On 5th June, 2019, CEADESE team led by the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Felix Kolawole Salako paid a courtesy visit to the World Bank Office, Abuja. The team was welcomed by Ms. Aisha Garba Mohammed, Education Specialist and ACE Country CO-TTL, Nigerian Higher Education Project, WB focal person for Africa Centres of Excellence Project.
Earlier, Director, CEADESE, Prof. Olukayode Akinyemi gave a brief Introduction about CEADESE and the purpose of courtesy visit by the team to World Bank Office, Abuja. In his brief remark, Prof. Olukayode Akinyemi gave an insight into the focus of CEADESE basically on teaching, learning and research excellence in agricultural productivity in the face of climate change challenges.
In view of these, CEADESE developed post-graduate curricula that led to the training and graduation of students in Master and Doctoral degrees in Agricultural Development and sustainable Environment in response to specific productivity challenges. CEADESE also engaged in short term skill acquisition for industry stakeholders’ specialized workshops and internships. The Centre is partnering with 18 regional and 13 international centers on more than 100 postgraduates research projects in 6 West African countries conducted with up-to-date research facilities.
Meanwhile, Centre Leader, Prof. Olukayode Akinyemi, further buttressed more on research project activities based on 6 disciplines such as Agricultural Economics & Environmental policy, Agricultural Mechanization & Sustainable Environment, Crop/Pasture Production and Sustainable Environment, Food Processing and Value Addition; and Environmental Systems and Climate Change. However, the idea for the development of initial ACE Curriculum was born out of initial needs assessment from interactions among the main partner institutions in Nigeria and other five regional countries.
To further give account of the success stories of CEADESE the following key achievements were stated by Director, CEADESE, Prof. Olukayode Akinyemi, in his statement , gave some statistics on level of graduate output of the Centre Since inception based on the followings
a. Graduate Output
- PhD. AgSE
- National Accreditation conducted by (NUC, Abuja)
- International Accreditation conducted by (AQAS, Germany) (As at present, CEADESE-FUNAAB is the first public University to attain International Accreditation in Nigeria)
c. Agricultural ACE Consortium:
Recently, the umbrella body of the committee of Agricultural and Environmental ACEs under World Bank project formed a Consortium in Lome, Togo during a conference involving ACEs. The body agreed to make CEADESE in Nigeria to be the international secretariat for agricultural ACES based on its giant strides. Hence, the Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta, will host the Secretariat with the support of the vice-chancellor and the university management. According to Prof. Olukayode Akinyemi, It was concluded at the meeting that the Agriculture ACE Consortium will hire an experienced person as the ACE Consortium Coordinator with adequate skills in grantsmanship and be able to support the Consortium ACE centres in grant sourcing. The Consortium ACEs will pay fund the coordinator for one year, after which the consortium coordinator will be funded from IGR raised from his/her activities.
CEADESE, in partnership with Agency for Quality Assurance through Accreditation of Study Programs (AQAS), Germany; Department of Science Education, University of Copenhagen, Denmark; Perigrine Leadership Institutes and Academic Services, Gillette, Wyoming; and Galilee, International Managements Institute, Israel has become a hub in the training of faculty members on modern innovative methods of teaching, active learning, pedagogy, leadership, management skills and environment.
However, Centre leader further said that “within our West Africa region, we have a strong relationship with countries like Gambia, Liberia, Benin and Togo to regional students”.
Key Achievements: Major research breakthroughs by faculty members and students of CEADESE, since inception includes but not limited to the followings:
- Development of a machine for pelletizing poultry faeces into odour free organic manure
- Development of a greenhouse unit for optimally cultivating Onion in Abeokuta, SW Nigeria.
- Identification of sub-1 QTL gene for submergence tolerance in rice
- Genetic analysis of soybean response to storage stress
- Development of fried Chicken nuggets from FUNAAB Indigenous broilers
- Development of liquid-smoked Chicken sausages from FIB & Marshal broilers
- Development of yoghurt from milk of WAD goat.
- Development of biodegradable egg yolk colourant for laying birds
- Significant reduction in greenhouse gas emission from goat house
- Delineation of salt intrusion pathways in the underground coastal water systems of Nigeria
- Development of climate smart predictive models for Nigeria, Togo, Gambia, Liberia and Benin Republic
While our Areas of Strength for possible funding includes:
- Climate Smart Agriculture
- Safe and Sustainable Environment
- Food Security
- Clean water
- Crop Pasture Production
- Achievement of Sustainable development goals for community
- ICT & Agriculture
- Production of Critical mass of Master and PhD graduates
While narrating the key achievements and success stories- Prof. Akinyemi further gave an Insight into ‘where we are’.
