only those found worthy in character and learning will be conferred with the University’s certificates.
As we journey into the second year, we are saddled with huge challenges including but not limited to:
- Creating an enabling environment that is conducive for learning and research.
- Meeting the expectations of stakeholders in terms of admission, recruitment and award of contracts.
- Creating the correct balance between performance, Prosperity and Happiness
It is said that all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.We are very conscious of this and have taken deliberate steps to improve our sporting facilities to encourage participation in sports, because a healthy body is a healthy mind.As a result of the support received by the Sports Committee, the University of Jos has never had it so good.At the recently concluded NUGA games in Makurdi, the University emerged the overall 2nd best in Zone E.The University won medals in all the games it entered for, except in one.The University is billed to represent Nigeria at the World Universities Games in Table Tennis, fall out of its gold medal in the game at the just concluded NUGA games.We are set on putting the University of Jos on the global map of University games.
- INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT
- Faculty of Social Sciences Complex and Faculty of Arts (Block ‘B’). Resolution of the dispute on the project through the intervention of ICPC. Work has resumed and is at different levels of completion. Hopefully, within the next three months some of the facilities will be in use, to reduce the accommodation needs of the Faculties.
- Senate Building. This administration has secured funding for the continuation of the work on the Senate building. The contractor has resumed work at the site.
- Provision of Facilities to new Faculties: The design of the Faculty complex for Management Sciences and Engineering have been completed and the funding prospectus is being processed through TETFund. The design of the proposed Veterinary Teaching Hospital has been completed, awaiting the signing of Memorandum of Understanding with the Plateau State Government.
- Proposed Visiting Scholars’ Lodge (now office facilities for the Faculties of Management Social Sciences). Two-storey-twelve number en-suit facilities designed and constructed as residence for visiting scholars, completed and commissioned. This facility is now being used by the Faculties of Management and Social Sciences on temporary basis due to the fire incident at the Library building in Naraguta campus.
- Extension of University Health Centre Building.
Resumption of the construction of additional facilities for records, pharmaceutical and maternity services; the construction work is at about 65% completion.
- Construction of new Student Hostels at Naraguta campus. Resumption of the construction of a 2 Storey building of 130 rooms en-suit accommodation plus supporting facilities such as common room, kitchen and restaurant. Work at practical completion, hopefully to be handed over in a month’s time.
- Renovation of Dalash Suites which was bought by the University. The facility has been rehabilitated for use by Africa Centre of Excellence in Phytomedicine Research and Development. Work at practical completion. The Centre has fully occupied the building.
- Rehabilitation of Demonstration Secondary School.
Facilities being progressively rehabilitated for use by the Department of Physical and Health Education and some Departments in the Faculty of Social Sciences
- Alumni Hall: Development of Proposed Lecture hall and administrative office facilities. Directorate of Alumni Relations sourcing for funds to undertake project.
Estate and Land Administration
- Furnishing of the new Student hostel in Naraguta – completed
- Furnishing of Medical Library/Offices at JUTH Lamingo – Completed
- Provision of mattresses in Naraguta hostels (Blocks A – D) and the Zion Female hostels. – completed
This administration has completed the following:
- Re-roofing of the 3-storey buildings and reconstruction of writing tables in classrooms for Medical Laboratory Sciences, at the Township Campus.
- Changing of the rain water discharge pipes from the roof parapets, in order to solve the roof leakage problems in the building for the Faculties of Education and Environmental Sciences.
- Rehabilitation of the blown-off roof of the building housing the Post Graduate School.
- Preparation of the structural integrity report and estimate for the rehabilitation of the burnt Library building at Naraguta Campus.
Civil Engineering Unit
We have also completed the following:
- Design and supervision of the construction of the water centralization/drainage system of the Naraguta hostels.
- Initiation of dialogue with the Plateau State Water Board.
- Re-activation of non-functional boreholes in the student hostels.
The following major projects were also executed within the period under review:
- The external electrification of the College of Medicine – JUTH.This project comprises the installation of 2.5MVA injection sub-station and two number 500KVA distribution transformers at Blocks A & C in June 2016, this gulped N60,981,326.96.The Sub-station has since been commissioned and working satisfactorily.
- Provision and installation of pre-paid electricity Meters at the Naraguta Senior Staff Quarters, permanent site in February 2017.
