By Rotimi Daodu
The reinstated Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos, UNILAG, Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, on Thursday resumed office, thanking President Muhammadu Buhari for insisting on due process being followed in the administration of the institution.
He also had kind words for Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN; the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu; the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission NUC, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed; the Acting Vice Chancellor, Prof. Folasade Ogunsola; all the staff unions in the school among others.
The VC, who addressed the workers from the foyer of the Senate Building of the school, said his being returned to office was not by power but by divine intervention.
Ogundipe, who resumed to a rousing welcome by workers of the universiy, said he saw his recuse from office for about three months as a kind of sabbatical.
He also used the occasion to debunk the rumour that he had compiled a list of who to punish or sack in the university for not supporting him during his travails.
“I thank President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, Education Minister, Malam Adamu Adamu, Executive Secretary of NUC, the Acting Vice Chancellor, Prof. Folasade Ogunsola, all staff unions, and many people too numerous to mention.
“You have all stood for due process and the matter is not about the University of Lagos, but the university system in Nigeria in general.
“You have invested years of your lives into this university. Let us be united as the issue is not about academic against nonacademic staff, Let us work together as we are committed to moving the university forward.
“I sincerely appreciate and thank the Acting VC, she is a thoroughbred, somebody you can rely on. She is what the Yoruba call Omoluabi.
“We will rebrand the university and we will make the university a global brand. The management runs an open administration and policy.
“I have not recklessly looted the university. Since 1996, I have held a number of positions here and I have not been found wanting. I am committed to giving my best to this university,” he said.
Earlier, the Acting Vice Chancellor,Prof. Ogunsola, expressed gratitude to God for sustenance during the period of the crisis.
“Today is a day of victory. It is a day to celebrate the university. It calls for introspection. Why did it happen? And it will not happen again.
“Together we stand, divided we fall. There is no problem within the university that we cannot solve. We should not externalise our problems, Despite our problems, we recognise that the University of Lagos is bigger than any individual. Nobody can debrand us,” she said.
She noted that the management of the university would work assiduously to take the university to greater height.
The Branch Chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, Dr Dele Ashiru, said God abhors injustice and evil.
“We are sweeping tyranny, impunity and divisiveness away from our university. The victory is for the people. It is not for ASUU, NASU, NAAT, or SSANU. I thank the Acting VC for her resolve. She stood true to type, “ he said.
Ashiru blasted the Chairman of the Special Visitation Panel, Prof. Tukur Saa’ad, for saying he regretted endorsing the report of the panel.
The Branch Chairman of the Non-Academic Staff Union, NASU, Kehinde Ajibade, also praised Ogunsola for not being the type desperate for position.
He advised the VC to take the welfare of the staff as a priority.
The Acting VC later handed over to Ogundipe inside the VC office.
Gov. Abiodun rewards TASUED graduating students N2m cash gifts
The three best graduating students of the Tai Solarin University of Education (TASUED), Ijebu-Ode, representing the 2020/2021, 2021/2022 and 2022/2023 academic years, have been awarded N2 million each by Governor Dapo Abiodun for their academic feats.
The cash award was announced on Tuesday by the Governor during the 13th,14th, and 15th convocation ceremonies of the institution.
He also announced N500,000 to the best graduating students in each of the colleges for the three years from 2020 to 2023.
The recipients are Sunday Oluwafemi, with a GPA of 4.89 (2020/2021); Obadina Patricia Elibe with GPA of 4.89 (2021/2022) and Mercy Deborah Sanyaolu with GPA of 4.86 (2022/2023).
The governor announced a cash of N250,000 to a first-class student, Okewale Nelson, who, despite taking advantage of the ingenious work-study program of the institution, was able to earn a first class degree in mathematics.
Abiodun disclosed that the feat recorded by Nelson has shown that working while studying is not a deterrent to academic success, calling on other students to take advantage of the program and go the same way.
