A Methodist hymn, ‘SOMETIMES a light surprise, the Christian while he sings; It is the Lord who rises, with healing in his wings’ aptly described the life testimonies of Sir Professor Kayode Amund. Indeed, ‘sometimes a light surprise,’ Sir Prof Amund, between 2004 and 2007, had been the erstwhile founding Vice-Chancellor and Member of Council, Wesley University of Science and Technology, Ondo, now Wesley University, Ondo. In 2019, during the Silver Jubilee celebration of Methodist Church Nigeria Knighthood and awards, Distinguished Professor Amund, a local Methodist preacher, a former Senior Local Steward, Hoarse’s Memorial Methodist Cathedral, Yaba, Lagos, and the current Vice Chancellor of Elizade University, Ilara Mokin, and one of the newly invested Knight of John Wesley said, “God is working His purpose out in my life giving me another surprise package like some Biblical figures of old. For example, Mary did not lobby to become the mother of Jesus as she was favored among women. Mordecai did not cringe at recognition before being honored by the king. David, a smallish man, was the most preferred among his brethren to become king. Lord, this knighthood award is your making. I did not know whom you inspired to nominate me, nor did I crave it. You have lifted me out of the miry clay to place me among the noble men and women in the body of Christ. There are indications that you have not yet finished with me. As I move on, Lord, grant me the submissiveness of Mary, the gallantry of Mordecai, and the courage of David to do your will on this novel course as a worthy knight. Thank you, Almighty Father.” [1] 

Indeed, ‘though all the field should wither, nor flocks, nor herds be there, Yet God the same abiding, His praise’ continue to tune Sir Professor Kayode and his wife, Mummy Iyabode Amund. For, while the Amunds are confiding in God, they cannot but continue to rejoice at 70 and always.

At 70, it is a turning point in his life career and a new beginning for Sir Professor Amund in his service to God and humanity ‘as he steps into the podium for a final bow from the University of Lagos, Akoka, after 45 years of academic career, since 1978.’

Born in Lagos on 5th May 1953 in Suru-lere Local Government Area of Lagos State, Sir Prof Amund attended Methodist Primary School and St John’s Grammar School, Ile Ife. ‘Between 1958 and 1969, he obtained the First School Leaving and the West African School Certificates. He returned to Lagos to attend St. Gregory’s College, Obalende, Lagos, for the Higher School Certificate (1972-73) and the University of Lagos (1974-77), from where he obtained a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc) degree in Biology, graduating with a First Class.’ Sir Prof Amund is happily married to Mummy Iyabode Amund, a praying wife, mother, and a model of Proverb 31 virtuous woman. They are blessed with children and grandchildren. One of the children is a Ph.D. holder in Food Science and a University Lecturer in the United Kingdom.

Kayode Ajiboye writes that Sir Prof. Amund ‘was the first person to modestly do so in Biological Sciences in the history of the Unilag. This earned him an in-service training scholarship for post-graduate studies in the United Kingdom between 1979 and 1982. During his undergraduate studies at the University of Lagos, he won the National Award (Federal Scholarship) for the best performance in Part 1 Examinations in his Department as well as the National Schools’ Fund Prize in 1975.

He started his Master’s degree program at the University of Kent at Canterbury in October 1979, and after an assessment of research progress within a year, his candidature was converted to Ph.D. However, he completed his Ph.D. program in Biotechnology within three years after a first degree at Cranfield University, Bedford, in October 1982, having transferred from Kent to Cranfield in 1981. UNESCO Fellowship in Biotechnology sponsored his post-doctoral research visit to Cranfield University in 1992.

