WELCOME ADDRESS DELIVERED BY MR. IFE OLUWOLE, CHAIRMAN, ASSOCIATION OF REGISTRARS OF NIGERIAN UNIVERSITIES (ARNU) AT THE OPENING CEREMONY OF THE 1ST ARNU WORKSHOP HOLDING AT THE FEDERAL UNIVERSITY LOKOJA ON WEDNESDAY, 17TH MAY, 2023
The Head of Service of the Federation, Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan,
The Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, mni,
The Chief Host, Vice-Chancellor of Federal University, Lokoja, Prof. Olayemi Akinwumi,
Members of the National Executive Committee of ARNU,
Host Registrar, Dr. Rebecca Okojie,
Distinguished Colleague Registrars,
Principal Officers of Federal University, Lokoja,
Eminent Scholars Resource Persons,
Other Members of Staff of Federal University, Lokoja,
Gentlemen of the Press,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is with utmost gladness that I welcome you all to this historic event of the first Workshop of the Association of Registrars of Nigerian Universities (ARNU). This is the first outing for me as the Chairman of ARNU and other members of the Executive Council ARNU since our election in Nasarawa State University, Keffi on 1st December, 2022. I use this opportunity to thank God Almighty for the opportunity to serve ARNU in this capacity as the Chairman. No one can have anything except it has been given unto him from above. Once again, I return all glory to God for all His mercies. On behalf of all the Members of the Executive of ARNU, I thank all our colleague Registrars for the confidence reposed in us to have been counted worthy to be elected into various positions in our noble Association. Our gratitude is like an unspoken thanksgiving that we render with every breath we draw. Were it to be different, we won’t be humans but angels incapable of boredom.
My immense appreciation goes to the Management and most especially the Vice Chancellor, Federal University Lokoja, Prof. Olayemi Akinwumi, and our amiable Registrar, Dr. Rebecca Okojie for their kind gesture of accepting to host this meeting which is two-in-one: 1st ARNU Workshop; and 73rd Business Meeting. The hospitality so far has been superbly wonderful and could not have been better. I cannot but express our profound gratitude to the Vice Chancellor for hosting our Revered Resource Persons and Members of the Executive to a Dinner yesterday. We shall ever preserve your kindness and hospitality in the treasury of our remembrance and study all occasions to testify our gratitude.
As said earlier, we are using one stone to kill two birds at this event. Apart from our usual Business Meeting, we are having a one-day re-tooling and re-skilling Workshop for Registrars which has become imperative in order to hone our skills for greater and better performance. We assure you that this will not be our last. Apart from the desire to hone our skills as leaders of the Registry in our various Universities, we are here to establish connections with people who share the same vision, disposition, and worldview as we do, build new relationships, address prevalent challenges, fashion out new insight and ideas about our world outlook, motivate one another, take advantage of new opportunities, upscale our creativity and productivity and explore tomorrow’s world from today. Workshops are great opportunities for lifetime growth and social transformation. The calibre of Facilitators invited to deliver lectures here lends credence to this assertion.
At this juncture, I should express our profound gratitude to our resource persons for not only accepting our invitation but finding time to be with us. Expectedly, they will keep us fully engaged as it is well known that they are blessed with the capacity to facilitate lasting change and drive key learning objectives. I, therefore encourage colleagues to participate maximally for the purposes of this Workshop to be fully realised and for the sustenance of excellent administrative practices in our Universities.
It is remarkable that the topics for the Workshop as well as the main theme of our programme have been carefully thought out and packaged with the most suitable and experienced scholars and Administrators. In consonance with the current realities and expectations of stakeholders, the theme has been appropriately captured thus: Repositioning the Administrative Machinery of the Nigerian University System for Global Competitiveness: The Roles of Registrars as Key Drivers. The Keynote Address, which will be handled by the Head of Service of the Federation, Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan, is equally well conceived to focus on Critical Issues in Human Resource Management in the Nigerian University System: Reconfiguring for Excellence. The Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission, Prof. Abubakar Adamu Rasheed mni will do justice to the main theme.
I am equally pleased that the doyen of University Administration and our Emeritus Registrar, Mama Mojisola Ladipo is leading a team of other distinguished Resource Persons such as Dr. Matthew O. Ayoola who will speak on “Leadership and Capacity Building for Administrators in Nigerian University System”; Prof. O.S. Adewale, an ICT expert who will address how to “Optimize ICT Solutions in University processes: The Chat GPT Revolution”; and Dr. Oyewole Adeoye who will handle “Wellbeing and Mental Health for Enhanced Productivity in University Administration”.
On behalf of ARNU, I commend the great role of the Planning Committee that handled the onerous task of putting together the details of the Workshop under the able leadership of the Vice Chairman.
Equally, I appreciate the relentless efforts of the Local Organising Committee for the exceedingly outstanding organization of the entire programme. Bravo!
Let me round off my speech by quoting Robert Collier: “Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.” Let us be of value to our respective universities so as to make the necessary difference and impact.
Once again, I welcome you and wish you all fruitful deliberations at the Workshop and also at the Business Meeting.
Thank you for listening.
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