After about five years of planning, the University of Ilorin, UNILORINWater Factory complex has finally rolled out sparkling clean water in bottled and sachet forms.
The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Prof. R. A. Lawal, who disclosed this to members of the UniversitySenate last Wednesday (September 18, 2013), said that the N55 million project is now a reality, adding that “the factory is completed, test running is going on and initial production is being carried out.”
The Deputy Vice-Chancellor pointed out that the entire water that would be consumed during the forthcoming 29th Convocation ceremonies of the Universityin October would be supplied by the water factory, adding that UNILORINWater would also be served at the meeting of the UniversityCouncil slated for this week.
Prof. Lawal explained that although the objective of the water project is to diversify and increase the University‘s internally generated revenue (IGR) profile, it would also be useful for the entrepreneurship programmes of the various Faculties. “We will use it as a training laboratory for our students”, he said.
The Deputy Vice-Chancellor then congratulated the Director of UNILORINConsultancy Services Unit, the supervisor of the project, Prof. D. S. Ogunniyi, on a job well done.
Also briefing the Senate, Prof. Ogunniyi confirmed that the water factory was ready for commissioning, saying that apart from its revenue generating potential, the product from the factory would also enhance the health of members of the Universitycommunity as it would be produced under strict hygienic conditions.
Prof. Ogunniyi said that the packaged water produced from the factory would be primarily for the consumption of members of the Universitycommunity, adding that the factory would ensure that competitive prices are maintained for its products.
The completion of the project is in fulfilment of a promise made early this year by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. AbdulGaniyu Ambali, that his Administration would ensure the commencement of water production at the factory before the year runs out.
During his visit to the UNILORIN Consultancy Services Unit on January 3, 2013, the Vice-Chancellor said, “We are going to encourage and promote UNILORINConsultancy Unit to complete the ‘ UNILORINWater’ project very soon. It is going to be in both sachet and bottled forms. We are going to work on that so that we can take off and conclude on the installation very soon.”
Earlier in an interview with UNILORINBulletin, Prof. Ogunniyi disclosed that samples of the products from the water factory are available, saying, “We are done with all production challenges and currently, we are about to start mass production which we intend to stock pile for the convocation period. Commercial test-run of our operation is starting soon.”
The Professor of Industrial Chemistry said, “At the beginning, students were asked to submit various designs of bottles. A competition was organised to pick the best design. The Universityraised a panel for this task of assessing students’ responses and at the end, the best design was picked. We produced the mould and got a company to use the mould to produce the bottle. You can see ‘ Universityof Ilorin’ clearly inscribed on it to discourage counterfeiting.”
The Director further disclosed that “relevant establishments particularly the National Agency for Food Administration and Control (NAFDAC), are being contacted for endorsement and support.