While serving as the UNILORIN helmsman, Mr Oloyede was also the chairman of Committee of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities (CVCNU), and President of the Association of African Universities.”

In less than a decade, the Registrar of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Is-haq Oloyede, a Professor of Islamic Studies, would be having on his well-stocked award shelves, three medals of Nigeria’s national honour.

Just a day after his 68th birthday on Wednesday, President Muhammadu Buhari will be conferring on him the Commander of the Order of Niger (CON). It is apparently in recognition of his sterling performances at the examination board and general contributions to national growth and development.

The new feat has, therefore, been described by many of his associates, mentees, friends, and well-wishers as “another feather befitting of a well-decorated cap.”

Some of these individuals who applauded the government’s decision include a former Vice-Chancellor of Lagos State University (LASU), Ojo, Olanrewaju Fagbohun; the Vice-Chancellor of Ahman Pategi University, Kwara State, Mahfouz Adedimeji; Chairman of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian University (SSANU), University of Ilorin chapter, Olusola Falowo, and a Professor of Mass Communicatuon at the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka, Ismail Ibraheem.

Familiar terrain

Mr Oloyede is not new to national honour, and it is arguable that he is the first educationist in the country to receive three national honours within a space of a decade.

In 2014, about three years after his tenure as the vice-chancellor of his alma mater, University of Ilorin, Mr Oloyede was conferred with the Order of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (OFR) by the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

The government’s action was said to be in recognition of the turnaround recorded at the university during his five-year tenure between 2007 and 2011. Within the period, the ivory tower was dubbed “Nigeria’s most sought-after university” due largely to heavy subscription by admission seekers.

The national honour could not have been based on Mr Oloyede’s achievements at the university alone as he also flew the nation’s flag at national, regional, continental and global levels, advancing the cause of quality and affordable education.

While serving as the UNILORIN helmsman, the Islamic scholar also served as the chairman of Committee of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities (CVCNU), President of the Association of African Universities, Secretary of the Association of Vice-Chancellors of West African Universities, and was a member of the board of the Association of Commonwealth Universities.

In 2019, Nigeria’s Ministry of Labour and Employment awarded Mr Oloyede the National Productivity Order of Merit (NPOM) award.

His letter of nomination had read in part; “The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, has approved the conferment of the National Productivity Order of Merit Award on you in recognition of your high productivity, hard work and excellence.”

With the deployment of technology in the management of his agency, the registrar has introduced diverse innovations and transparency in the nation’s public service space. He has continued to remit huge returns to the government cover, a development that was hitherto strange to the agency.

Unde Mr Oloyede’s watch, JAMB has become a reference point in the country with various leadership and productivity awards bestowed on him by different organisations including media companies.


Speaking on the latest award, Mr Fagbohun said he was not surprised, noting that only the likes of Mr Oloyede whom the whole nation can attest to his credibility should be so honoured.

He said; “It speaks volume to who Professor Oloyede is. How I wish as a nation we are more rigorous in ensuring that only the likes of Oloyede who the whole country can attest to his credibility, integrity and resourcefulness are those on whom the Honour is bestowed. Sadly, that is not the case. It continues to feature the good, the bad and the ugly.

“I heartily congratulate Prof Oloyede for consistently reflecting himself as a true patriot. In the public service space, he has earned the rank of excellence by sheer innovativeness, integrity and hardwork. I pray that his success continue to endure. Together with my family, we join the world and his lovely family in celebrating him.”

Also in his tribute to the honoree on the occasion of his 68th birthday, Mr Adedimeji said Mr Oloyede “is just living up to his well-known credentials of administrative acumen, financial discipline and legendary transparency in public service.”

known credentials of administrative acumen, financial discipline and legendary transparency in public service.”He said; “Indeed, Prof. Oloyede’s trajectory is a study in service excellence, administrative acumen, religious commitment to the achievement of set goals, and unapologetic insistence on fairness for all. This much has been duly acknowledged by dispassionate watchers of his rising profile since he emerged the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, especially with his sterling track records of achievements.

On his part, Mr Ibraheem said the hounour is well deserved, noting that the awardee “has demonstrated a consistent performance above the threshold of what I consider outstanding.”

He thanked the government “for bestowing a national honour on this global icon.”

The SSANU official described Mr Oloyede as an excellent leader, saying his actions are creating a legacy that inspires us to dream more, learn more, do more and become more.”

“With my interaction with him, he is a leader that walk the talk. Many years after leaving university of Ilorin his lagacy remains unbeatable. It is therefore an award that is worthwhile.”

Culled From premium times

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