University of Benin had an oath-taking and induction of Science Laboratory Technology (full time) graduates into the Nigerian Institute of Science Laboratory Technology (NISLT) profession for the first time. The ceremony of the oath-taking and induction of graduates of the 2018/2019 session took place on the 25th June, 2021 at the Science Laboratory Technology (SLT) Complex, University of Benin, Ugbowo Campus, Benin City, Edo State.
The Director General, Registrar and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Institute of Science Laboratory Technology (NISLT), Mr. Yemi Hezekiah Gbadegesin (FISLT) in the company of the Institute’s President and Chairman of Council, Mr. Charles Obaseki (FISLT) with other members of staff of the Institute paid courtesy visits to the Dean, Faculty of Life Sciences, Prof. N.J.E Orhue and the School Registrar Dr. Ademola Bobola in their respective offices.
While welcoming officers of the Institute, the Dean assured his guest of hospitality as Benin prides itself as home of culture and hospitality and enjoined everyone to accept the University of Benin as home. He assured the Director General and his team of a seamless ceremony of oat-taking and induction of the SLT graduates into their professional body, this he said was the reason premium was given to the ceremony. Prof. Orhue clearly stated that the ceremony would not be as glamorous because it was the first time for full time students; however, he said the Management of the University of Benin was fully in support and were all on the same page in respect to the oath-taking and induction ceremony.
Mr. Gbadegesin was pleased to accept Benin as home for the Institute. While thanking the Dean for the provision of an office space for the Institute’s South-South Zonal Office in Edo State, he stated that the Institute eventually got another Office at the State Secretariat through the effort of the Council Chairman, Mr. Charles Obaseki (FISLT). This according to the Director General was to avoid interference from students. He further appreciated the Dean, Faculty of Life Sciences for considering graduates of SLT for employment in the University of Benin. He commended the Faculty for allowing physical presence of participants at the oath-taking and induction ceremony as against the virtual meeting that was initially planned as this involved oath-taking, which cannot be taking virtually. This kind of support he said he had always enjoyed from the University. The Director General also thanked members of the Association of Science Laboratory Technologists of Nigeria (ASLTON) for relating appreciably with the South-South Zonal Office in Benin. He admonished unity among all members of ASLTON in Edo State. The Director General implored for the appointment of a Dean for SLT Faculty and the commencement of postgraduate programme in SLT maintaining that University of Benin was ripe for such. He added that carrier structure should be put in place to help SLT graduates from the Faculty.
In his response the Dean, Faculty of Life Sciences, Prof, N.J.E. Orhue said the Post Graduate Programme in SLT was already work in progress and that the University would soon begin to admit students for the programme. He recognized that the Department of Science Laboratory Technology was the biggest in the University and its programme could easily split into departments to form a Faculty. The Dean promised to be available to assist in achieving any of the Institute’s requests.
Corroborating the Dean, Faculty of Life Sciences, Mr. Y.H. Gbadegesin insisted that the University of Benin was second home considering the partnership the Institute had enjoyed working with the University that have played host to the Institute on very many occasions including one of its conferences during NISLT courtesy visit to the Registrar.
He informed the Registrar, University of Benin, Dr. Ademola Bobola that as from next year inductions would be held once in a year across board after graduates of SLT programme in all the Universities had written and passed the SLT Professional Examination. The Director General requested the University of Benin to be part of the programme when the examination starts in January, 2022. This he said would put an end to the current way of inducting SLT graduates into the SLT profession.
Mr. Gbadegesin commended the entire Management of the University and the Vice Chancellor for approving the enhanced entry point for SLT professionals on the Academic Cadre from Assistant Lecturer to Lecturer II. He also requested that the University should approve the enhanced entry point for their non-Academic counterparts in the SLT profession.
The DG called the attention of the Registrar, University of Benin to the immediate need to upgrade the SLT Department to a School or Faculty at least for the purpose of expansion. He stated that the University of Benin was ripe for a postgraduate school. He said he needed to emphasis the urgent need for a postgraduate programme with the Registrar as the Dean, Faculty of Life Sciences, Prof. N.J.E Orhue said the programme was already on course to solicit the support of the Registrar.
The DG further informed the Registrar that two Universities are already offering postgraduate programme in SLT though approval had not be given to Olabisi Onabanjo University because they cannot be offering SLT programme at postgraduate without offering it at the undergraduate. University of Jos, he said was already awaiting approval for the postgraduate SLT programme and wished that the University of Benin could come up quickly.
The Registrar, University of Benin, Dr. Ademola Bobola who welcomed the Director General, the Chairman of Council of NISLT and their team on behalf of the Vice Chancellor, University of Benin, Prof. Lilian Imuetinyan Salami said he would relate NISLT activities at the University of Benin to the Vice Chancellor who was very serious about the quality of graduates produced by the University and the excellent performance of the University products. The Registrar told NISLT that he was not totally new to the Institute and its programmes which he was very active in developing as Registrar in one of the polytechnics and that he was aware of how the Federal University of Technology Akure (FUTA) was very passionate about the SLT programme. When he was at FUTA, he said Science Laboratory Technology programme was seen as very special, which shows the quality of input, for the programme to have attained the height that makes it attract such a huge patronage during admissions.
