By Hammed Shittu in Ilorin
The desire of the federal government to bring education to the doorsteps of the populace through the establishment of private universities has continued to manifest across the country. Since the establishment of private universities in the country, the propensity of individuals to seek more academic knowledge and research has increased tremendously and this has enhanced the educational growth of the country.
No wonder, one of the Islamic faith societies in the country, Ansar- Ud-Deen Society of Nigeria (ADSN) took the bull by the horn too to join other faith-based private universities in the country to seek approval for the establishment of a private university. After series of consultations with their members nationwide, the society decided to put up structures on ground at Offa in Kwara State for the licensing authority, National University Commission (NUC) to visit and see how far they have prepared for the approval and accreditation of their courses for the take-off of the proposed university
During the visit of the licensing authority to Offa, they went around the site of the proposed university called Summit University to verify the claims put forward for the approval and accreditation of the courses at the university. At the end of the visitation, the NUC graciously approved and licensed the Summit University owned by the Ansar-Ud- Deen Society of Nigeria, located along Irra Road, Offa. The NUC also approved the governing council for the new university.
They include Alhaji Femi Okunu (SAN) who is the National President of ADSN; Alhaji Musiliu Adeola Smith, Chairman, Board of Trustees of the university and former Inspector General of Police; Dr. B.O Babalakin (SAN), Chairman Governing Council of the university and the Vice Chancellor of the university, Professor Hussein Oloyede. The dreams of the founding fathers of ANSN to add value to the educational growth of the country has now manifested with its recent license of its own university. The choice of ancient town of Offa as its location is not far-fetched as the town is the gateway to the north and south of the country thereby placing the location at the middle point for potential students.
Apart from this, Offa is a town with a lot of intellectuals that had excelled well in various academic disciplines thereby allowing the founding fathers of the ADSN to consider the town as a location of the university so that it would help the students to benefit a lot from the rays of intellectuals that are abound in Offa.
The ancient town is also a peaceful as this unique environment would assist the students to have a very conducive environment for their academic pursuits without any hindrance. The university which will start academic works as from next month in Offa has put all machineries on ground in order to ensure a hitch free take-off of the new university in the town.
Speaking with journalists in Offa recently, Professor Oloyede said, “All is set at Summit University, Offa, to commence operations next month with 500 students. The university will start with three colleges – College of Natural &Applied Science, College of Humanities and College of Management and Social Studies. We are set to produce graduates who are not only knowledgeable, highly skilled of excellent moral characters but graduates who are exemplary distinctive in all ramifications.
“With our unique mode of teaching, we are set to make a difference by emphasising the entrepreneurial skill inherent in all the disciplines, so as to make our graduates employers of labour and not job seekers”.
Oloyede who was pioneer vice chancellor of Fountain University, Osogbo, Osun State and owned by Nasrul- Fathi Society of Nigeria (NASFAT) added: “As a foremost faith-based institution, the university is set out to inculcate moral values into all spheres of our lives, including the discharge of our mandates in teaching, research and service to the community.
“We are by so doing, entrenching the fear of Allah in the acquisition of knowledge and service to humanity so that our graduates shall not only be successful on this earth but also hereafter. We shall engage first class teaching and non-teaching staff and also make the university fully IT compliant while making our environment fully equipped in respect of lecture rooms, auditorium, teaching, communication, library, financing etc.”
The vice chancellor added that the university would explore the excellent hospitality condition of the host, Offa community, “to establish an excellent working and social relationship that will facilitate the provision of adequate security to create the much needed confidence for a friendly working environment for staff and students.”
On accommodation, Oloyede said the management would ensure the construction of modern hostels for both male and female at a cheaper cost in view of the current economic recession in the country.
He also said that, the university possessed a large parcel of land in the town that would assist them to expand more in the future in order to enhance the academic learning of the students of the university.
He said that, part of the land would be used for farming. This, he said would serve as revenue generation for the university as the proceeds from the farming activities would be used to add values to the development of the institution.
On the tuition fees, Oloyede said that the fees would be moderate as this would encourage parents and guardians.
He however promised that, the university would not discriminate in order to enhance its growth and also to contribute its quota to the educational growth of the country.
The Vice chancellor posited that private universities should be assisted by the federal government to allow them enjoy from the tax payers money, in which they are also part of, noting that by not doing so, the federal government is not being fair to them.