Worried by the upsurge in web-hacking by unscrupulous elements, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin and Chairman of the Association of West African Universities (AWAU), Prof. AbdulGaniyu Ambali (OON), has called for concerted global efforts to fight the menace of cyber insecurity.
Prof. Ambali, who made the call while speaking with journalists noted that the recent allegation by the United States government that Russia interfered with its 2016 presidential election was a testimony that no nation or institution is immune to cyber crime.
The Vice-Chancellor disclosed that the recent hacking of the website of the University of Ilorin was a challenge to the University management, which has been taken care of.
Prof. Ambali explained that immediately the matter was discovered, the University management employed the service of an expert IT company that immediately swung into action to rectify the anomaly.
The Vice-Chancellor pointed out that the issue only delayed the programme of the institution and made the students to go through some stress, assuring that all data are still intact and students and staff have no cause to worry.
While commenting on the expectations of the University community in the year 2017, Prof. Ambali said that last year was prosperous for the University because about 20 projects were commissioned and many of its staff won research grants while a host of others benefitted from staff development programmes nationally and internationally.
The Vice-Chancellor said that the year 2017 will be more flourishing as more projects will be executed, staff training will be improved upon and welfare package for staff and students will remain top priorities.
Commenting on the recent petition purportedly submitted to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) by some elements, accusing him and his immediate predecessor, Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, of wrong doing, Prof. Ambali described the petition as a disgrace to the authors, who called themselves officers of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
While quoting an African proverb that says knowledge without wisdom is like water in the sand, the Vice-Chancellor observed that the petitioners should have applied some level of wisdom while looking for cheap publicity.
Prof. Ambali warned that the University of Ilorin would not compromise its good name, adding that the management of the institution has succeeded in setting its priorities right and that is why the institution remains the most sought-after University in Nigeria for three consecutive years.
He, however, reaffirmed the position of the authority of the University of Ilorin to continue to associate with the Unilorin ASUU, which he described as “an icon of constructive unionism”.
While disclosing that the management of the institution is very proud of the various unions on its campuses, the Vice-Chancellor encouraged all unions to continue to be productive, as this, according to him, has been responsible for making the University a household name in the country.
While praying God to continue to be the shield of the University authority, Prof. Ambali assured that the labour of the founding fathers of the institution would not be in vain. He promised to continue to welcome constructive criticism as his doors are always open for suggestions and advice all the time.
Responding to a question on accommodation for the teeming students of the institution, Prof. Ambali, who is also on the Board of the International Association of Universities (IAU), pointed out that the good name the University has been able to build for itself over the years is paying off handsomely. He said this has made it possible for the University to be able to attract investors to build more hostel accommodation for the students.
According to him, aside the more than 7,000 bed spaces already occupied by the students, more hostel constructions are ongoing and are expected to be completed before the commencement of the next academic session.
The Vice-Chancellor opined that the private hostels developers were attracted to the institution by the security measures put in place by the management, the stable academic calendar, zero cultism status as well as the patronage enjoyed from the flock of admission seekers.
Reflecting on his recent election as the Chairman of the Association of West African Universities (AWAU), Prof. Ambali noted that the development would allow the University of Ilorin to have close contact with top universities around the world through the signing of Memorandums of Understanding (MoU).
Aside that, he explained that the recognition would make it easier for the University to attract more companies, such as the one handling its solar power project, to partner with the institution for a rapid development of the University’s vast campus.
The Vice Chancellor, however, pointed out that “it is not as if the University of Ilorin is a problem-free institution; we have financial challenges because the amount given by the Federal Government of Nigeria is not enough to execute meaningful projects. That is why we are soliciting for support of philanthropists through our Centre for Advancement”.
Prof. Ambali pledged that the University would continue to make the nation proud in terms of the quality of graduates produced, academic researches that will have positive impact on the country and community development projects.
To the government of Kwara State, the Vice-Chancellor pledged the allegiance of the institution to continue to be a good guest to the host communities. He also assured the state government that the University would continue to be its partner in progress.
Prof. Ambali pledged that the University would continue to attract more investors to the state with a view to indirectly fetching the state more Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) through the taxes paid by the companies as well as generating employment opportunities for indigenes of the state.
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