- The administration also purchased some generators in 2017 as backup for electricity supplies.They are at the University Health Services and residences of Principal Officers.
- ACCOUNTABILITY AND TRANSPARENCY IN GOVERNANCE
We are conscious of the fact that as leaders, we are holding our various offices in trust for the people. We cannot therefore betray that trust. We have since assuming office a year ago, been effectively using the internal mechanisms established to safeguard human and material resources.
This has saved the University money which would have been lost through inflated costing of goods and services rendered to the University.
We have also substantially addressed the problem of revenue leakages in the University.
- LIBRARY DEVELOPMENT
A Library is key in every citadel of learning as it is the repository of knowledge. It was therefore a rude shock to us when on the evening of 8th October, 2016, as mentioned earlier the Library complex at the Naraguta campus was completely gutted by an inferno. That Library was housing about 60% of the University Library’s collection of about 100,000 volumes, many computers and offices of two Faculties and several departments. As a result of the inferno, Management was proactive by launching a programme code named “Beauty from Ashes” to solicit for support all over the world to rehabilitate and restock the burnt library complex.
We want to report that as at today, about 70 individuals and institutions of goodwill from Nigeria and abroad have responded to our call for assistance. We have so far received books, journals, computers and cash. We have also established two collection points in the United States of America, in Florida and North Carolina and another one in South Africa. To crown it all, the Federal Government through the TETFund has given the University an Award Letter for the renovation of the burnt library to the tune of seven hundred and twenty-nine million naira only.
Within the period under review, we have also relocated the Medical Library from the Township Campus to Lamingo campus in February, 2017. We are equally training many of our Library staff to be abreast with global trends in managing a modern library.
Given the Security situation in the country, we are not leaving anything to chance.We have been proactive in our engagements with our internal security personnel and the external security operatives to ensure a safe and conducive learning and working environment for our students and staff.
We have embarked on the training of our internal security personnel which will be on a continuous basis.The most recent was the fire drills by men of the University Fire Service Station.
Fire Service Station
The University has had its fair share of the fire outbreaks in the past.After the fire incident of 8th October, 2016, the Federal Fire Service deployed eighth (8) staff to the University.We have established a mini Fire Service office at the Naraguta campus of the University.The station is being managed by staff of the Federal Fire Service. They have organized series of fire drills for the security personnel in the University and would soon do same for other staff and students.
Directorate of Alumni Relations
Given the fact that it is becoming very difficult for the Federal Government to meet the financial needs of the Federal Universities in the country; it has become expedient for the University to explore alternative sources of funding.One such alternative is strengthening of the Directorate of Alumni Relations towards cultivating the Alumni to give back to their Alma mata.The Alumni are responding positively with the Speaker of the House of Representatives setting the ball rolling.We want to urge all alumni amongst you and all over the world to begin to think seriously of what you can do for your Alma Mata.
In looking for alternative sources of income the University is giving vent to its advancement office to bring donors to assist the University. Indeed, every unit is being challenged to bring people of good will all over the world in helping the University of Jos towards actualization of its dream of being one of the best Universities in the world.
In its quest to become globally visible, the University of Jos has signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the following:
- Kenyatta University
- Makerere Business University
- Gaston University
- University of Bea Cameroun
- Saint John’s University Tanzania
- University of Botswana
- Mansoura University Egypt
- European Union Technical Partner
Centre for Entrepreneurship Studies
The Centre for Entrepreneurship Studies (CES) had been accommodated in a temporary office at the Bauchi Road Campus since its establishment the Centre moved to its permanent site in September, 2016.
The Centre in partnership with the Centre for Gender Studies and the US Embassy hosted Ms Christine Seuffrant Ntim, who delivered a lecture to Women and students of the University.The Centre also hosted the South Korean Ambassador, His Excellency, Noh Kyu-Duk who delivered a lecture to the University Community.The Centre presented a proposal for the establishment of a vocational training Centre.
Ladies and Gentlemen, it has been a year of challenges and successes as we said at the beginning of this press conference and we want to give God the glory for the modest achievements we have so far recorded within the first year of our administration.We are convinced that with your continuous support and prayers we shall collectively move the University of Jos to the next level.We are calling especially on the students, staff Unions and all other stakeholders to join hands with Management towards enhancing the fortunes of the University rather dissipating energy on unnecessary fisticuffs.
Thank you and God bless
Professor Seddi Sebastian Maimako