Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Covenant University Appoints Professor Akan Williams As Acting Vice-Chancellor

The Board of Regents (BOR), the apex decision-making body of Covenant University, has appointed Professor Akan Bassey Williams as Acting Vice-Chancellor of the institution.

Professor Williams, Deputy Vice-Chancellor until Tuesday, September 22, 2020, was appointed in acting capacity following the expiration of the tenure of the immediate past Vice-Chancellor, Professor AAA. Atayero.

The Secretary, BOR, Pastor Chioma Okwuanyi, representing the Chancellor and Chairman of the BOR, Dr David O. Oyedepo, announced the appointment of Professor Williams at a meeting with the Management of Covenant University.

Covenant University, according to Pastor Okwuanyi, “is a gift from God and blessed with extraordinary human beings”. He said that the immediate past Vice-Chancellor, Professor AAA. Atayero, had done extremely well as God through him took Covenant to a pedestal that was earth-shaking. The BOR Secretary appreciated God for Professor Atayero’s life, adding that anybody in the position of leadership in Covenant University should emulate the Professor of Communications Engineering.

While noting that the only thing permanent in life was change, Pastor Okwuanyi said that Professor Akan Bassey Williams had been appointed to take over from Professor Atayero in acting capacity. “I believe that grace is on the side of Akan. He’s also an extremely good man. He’s very strict and I believe he’ll do well and he is grounded in Spirituality”.

Pastor Okwuanyi enjoined members of the Management to give the Acting Vice-Chancellor the cooperation the office desired. “I invite the Holy Ghost to order your steps on this assignment that will not fail in your hands,” he prayed for Professor Williams.

The outgone Vice-Chancellor, Professor AAA. Atayero, who expressed his gratitude to the Chancellor and other members of the Board of Regents for giving him the opportunity to lead the University, thanked all that had served in one capacity or the other during his stewardship.

He stated that God had been faithful and had done marvelously well for Covenant while he led the institution. And while he urged members of Management to give maximum support to Professor Wiiliams in his new assignment, Professor Atayero vowed that his enthusiasm, commitment, resolve, and passion to the vision of Covenant would not abate.

Professor Williams, in his acceptance speech, attributed his appointment to God. “I’m almost in tears, the Holy Ghost ministered it to me this morning,” he noted.

The Acting Vice-Chancellor, who stated that he accepted the responsibilities that come with his new position whole-heartedly, however described it as a huge one on his shoulders but he believed he had the backing of the Holy Spirit.

While he urged members of the University not to be discouraged by the last ranking of the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, Professor Williams expressed his trust in God to lead Covenant as a University, adding that the vision of the University to become one of the top 10 Universities in the world in a few years’ time would be a reality.

“We are blessed with a crop of faculty and staff who are really working and I’ve seen a lot of sacrifices over the years. I’ve been very humbled; it has been the goodness and the love of God. I appreciate the Board of Regents for giving me this opportunity,” said the Acting Vice-Chancellor.

Professor Akan Bassey Williams earned a B.Sc Degree (Chemistry) from the University of Calabar, an M.Sc Degree (Petroleum Chemistry) from the University of Port Harcourt and a Ph.D Degree (Environmental Chemistry) from Covenant University. He is a Professor of Analytical/Environmental Chemistry.

He lectures, supervises, and examines research projects/theses of many undergraduate and postgraduate students. He has been Postgraduate External Examiner, Bharathiar University and University of Madras, India; and Professorial Assessor at the University of Calabar. He has served in different capacities at Covenant University such as Head, Department of Chemistry; Director, Vice-Chancellor’s Office; Director, Academic Planning and Dean, Student Affairs. He had also served as chairman of about twenty (20) Committees in the University at different times.

Professor Williams is a Fellow of Chemical Society of Nigeria; the immediate past Chairman, Chemical Society of Nigeria, Ogun State Chapter; Member of Institute of Chartered Chemists of Nigeria; Member, Royal Society of Chemistry and Member, American Chemical Society.

His research focus is on the monitoring of persistent organic pollutants in the environment. He is on the Editorial Board of many journals and a member of Environmental Chemistry Research Group; Environmental Pollution and Toxicology Sub-Cluster of Public Health and Well Being Research Cluster, and Biogas Sub-Cluster of Renewable Energy Research Cluster in Covenant University.

He is a regular attendee at local and international Conferences and Workshops and has published widely in many local and international journals. He is a Public Speaker and University Orator and has coached and chaperoned many students for competitions and exchange programmes within and outside the country.

Also at the unveiling ceremony were the Registrar, Dr Oluwasegun Omidiora; Dean, School of Postgraduate Studies, Professor Humphrey Adebayo; Dean, College of Engineering, Professor David Omole; Dean, College of Management and Social Sciences, Professor Uwalomwa Uwuigbe; Dean, College of Science and Technology, Professor Victor Omotosho; Dean, College of Leadership and Development Studies, Professor Olujide Adekeye; and Dean, Student Affairs, Professor Conrad Omonhinmin.

Others included the Director, Financial Services, Pastor Babatunde Onatola; the Chaplain, Pastor Kayode Martins; other Principal Officers and representatives of the Media and Corporate Affairs Unit.

Ag. Vice-Chancellor, Covenant University, Professor Akan Williams (right) receives the baton from the immediate past Vice-Chancellor, Professor AAA. Atayero, in a symbolic handover ceremony

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