A legal luminary and founder of the Afe Babalola University in Ado Ekiti, Chief Afe Babakoka, SAN, said on Friday that the university had spent N476.8 million as financial rewards to outstanding students.
The Head, Corporate Affairs of the university, Mr Tunde Olofintila who disclosed this in a statement made available to newsmen in Ado Ekiti, quoted Babalola while addressing a special session of the Senate.
The rewards, according to the ABUAD founder and visitor, represented the total amount that he spent so far on scholarships for students who excelled in their various courses in the last seven years.
Babalola further disclosed that as from next session, he would start awarding scholarships to two students in each of the university’s five undergraduate colleges.
He stated that the two students would include the poorest and best students, amongst the freshmen, making a total of ten students to start with, explaining that the scholarship package would include, free tuition and $5,000.
“This is in addition to the annual prizes, which we instituted as far back as 2013. Under that scheme, we have been giving out annual prizes in various categories.
“The categories include any student who scored 4.5 GPA, 4.8 GPA and 5.0 GPA, each goes home with N100,000, N250,000 and N500,000, respectively.
On the salary increase, also announced at the session, Babalola said, “the University is interested in staff welfare, as hence why we analysed and collated salaries of teachers at all levels in private, state and federal universities.
“We have thus decided to increase ours by five per cent, over and above the highest”.
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 holidays, to make up for the COVID-19 pandemic losses, which, he said, enabled students to stay in school.
“With all of these, 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”, he said.
He congratulated all outgoing provosts of the institution whose tenure just ended, saying that their positions were not a permanent one, but only for a period of term, while urging their replacements to appreciate that they would also serve for a specified term.
He called on them 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 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 into ABUAD”, Babalola said.
He regretted that although the NUC was established about 60 years ago, the same curriculum that it introduced since then remained what most of the universities in the country were still running till today.
“But, we have a different story to tell. Ours is the only University in Nigeria which has introduced five new programmes that have been approved and adopted by NUC.
“The programmes are, Mechatronics, Intelligence and Security Studies, Social Justice, Human Biology and Dietetics, Tourism and Event Management,” he said.
Babalola added: “In the first 10 years, ABUAD has overshot its expectations in all the Colleges, winning many National and International awards, accolades and recognitions.
“Because we cannot afford to rest on our oars, where do we want to be in the next 10 years? In the next 10 years, our plan is to be among the first 100 universities in the world,” Babalola said.