PRO-CHANCELLOR CALLS FOR INNOVATIVE REVENUE DRIVE ...Prof. Ajienka Calls For Entrepreneurial University System in Nigeria


The don stated this while declaring open a 3-day Strategic Planning Retreat organised for members of Council, the Vice-Chancellor designate, and other selected staff of the institution held at the Boardroom, Barcelona Hotels, Abuja on Wednesday, November 8, 2017.

Prof. Odekunle stated that government alone cannot continue to fund tertiary education in the country, adding that there is utmost need for Management to think outside the box on how to boost its internally generated revenue and to cut down on the cost of operations.

The Pro-Chancellor said for the University to continue to be relevant in the 21st century, there is need for massive investment in research and development, as well as recruitment of competent manpower towards achieving the vision and mission of the University.

He disclosed that the rationale for the approval of the retreat for Council members and the Vice-Chancellor designate was the desire to further enhance the development of the University.

“The Council was inaugurated in May, 2017, and is made up of eminent personalities. We believe that this retreat at this point in time will be beneficial to members in order to forge common agenda on ways to actualise the vision and mission of the University,” the don disclosed.

The Chairman of Council noted that the retreat would also enable the University to improve on its local and international rankings, saying that the decision to fix the retreat for Abuja was to avoid distractions that would have characterised such event in Minna.

While delivering his address at the retreat titled: The Journey So Far, the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Musbau Adewumi Akanji FAS, FNSBMB, said the purpose of the retreat was to chart a strategic plan for the University in the next five years in line with the vision and mission of the institution, saying that the strategic plan would also direct the activities of the University in terms of funding, research and development in the next five years..

Prof. Akanji stated that there was a massive improvement in all facets of the University when compared with what he met on assumption of office in 2012 while noting that he has launched the institution into international recognition, adding that the University has accomplished a lot in terms of research breakthrough, teaching, collaborations and service delivery.

The Vice-Chancellor disclosed that FUT, Minna now has active Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) and collaboration with institutions in Nigeria, Africa, Asia, Europe and America. He noted that the decision to upgrade the hitherto University Board of Research to a directorate status has resulted in the University researchers winning many competitive research grants.

On the University present ranking, the helmsman disclosed that FUT, Minna was number 17 in Nigeria and not among the best 100 universities in Africa when he assumed duty in 2012 while revealing that the University has moved geometrically from being 17th in 2012 to 5th in Nigeria in 2017, first among the specialised universities in Nigeria and 45th in Africa out of over 4, 345 universities that were rated by various international ranking bodies.

The Vice-Chancellor stated that in line with global best practices, the University has fixed specific dates for its matriculation and convocation ceremonies. He also stated that the University has hosted several national and international conferences, imbibed openness in running its affairs as well as running an inclusive administration.

He advised the Vice-Chancellor designate, Prof. Abdullahi Bala to improve on inclusiveness of the various tendencies in the University, aggressive revenue drive, regular meetings of the different organs of the university, maintain harmonious working relationship with Council and address the paucity of bed spaces on campus.

The lead resource person at the retreat, Prof Joseph Atubokiki Ajienka who was the former Vice-Chancellor, University of Port-Harcourt said that Nigerian universities should adopt the entrepreneurial system of university in order to address the problem of funding since government at various levels are no longer funding the sector properly.
He disclosed this while delivering a paper titled: Becoming An Entrepreneurial University: Why it Matters.
The don stated that to become a successful entrepreneurial university, the University’s entrepreneurial and innovation agenda must reflect in its policies, mission, budget allocation, incentives and curriculum. He advised that the agenda must be furthered through student competitions and incubators.

He advised researchers to discard the hitherto held view of publish and imbibe the evolving trend of patent-publish and produce in order to generate funds for the University and also contribute to sustainable development.

Prof. Ajienka said that the latest trend around the world is that most universities are now transforming their campuses to entrepreneurial universities based on its inherent benefits ranging from job creation and regional economic development, additional sources of revenue and nurturing an entrepreneurial and innovative spirit among students, faculty and administrators.

The former VC advised Management of the University to develop partnerships with private industries to support and fund research; license University-owned technology and make entrepreneurship and innovation training available to staff, students and the community.

Presenting his paper titled: Sustaining Your Strategy Through Dynamic Leadership, the CEO, NiTech, Dr. Segun Ogunkola said the University’s strategic plan must be in tandem with the vision and mission of the institution and that all departments must key into the plan.

Dr. Ogunkola disclosed that for the University to continue to be relevant among its peers in the 21st century, emphasis must be on research that would lead to patent, saying that the University can be self-sufficient through money accruable from research, patent, spin-off companies and commercialisation.

The CEO advised Council members and the Vice-Chancellor designate to look inward by cultivating its alumni and friends to generate funds through endowments to run its activities rather than depending on government subvention.

He stated that the content of the retreat was built around four perspectives namely: purpose, stakeholders, internal process and people in order for the university to continue to add value in all its activities.

Another experienced resource person at the retreat, Mr. Kolawole Ajuwon, FCA, former Bursar, University of Ibadan, while delivering his paper titled: Budgeting Control as a Tool in Strategic Planning said the University’s budgeting provision must be in consonance with the vision and mission of the institution.

Mr. Ajuwon commended the University Management for publishing its weekly financial transaction in its Campus News and advised them to carry out appraisal analysis on the financial statement on a monthly basis.

In an exclusive chat with Campus News after the retreat the Vice-Chancellor designate of the University, Prof. Abdullahi Bala said the retreat came at the right time during the transition period to enable members of Council look at different issues that can be articulated for the development of the institution.

“The retreat is essential for us to look at where we are and where we want to go. We all agreed that the University has attained an enviable status in terms of ranking and what to do to improve on it,” he stated.

Prof. Bala stated that the issue of infrastructural development would be pursued vigorously in line with the vision and mission of the University, adding that the University would explore the concept of entrepreneurial university system to address the problem of funding through research and development that would lead to commercialisation and enterprise.

He expressed satisfaction with the advice given to him by the Pro-Chancellor and the Vice-Chancellor at the retreat while assuring them that Management under his leadership would do everything possible to take the University to greater heights.

On the issue of revenue generation, Prof. Bala admitted that the University is underperforming in its revenue drive, saying that his administration would explore the University’s potential as a University of Technology to boost its revenue base through agricultural ventures and research that would lead to products for national development.

“The retreat has opened our eyes to the fact that most of the world universities do not get much from students tuition fees, but they generate more money from products of research and their association with government and industries,” the scholar disclosed

The training tagged: Take a Lead was organised by a United State of America based Company, Global Business Management and New InfoTech Consultants.


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