Highlights of the New Year (First Working Day) Meeting held on the 3rd of January, 2023.

The Joint New Year Meeting programme, held at Dr. K. J. Nwufoh Hall, Federal College of Animal Health and Production Technology, Ibadan, was well attended by the staff members of the three Institutions (Federal College of Agriculture, Ibadan; Federal College of Animal Heath and Production Technology, Ibadan, and the Institute of Agricultural Research and Training, Ibadan). Also, in attendance were the Chief Executive Officers, Professor Veronica Obatolu (IART), Dr. Olatunde Owosibo (FCAH&PT) and Dr. Mrs. Elizabeth Oluwakemi Augustus (FCA, Ibadan), the Registrars and other members of the Management. The programme started around 10:30 am with resounding praise and worship, prayers and thanksgiving to God Almighty, who made it possible to convene again this year.

The first exaltation was delivered by Pastor Elum, S. N. Esq., from FCA, Ibadan, who encouraged the audience to hold on firmly to God Almighty and He shall visit them mightily in the New Year. Subsequently, the Chairmen of Labour Unions were invited to welcome and encourage their members towards a better outcome in the Year 2023. These included NASU, SSAUTHRIAI, SSANU, NAAT, ASUP, ASUCA and ASUU from the three Institutions. They (Chairmen) appreciated the CEOs and registered the need to do more in the areas of welfare, enabling environment, as well as with staff training and equally admonished members, especially, those who have not been up and doing in their obligations, to put in more effort in the new year.

The CEOs thereafter, delivered their New Year speeches to the audience. Dr. O. Owosibo (Provost, FCAH&PT) requested a minute silence for the departed staff members who have rested in the Lord and prayed that the souls of the departed rest in perfect peace. He then appreciated the entire staff members of the three Institutions for their patience and contributions. He admonished Union members to coordinate their requests in ways that would encourage peace. He added that it would not be fair to give out the same form of motivation/appreciation to the class of staff who are working diligently and those who are not doing their work. He therefore, encouraged all to work assiduously towards the growth of FCAH&PT if they all desire the welfare requested, considering it is their hard work that would bring in the resources required to fund such welfare.

The Registrar of the Federal College of Agriculture, Ibadan, *Dr. Abimbade Abass introduced the Provost, FCA, Ibadan, Dr. Mrs. E. O. Augustus and appreciated her for the payment of 2022 promotion arrears to date. The Provost (FCA, Ibadan) gave all glory to God Almighty, Who is the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the only Pillar she has. She added that it has become so impossible for her to present anything before the audience without giving all the glory and adoration to God. A lot of events shook all in 2022, as a Nation, as a State, as a Community, as Institutions and as individuals, but God saw everyone through it all. She encouraged staff members to shun all forms of social vices as well as retrogressive behaviors, and to put aside differences that have pulled the Institutions apart. She reiterated that there is a need to deemphasizing the spirit of seclusion and minimize the tags of “IAR&T Staff, FCA, Ibadan or FCAH&PT Staff”, as the three Institutions are one family. It will always be counter-productive to fight one another.

The Provost (FCA, Ibadan) also appreciated everyone who has been working assiduously to move this community and nation forward, and prayed that their homes shall never lack any good thing in Jesus name. As we journey through this new year, 2023, I urge us to carefully acknowledge God in all that we do, let us put in our very best at each assignment, let us work in service to God and not to men, and He will pay us handsomely, here on earth, as well as in heaven”, she added.

“…. I urge us to carefully acknowledge God in all that we do, let us put in our very best at each assignment, let us work in service to God and not to men

In her concluding remarks, Dr. Augustus said as the entire staff population of the community contribute their devoted efforts, God will guide the steps of officers at all levels to make the best decisions towards the collective growth of the Institutions and the general wellbeing of Moor community. She finally declared the New Year an outstanding and successful one in the name of Jesus.

The Deputy Registrar, IAR&T, Mr. Popoola, introduced the Director of the Research Institution, Prof. V. Obatolu. He introduced her as a strong, courageous and purposeful leader. In her remarks, Prof. Obatolu emphasized on the importance of all staff members on the other side of the high table and their significance towards moving their various Institution forward. She added that the CEOs had taken cues from the comments of the Union leaders and will work on them. She agreed to the stance that remunerations should commensurate with the efforts of hardworking staff and thus encouraged all to contribute their best to the productivity of the entire Moor Community. In addition, she urged staff members who may have grudges against other staff to let go and forgive, so each and everyone can live a healthier and productive life.