(i) Achieving 95% of the DLIs and triggering 95% of the redistributed funds with high level of commitment for spending. In addition, other key challenges which brought CEADESE team to the World Bank Office were discussed. Finally, since the entire programme is rounding up in March 2020, the bone of contention now is the Sustainability of the programme for continuity. Prof Akinyemi appreciated the world Bank for organizing the clinical team at Djibouti which really assisted the centre.
Director, CEADESE, then asked salient questions, to justify our mission at the World Bank, office in Abuja. Why are we here? He further, explained the purpose as
- To acknowledge the support of the world bank
- To Seek World Bank intervention for quick release of triggered funds.
- To ask for support beyond March 2020.
Hence, the Centre Leader directed the following questions, “Why do we need your expert advice for World Bank matters at the moment”.
The Director, CEADESE lamented that for effectiveness, we need to get WB assistance and support mostly in the area of sustainability. Prof. Adewumi narrated how, FUNAAB Centre for Entrepreneurship had a GIS Startup programme enjoyed by the students which is also in pipeline for CEADESE students.
Responses from Ms. Aisha Garba Mohammed
She thanked and congratulated CEADESE on its recent achievements. She particularly commended the well developed presentation made by the Director. She advised the Centre Leader, Prof. Akinyemi, to be focused on Effective WB Project while not neglecting the WB Pipeline Projects, and that there should be a link with stakeholders, while appreciating the Centre for having both national and international accreditations of some of its programmes. She advised CEADESE to prepare a journal/checklists of what CEADESE can do. However, she emphasized on Business Model development for the Centre. Meanwhile, she further asked whether CEADESE has ever reached out to Federal Ministry of Agriculture.
Fortunately, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Felix Kolawole Salako reiterated that the university is presently supervised by the Ministry of Agriculture. Ms. Aisha later gave a list of opportunities and partners which CEADESE and FUNAAB can link up with ND. She further took the VC and the Centre Leader round the World Bank to have interactions with some specific task team leaders who are in charge of other projects within the bank. She further advised that the centre should organize a National workshop on Agriculture and national development, even up to inviting Agriculture minister and other key stakeholders and has to be giving an extensive publicity through newspaper, TV, etc. Arising from further discussions, she advised the centre to think on developing curriculum for primary and secondary school. She mentioned the reform of Agriculture colleges of Education in Edo State. Finally, CEASESE was advised to come up with a strong business model.
MEETING WITH DR. JOSHUA ATTAH (NUC, SECRETARIAT ABUJA)
The meeting started with the introduction of CEADESE team. Director, CEADESE Prof. Olukayode Akinyemi explained the mission of CEADESE to NUC was to appreciate for the support the centre received from NUC right from inception to date. In his own response, Dr. Joshua Attah, the National ACE project coordinator thanked CEADESE Team for the visit. Meanwhile, issue about delay in releasing fund to the centre was discussed while Dr. Attah insisted that two signatories to ACE CoE remain the Centre Leader and Project Accountant.
MEETING WITH EXECUTIVE SECRETARY NUC, Prof Rasheed Abubakar MNI
Director/ Centre Leader CEADESE, Prof. Akinyemi briefed the Execcutive Secretary of the purpose of the visit of the team to his office after introduction, while reiterating the last visit of Executive Secretary, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, to FUNAAB and CEADESE in October 2017 and that the very hard observations he raised and critical comments made during the visit helped the centre in making drastic adjustments in its operations which has led to its significant improvement. He further appreciated the Executive Secretary for his candid observations and advise given to the centre about 1 and half year ago.
The Executive Secretary, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, further asked Dr. Joshua Attah, the National Coordinator for Nugerian ACEs in NUC, to brief him about the progress reports of CEADESE in the last 1 and half years. The Executive Secretary was very elated and expressed his satisfaction with the performance, and stated his assurance of better future and sustainability for the Centre. He concluded by saying the achievements of CEADESE will be flaunted and showcased in the next annual National Review Meeting of NUC as well as the next WB Africa Centres of Excellence workshop.
The Executive Secretary, commended the incumbent Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Felix Kolawole Salako of his leadership qualities and supporting the centre and that he has seen the synergy between the University Management and the Centre Leader which has engineered progress at the Centre. He equally commended the Centre Leader and the Director of CEADESE for taking CEADESE to its present enviable height.
Later, Director CEADESE, Prof. Olukayode Akinyemi presented the university and CEADESE-branded souvenir to the Executive Secretary, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed.
The Executive Secretary, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed commended the giant strides achieved by the CEADESE and urged the team to keep it up for sustainability of the centre.