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UNILAG to curb disease epidemics in Nigeria



With the continuous disease outbreak and the lack of database in Nigeria, the University of Lagos (UNILAG) is set to collaborate with foreign research institutions to reduce the burden of epidemics.

The newly elected 12th Vice Chancellor of UNILAG, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, disclosed this at a thanksgiving service at the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) in Lagos.

UNILAG, which is referred to the school of first choice has a vision “To be Top Class Institution for the pursuit of excellence in knowledge through learning and research, as well as in character and service to humanity”.

Ogundipe, a professor of Botany, said the varsity will collaborate with both local and foreign research institutions to attract research grants to enable them solve some of the health problems that have bedevilled the country such as disease outbreak. He said it was imperative to identify and improve research projects for the generation of national data on health issues.


Ogundipe said funding remains a major challenge to improve research in the country, which has hampered the progress of establishing a data base record, adding that with investments in research from both the private and public sector, Nigeria would achieve success in monitoring and surveillance of epidemic.

“We have about nine research centres in the institution now, we are going to collaborate with other universities out side the country to attract research grants that we need to solve some of the problems we have in the country like the case of Ebola, which one of our colleagues in the institution identified and assisted in trying to control the disease. We will attract grants locally and internationally, even the Lagos State government is going to fund research grants and we are going to latch onto that to be able to move research to the next level in the university, we have the structure in place, what we need to do is to activate the structure so that we will be able to do more research that are relevant to the country,” he said.

Ogundipe continued: “One of the major challenges hampering research in the country is finance, so what we are going to do is that we have TETFUND and other research funding agency which we are going to key into to attract grants. We have international funding too like FET foundation, we have the royal society and the global funding too, that will be useful for the implementation and execution of researches in the country.

He said with the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) at the forefront of Research, UNILAG will collaborate with the institute, despite covering various research fields, such as engineering, medical, finance, environmental among others, adding that plans are underway to enter into collaboration with the Nigeria Medical Research Centre before the end of 2017.

On the television license received by the institute recently, Ogundipe described it as a great feat that would make the institution a force to reckon with and an as the nation’s pride.

In his words: “The university was the first in Nigeria to be granted a license to operate a campus television and radio station in West Africa. The NBC granted it a TV license on November 9, 2017.

He appreciated God for the elevation and said the university would be built on continuity of the past VC’s formation, adding that the new structure is to rejuvenate the institute’s place as the school of first choice.

Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe was appointed by the University Governing Council’s body as the 12th UNILAG Vice-Chancellor.

In a release by the school’s information unit, the three candidates that contested were: Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, Professor Olukayode Amund, and Professor Ayodeji Olukoju. Among the three contestants, Ogundipe coincidentally scored the highest mark in the exercise to emerge the substantive Vice-Chancellor of UNILAG.

Professor Ołuwatoyin Temitayo Ogundipe until his appointment was the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academics and Research) of the university. He is a Professor in the Department of Botany and also the Director of Academic Planning at the University of Lagos.

Ogundipe was appointed professor 2002, and gave his inaugural lecture in 2005 six months after the announcement of his professorship titled Botany: Root in the Past, Route to the Future, delivered on the December 21, 2005, at the University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria.

Ogundipe is a member of many scientific organisations and a reviewer for many scientific academic journals and external examiner to many universities including University of Johannesburg. He has been on the accreditation team to many universities in Nigeria and Ghana.

The summary of Professor Ogundipe’s research is in communicating biodiversity knowledge to the world, and the application of pollen and spore evidence to understanding patterns of evolution.

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