By Adedeji Joseph, Ilorin
A large quantity of tin metal has been discovered on the land of the University of Ilorin, Vice Chancellor; Prof Sulyman Age Abdulkareem has said.
He made the disclosure on Friday at the press conference heralding the 34th Convocation ceremonies of the university.
The mineral deposit, the Vice Chancellor said, could in the nearest future become a source of huge revenue to the institution when mined for commercial purposes.
The Convocation ceremony for award of certificates, diplomas and degrees is billed to hold this Tuesday (October 23) at the university stadium.
At the event, a total number of 12,108 sturents that would be convoking are made up of 10,330 first Degree/ Diploma graduands and 1,778 who would be graduating with Higher Degrees and Diplomas.
Among the First Degree/Diploma category, 103 bagged First Class, 2,553 Second Class Upper Division, 5,750 Second Class Lower Division: 1,660 Third Class and 36 passes.
Also, there would be 104 MBBS graduands, 18 graduands in Pharmacy, 49 in Vetenary Medicine and 32 in Nursing.
In addition, a total of 25 graduands are obtaining Diploma from the Faculties of Education and Management Sciences, the Vice Chancellor said.
Speaking on the tin mineral discovery, Professor Abdulkareem said, “as a result of our intensive research efforts, we have discovered tin metal on our land in such a quantity and quality that can be extracted for business and economic gains.
“In no time, University of Ilorin will be one of the opulent and prosperous universities in the world.”
He added that the university has begun to do the necessary paper work and agreement with the Federal Government for licence to mine the solid mineral.
“We have also made efforts to bring in reliable investors who can turn it into a big business after we might have gone through the process of notification and approval from the appropriate quarters,” the VC said.
Abdulkareem said the university under his administration, in efforts at generating knowledge in the world, has proposed two innovative African Centers of Excellence which would be funded by the World Bank.
“One is on Advanced Electrical Power Engineering and Green Energy Research (AARPEGER).
“The other is on the setting up of West African Centre for Infectious Disease and Epidemiological Surveillance,” the VC added.
According to him, the desire of the management was to make the University a world-class institution with a reputation for generation of innovative knowledge.
“More than ever before, researchers are encouraged to carry out their investigation to patent-filling stage,” he said, pointing out that the University has signed MoU with the Nigerian Army on invention and development of Polymer composite for strategic and protective defence.
“In concrete terms, we have invented a bullet-proof gadget, which has been tested and accepted by the Nigerian Army. With this, we are already improving our impact on the world and on our immediate society.
“This is a gratifying achievement that will ultimately propel the University to the zenith of global recognition and reputation we desire,” he said.
The VC added that in an effort to improve the University Internally Generated Revenue, management would soon sign an MoU with the Central Bank of Nigeria on the exploration and maximisation of the university’s land.
“The MoU will allow the Central Bank to use our land for cultivating certain crops for the University, and which the Central Bank will readily buy back from us.
“This, to us is a good initiative for solidifying our philosophy of combining academics with entrepreneurship,” Abdulkareem said.
The VC also said that the university would soon come up with a plan to yield a hectare of land each to 1, 000 individuals who may wish to embark on mechanised farming.