Beloved staff and students of Kwara State University (KWASU), I greet you in the name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful. It is with gratitude to the Supreme Lord and joy that I convey my heartfelt greetings and best regards to you all, particularly as the world battles with the rage of the coronavirus and the consequence of the global lockdown.
As you all know, I was appointed as the second substantive Vice Chancellor of this great citadel of learning on 1st April, 2020. I wish to express my heart-felt appreciation to you all for your numerous messages of goodwill, felicitation and pledges of support, loyalty and avowed commitment. I am indeed overwhelmed by the show of love, genuine concerns, kind remarks and prayers that I have received from individuals, groups and organizations these past few days for which I am most grateful.
Distinguished colleagues, I count myself very lucky to be the Vice Chancellor because I am coming on board to steer the wheel of affairs of this unique institution with a solid foundation. Even though a relatively young university, KWASU has grown in leaps and bounds within a 10 year period. It has become a brand. Indeed a foremost university amongst other universities in Nigeria. This has been made possible by the giant strides recorded by previous administrations. Special thanks to Prof AbdulRasheed Na’Allah and Prof Sakah Mahmud. Their pioneering efforts have put the university on a solid footing. I wish to assure you that I shall build on this solid foundation.
Since taking over the leadership of KWASU, I have painstakingly embarked on the task of cataloguing the various developmental strides recorded by the past administrations. Like I have earlier stated, it is my desire to build on the achievements of these heroes of our time. Their landmark achievements will certainly serve as referrals and checklist for my programmes and initiatives.
Taking advantage of the window offered by the COVID 19 lockdown, I have, since my appointment, been preoccupied with assessing the factual state of affairs of the university. In doing this, I have been studying bundle of documents and briefs that provide genuine information about the current situation of the university including the potentials and challenges. I have also been engaging in high level consultations with critical stakeholders within and outside KWASU community, chief of which was the interactive session I had with the principal officers including Provosts and Deans of the university. The inaugural meeting afforded me the opportunity to present an outline of my plans for the institution for the next five years. I am very happy with the quality of the comments and contributions that I received from the august audience. I have no doubt that KWASU has the needed human assets that will help drive my mission and vision in the quest of making KWASU a foremost university.
As Vice-Chancellor, my aspiration is to make KWASU a place of prospect and inspiration for the staff and students. My dream is to promote a world class enabling environment for learning, teaching and research. An environment that is conducive for scholarship, knowledge and entrepreneurial skills suitable for industry, business and life.
With your cooperation, I shall be the motivating force of the university, shaping the future of the institution by providing strong, intellectual, innovative, team-leadership and strategic direction. In order to achieve this, my administration shall be focusing on five core areas amongst others:
- Conducive learning environment for students
- Promotion of policy-oriented research and collaboration with government and industries.
- Community development and entrepreneurial initiatives.
- Transforming KWASU into a financially sustainable institution.
- Improved welfare schemes and capacity building programmes for staff and students
The critical areas of needs highlighted above form the fulcrum of the mission and vision statements that I submitted as part of my application for the position of the Vice Chancellor, KWASU. With the help of relevant resource persons and experts, I am currently putting together a comprehensive manual that includes the strategic plan and implementation framework that will help actualize my plans for KWASU. The template shall guide the policy direction of my administration over the next five years.
Dearest colleagues, I can not on my own achieve all the lofty plans that I have for KWASU. All hands must be on deck, so we can succeed. Your support and cooperation are highly needed to succeed in making this university a world class university. I promise to work with you diligently in order to sustain the current tempo of development in the university. Despite the laudable efforts of previous administrations, there is still so much to be done. This is not the time to engage in partisan bickering and unhelpful criticisms. Let us seize the moment and work as a team so as to achieve the laudable objectives of the institution and actualize the dreams of its founding fathers. I appeal to you all to eschew all sorts of implants of negative energies so as to move the university to loftier heights. I promise to be just and fair to everyone irrespective of divides.
Permit me to use this platform to congratulate the newly appointed external members of the Governing Council of the University, headed by Prof Kpotun Mohammed Baba. The Chairman of Council is an academic of repute and a seasoned administrator with about 35 years of academic cum administrative experience in the University. He is a Professor of Agricultural Economics and currently lectures in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Farm Management, Federal University of Technology, Minna, Niger State. My interaction with the Chairman reveals a man of deep understanding of university administration. He also exudes wisdom, simplicity, humility and great moral standing. We look forward to a fruitful and harmonious relationship between council and management of the university.
I will also like to use this opportunity to talk about the scourge currently ravaging humanity. As academicians, we cannot and should not feign ignorance of the existence of coronavirus (COVID – 19). We all have roles to play. Each one of us must take responsibility in the fight against the COVID – 19 pandemic. We cannot leave the fight to government alone. The least we can do is to comply with health advisories and protocols issued by government and health authorities. I therefore implore us to maintain the highest level of personal hygiene, social distancing and avoid social gathering. Above all let us keep safe by observing the stay-at-home directive. The spread of the virus is best curtailed in the absence of physical human contacts. Please let us all join hands with government to eradicate the coronavirus before we become victims.
Before concluding this address, I will like to wish all our Christian brothers and sisters within the KWASU community, a refreshing and happy Easter holiday. Easter is a season of sacrifice and forgiveness. There are several lessons to be learnt from the life of Christ. Despite the agony of being unjustly nailed to the cross, Christ still forgave his traducers. May the sacrifice of Christ bring to all, renewed hope and a sense of responsibility as you join me in lifting our university to a loftier height.
Thank you very much and best regards.
Prof Muhammed Mustapha Akanbi SAN, ACIarb, ACIS
Saturday, April 11, 2020
MBO FOR TEAM BABS REPORTING