COVID-19: Tech-U To Introduce 2 Types Of Ventilators – VC, Prof Ayo Salami

The Vice-Chancellor of the First Technical University, Ibadan, Professor Ayobami Salami has announced that his institution is about to introduce two types of ventilators to help reduce death rate as the novel coronavirus ravages Nigeria.

The university don explained that his research team at Tech-U is almost ready to formally present the ventilators – digital and mechanical.

The university don gave these submissions while featuring on Tuesday’s edition of the weekly radio magazine show, Parrot Xtra Hour aired on Space 90.1FM, Ibadan anchored by Olayinka Agboola.

He also disclosed that Tech U is giving everything at its disposal to support the state government in curtailing the spread of the COVID-19 in Oyo State.

According to Prof. Salami, “one of the major functions of the university is to be able to innovatively and proactively respond to solving the challenges of the larger society.

“When the coronavirus became a pandemic, we sat down with management and we told ourselves even though, we are very young, very new, we must not fold our hands, this is time to actually look inwards and see in what ways, areas we can support the state government and by inference the entire Nigerian society.

“We decided to support the Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) of the state government in respect of the designing and reproduction of sensitization materials, so, we put our ICT infrastructure at the disposal of the Centre for contact tracing, data management, and data-based development. We have also come up with face masks, which have been presented to the state government.”

Speaking about how the institution has been sourcing for funds to run its programmes and the level of infrastructure that have been put in place, the pioneer Vice-Chancellor, explained that Tech U is being run by the public, private and the parents (PPP).

His words, “when I was appointed as Vice-Chancellor, we only had two buildings donated by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to the state government and these were the infrastructure handed over to us.

“But through the internally generated revenue and from those who have been supporting us, we have been able to move higher. As I am talking to you, we have Central workshop and laboratory that is almost completed and is being built from our own internally generated revenue, we have students’ accommodation built by the private sector and we also have another set of hostel accommodation going on concurrently in the university. We have brought in a lot of infrastructure into the place.

“Thanks to the Oyo State government, you can see that Engineer Seyi Makinde’s administration has almost completed our gatehouse and the new access road to the university. It is a part of the support or facilitation that the state government is giving to us,” Prof. Salami stated.

In his submission on the employability status of Tech-U students and how they are keying into the mission of the institution, the VC noted that the institution has made it a matter of compulsion for all students to learn at least one vocation, which they can live on apart from certificate before they leave the university.

Salami revealed that the university has made it a norm and following its slogan ‘developing brains, training hands’ by involving students in any research work by the research team of Tech-U to enable them to earn some income even while on campus.

Salami, while speaking on how he managed to settle the ownership speculation and his survival during the change of government in Oyo State, he commended the state governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde, who he described as a leader who believes in the politics of development. “There is a difference between rumor and fact, so many things were going on during the electioneering campaign but as I said, I only restricted myself to my job, my work. Let me say that I must give credit to the state governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde because some people believe in politics of accusation, some others believe in politics of development, so, I believe that our governor believes in politics of development and he was able to see that Technical University is part of the sectors that can contribute meaningfully to the development of the state.

“Therefore, he has been able to show that he is a man that is objective and goes for what is right and he strives to do what is the best. So, my being here, number one, I will attribute to God and attribute it to the objectivity of the leadership of the state. Like I told you, I am a technocrat and not a politician,” Prof. Salami submitted

The debonair scholar also made shocking revelations as to how he was denied the opportunity of becoming V.C of the prestigious Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, before his present appointment.

He submitted that though he had ran the race and won and was appointed but denied the chance of becoming the V.C in O.A.U due to some underground politics.

“I have made my mark in Ife and anybody hearing me or reading the transcript of this interview can cross-check. I have already had my mark in that great university, which has been my platform since I entered as an undergraduate student and I want to say, to the glory of God, in Ife today, I mean in Obafemi Awolowo University, I have a memorial.

