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ALUMNI BODIES CAN HELP DEVELOP VARSITIES

By NBF News
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Gov. Ahmed
Prince Adetayo Haastrup is Head of Management Information Services, National Hospital, Abuja. He is also Chairman, University of Ilorin Alumni Association in Abuja. He strongly believes that the best way universities can witness uncheckmated growth and development is through involvement of the various alumni associations.

Haastrup told Daily Sun: 'This is where one spends most valuable four years of one's educational life. It is where the final foundation is made for one's life. It is a very important place that will continue to influence one's journey through life. The attachment to this kind of place should not be taken lightly.'

He insisted that this kind of emotional attachment has to be exploited for the good of the university and the continued development of products of such institutions: 'This is where the alumni associations come in to play such roles. It is an important role that ought not be treated with levity.' He noted that with an institution like that of the University of Ilorin that has so many distinguished alumni, there is no reason they could not continue to influence the physical, academic, social and economic development of the school through so many activities in coordination with the administrators of the school.

He pointed out that his goal is to establish a positive working relationship between the alumni association and the school authorities for the continued development of the school. He sid the present Vice Chancellor, Professor Isaq Oloyede, has been a guiding spirit for this kind of effort: 'He has been doing everything to ensure that the university is not only on the world academic map but working tirelessly to deevelop the facilities in the campus to make it world class and turn the school into a place of pride for the students and those who have passed through the institution.'

Dr. Haastrup who is also a governing council member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria (CIPA), disclosed that the Annual Lecture/Dinner organised by the Abuja chapter of the association is 'aimed to not just bring the old students of the university together for their own professional development, but to foster a continued relationship with the university for purposes of the institution's development.'

He said he was very proud of Oloyede, who is also an alumnus, for championing the post-JAMB examination which has now been widely accepted: 'It is the best way for the individual universities to maintain their own standards and ensure that it is only quality students that are admitted. We are producing graduates for the global market and we cannot afford not to be competitive. This will also help to erase the menace of cultism in our higher institutions because every prospective graduate would be filtered.

'Our goal for this year's Lecture/Dinner, other than to honour some of our members who have been very successful in their fields and contributed to the growth of the university is to raise N15 million for the National Alumni Hostel Project on the campus among other things.' The other plans, according to Haastrup, include creating a support base for the University Management on Information Technology, hold Cancer Awareness Programme through seminars, purchase a bus to improve logistics to enhance organisation and members involvement in the association and equip offices within the University of Ilorin Liason Office in Abuja.

The topic for this year's lecture is, 'The Challenges of the Nigerian Education Sector: The Role of the Alumni Association,' to be delivered by Mr. Wahab Toye. It also aims 'to widen the intellectual perspective of members to these tasks in a sombre but celebrative atmosphere.' It is slated for December 9, 2010, at the Sheraton Hotels and Towers, Abuja, where Governor Abudulfatah Ahmed of Kwara State would be the Special Guest of Honour. Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki would Chairman the event.

Haastrup informed that the governor, who is also an alumnus, has expressed determination to work in mobilising members of the association as well as the adminitrators of the university for the progress of the university. He noted that this ought not to be a surprise because Ahmed is a committed member of the University of Ilorin large family.