An Internal New Year Meeting/Prayer was also held at the College Auditorium of the Federal College of Agriculture, Ibadan(solely for the College staff members). The session started with an opening prayer, delivered by Mr. Adegbenro Adedeji of the School of Agriculture. The opening prayer was followed by praise and worship to appreciate God for sparing the lives of staff members of the College and appreciating the Creator of Heavens and Earth for His kindness and gift of life. The College was thereafter committed to the hands of God, by Pastor Olufemi Odejide, who led the audience in a prayer session towards making the College one of the greatest in the country. Students, staff and Management of the College were also remembered in the prayers.

Union leaders were thereafter invited to deliver their speeches. NASU Chairman of the College encouraged the Management to put in more efforts towards food production and assured the Union members that the staff welfare would be very paramount to the Management this year, while the Provost also acknowledged the assertion. SSAUTHRIAI representative also requested that the Management attend to staff members who needed conversation and other requests, so there would be better job satisfaction. In his own remarks, the Chairman of ASUP appreciated the Provost for her efforts thus far, especially on the various developmental projects evident in the School. He also acknowledged the fact that the Provost, Registrar and Bursar are cordially working together for a better FCA, Ibadan, and added that the Management attend to brewing issues as early as possible to nip them in the bud. The ASUCA Chairman also appreciated the leadership skills of the Provost and the Management team. He then encouraged the Provost to influence the staff positively to ensure full participation by all staff, while noting that the “Rod and Staff” of anyManagement body are to comfort the staff. He equally reiterated that conference attendance is a must for academic staff, while non-academic staff should also be trained and retrained. He admonished staff to be the Sheep, while the Provost continues to be a good Shepard, and the Provost should also beware of sycophants who may want to distort the system.

In response to the comments, the Provost presented her New Year speech to staff members of the Federal College of Agriculture, Ibadan. She again started with thanks and adorations to God for everything He has done in the College till date. The Provost seized the moment to further encourage staff to shun violence as a means of expressing their grievances and embrace dialogue to resolve emerging issues. She added that one thing is certain, the Federal College of Agriculture, Ibadan is for all staff, as Provosts will come and they will go, Management will come and they will go, but the College remains, it is the Jerusalem for current workforce and it is incumbent on staff to diligently seek her peace and progress, and it shall surely be well with then. The Collegemust consciously avoid actions that damage her image, everyonemust stay away from attitudes that hinder the growth of theInstitution, while letting their love for FCA, Ibadan moderate theiractions.

Dr. Augustus also added that it is almost impossible for her to officially execute the enormous responsibilities of the “Office of the Provost” without offending anyone. However, as much as shepromises to be fair, Godly and productive, she encouraged FCA, Ibadan staff not to allow individual grievances instigate actions that may further wreak havoc on the overall outlook of theCollege. Staff must therefore make it their primary responsibility to outshine other Colleges of Agriculture in the Nation; at 101, the College should truly be a pacesetter. She then implored the audience to bank solely on God’s inspiration, as human capacity and judgment fail sometimes, but God never fails. Dr. Augustus took moments to thank and sincerely appreciate every member of staff who has relentlessly contributed their best to the success recorded in 2022, she prayed God will reward their labour of love with immeasurable and resounding success in all endeavors.

She also ensured that staff development (training, seminar and workshop) has been inserted in the 2023 budget, which she is believing God that would be released for staff development in the year. She also updated staff members on the ongoing development in the College, which included Screenhouse, Bakery, Healthy food production, Palm oil section and many more. In addition, she promised that regular staff meeting will now hold in the College to keep everyone abreast of the updates, duties and expectations.

The Registrar, *Dr. Abimbade Abass also ensured staff members due for promotion in 2023 that their promotion exercise would be prompt and added that the College has now established Agricultural Outreach Centres in selected southwestern States of Nigeria. In these Outreach Centres, the College has established remedial programmes to improve students’ enrollment. He also shared his vision about the College progressing geometrically and urged that the Management and staff work cordially to ensure these visions come to reality. Final closing prayers were thereafter rendered by Mr. Burimoh Tajudeen and Engr. Ademola Ijadunola.

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