The Director, FUNAAB Universal Conservices Limited (FUCONS), Professor Adeyemi Bamgbose, has revealed that FUNAAB Water, apart from increasing Internally-Generated Revenue (IGR), could serve as a way of projecting the image of the University, positively. Professor Bamgbose disclosed this while speaking on his activities in the course of water production. According to him, “If you observe, almost all higher institutions; be it colleges of education, polytechnics and universities; have embarked on water production, as a way of projecting the image of the institution and as a source of Internally-Generated Revenue (IGR)”.

The Professor of Animal Nutrition in the College of Animal Science and Livestock Production (COLANIM), stated that FUNAAB was peculiar, adding that in the University, there is a Department of Water Resources Management, College of Environmental Resources Management (COLERM). He noted that FUCONS had linked up and interacted with them. Responding to why FUCONS was engaging in water production, the Director said that, “We have water analysis facility in the past, because of the University’s proximity to the Ogun-Oshun River Basin Development (OORBDA). We felt that going into water production would enable the students to do their practicals, while fellow researchers would be able to bring their research breakthrough or outcomes to bear”. He explained that, the thought now was how could this be included, as entrepreneurial activities for FUNAAB graduates, as well as learning what it takes to produce hygienic water, by starting their own on a small scale.

Commenting on the day the first production of water was done in FUNAAB, he stated that, “If I could recall, attempts were made by the past Vice-Chancellors and Directors of the Consult, to start water production, but there were little challenges, which resulted into the stoppage of the production”. He, however, said that the production was able to manifest under the administration of the immediate past Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olusola Oyewole, adding that he was able to approve the establishment and construction of FUNAAB Water factory building, at the Institute for Human Resources and Development (INHURD), Mawuko.

Reacting to what makes FUNAAB Water to be different from others, he said that “It is one thing to go into water production; another thing is to be able to market it. FUNAAB Water has the unique advantage for the fact that it is designed for agricultural-based courses and would now have this corporate image”. He stated that FUCONS ensured that the water was of premium quality and very hygienic, adding that the good branding of FUNAAB bottled water of 50cl and 75cl assisted in the marketing. He noted that FUCONS was aware that the Federal Government was phasing-out the production of 50cl, adding that efforts were being made to concentrate on the 75cl. He noted that FUNAAB Water was certified and accredited in 2009 by the National Agency for Food, Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), which showed that it had gone through quality assurance and quality evaluation process. On the future of the enterprise, Professor Bamgbose said that as the Director of FUCONS, “Our plan is that we would continue to produce quality hygienic water, to satisfy members of FUNAAB community. For now, bottled water is being produced on request. For instance, it was used during the 60th birthday of a staff, at the wedding ceremony of another staff and at my own father’s 80th birthday. We were able to produce and supply customised bottled water at these occasions”.

Professor Bamgbose said that plans were on ground to ensure the supply of water to neighbouring towns, states and the whole of South-West states. According to him, “As of now, we have a stock capacity for the sachet-fill machine that produces about 130 and 150 bags, per hour, which are two in number. We are looking forward to getting additional machines by appealing to the University Management, to get additional utility vehicles for the enterprise. Presently, we are operating at between medium to commercial level”.

He said that part of FUCONS’ future plan was to be able to operate at the commercial level, in order to increase the profit margin, adding that it was also to ensure that FUNAAB Water became a house-hold name to members of the University community. He stressed that collaboration was ongoing with the Centre for Entrepreneurial Studies (CENTS) of the University, so that FUNAAB students that were on training could come in and learn to see how commercial water was being produced.