Mafiana Takes Charge At NUC As Okojie Bows Out | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Mafiana Takes Charge At NUC As Okojie Bows Out

Posted: Jul 31, 2016 at 8:31 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Oyeniran Apata


Amidst confusion surrounding the voluntary announcement by the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission, (NUC) Prof. Julius Okojie to bow out of service, Deputy Executive Secretary of the commission, Prof. Chinedu Mafiana is to take charge of activities at the commission.

Statutorily, Okojie who is bowing out of service two years ahead of retirement from active service is expected to hand over affairs to the most senior director of the commission.

Speaking at an interactive session with the staff of the commission at the weekend, Okojie noted that he was a product of many endeavours.

Okojie became Executive Secretary August, 2006 after first serving on the commission as a visiting professor.

While reminiscing about the time he spent as the NUC boss, he reminded the staff of the need to remain committed, respectful and disciplined.

Prof. Okojie, at the handing over ceremony at the NUC headquarters in Abuja, advised Mafiana to be courageous in carrying out his duties as the Acting Executive Secretary.

“I will not miss my position at the NUC, but I will miss my staff,” Okojie indirectly referred to the position’s sensitive role in the tertiary education system.

He advised the staff to submit themselves to mentorship and training, as those are the only paths to success.

Professor Julius Amioba Okojie, OON was born on 27th July, 1948. He had his primary and secondary education at Government Primary School, Uromi Annunciation Catholic College Irrua, and Federal Government College Warri. In 1969, he was admitted into the University of Ibadan to pursue a degree in Forestry. He graduated in 1972 with Second Class Upper Division. A few years later he proceeded to Yale University, USA for his Master’s Degree in Forestry.

On his return to Nigeria his quest for greater challenges in the academia, led him to enrol in a higher degree programme at the University of Ibadan in 1978. He was awarded the Ph.D in Forestry Resource Management from the University in 1981.

Before proceeding for his Masters’ Degree in the US, Professor Okojie had worked briefly between 1972 and 1974 as Research Officer at the Forestry Research Institute, Ibadan. In 1978 he joined the University of Ibadan as Lecturer II and was promoted Senior Lecturer in 1983. He rose to the rank of Professor of Forestry Resource Management in 1990.

Professor Okojie was appointed Vice-Chancellor, University of Agriculture, Abeokuta in 1996, a position he held until 2001. He joined the NUC in August 2002. While in the Commission, he chaired the Standing Committee on Private Universities (SCOPU). It is to his credit that a large number of private universities established between 2002 and 2005 received the Federal Government’s approval during his tenure as Chairman, SCOPU.

Professor Okojie has held many administrative positions at national and international levels. These include: Sub-Dean Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, University of Ibadan, Ibadan; Dean, College of Environmental Resources Management, University of Agriculture, Abeokuta 1990-1994; Deputy Vice-Chancellor University of Agriculture, University of Agriculture, Abeokuta 1994-1995.

Other administrative positions held by Okojie include; Vice-President, Association of African Universities, 2001; Vice-Chancellor, University of Agriculture, Abeokuta; and Member, Board of Association of Commonwealth Universities. 2001.

It is to the credit of this erudite unassuming scholar that during his tenure as Vice-Chancellor, the University of Agriculture, Abeokuta was ranked No 1 Nigerian University from the NUC accreditation exercise.

Professor Okojie has at different times served as Chairman and member of various Standing and ad-hoc committees, special panels as well as serving as external examiner/ assessor to a number of Nigerian Universities. A good number of professors and higher degree holders owe their successes to the tutelage and diligence of Professor Okojie.

His outstanding performance as Vice-Chancellor, amiable character and humility endeared him to his fellow Vice-Chancellors who chose to elect him to the exalted position of Chairman, Committee of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Federal Universities in 2001.

A scholar of international repute, Professor Okojie has many chapters in books and scholarly articles in his field in national and international journals, in the sciences generally and on issues in higher education development.

His numerous Fellowship awards include the Royal Society (Nuffield Foundation) Fellowship; Senior Fulbright Fellowship; and the United Nations University Fellowship. He is a Fellow, African Academy of Science (FAAS); Fellow Science Association of Nigeria (FSAN) and Fellow Forestry Association of Nigeria (FFAN).

Aside academic qualifications, Prof Okogie’s unflinching concern for community development earned him the traditional titles of Aare agbe of Egbaland and Omotadese of Owu Kingdom which were conferred on him by the traditional rulers of both kingdoms.

Professor Okojie is married to Erelu (Mrs.) Oluremi Okojie, Principal, St Louis Grammar School, Ibadan. They are blessed with many children.

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