Babalola tasks varsities on research
Says he has spent N78.720b on ABUAD
For Nigerian universities to be relevant in the 21th Century, they must deploy more resources to research, especially in science and technology in order to proffer solutions to some of the world’s problems.
Founder of Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti, (ABUAD), Aare Afe Babalola, SAN, who spoke at an event to honour an alumnus of the school, Mr. Popoola Olumide, who won an international laurel at the “Unilever Future Leaders League,” said, the world was getting more technologically advanced and only universities that can key into this area would remain relevant.
The legal practitioner said this realisation propelled him to equip the engineering college of the school with the world’s best teaching aides.
The legal luminary who disclosed that he has spent about $246m, (N78.720b) on the institution said he was ready to spend more because of the positive results coming from “our graduates that are already making difference in the world”.
Babalola explained that his university was the only institution in the country that has a “Talent Discovery Directorate,” where students are made to discover their gifted areas early enough, and get mentored through the provision of the right type of equipment, until they are nurtured to stardom.
He informed that the institution has also instituted a “Hall of Fame” for geniuses and other gifted students, who are either honoured or rewarded with cash or gift items at the end of every academic exploit.
The founder commended the award-winning student and his predecessors, saying their outstanding academic accomplishments was proof that his investment in the education sector was not a misplaced priority.
“Few years ago I sat with few people to discuss how to start a university that would be a model and bridge the existing gap. Today is one of the happiest days of my life because my dream of producing graduates that will make a difference is becoming a reality.”
Other speakers at the event, including the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Michel Ajisafe, Dean of Engineering Faculty, Prof. Owolabi Esan and President of the University’s Alumni Association, Miss Tope Sobajo commended Olamide and his team for doing the institution and the country proud, urging others to emulate them.
Earlier in his speech, the awardee said he, along with his team from Babcock and Bishop Ajayi Crowther universities, which he led, first won the Unilever national contest in Lagos in October 2015, and later went ahead to win the continental edition in South Africa before winning the global edition staged in London, United Kingdom.Students from 30 countries participated in the grand finale of the Unilever contest in London.