The Vice-Chancellor, UNILAG, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, has classified the institution as being among the league of universities that were focused and contributed its quota to national development and prosperity through transfer of knowledge.

The vice-chancellor spoke on Tuesday in Lagos against the backdrop of the recent N338 million grant by the Bayreuth University, Germany for “Africa Multiple: Reconfiguring African Studies Cluster of Excellence Award to UNILAG.

According Ogundipe, the institution is in the forefront in ensuring that the university takes the lead in ground-breaking research outputs that will assist in tackling challenges in various areas of the country’s economy.

“The Vice-Chancellor, University of Lagos, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogindipe is elated to expatiate on the Bayreuth University’s “Africa Cluster of Excellence Award to the University that is among three other Centres so designated in Africa,” he said in a statement by the institution’s Director, Research and Innovation, Prof. Wellington Oyibo.

“ This award among others resonates with the vision of Prof. Ogundipe to attract research and development grants to support funding from the Federal Government and to reposition the University of Lagos among the league of universities that contributes to national development and prosperity through transfer of knowledge.”

According to the Ogundipe, UNILAG’s Institute of African and Diaspora Studies will be the host of this Cluster of Excellence under the leadership of Prof. Olumuyiwa Falaiye.

It noted that the annual funding for this Cluster of Excellence is 120,000 Euros, an equivalent of about N338 million.

“It will be recalled that several competitive research grants and research recognitions have been attracted since the assumption of
Ogundipe as Vice-Chancellor of UNILAG.

“Chief among them is the World Bank funded African Centre of Excellence for Drug Research, Herbal Medicine Development and Regulatory Science.

“These external supports provide the platforms for faculty and students to address national and African challenges and proffer solutions.

“His commitment is to support and prepare more faculty members and students to win more grants that will make research in the university to be globally competitive,’’ he said.

“In a letter from Bayreuth University to the Director of Research and Innovation of the university, Prof. Wellington Oyibo, the selection committee has enthusiastically selected UNILAG along with three other universities in Africa.

“The Institute of African and Diaspora Studies of the UNILAG was established in 2017. It combined the functions of teaching, research and advocacy, while serving as a platform for scholars and researchers to interrogate African and Diaspora issues.

“The institute archives its research findings, programmes and other relevant information on its website: iads.unilag.edu.ng,” he said.

He explained that the grant was mainly an infrastructure and facilitation fund, as well as several research projects that would be funded annually and which would also reflect on the multi-sectoral issues and outputs along the thematic areas of the grant.

He added that the multidisciplinary faculties that were involved in this project included the Arts, Law, Environmental and Social Sciences and Education.

“The three thematic areas of the project are Moralities that will be led by Prof. Olumuyiwa Falaiye, Knowledge to be led by Prof. Olufunke Adeboye as well as Mobilities to be led by Prof. Ademola Omojola.

Meanwhile Prof. Oyibo, has told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in an interview that the grant was a great boost to strengthening the university’s infrastructure for knowledge production and management.

He added that it would also ensure capacity strengthening that would enhance and promote research and teaching.

“Our students, faculties, community and the nation at large will benefit immensely,’’ he said. (NAN)