Tuesday, 14 September 2021 05:30

NUC pledges support for newly appointed Nigerian Secretary-General of African universities

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Olusola Bandele Oyewole Olusola Bandele Oyewole

National Universities Commission (NUC) has promised to support the newly appointed Secretary-General of the Association of African Universities (AAU), Olusola Bandele Oyewole.

The Commission also assured that it would partner with the 54-year-old association, just as it expressed confidence in the ability of the new Secretary-General to excel in office in the overall benefits of universities in Africa.

“Let me also re-assure you of the unwavering commitment of the Commission in partnering with the Association in those cross-cutting areas that would be mutually beneficial to both the NUC in particular, and the NUS in general,” the NUC said in a congratulatory letter sent to Oyewole, who is the immediate past Vice-Chancellor of Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), Ogun State.

Oyewole’s appointment was announced last month by the outgoing President of AAU, Antonio Orlando Quilambo – the Rector of Eduardo Mondiane University, Mozambique – at the virtual extra-ordinary general conference of the association. 

The new Secretary-General, who will assume duties on October 1, 2021, is replacing an Ivorian scholar, Etienne Ehouan Ehile – who served for nine years.  The AAU headquarters is in Accra, Ghana.

NUC in a letter signed by its Executive Secretary, Abubakar Rasheed, stated that with Oyewole’s wealth of experience “as a visionary leader, a seasoned administrator as well as a scholar of international repute” his tenure would witness the much-needed reforms in higher education in Africa.

“I am confident that with your wealth of experience, you will succeed in taking Africa’s Higher Education portfolio, to enviable heights,” the Commission said, stressing that Oyewole’s appointment was in recognition of the professor of Food Science and Technology’s sterling qualities as a visionary leader, a seasoned administrator as well as a scholar of international repute.  

Oyewole, a professor of Food Microbiology and Biotechnology, had at the virtual meeting commended the association’s Governing Board for the confidence expressed in him to serve.

He declared: “My vision is to amplify the relevance of the Association of African Universities as the voice of higher education in Africa.”

“Without strong partnerships and collaborations, the Association would be unable to achieve her grand mission of improving the quality of African higher education,” Oyewole said, while emphasising: “Through honest, sincere, visionary, committed, transparent and disciplined leadership, I intend to build new strategic partnership and revive old partnerships for the sustainability of the Association.”