Dr. Ademola Bobola, while talking about entry point said the Employment and Promotion Committee of the University recently worked on the enhanced entry point for some professional groups in the University and included the SLT professionals. Assuring the Director General of his support, the Registrar of the University said he would take his request on the enhanced entry point of non-Academic Staff of SLT profession to the Management of the University. He employed the Head of Department (HoD) Dr. Jude O. Oserumwense to continue to guide the Department even after he had left as HoD to keep the legacy he would be leaving behind in the department. The Registrar further said that once the guidelines for postgraduate programme are followed NISLT can be rest assured that the programme would be approved. He noticed that the programme was relatively new but however said that SLT programme can become the champion in the University depending on the amount of work put into it. In conclusion, Dr. Ademola said “I will present your request and convey your good will messages to the Vice Chancellor and Management”.
The Head of Department, Science Laboratory Technology (SLT), Dr. Jude O. Osarumwense in his address at the induction ceremony venue welcomed members of NISLT team, officers of the University, parents of the inductees and other students of the University to the oath-taking and induction ceremony of the 2018/2019 graduating set into the SLT profession. He said the induction would have been done earlier but hampered by the COVID 19 pandemic. Since they must practice, he said the induction became very necessary as there was no way they could practice without the license to practice given through Induction. Addressing the inductees the HoD informed the attendees at the ceremony that a few of the graduates were present for the induction ceremony as others had gone for National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) and considering social distancing as part of COVID 19 Protocol. He told the inductees that obtaining practicing license was another stage in their lives and having gone through the process of becoming a professional in SLT, he assured them that they would certainly get to the highest level of their carrier.
During the oath taking ceremony, the Director General affirmed that our Nation requires an effective coordination in the area of research, development and innovation that can translate into products and services and not only for promotion purposes in our various places of employment. This he said is the surest way to create wealth for our great nation Nigeria, create jobs for our people and drastically reduce poverty in the Country. Mr. Gbadegesin insisted that the SLT Department should translate all their research findings into products for institutional transformation.
Advising the inductees to remember that they were the certified new ambassadors of the profession, the Director General recommended that the graduates should adhere strictly to the Oath and commit to heart the Code of Ethics of the profession. Please remember that as a professional member of the Institute, you should align your skills, technical competences and trainings in dealing with laboratory services most especially those in the area of Biological Sciences until necessary legislation was done on our Act to avoid any form of litigations and harassment from sister bodies and you should assert yourselves and project the image of the profession correctly as you undertake your practice for the service of this great nation, he added.
The Director General brought to the notice of the participants at the ceremony that one of the criteria for induction ceremony was availability of the list of graduands as approved by the Senate and that the school authority had fulfilled all the criteria for induction except that some of the inductees have gone for NYSC.
Mr. Yemi Gbadegesin posited that it was important to advise members of NISLT who are staff of the University to remain an indispensable entity and respect both past and present leadership in the spirit of oneness.
Similarly, the Director General also stated that the leadership of NISLT would never maltreat or use sentiment in dealing with fundamental issues on employment as insinuated in Ebonyi State in some quarters without knowing the consequences of such action, which was misconstrued on social media as the person in question does not possess Professional License to practice as Science Laboratory Technologist.
He further emphasized that one of the criteria for employment was possession of valid practicing License for Science Laboratory Technologists. He also said that no amount of intimidation can bring good things to the Institute or an individual; rather, everyone should support the leadership of the Institute.
He reiterated his request to the Management of the University to consider a full-fledged Faculty of Science Laboratory Technology, Post-Graduate Programme and an improved entry point for graduates.
While commending everyone who contributed to the success of the induction ceremony, especially the Dean, Faculty of Life Science, the HoD of SLT whom he said would be handing over to his successor very soon, having successfully completed his second term in office, the ASLTON leadership at the State and Branch level, other Principal Officers of the University as well as the Parents and Guardians of the inductees, the Director General thanked the Vice Chancellor and Registrar of the University of Benin for getting approval from the Senate for the graduates of SLT to be employed as Lecturer II as entry point.
The Chairman, Association of Science Laboratory Technology of Nigeria (ASLTON), Edo State Branch, Mr. Efe Omoruyi in his vote of thanks invited the newest inductees to the Association and Commended NISLT and the University of Benin for producing quality graduates at this time when the country needs laboratory information and data for technological development. He emphasized the need for the Department of SLT to develop into a Faculty and for the commencement of a postgraduate programme. He also thanked the parents of the inductees for the relentless effort in seeing their wards through first degree and becoming professionals in SLT. He then urged other students to take a leaf from the inductees, work hard and be celebrated. At the end of hard work, they would certainly attain success, he said.
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