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Buhari confers national honour on OOU Pro-Chancellor

The Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Governing Council, Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago-Iwoye, Prof. Toyin Ashiru, has been conferred with a National Honour by President Muhammadu Buhari.  He bagged the award of Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON).

Prof. Ashiru was among a total of 450 distinguished recipients at the National Honours Award Investiture 2022 Programme held at the International Conference Centre, Abuja on Tuesday, 11th October, 2022.

Of the 450 recipients, six were awarded Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON); 55 received Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic (CFR) award while 74 got Member of the Order of the Federal Republic (MFR) honour. Also, 77 were honoured with Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR) while 110 others got Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON).

A total of 55 recipients bagged Member of the Order of the Niger (MON); 65 persons got Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON), with four Federal Republic Medal- First Class (FRM I) and four Federal Republic Medal- Second Class FRM II.

According to President Buhari, the awardees were selected based on established broad criteria in line with the National Honours Act CAP. N43 of the Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.

The President had listed the criteria to include “consistent and meaningful participation in community and/or national development; rendering unsolicited, selfless and philanthropic services to humanity; outstanding sacrifice in the defence of a cause popularly adjudged to be positive, relevant and beneficial to the nation and community.”

Other criteria listed by him were “distinct act of bravery in the protection and/or defence of national interest, public peace, safety of life and property.”

Until his conferment with the OON award, Prof. Ashiru has received many merit awards and citations worldwide as a distinguished Materials and Metallurgical Engineer with a career spanning over 40 years through Nigeria, UK, USA, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Far East, and Asia.

The Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council, Prof. Toyin Ashiru, OON

Born on 28th July, 1954 into the illustrious Ashiru family of Ijebu-Ode, the Pro-Chancellor had his primary education at the Baptist Primary School, Ereko, Ijebu-Ode and secondary education at the Ijebu-Ode Grammar School. He is a graduate of the University of Sussex, Brighton, United Kingdom where he obtained B.Sc in Materials Science and Engineering. He concluded his Ph.D at the University of Birmingham, UK in Industrial Metallurgy in 1983. Prof. Ashiru began his career as a lecturer in Mechanical Engineering at the Universities of Lagos and Ibadan respectively before serving as Nigerian Senior Research Fellow at the International Tin Research Institute in the UK. Before his advent into the oil and gas industry in 1998, he was a professor/senior research fellow at the King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals in Saudi Arabia.

The Pro-Chancellor has utilized his diverse experiences in the academia, consulting, finance/investment entrepreneurship and project management to provide technical advisory services for the enhancement of productivity in major oil and gas industries worldwide. He is the inventor of the first known instrument for Situ Detection of Steel Cracking in Sour Petroleum Production Operations.

Prof. Ashiru also developed a comprehensive paint and coating standard and specification system. Over the years, he has carried out many projects to solve corrosion and materials degradation problems in petrochemical, chemical processing, fertilizer and steel manufacturing industries.

Ashiru has received many merit awards and citations worldwide in recognition of his work, including an acknowledgment in the USA as a “Professional with Extraordinary Ability” and listings in Who is Who in the World and the Dictionary of International Biography; the highly esteemed Corrosion Odyssey 2001 Award in England; Distinguished Alumni Award University of Sussex, UK in 2009; Dalic’s Very Imperial Plater Award, Vitré, France in 2010; Honoree of the African Engineering Education (AEEA).

He is a recipient of the prestigious Distinguished Innovator Award of the Association of Tin Producing Countries (ATPC). Prof. Ashiru has great passion for community service, especially educational counseling for Nigerian youths.  He sponsors and personally conducts programmes on career development and effective study strategies for university students and keen parents.

He has assisted many young Nigerians in obtaining placements and scholarships for postgraduate studies in American, British and Saudi Arabian universities. Most of the beneficiaries are now highly placed and successful professionals.

He is a Fellow of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, the New York Academy of Science, the Nigerian Academy of Engineering and the Nigerian Institution of Mechanical Engineers. He is also a Non-Executive Director of FCMB Group Plc, Chairman of CSL Stockbrokers Ltd and Group Managing Director/CEO of Tricontinental Group, a first-rate Nigerian conglomerate.

Reacting to the conferment of national  honour on Prof. Ashiru and other recipients, the Visitor to the University and Governor of Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun, MFR, appreciated President Buhari for the gesture.

“It gives us in Ogun State so much pride to have illustrious sons and daughters of our dear State as well as other notable Nigerians receive prestigious national awards in recognition of their exemplary commitment to service and nation.

We appreciate President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR for rewarding these torchbearers,” the Visitor remarked in a brief statement. In the same vein, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Ayodeji Agboola, said the award was well deserved considering the giant strides already made by Prof. Ashiru not only in his area of specialisation but also within the community, state, national and international levels. “We are thankful that President Muhammadu Buhari conferred such a  prestigious honour on our revered Pro-Chancellor. We pray that God would give him the grace to serve humanity and lead us well in the University,” he stated.

Also commenting, a member of the Governing Council, Chief Joju Fadairo, expressed joy at the decision of the President to recognise Prof. Ashiru through the award.

According to him, the Pro-Chancellor deserved the national honour and he earned it. Fadairo described Prof. Ashiru as a man of many parts, who have distinguished himself and excelled in different fields of human endeavour. He noted that it was not surprising that the recipient was celebrated at the highest level of government in the country.

“Prof. Toyin Ashiru is a person that I know very well. He is a man of many parts. In terms of business, he’s a successful person. In terms of academic, he has proved his mettle. That he was conferred with a national honour of OON is something that is deserved and the Lord made him to earn it. So, it’s a thing of joy,” he said.

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