By; Opeyemi Olawore
“Some are born great while others attain greatness through diligence, doggedness and faith in God.”
The latter is the case of Professor Gbemiga Adewale, a Professor of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development. No matter the home into which one was born, no matter the path one was made to tread, no matter the obstacles put in one’s way, great men will always turn their stumbling blocks into stepping stones this saying better describes Prof. Adewale.
Prof. Gbemiga Adewale was the immediate past Rector of the Oyo State College of Agriculture and Technology (OYSCATECH), Igboora. He was first appointed as the acting provost of the institution in December 1, 2011 before becoming the substantive Rector of the institution in July 17, 2014. The position he occupied until July 9, 2019, having completed his tenure.
While at the Oyo State College of Agriculture and Technology, Igboora, Prof. Adewale succeeded in putting his footprints on the sands of time through his all-inclusiveness policy and the various structures established by him. Some of which include; the establishment of school system which later transformed into the existing six faculties of Animal and Fisheries Technology, Agricultural Extension/Home and Rural Economics, Engineering, Plant Science, Management and Communication and Faculty of Science. Apart from these, the Directorate of Vocational Skill and Entrepreneurship Study Centre (VSESC), Academic Planning and Students Industrial Work Experience Scheme were created. Other structures created by Adewale include; Students Affairs Division, Board of Studies, Health Centre, office of the Deputy Rector, office of the Committee of Deans, Physical Planning Division, Directorate of Daily Part-Time programmes and Preliminary Studies among others.
The Oyo State College of Agriculture and Technology, Igboora which was just six years old as at the time Prof. Adewale came on board, had only five programmes namely; Animal Health and Production, Fisheries Technology, Home and Rural Economics, Agricultural Technology and Agricultural and Bio-Environmental Engineering.
The academic programmes of the institution increased thereafter from five to over thirty programmes which were run at National and Higher National Diploma level. Prof. Gbemiga Adewale brought unprecedented advancement to Staff, Students and the institution in general. His tenure brought about increase in students’ enrollment, while Staff welfare and promotion were of topmost priorities to Prof. Gbemiga Adewale. Staff enjoyed regular promotion, periodic upgrade, regularization and confirmation of appointments under him.
From Monotechnic to Polytechnic
While in office, the institution metamorphosed from monotechnic to polytechnic, having gained the recognition of the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE). This singular opportunity gave the Oyo State College of Agriculture and Technology, Igboora the opportunity to run management and engineering programmes in addition to the existing agricultural programmes. Some of which include; Mechanical Engineering, Computer Engineering, Statistics, Library and Information Science, Cooperative Economics and Management, Accounting, Public and Business Administration among others.
The change in the nomenclature also gave the institution another opportunity to be listed as one of the beneficiaries of Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund).
Under the watch of Adewale, the Oyo State College of Agriculture and Technology, Igboora gained recognition both locally and internationally with Michigan State University, USA, West and Central Council for Agricultural Development (CORAF/WECARD), Winrock International, Cassava Adding Value for Africa phase I &II (CAVA I & II), Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and a host of others.
It is on record that Prof. Adewale created the opportunity for the establishment of the three Labour Unions, namely, the Non Academic Staff Union (NASU), Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Polytechnics (SSANIP) and Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) as well as the Student Union Government (SUG).
The Oyo State College of Agriculture and Technology, Igboora, while being administered by Professor Adewale, grew speedily. The institution also became a Computer Based Test Centre in Ibarapa since 2015. In addition, OYSCATECH enjoyed several donations during his time.
The Man Adewale
The Adewale that I know does not settle for less, he was resolute in turning Oyo State College of Agriculture and Technology, Igboora to a leading centre of excellence for agriculture, technological advancement and management through the training of youths for innovation, food sufficiency and self-employment. The workaholic don is a man who hates laziness with passion. He is a meticulous leader who gives opportunity to subordinates to display their skills. He is a scholar per excellence who loves professionalism. Prof. Gbemiga Adewale succeeded in showcasing the Oyo State College of Agriculture and Technology, Igboora to the world as an institution of choice.
