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How OOU Weathered The Storm 42 Years After – INVESTIGATION (3)

Daud Olatunji

Following the two consecutive series of Special Reports by PLATFORM TIMES on the state of affairs at Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State, facts have emerged on how the 42-year-old institution weathered the storm.

PLATFORM TIMES, in its scathing reports, revealed that the state-owned university had not received a visitation panel in the last 15 years.

Further findings by PLATFORM TIMES exposed that the institution had weathered the storm of various forms of decay and emerged strong in the areas of stable academic calendar, population growth, results, certificates, and transcripts, as well as staff welfare.

While the institution still faces some challenges, PLATFORM TIMES’ further investigation showed that OOU has changed from its previous status some years back. Prior to recent developments, OOU was known for an unstable academic calendar.

Records and facts made available to PLATFORM TIMES on the state of affairs in the school showed that OOU has been at the forefront of a stable academic calendar among Nigerian universities in the last 12 years.

It was also gathered that despite the prolonged national strike of eight months in 2022 by unions of the universities, the university weathered the storm, stabilized, and regularized the academic calendar to the extent that it has completed the Harmattan semester and hopes to conclude the 2023/2024 academic session in August 2024.

OOU was discovered to be on par with many private universities in terms of its academic calendar, which was not disrupted by the eight-month strike.

PLATFORM TIMES’ investigation revealed that OOU, some years ago, found it hard to fill half of its quota of admission as students and parents dreaded the institution.

But, reverse seems to be the case now as OOU is enjoying rapid growth in its population as a result of the efforts of previous administrations, which are being consolidated by the current administration.

PLATFORM TIMES’ investigation showed that an average of twenty thousand (20,000) candidates apply for post UTME annually, with an increase in admission on a yearly basis.

Out of the 20,000 candidates that apply for post UTME annually, an average of seven thousand candidates get admitted yearly.

While PLATFORM TIMES gathered from past students about their negative experiences with results, certificates, and transcripts, recent investigations revealed that unlike OOU of the past, where a 400-level student would not know his 100-level results, the students now have access to their results within three weeks after completion of their examinations.

The just-concluded Harmattan examination of the 2023/2024 session will be no exception. Some students who spoke with PLATFORM TIMES under the condition of anonymity expressed excitement that the school has cancelled the issuance of Notification of Result.

Many of them said the issuance of certificates took immediate effect. They said that they now receive their certificates instantly after graduation.

A source from the school told PLATFORM TIMES that the certificates of the graduands who convocated in January 2024 are ready for collection.

According to the source, who pleaded anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the press on the affairs of the school, OOU has gone very digital in its processes for the benefit of all its clients, including students.

For instance, ITC has been deployed to make it easy for students to do their clearance after completing their program at the university.

On the transcript, contrary to the earlier complaints about the delay in the collection of transcripts, the source said a lot of improvement has been recorded in the area of transcripts.

For instance, graduates of OOU from 2014 till date can process their transcripts online and complete the whole process without coming to the university.

“Graduates in the earlier years can do the same and be successful, but a few glitches are still being recorded, which the University Management is handling to become a thing of the past.”

PLATFORM TIMES beamed its spotlight on student welfare and discovered that the school has now introduced a work-study initiative.

Through the initiative, students can now engage in light work within the university, having planned their time properly to make some money. Some students who confirmed the development said it reduces their stress if fees.

PLATFORM TIMES, in its investigation, discovered that the University Administration has embarked on repairs of many lecture rooms and provision of more teaching aids.

In a bid to solve the problem of accommodations, more hostel facilities have been added following the commencement of the residential initiative in the university.

On Staff Welfare, though some of them did not want to speak with PLATFORM TIMES due to fear of the unknown, a few others that spoke claimed that OOU is one of the highest-paying universities.

While PLATFORM TIMES could not confirm the claim, it was discovered that all categories of staff receive their salaries latest by the 25th of every month.

Inquiries made showed that staff collect their salaries on the 23rd, 24th, and 25th of every month.

This gesture was said to have been started by erstwhile Vice-Chancellor Prof. Saburi Adesanya while it was stabilized by his successor, Prof. Ganiyu Olatunde, and is reportedly being sustained by the current administration.

PLATFORM TIMES could not confirm from many of the staff that their promotions are done on a regular basis, but a few ones confirmed it.

The source from the school added that all outstanding promotion cases for non-teaching staff have been done, and for academic staff, only a few faculties are left for academic promotions for 2023.

“Several members of staff have benefited from the university in their area of scholarship and funded academic programs locally and internationally. Therefore, OOU parades many TETFund scholars, Commonwealth scholars, and so on.

“While going round to check the state of physical and infrastructural development of the school, it was discovered that some of the old generation of lecture rooms have been renovated.”

The source said that the central Research Laboratory in OOU was rated by accreditors as one of the best in any Nigerian universities.

Efforts to get facts about Academic performance of the school paid off as it was gathered that, as against its former regalia in past years, OOU has turned to a center of research, discoveries, and researchers.

It was learned that two academic staff won different grants worth 100,000 and 18,000 dollars, respectively.

It was further gathered that eleven (11) graduates of OOU made a first-class at Law School, while the university recorded many first-class graduates from various departments in the last convocation in January 2024.

The school was said to have introduced ten new academic programs approved by the National University Commission and now running for the ongoing 2023/2024 academic session.

PLATFORM TIMES’ further findings showed that the courses were: B.Sc. Criminology and Security StudiesB.Sc. Library and Information ScienceB.Sc. TaxationB.Sc. Forensic ScienceMedical Laboratory ScienceQuantity SurveyingEstate ManagementEducational ManagementApplied GeophysicsBuilding Technology

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