Three Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife professors, Timi Kuku, Dean Faculty of Technology, J.A Osunade, Head, Department Of Agricultural Engineering and Dr. Osunade, Director, Information Technology and Communication, have spoken on the school's technology foundation, which has nurtured several graduates, who are now leading developments in the Information Communications and Technology (ICT) development in Nigeria.
They spoke ahead of the scheduled plan to recognise and award about 10 graduates of the university who are leading ICT governance and enterprise in the country.
The OAU Alumni Association, in Lagos in collaboration with eWorld Magazine has concluded plans to award top ICT players, who grtaduated from the University at various times.
Speaking on the development Kuku said the school is delighted "We are known to be great; our name implies "Great Ife." Our greatness does not come from shouting but from the fact that the sort of education we give are very basic and fundamental and we go all out to make sure that our students get the very best, and what people see outside is a reflection of what has always happened here in the university.
According to him, this has been possible due to the very good foundation and a crop of very dedicated teachers that the school has.
Kuku also said that the university's relationship with top world schools such as the Massachusset Institute of Technology (M.I.T) in the United States, Imperial College in London and through a process of continous modification of the school's curricula exposes it to the latest academic orientation.
Speaking on the growing case where several companies complain that present university graduates in Nigeria are not employable, Kuku argues the complain does not apply to OAU graduates because the school ensures that "the training we give to them easily makes them adaptable and equips them to acquire additional training easily apart from what they have been given, here".
Kuku said the university is currently, working on two new concepts of teaching, one of which is called the problem based learning in which case instead of the normal teaching students are given problems to solve, and these problems come from the industry.
Lending his voice to the issue, Osunade said that students from O.A.U take the lead at interviews. "The feedback we get here is employers will tell you that they prefer students from this institution", he added.
According to Aderoumu O.A.U is involved in several ICT initiatives among them are the OAU Net which covers the whole of the campus, all the faculties, individual lecturers offices and the students hostel.
It also also has the Carnegie grant which it has won for six consecutive years now - from 2003 to 2009. Part of the grant is being used to develop ICT in the university.
Some of the OAU graduates due for recognition include the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Engineer Ernest Ndukwe whose outstanding work is referenced at International forums, Director-General of the Nigerian Information and Technology Development Agency (NITDA) Professor Cleopas Angaye, President of the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem.
Others include Group Managing Directors of Omatek, Linkserve, Chams, Mrs Florence Seriki, Chima Onyekwere and Demola Aladekomo.
Others to receive award include MTN Chief Technical Officer, Karl Toriola and Main One Managing Director, Funke Opeke.
According to the Chairman of the award planning committee, Dr Olusanya Awosan, the Vice Chancellor of OAU, Professor Michael Faborede is quite enthusiastic about the event, which he has accepted to chair.