Prof Amund’s academic working career started after the National Youth Service Corps program at the University of Lagos as a Graduate Assistant in 1978. On obtaining a Ph.D. in 1982, he was appointed a Lecturer in Grade II and later promoted to Lecturer in Grade I in 1984, Senior Lecturer in 1987, Associate Professor in 1991, and full Professor in 1998.’ [2]

Sir Prof Amund, an international researcher specializing in Petroleum and Environmental Microbiology, ‘is reputed to be well-horned in Bioremediation Technologies and in which area he is a well-known authority locally and internationally. His notable research works involve measuring the rate of pollutant degradation using improvised microcosm devices in aquatic and soil ecosystems. He has similarly described the metabolic pathways for the degradation of environmental pollutants, just as he worked extensively on microbial corrosion and biosurfactant production by oil-degrading strains and the sequestration of heavy metals in sewage by microbial cells. He is also an authority in Biotechnology of Industrial Enzyme production.’

Sir Prof Amund belongs to several professional bodies and associations, including Fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Science (FAS), Fellow, African Academy of Sciences (FAAS), Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology (FRSB), Fellow, Institute of Policy Management Development (FIPMD) and African Scientific Institute (FAS). He ‘has published 134 research papers in reputable learned journals, presented 59 papers at local and international conferences, had three chapters in books, made 38 publications of gene sequences at the National Centre for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) in the USA, and given 13 Invited lectures at learned institutions. As of February 2023, his published works had been cited by 2,859 authors around the world, with an h-index of 28 as recorded by the Google Scholar citation platform and a total citation of 2358 and an h-index of 26 on the Researchgate platform …He has produced 18 Ph.D. graduates, including four Professors and a Former Dean of the Faculty of Science at Unilag, three Associate Professors, four senior Lecturers, and four lecturers working at the University of Lagos and other institutions or in industry. He has also produced 52 M.Sc. and three M.Phil graduates to date.’

Sir Prof. Amund delivered his inaugural lecture titled “The Oil-Eating Microbe: A Remedy to the Menace of Oil Pollution,” popularly tagged “The Millennium Lecture,” on 19th January 2000. He served as Acting Head of the Microbiology Unit (1987-88; 1990-991), Assistant Hall Master Sodeinde Hall (1989-92), Hall Master El-Kanemi Hall (1996-98), Sub-Dean Faculty of Science (1994-96), Head, Department of Botany and Microbiology (2001-02), Dean, Faculty of Science (2002-04), Sabbatical Professor and Head, Department of Biotechnology, Bells University of Technology, Ota (2009-10), Consultant in Academic Planning, Unilag (2010-2012), Dean of Student Affairs (2010-2014) and Director of the Distance Learning Institute, Unilag (2016-2018). He was a member of the University Governing Council, Unilag (2013-2017).

Sir Prof. Amund ‘served on several University boards and committees, including the Appointments and Promotions Board, Honours Committee, and the Housing Committee. He has been a member of the Governing Council of Wesley University, Ondo, since 2018. He has also led NUC Accreditation panels to Science Faculties of many Federal, State, and Private Universities in Nigeria. In addition, he has continuously served as External Examiner and assessor for professorial candidates at many Federal and State universities.

Sir Prof. Amund has served the larger Society in various capacities as a Resource Person to the Raw Materials Research and Development Council and the Federal Ministry of Environment Abuja for EIA reviews. He also served on the Governing Board of Grace Schools Gbagada Lagos, Wolex Polytechnic Iwo Governing Council, and the Board for Theological Education of Methodist Church Nigeria. He was a former Camp President and Area Director of the Gideons’ International. He is an Environmental Consultant to the Nigerian Oil Industry and a member of many learned societies locally and overseas.

Sir Prof Amund’s life of surprise package is about life, marriage, and family that God bears through. It is God Almighty Who gives the Amunds lilies clothing and will continue to cloth them, and beneath the spreading heavens, God who feeds the ravens will continue to give the Amund bread in Jesus’ mighty name.

Worthy is the Lamb! Halleluyahhhh.

  [1] http://dejiokegbile.com/beyond-the-physicality-of-knighthood-worthy-methodist-knighthood-25/

[2] https://independent.ng/applause-as-prof-amund-foremost-petroleum-microbiologist-bows-out-of-unilag-at-70/