Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
The founder of Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State (ABUAD), Chief Afe Babalola (SAN) yesterday disclosed that he had since inception expended N476.8m as scholarships to brilliant students of the institution.
In a statement by ABUAD’s Head, Corporate Affairs, Tunde Olofintila yesterday, Babalola gave the figure while addressing the university’s Senate at a special session.
The funds, according to Babalola, are the aggregate of what he spent so far on such bright students in the last seven years, to encourage scholarship.
According to the statement, Babalola also said as from next admission, he would start giving scholarships to two students in each of the five undergraduate colleges, for the best student among the fresh students.
The statement said Babalola particularly placed emphasis on the indigent students among the freshers, making a total of ten students, to start with.
He said part of the scholarship package “will include, free tuition and $5,000 in addition. This is in addition to the annual prizes, which we instituted as far back as 2013.
“Under that scheme, we have been giving annual prizes. The categories include any student who scored 4.5 GPA goes home with N100,000, student who scored 4.8 GPA takes N250,000 while the one that scores 5.0, gets N500,000
On the salary increase, Babalola said the University “is interested in staff welfare. That is why on salary, we have analysed and collated salaries of teachers at all levels in private, state and federal universities
“We have thus decided to increase ours by 5% over and above the highest,” the founder of ABUAD stated.
He also listed other staff benefits to include pension scheme, reliable insurance scheme, payment for journal articles, study leave with pay as well as annual teaching methodology workshops
Babalola thanked the staff, especially the Senate for sacrificing their holiday, to make for the COVID-19 pandemic losses, which he said enabled students to stay in school.
He said: “With all of these considerations, I hope and pray that the 2020/2021 Academic session will end by mid-July and we will commence the 2021/2022 Academic Session by late August, this year.
“In essence, we will be the first university in Nigeria to cover the lost grounds post COVID-19,” Babalola challenged all the academic staff members.
He congratulated all outgoing provosts of the institution who just bowed out of office, saying their position was not a permanent one, but only for a period of term.
He urged their successors “to appreciate that they are going to be there only for a specified term.”
He called on the provosts “to be innovative and original in their ideas by surpassing their predecessors’ records in areas of students punctuality, enforcement of dress code, class attendance, maintaining the attendance register and maintaining a clean environment.
“The new provosts and their teachers should also ensure that the issue of sex and money now common in some public universities does not creep to ABUAD,” Babalola said.
He regretted that the NUC was established about 60 years ago and that it was the same curriculum that the NUC introduced since then that most of the universities in the country are still running till today.