“But where I am going to have my legacy is the First Technical University, Ibadan. So Ife is a place for me to have a memorial, Ibadan First Technical University is the place for me to have my legacy. I ran the race and won. I got appointed and due to some politics and shenanigans, I was denied the chance of becoming the V.C,” Salami said.

On what really happened as it was rumored that he was being denied the opportunity because of the fact that he was not from Osun State or an Ife indigene. Professor Ayobami Salami has this to say.

“There were so many factors. Where I came from was part of it. There were some people who were also interested in some things, which made them go against the normal procedure and normal process. But for me, I am a person who believes in the counsel and the plan of God to channel and direct my paths.

Because, with the knowledge of hindsight, I am far, far better off where I am. I have cause to give glory to God and be grateful to those who participated in the process that denied me the opportunity of resuming as Vice-Chancellor there.”

For those who blocked him from becoming the V.C, according to Salami, though they have blocked his progress but unknown to them, they were being used by God.

“The place of declaration for me is Ife but the place of actualisation is the First Technical University.

“I am very grateful to God and I am grateful to all of them and many of them are now my friends interestingly. When I go to Ife now, they are my friends. Because most of them realised they made a big mistake but I believe they were used by God.”

Ayobami Salami is an Ibadan-born Professor of Space Applications and Environmental Studies.

According to Wikipedia, Professor Ayobami Salami, born 56 years ago, hails from Ibadan, specifically from Akinyele Local Government Area of Oyo Central Senatorial District, Oyo State, Nigeria.

He attended Lagelu Grammar School, Ibadan for his secondary school education. Then proceeded to the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University), Ile-Ife between 1982–1986, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife 1987–1989, African Regional Centre for Training in Aerospace Surveys between 1989–1990, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife between 1992–1996.

He has B.Sc (Geography) 1986; M.Sc (Land Use and Natural Resources Management) 1989; PGD (Remote Sensing Applications/GIS) 1990; Ph.D (Space Applications and Land Use/Natural Resources Management) 1996.

Salami joined the services of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife as a Research Fellow II in the Institute of Ecology and Environmental Studies on 1st February 1991. He rose through the ranks to the grade of Professor on 1st October, 2003.

He had served as the Director, Institute of Ecology and Environmental Studies of the University (2006–2010) and Head, Space Applications and Environmental Science Laboratory (2005 till date). He was formerly the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State.

Salami also served as a Member of the Senate of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, after having served as an Elected Member from 1996–2000. In addition, he had served as a Member of the University Governing Council from 2003–2007 and had at various times, served on several committees in the University either as Member or Chairman.

Salami has to his credit, several universities, national and international fellowships, honours, awards, and consultancies. He had also served as a Member of the Accreditation Panel of the National Universities Commission to various universities in Nigeria at different times.

Professor Salami has obtained numerous grants from several organizations such as National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA), Abuja; Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA); Ecological Fund Office, Office of Secretary to the Government of the Federation, The Presidency, Abuja; National Centre for Remote Sensing, Jos; International Institute for Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC), The Netherlands; International Secretariat of System Analysis for Research and Training- International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP), Washington D.C.; UNESCO Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission; United Nations Development Program (UNDP); United Nations Environment Program (UNEP); International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP), Trieste, Italy; Ramboll Natura AB, Sweden; European Union (EU); International Development Research Centre (IDRC); and International Steering Committee for Global Mapping (ISCGM), Japan among others.

An Eisenhower Fellow (USA) since 2009, Professor Salami has supervised the thesis of 7 Ph.D. and 31 M.Sc. degree students in the University and is currently supervising 3 Ph.D. students. He has served as an External Examiner to several foreign and Nigerian Universities.

He delivered the 220th Inaugural Lecture of the University titled “Space Applications and Ecological Haemorrhage: The Nigerian Experience” in 2009. Professor Ayobami Salami has 75 publications to his credit in Books, Journals, Conference Proceedings and Technical Papers.

Ayobami T. Salami is the pioneer Vice-Chancellor, The First Technical University, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria. The University under his administration has recorded many feats since its establishment by the immediate past administration in the state.