By Adedapo Adesanya
The Abdul Samad Rabiu Africa (ASR Africa) initiative has announced the appointment of consummate International Development and Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) expert, Mr Ubon Udoh, as its pioneer Managing Director/Chief Executive effective immediately.
The ASR Africa Initiative, which is the brainchild of industrialist and philanthropist, Mr Abdul Samad Rabiu, was recently set up with an annual pledge of $100 million dedicated to health, education and social development issues within the African continent.
Out of this, Nigeria will benefit $50 million yearly and the rest of Africa, $50 million, in what is the largest private philanthropic giving of its kind by an individual in Africa.
Speaking on the appointment, Mr Rabiu, Chairman of ASR Africa, who is also the founder/chairman of the African conglomerate, BUA Group, said Mr Ubon’s appointment signalled the seriousness with which the initiative intends to carry out its mandate with a focus on systems, programme development and deployment, monitoring and evaluation as well as sustainability.
“We are pleased to have Ubon Udoh lead the team at the ASR Africa initiative which has been set up to help bridge the development gap in these key areas of health, education and social development within Africa.
“A well respected and proven expert in building systems and processes and managing donor funds and grants, with an exceptional record of tangible results and value for money.
“Ubon has added immense value to every institution he has been a part of, and we believe he is a perfect fit for the goals and aspirations of ASRi. He brings with him many years of experience as well as the expertise needed to drive the ASR Africa Mandate whilst also engendering sustainable partnerships for development across the African continent.
“ASR Africa is confident that he will bring these to bear in developing a sustainable programme for the initiative’s annual $100 million Africa Fund for Social Research & Development.”
With over 20 years of international development and project management experience, Mr Udoh has a strong Monitoring & Evaluation background, and an operational track record of programme coordination and result management of international donor funds and loans from Multilateral development banks.
Prior to joining the ASR Africa Initiative, he was the Head of Monitoring & Evaluation at the North East Development Commission – North East Recovery and Stability Programme which included responsibility for over $1 billion in loans and grants (World Bank, AfDB, Islamic Development Bank) across various projects dedicated to the recovery of North East Nigerian states from the ravages of the Boko Haram Insurgency, and multilateral interventions with national coverage for COVID-19 response.
Over the course of his career, Mr Ubon has provided expertise and support in several capacities with multiple agencies like The World Bank (North-East Nigeria Multisectoral Crisis Recovery Project), Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), African Development Bank (Nigeria Inclusive Basic Services Development Programme), GIZ, UN Women Peace and Security Programme, Presidential Committee on the North-East Initiative (PCNI), North East Development Commission, North East Recovery and Stability Programme (NERSP) and several state governments in Nigeria.
Mr Ubon Udoh was responsible for the overall coordination of M&E of the World Bank-supported Multi-Sectoral Crisis Recovery Project – NERSP at the Presidential Committee on North-East Initiative – a role he joined from being an M&E consultant to the UN Women in Peace & Security Programme (WSP-UNSCR 1325).
Mr Ubon has also supported the coordination of interventions in the Lake Chad region with the countries of Chad, Niger, and Cameroon as part of the World bank PROLAC intervention. An Alumnus of Ahmadu Bello University with experience cutting across multiple sectors like Capacity Development; Water, Sanitation & Health; Infrastructure; Peacebuilding & Social cohesion; IDP Management & Durable Solutions; Education, Health & Governance, Mr Ubon has completed a diverse spread of gender mainstreaming, management, monitoring and conflict prevention courses.
He is a past winner of the prestigious President Nana Akufo Ado Presidential Award of Excellence from the Kofi Anan International Peacekeeping and Training Institute.
University of Ibadan Elects Prof Adebowale as 13th VC
By Adedapo Adesanya
Professor Kayode Adebowale has emerged as the 13th Vice-Chancellor of Nigeria’s premier university, the University of Ibadan, Oyo State.
This was disclosed by the Chairman of the institution’s Governing Council, Mr John Odigie-Oyegun, on Thursday at the Senate Chambers in Ibadan.
He said the Joint Council-Senate Selection Board interviewed the eight candidates shortlisted and the Professor of Chemistry, who until his appointment was the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration), was preferred to head the 73-year-old university.
Mr Odigie-Oyegun said: “Two representatives of the Federal Character Commission (FCC) and the representatives of the Federal Ministry of Education were in attendance.