Working with Professor Adewale was interesting, most especially tapping from his wealth of experience. Even as a boss, he was ever willing to apologize to anyone as soon as he realizes his mistake. This kind of virtue many would say is not common. Adewale is a God fearing leader, with team spiritedness, humane and humble. His outstanding qualities may not have been noticeable but for the fear of God in him and his wife, who has been supportive.
Prof. Jacob Gbemiga Adewale was born on 2nd May, 1961 into the family of Pa and Mama Joseph Adeleke Adewale of Lagunna Obepi in Oluyole Local Government area of Oyo State. He proceeded to the University of Nigeria, Nsukka where he bagged Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Extension in 1985. He took a step further in 1994 to the Premier University of Ibadan for his Master’s Degree after which he obtained his Ph.D. in Agricultural Extension and Rural Development in 1999 also at the University of Ibadan. Prof. Adewale, having contributed immensely to the academia, rose to become a Professor of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development at the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso in 2005.
Agriculturist per excellence
As an Agriculturist who distinguished himself and was passionate about imparting the younger generation, Professor Adewale joined the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso in 1994 as an Assistant Lecturer where he rose to become a Professor in the Department of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development. At the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso, Prof. Adewale held various administrative positions, some of which include: Coordinator, Department of Post Graduate Studies, Chairman, Undergraduate Studies Committee, Department of Agricultural Extension, Coordinator, Post-Graduate Programmes in Agricultural extension and acting Head, Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension.
Also in LAUTECH, he served at both the Senate and Governing Council level. Professor Gbemiga Adewale equally served as Internal Assessor to members of the academia seeking Readership and Professorial positions. As a teacher, committed to the development of intellectual capacity of students, he served as Examiner, Assessor and Reviewer of both International and Local Journals. Without mincing words, Prof. Adewale co-authored seven books, published 46 articles in reputable journals as well as ten technical reports to his credit.
During the dispensation of Prof. Gbemiga Adewale, OYSCATECH, as a young institution was rated the third best among the 37 other Colleges of Agriculture and related disciplines in Nigeria by the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE).
Professor Adewale is a passionate teacher and lecturer, imparting students in the field of Agriculture. He is an Internal and External Examiner, Assessor as well as Reviewer of both International and Local Journals. Professor Gbemiga Adewale supervises undergraduate, post graduate and PhD students. He has co-authored seven books, published 46 articles in reputable journals as well as ten technical reports to his credit.
A man of many parts
Professor Adewale is a Member, Oluyole Club at LAUTECH. Prof. Adewale is also a member of some professional bodies some of which include; the Nigerian Rural Sociological Association, Agricultural Extension Society of Nigeria, Nigerian Association of Agricultural Economists, National Research Network on Children -in-Agriculture Programme, African Technology Policy Study Network, Nigeria Chapter.
Professor Adewale has won different awards to his credit. He was a three time media award winner. He was a winner of Grant Award for Research by the African Technology Policy Studies Network (ATPS), Media Friendly Award winner by Federal radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) NUJ Chapel and Awardee, Leadership in Educational Management Award by the Pen Group of Schools, an arm of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, comprising of the International Institute of Journalism (IIJ), Pen Secondary, Primary and Nursery School and media award winner, correspondents chapel. Prof. Adewale’s contributions were also recognized by the West Africa Students Union Parliament (WASUP) as he bagged Nkwame Nkrumah Honour as Icon of Nation Building in Nigeria. Prof. Gbemiga Adewale equally bagged the most outstanding Provost of the Year Award for the South West Zone by the Better Nigeria in Practice (BNP), Abuja as an astute administrator and most outstanding Provost.Prof. Adewale’s hobbies include; singing and physical exercise.
Professor Adewale’s scholastic and academic prowess coupled with excellent interpersonal communication skill and human relationship has significantly influenced his leadership style in leading other team of professionals in various fields of agriculture, science, social science and technology at the Oyo State College of Agriculture and Technology, Igboora.
Professor Jacob Gbemiga Adewale has excelled in various areas of his chosen career as he could be described as a complete gentleman, loving, visionary and a communicator per excellence whose doggedness and contributions have touched several lives.
As Professor Gbemiga Adewale turns 60 today, May 2, 2021, may the Lord grant him more fruitful years in good health as he continues in the business of imparting lives positively.
Edited by Eniola Ajayi
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