Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), the immediate past Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council, Ajayi Crowther University, Oyo,
has called on the Federal Government to be more transparent in its fight against corruption.
Olanipekun spoke with newsmen on the sidelines of a ceremony held at the university to mark the end of his tenure as the Pro-chancellor and Chairman of the institution’s Governing Council.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Olanipekun, whose tenure as the pro-Chancellor of the institution has just ended, has been appointed as the new Chairman of the institution’s Board of Trustees.
NAN reports that Ajayi Crowther University (ACU) is a private and faith-based institution located in the ancient Oyo Town.
Olanipekun, a renowned legal luminary, said that government has good intention in its fight against corruption and could only get better results if it could emulate the transparent way of handling things at the university.
He said that the success recorded by the university during his eight years tenure was due to the council’s strict adherence to due process in spending the school’s financial resources.
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Olanipekun said that the council enjoyed goodwill from Nigerians, because it has physical evidence of expending grants from well wishers.
“My experience as the Pro-chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council has been rich and rewarding. Rich in the sense that I came from the background of the University of Ibadan.
“This is a federal institution that receives grants from the government, run by government, vice-chancellor appointed by government, the registrar and others being under Federal Government’s influence.
“Now, coming to a school owned by a missionary, I mean the Anglican and not just the totality of the the Anglican Communion, but the supra west. When we got here, we had few buildings on the campus,” he said.
Olanipekun said they reflected on what they could do for the university, adding that they gave themselves mandate, target, goal and timing all self-imposed.
“It is a good thing that this government is fighting corruption, but they should come to Ajayi Crowther University and see how we execute our projects compare with what governments are doing all over.
“Money was not coming when I came to ACU, but we were determined to achieve. As a leader, you must be able to say, do as I do and not do as my body language,” he said.
Olanipekun said that as the pro-chancellor and chairman of the council at the University of Ibadan from 2009 to 2013, he never collected allowance nor take any form of financial gratification from the school.
“Anytime I go to UI, I go there with pride, excitement, happiness, joy and ecstacy; but all these rolled into one because I glorify God that I passed through this place without destroying or demeaning the name of Jesus Christ.
“I made my mark at UI; I didn’t take a dime there, because my own philosophy is that it is more rewarding to give than to take,” he said.
On the state he met ACU when he came eight years back, Olanipekun said that a lot of the facilities at the school today were absent then.
“The vice-chancellor was living in a rickety house built over 100 years ago for the principal of St Andrew’s College.
“My wife and I decided to volunteer and built one befitting house for the vice-chancellor; that is how to set example.
“Now, we have the Faculty of Law built by Modupe and Folorunso Alakija and the Library built by Theophilus Danjuma. People started coming to help us, now the road network is tarred,” he said.
The new Chairman, Board of Trustees, said that about five projects were inaugurated at the institution’s permanent site during the last convocation.
“I can beat my chest and say that in the last eight years, we have taken the humble university we met to what it is today. This university is now stabilised.
“At a point, we have to take a loan of N300 million from UBA with my property as guarantee when we could not pay salary. I am from Ekiti, but this school is in Oyo, God is one everywhere.
“Looking at our budget today, we have stabilised. We do not owe a dime. When we came, we owed several banks, but as I am leaving today, we do not owe any bank, we have excess in banks,” he said.
Olanipekun said that three governors were given honourary awards and each of them promised to give us something which we already know what to do with it.
He said that they don’t give contract out at the university, but to members of staff in order to encourage them.
“In terms of academic, students’ population has increased in multiple folds. Today, candidates are begging to come.
“We now offer every course, except Medicine and already, we are working on Medicine as a course here,” Olanipekun said. (NAN)
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