22 Apr 2022

Green future: Experts dream big as Tech-U hold international symposium in honour of Ayobami Salami

The Faculty of Natural and Applied Sciences of the First Technical University, Ibadan, on Tuesday rallied experts from different parts of the world to discuss the essence and dynamics of a green environment.

The programme with the theme ‘Green Technology for Sustainable National Development’ was the faculty’s First International Symposium on Sustainable Development, which was in commemoration of the outstanding performance of Tech-U’s pioneer Vice Chancellor, Professor Ayobami Salami.

Salami has had a robust tenure at the university, building the institution within five years in spite of the challenging environment and period it came on stream.

The programme was two-fold as the faculty also presented two awards to the VC, whose tenure will end on May 8.

He will be succeeded by Professor Adesola Ajayi, the former Deputy Vice Chancellor.
Among the lead speakers were Professor of Biotechnology, Department of Chemical Engineering at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Bamidele Solomon, who gave the keynote; Professor of Chemistry Education, Department of Chemistry and Green Education University of York, United Kingdom, Glenn Hurst; and Professor of Environmental Microbiology and Biotechnology, University of Port Harcourt.

The Organising Committee comprised Dr O.R. Ogunremi, DR. K.O Badmus, Dr S’ O. Alayande, Dr J.E.T. Akinsola, Dr L.E. Oloore and Dr A. B. Familua – Ogunremi and Badmus being Chairman and Secretary respectively.

In her welcome address, the Dean of the Faculty of Natural and Applied Sciences, Professor Abiodun Olusola Salami, who was the host, said it (faculty) considered the issue of sustainable development crucial to the survival of mankind; hence the reason for making it the subject of the symposium.

She added that the faculty had, like many other stakeholders, also witnessed the developmental strides that the outgoing VC had taken, putting Tech-U on a firm footing.

The dean, who is also the wife of the pioneer VC, said, “He saw rainbows where others saw clouds. He saw brains that could be developed and hands that should be trained. He saw a dense forest that should be turned into limelight. He saw this place full of mud, where people had to wash their shoes before entering offices and classes. But he has transformed the muddy place to this habitable environment. Professor Ayobami Salami has grown the two roofs he met here to several roofs.”

At the symposium were the incoming VC, Professor Adesola Ajayi; new Deputy Vice Chancellor, Professor Iyiola Tela; the Registrar, Mrs Olayinka Balogun; and the University Bursar, Pastor Kehinde Olatokun.

Also present were the Dean of Engineering and Technology, Professor Charles Akanbi, who spoke glowingly about the uncommon attributes of the outgoing VC; Dean of the Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Professor Steven Ojo; pioneer Dean of the Faculty of Applied and Natural Sciences, Professor Remi Ogunfowokan; Pioneer Dean of Students Affairs at Tech-U, Professor Surajudeen Ajadi, and the incumbent, Dr Caleb Aborisade.

Others include Professor E. Ajayi Olajubu, Prof. Olatunji Okesola, the Librarian, Dr Abruraheem Akinbode; Director of the Vice Chancellor’s Office, Mrs Lanre Omolola; Director of Academic Planning, Dr Mrs Oluranti Sangodoyin; Director of the Institute for Sustainable Development, Professor Olusegun Awotoye; Director of the Centre for Languages, Professor Adebayo Mosobalaje; and the Director of the Intellectual Property and Patent Office (IPPTO), Dr Samson Alayande, who was also part of the organising committee.

Tech-U’s Auditor, Mr Adebisi Adekunle, Chief Engineer, Engr. Akinsowon Okewole; and Principal, Mrs Esther Aina were also at the programme.

In his keynote, Professor Solomon identified the likes of wind power, water hydro power
, solar power transport, biofuel, geothermal energy and the tidal as aspects of clean energy climate action.
He, however, identified some of the challenges of green technology. These, according to him, include high cost, insufficient information, lackluster investment, uncertainty about impacts and poor public perception.
Some of the catalysts, he noted, would include good policy development and implementation, awareness creation, encouraging research and adequate funding.

Hurst envisioned a green world where life would be far better, while highlighting some of the opportunities inherent in green technology.
“Imagine what the future could look like. The future will look like what we want it to look like. It will look like what we design it to be,” he said.

Chikere spoke on the need to strategise and overcome impediments on roads to achieving professional goals and breakthroughs. Using her own experience as a woman as an example, she said one should brace for personal, systemic and societal impediments.

At the symposium, which was also attended by the university’s Auditor, Mr Adebisi Adekunle; Principal of Tech-U Academy, Mrs Esther Aina,; and Legal Office, Barrister Yomi Opakunle, Professor Olukayode Adebimpe, who is the Orator of the Faculty of Natural and Applied Sciences, read Professor Salami’s citation, while Professor Ojo also paid a tribute to him.

In his remarks, the outgoing VC thanked the faculty for organising the symposium whose theme, he noted, was very relevant to mankind in general.

According to Salami, green technology and other alternative sources of energy are those that any 21st university should show deep interest in, based on the reality of dwindling resources and the contradictions occasioned by climate change.

Salami thanked the faculty for deeming it fit to honour him, while thanking all the staff of Tech-U, who worked with him to make the dream of the institution a reality.