Friday, 17 May 2019

Osinbajo,Ambode,Sanwoolu Attend LASU 26th Convocation,Opening Of New Senate Building

Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo and Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode on Thursday commissioned the new Senate Building of Lagos State University (LASU), expressing optimism that the ultra-modern edifice would go a long way in enhancing academic activities and positively changing the landscape of the institution.

Osinbajo, who delivered the 23rd Convocation Lecture of the university before inaugurating the Senate Building, also said time had come for African countries to invest more in education to lift the people of the continent out of poverty.

Speaking on the theme: “Africa Centres of Excellence in African Universities: A Veritable Catalyst for Nation Building and Development,” the Vice President also said that time had come for universities in Africa to be at the fore front of building research and collaboration to find lasting solutions to the myriad of challenges confronting the continent.

“So what do we need to do to convert our country to the greatest Centre for innovation and creativity in the world? Three things: number one education, number two education and number three education. The truth is that education is the most powerful force for socio economic change in the world. The UNESCO Global Education Monitoring Report and the Education Commission’s Learning Generation Report provides important evidence on the impact of education on individual’s earnings and economic growth”, Osinbajo said.

Speaking earlier, Former Ghanaian President, John Dramani Mahama, who chaired the Convocation Lecture, urged African universities to move away from the colonial system of education and focus on science and technology to engender growth and development of the continent.

He said universities must provide visionary leadership and have academic autonomy, while political institutions must also avoid interference with the running of academic institutions.

On his part, Governor Ambode said it was gratifying to note that LASU was now well-positioned to be among Nigeria’s leading universities and a proper citadel of learning and character development.

Recalling some of the challenges the university was contending with in 2015 when his administration came on board such as backlog of unreleased results, low government subvention, infrastructure deficit, incessant industrial and student conflicts, among others, Governor Ambode said on assumption of office he immediately embarked on some reforms which today turned the story of the university around for good.

He said aside from amending the laws of the university and embarking on massive upgrade of infrastructure, the government also selected individuals with experience, dedication and a track record of remarkable leadership to lead the Governing Council, adding that the development changed the narrative of the University.

“Today, there is an atmosphere of peace and industrial harmony in LASU. The backlog of results have been cleared and our students are graduating every year; stepping out in flying colours, armed with qualifications, character and ideas to change the world.

“Our government increased the subvention for LASU and also amended the laws governing the Institution especially regarding the tenure of the Vice-Chancellor and making LASU a residential institution.

“We have embarked on an extensive infrastructural development which has entailed upgrading the network of roads within the institution and installation of street lights. In line with our efforts to transform LASU, our Government embarked on various projects to add to the infrastructural landscape of the University: The new Senate Building we are commissioning today; a project started by my predecessor, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN); A new Students Arcade, An Ultra-Modern Central Library, The New Faculty of Management Sciences Building, and LASU Homes,” he said.

Also , Lagos State Governor-elect, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, was treated to a rousing welcome at the 23rd convocation of the Lagos State University (LASU). It was a moment for staff and students of the school to show appreciation to Sanwo-Olu, who installed free Internet on the campus as part of his campaign strategies.

Sanwo-Olu joined the dignitaries at the event held in the main auditorium, which also featured the official opening of the new Administrative Block built by the state government.

Dignitaries at the event included the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, who was the guest lecturer, former president of Ghana, Mr. John Mahama, and the Governor of Lagos, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, who is the Visitor to the school.

The governor-elect who visited the campus for the first time after his electoral victory, acknowledged cheers from a crowd of enthusiastic students and the school employees, who benefitted from his free Wi-Fi installed on the campus.

Pro-chancellor and Governing Council chairman, Prof. Adebayo Ninalowo, described Sanwo-Olu as “a personification of excellence with gentility”, pointing out that the free Internet installed by the governor-elect helped the school to achieve seamless information sharing and dissemination within the campus.

Describing the school as a world-class citadel of excellence, the Vice-Chancellor (VC), Prof. Olanrewaju Fagbohun, said the school had stabilised its operations after overcoming its multifarious internal crises that rocked the school a few years ago.

He said: “Our amiable visitor, Governor Ambode, came at a time LASU was going through many crises, which slowed down its operations and academic development. It is instructive to note that the free hand given to the management by the governor led to the resolution of the crises and the school has come out stronger. Recently, the World Bank designated LASU as one of the centres of excellence among African universities.”

Gov. Ambode said his administration set the template for transformation of LASU by first tackling the crises rocking the school and increasing budgetary allocation to the school, with the aim to improve infrastructure and quality of teaching.

He urged Sanwo-Olu to accord the school the same level of attention in order to sustain and improve on the gains of the last four years.

Prof. Osinbajo, who delivered a lecture titled: African Centres of Excellence in African Universities: A Veritable Catalyst for Nation Building and Development, observed that education remained a powerful force to attain social change.

Charging the graduands to be innovative and entrepreneurial in their minds, the Vice President urged the graduates to deploy their knowledge and energy towards making positive changes in the country.
He said: “Every generation is fully endowed in knowledge and skills to solve the challenges it faces. You are lucky to be graduating in the most advanced moment in history. You must go out there to solve challenges that are facing our society.”

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