By: Opeyemi olawore
The month of July, remains a significant month in the history of Oyo State College of Agriculture and Technology, Igboora. It marked the end of a tenure and the exchange of baton between the immediate past rector of OYSCATECH, Prof. Gbemiga Adewale and the current acting rector of the institution, Mr.Isiaka Olaniyi Adekunle.
How time flies and just like yesterday, one could hardly believe that it is one year already that Professor Gbemiga Adewale left Oyo State College of Agriculture and Technology, Igboora as the Rector of the institution.
Recall that Prof. Gbemiga Adewale left office upon the completion of his tenure as the Rector of the institution on July 9, 2019, having served both in acting and substantive capacities, for over seven years.
The exit of Prof. Gbemiga Adewale from office was celebrated in grand style with a week-long activity to celebrate his purposeful and outstanding leadership in the administration of the Oyo State College of Agriculture and Technology, Igboora.
His send-off programme in 2019 featured valedictory session at the Board of Studies, Interdenominational prayer, send-off service by the Christian Community and Zion Baptist Church Igboora. Other highlights of the send-off included foundation laying of the College Chapel and Directorate of Part-Time programme coupled with a lecture delivered by Prof. T.M.A. Olayanju, the Vice Chancellor, Landmark University, Kwara State and the exchange of Baton between Prof. Gbemiga Adewale and the current Acting Rector who had served twice under him as the Deputy Provost, Mr. Olaniyi Adekunle, a registered Soil Scientist and a Chief Lecturer.
The landmark achievements of Prof. Gbemiga Adewale cannot be forgotten in a jiffy as his tenure brought unprecedented advancement to Staff, Students and the institution in general. His tenure would be remembered for increase in students’ enrolment and the number of courses being run by the institution from five to forty programmes, at National Diploma and Higher National Diploma levels. Staff welfare and promotion were of topmost priorities to Prof. Gbemiga Adewale as staff enjoyed regular promotion, upgrading, regularization of appointments and confirmation under his purview.
While in office, the institution migrated from monotechnic to polytechnic, gaining recognition from the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) and the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund). With the recognition, the institution got listed as one of the beneficiaries of TETFund.
Under his watch, the Oyo State College of Agriculture and Technology, Igboora gained recognition both locally and internationally, leading to the institutions collaboration 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 in the hands of Adewale grew speedily such that the institution became the only Computer Based Test Centre in the whole of Ibarapa since 2015.
The institution also enjoyed a donation of a block of six classrooms from BOVAS Oil and Company and other infrastructural development in the college, as the lists are endless.
One year after leaving office as the Rector of Oyo State College of Agriculture and Technology, Igboora, the outstanding achievements and legacies of Prof. Gbemiga Adewale continue to reverberate.
Speaking on his assessment of Oyo State College of Agriculture and Technology, Igboora since he left office, Prof. Adewale says the institution is growing.
According to him, “the footsteps we left behind at OYSCATECH is what the present administration in the College is still following. We thank God that OYSCATECH as a project still continues to wax stronger and stronger, as I pray that God will continue to help the institution.
In his words, Prof. Adewale stated that, “I am very happy with the achievements of the present administration in the college particularly, when the institution donated garri to the Oyo State Government as palliative. Worthy of note also is the foot pedal soap and hand washing machine, free donation of face masks and sanitizers to staff and the Ibarapa Central Local Government.”
On his assessment of the current leadership in OYSCATECH, Prof. Adewale appreciated God for the opportunity to call, interact, exchange ideas and give advice to the management of the institution on areas they need to work on despite the fact that he had left the institution.
“The current leadership are doing well and I pray that they will also end well,” he said.
Prof. Adewale explained that he never thought people would still check on him after leaving office but he said to his amazement, people still call him, felicitate with him on his birthday and that of his wife.
He used the opportunity to appreciate all his well-wishers and friends for always checking on him.
Speaking on his experience after leaving office, Prof Adewale hinted that he had shed a lot of weight while in office, which he knew but did not know the extent. Prof. Adewale stated that now, he has added more weight.
According to him, “I have more time for my family – my wife and children in particular. I also have the opportunity to be back at home in LAUTECH to give assistance to my younger colleagues who really missed me while I was on leave of absence, now that I am back, some of them would say “Oga”, please, assist us to get things done and voluntarily, I always attended to them.”
Commenting on his future plans, Adewale opined that the future is in the hands of God, while reiterating that he was confident that the good work which the Lord had started would be perfected. He stated clearly that the Lord would take him to the next level.
Prof. Adewale advised the staff to remain united and cooperate with the present administration and the substantive administration that will come into the college and the Governing Council. He also called on the students to continue to be good ambassadors of the institution and shun all forms of social vices.
While speaking on the Alumni Association, Prof. Adewale appreciated the Alumni Association for the donation of the edifice – X-ray/Laboratory building. “This is one of the things that the Lord used us to do; to bring the Alumni together and I thank the current administration in the college for the continuity,” he said.
He tasked the Alumni Association to keep on with their developmental projects that they are doing for their Alma mater, while noting that the institution is theirs.