The first university of Benin Academic Colloquium honoring uniben staff and alumni took place at the Akin Deko auditorium amidst a packed and excited audience, replete with the university professors/management, top government functionaries, invited guest, students and staffs alike. The event proceedings began with the usually scholarly contributions of the university’s P.R.O in introducing the university’s management
team,which comprised of the Vice-chancellor: Prof. F.F.O ORUNWENSE, the Deputy Vice Chancellor(academic): Prof. Falodun, directors, and deans . There were further remarks introducing the distinguished guest and invitees including : The honorable minister of power, works and housing-Babatunde Fashola, Permanent Secretary chief of Defense-Shehu Danjuma, amongst others.
At this point the university vice-chancellor -Prof F.F.O Orunwense was invited to deliver his opening remarks . The vice chancellor thanked all for attending the event, stressing the importance of the exercise as it highlighted the excellence of the university, having
produced such distinguished public servants . The vice chancellor further stressed his administration’s commitment and dedication to maintain the excellent standard of the university. The vice- chancellor rounded off by introducing the guest speaker Prof. Adamu Abubakar Rashede( National secretary of the Nigerian universities commission), delivering on the topic: NIGERIAN UNIVERSITIES: THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX TO EMBRACE INNOVATION AND POSITIVE CHANGE.
The guest speaker in a interesting and revealing session, began by commending the Vice-Chancellor for the initiative in convening the event. He spoke eruditely about the need to begin to do things differently in order to bring about positive changes in the larger society. There was a particular focus on repositioning universities by way of re-evaluating ethical conduct within Nigerian Universities. He encouraged critical thinking outside of convention despite opposition or perceived ridiculing. He equally touched on the need for universities to be the vessels through which the diversification of the Nation’s economy would take effect. Pursuant to this much attention was focused on universities to be proactive and enterprising in generating IGR(internally generated revenue). This he harped will help address the funding inadequacies in universities. Some of the important highlight of his speech focused on the policy direction of his administration as regards the following:
- commencement of research assessment of universities
- setup a of directorate of research in universities
- Relaxing the rules regarding the introduction of new curriculum outside of the NUC B MASS.
The highpoint of the event was the award presentation to deserving awardees done by the vice chancellor, Prof. F.F.O Orunwense. Amongst the awardees included:
Prof. Mrs. Salami
Prof. Sunday Martin Ogbonwan
Hon. Barrister Babatude Fashola
Amb. Shehu Danjuma
Prof. Chief Aduwa Oghegbean
Prof. Friday Okonofua
Prof. Akhaome Ibadode
Prof. Francis. O Otunchei
Prof. D.D Shehin
Prof. Emmanuel Aluyor
Prof. A.O Asagba
Prof. Eng. Sunday Onaibe
Prof. Mrs. Mary Edema
Prof. Emmanuel Ojeme
Dr. mrs. Isokhen Ogboro.
In concluding, Prof. Shehin spoke in gratitude on behalf of the awardees.