|DG Sanginga (in white) and staff at the 2013 Open Day|
With the theme “It is IITA’s Time”, the fun-filled day began with a tree planting activity at 8 am on the grounds across the Community Resource Center. This was followed by an Open House and exhibitions at the Conference Center where the guests had the opportunity to see, feel, and experience first-hand the institute’s research activities.
The highpoint of the day was the main event held under a gigantic tent at the grounds of the campus’ Sports Center. The festivities were declared open by Dr Kwame Akuffo-Akoto, Deputy Director General for Corporate Services. In his opening speech, the DDG said, “Today is not about making long speeches, but it is about you – the staff – and your families enjoying the day.”
“Open Day is about interacting between and among staff and families, of providing a relaxed atmosphere to unwind and get together as one big IITA family,” he added.
The highlights of the Open Day celebrations included the conferring of Long Service Awards on 43 deserving staff members in the 10, 20, and 30-year service categories. Seven staff retirees for 2013 were also given recognition; this was a new award category. All awardees were given plaques of recognition and various gifts.
A song entitled “I am IITA” adapted from a poem written by Mr Soji Akinyemi and sung by the group of Mr Bode Olaoluwa, Ms Oiwoja Odihi, and Mr Opeyemi Oyatomi was presented for adoption as the IITA anthem.
|DDG Akuffo-Akoto speaks at 2013 Open Day|
The occasion was spiced at different times with various cultural dances and displays by groups depicting the culture from Western, Eastern, and Northern Nigeria. Children were not left out as they enjoyed themselves at the lawn tennis courts of the Sports Center which had been transformed into a fun kids’ playground complete with jumping castles. A dance competition was also held that attracted gifts to the winners chosen by the cheering audience.The day’s activities were ended with a raffle. The grand prize was a complete 3 day/2night package trip consisting of return air tickets to Accra, Ghana, plus hotel accommodation and allowance. The prize was won by Hakeem Opadeyi, Mechanic II with the Fabrication Unit of FMS. The winning ticket was picked by no less a personality than IITA Director General Dr. Nteranya Sanginga