“At the end of the very thorough, transparent and highly competitive exercise, Prof. Kayode Oyebode Adebowale emerged as the best candidate for the position of Vice-Chancellor.
“The Governing Council, at its just-concluded meeting today considered the report of the Selection Board and approved the recommendation of the Board to appoint Professor Kayode Oyebode Adebowale as the next Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan.”
Mr Odigie-Oyegun further said that the position of the VC became vacant on December 1, 2020.
In his acceptance speech, Prof Adebowale said that though, he was not the best among all the candidates, he was happy to have been appointed to the institution’s apex position and called for support from the entire university community for his administration.
The selection came almost a year after the process for the appointment of the 13th substantive vice-chancellor at the University of Ibadan was halted. Sixteen candidates had applied to lead the university.
However, the withdrawal of a former Dean, Faculty of Arts of the same institution, Professor Remi Raji-Oyelade, had reduced the number to 15.
Following a screening exercise by the Governing Council of the university, the number of contestants was pruned to eight on Wednesday.
Those who scaled through the screening on Wednesday included the Acting VC, Professor Adebola Ekanola, Professors Yinka Aderinto; Adebowale; Ademowo and Babatunde Salako.
The process of appointing the 13th vice-chancellor of the university began afresh under the newly appointed Chairman of the institution’s Governing Council.
This was due to various allegations of malpractices by various factions within the university community under the former VC, Professor Idowu Olayinka.
The new race, which commenced in the second week of July 2021, came after the decision on the cancellation of the initial process of the VC race by the new Governing Council of the University.
The initial UI VC race, which started in May 2020, ended on November 23 with the directive from the Federal Ministry of Education, through the Nigerian Universities Commission (NCC), due to various crises that marred the election of members of the Senate representatives.
Senate Confirms Justice Baba-Yusuf as FCT Chief Judge
By Sodeinde Temidayo David
The Nigerian Senate has confirmed the nomination of Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf as the Chief Judge of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court.
President Muhammadu Buhari had last week transmitted a letter to the upper chamber of the National Assembly for the confirmation of Justice Baba-Yusuf for the position.
Mr Buhari had explained in the letter that the nomination of the respected legal practitioner was in accordance with the provision of Section 256(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigerian 1999, as amended.
At the Senate, the nomination of the judge was considered and approved following the recommendations of its Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters headed by Mr Opeyemi Bamidele.
While presenting his report on Tuesday, Mr Bamidele said the judge met all the requirements expected of him.
Mr Baba-Yusuf has been holding the position in an acting capacity since August and is now recognized as the chief judge following the approval.
The development followed the resignation of Mr Salisu Garba as the chief judge of the FCT high court.
The Chief Judge is the highest judicial officer in the state and acts as a chief administrative officer as well as a spokesperson for the judicial branch.
The Chief Judge presides over oral arguments before the court and also has significant agenda-setting power over the court’s meetings.
FG to Deepen Job Creation in Green Economy
By Ashemiriogwa Emmanuel
The Federal Government of Nigeria has drawn attention to the vast provision of job opportunities in the green economy of the country.
It considered the sector’s provision of creating environmentally-friendly jobs in areas such as construction, renewable energy, afforestation, and waste management, which includes e-waste.
The Minister for Labour and Employment, Mr Chris Ngige, who mentioned this at the opening of the 6th Meeting of the National Employment Council, noted that the opportunities presented, especially to youths, in this sector have not been explored enough.
Speaking on the theme Creating Environmental Friendly (Green) Jobs, the Minister, represented by the Director, Employment and Wages, Mr John Nyamale, noted that the government was committed to the large-scale installation of mini-grids and solar home systems.
He said this will be effective in a minimum of five million households not currently on the grid as part of the government’s post-COVID-19 economic recovery plan titled Bouncing Back.
The Minister, in a statement by the Deputy Director, Press and Public Relations in the ministry, Mr Charles Akpan, said that the council will discuss extensively the activities of the federal ministries of Power and Environment, in evolving strategies and innovative ideas to create decent jobs in the green economy.
“This council has the responsibility of following up on the implementation of this plan and making useful recommendations that can deepen job creation in the green economy,” he explained, urging participants to be aware of the presentations from the critical ministries.
Mr Ngige also disclosed that the council would be informed on the implementation of the afforestation program and Nigeria’s Sovereign Green Bonds by the Federal Ministry of Environment.
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