The governor, while empathizing with the students over a recent robbery attack on some of their colleagues residing off campus, said that his administration would root out those obstructing the peace being enjoyed in the state.
He noted that his government remains and maintains a zero tolerance policy for criminal activities, even as he warned of dire consequences on anyone caught disrupting the peace of the state.
Governor Abiodun urged the graduating students to reciprocate the gift of learning and character modelling that the institution has bestowed on them, noting that his administration remains committed to creating an enabling environment for growth and development aimed at making the state economically stable for all.
Abiodun promised that his administration would continue to work diligently to the purpose of utilising the vocational courses acquired during their time in school.
He charged the graduands not to allow the fear of failure to deter them from taking the opportunities, noting that the path ahead may be demanding, but challenges are stepping stone to greatness.
In his address, the institution’s Vice Chancellor, Prof. Oluwole Banjo disclosed that 12,700 students graduated in the 13th,14th, and 15th combined convocation ceremony, while 329 graduated in the postgraduate college.
He also said that 113 students graduated with first-class honours.
In his remarks, the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council; Prof Rahamon Bello, noted that the institution has developed a reputation as being dynamic, accessible and responsive to change.
FG mulls return to full autonomy for varsities
…Granting autonomy to varsities fosters ownership, pride among faculty as FG mulls — Expert
…As Osun VC calls for review of university autonomy
By Sodiq Adelakun
The reintroduction of the Policy of University Full Autonomy by the Federal Government has been met with positive reactions from communication expert, Professor Akeem Folayan.
He believed that granting autonomy to universities can promote a sense of ownership and pride among faculty, staff, and students.
Recall that president Bola Tinubu also expressed his support for this decision, stating that university autonomy allows institutions to develop at their own pace.
Speaking through the Minister of Niger Delta Development, Engineer Abubakar Momoh, Tinubu expressed confidence in the proposed strategy, believing that it will transfer the responsibility of performance directly to the individual institutions.
However, Tinubu acknowledged the concerns of university employees regarding unpaid salaries, particularly those of the teaching staff unions. To alleviate the situation, a four-month salary payment for all university workers was announced, although Tinubu clarified that this does not negate the government’s “No Work, No Pay” policy.
Meanwhile, reacting to the issue, Professor Folayan said, “I believe that the reintroduction of the Policy of University Full Autonomy is a positive step towards promoting progress and development in our universities.
“Allowing institutions to have more control over their own affairs will enable them to make decisions that are in their best interest and align with their unique needs and goals.
“By transferring the responsibility of performance directly to the individual institutions, this policy will encourage universities to be more accountable and efficient in their operations.
“It will also provide them with the flexibility to innovate and adapt to changing circumstances, which is crucial in today’s rapidly evolving educational landscape.
“Furthermore, university autonomy can foster a sense of ownership and pride among faculty, staff, and students, as they will have a greater say in shaping the direction and priorities of their institution.
“This can lead to increased motivation, productivity, and overall excellence in teaching, research, and community engagement.
“However, it is important to ensure that this autonomy is accompanied by adequate support and resources from the government. Universities must have the necessary funding, infrastructure, and capacity-building programs to effectively exercise their autonomy and achieve their goals.
“Additionally, mechanisms for quality assurance and accountability should be put in place to maintain standards and prevent any potential abuses of autonomy.
“I believe that the reintroduction of university autonomy is a positive move that can contribute to the growth and development of our higher education sector. It is essential that this policy is implemented in a thoughtful and strategic manner, with the active involvement of all stakeholders, to ensure its success.”
The Vice Chancellor of Osun State University, Professor Clement Adeboye, has called for a review of the autonomy granted to universities in Nigeria.
He believed that the current system is confusing and inefficient, as universities with autonomy still have to seek financial assistance from the government in Abuja.
Professor Adeboye suggested that the law regarding autonomy should be reviewed to allow university councils to take control, or the government should scrap autonomy and take over funding of education completely.
His words: “Some federal universities have been struggling to get accredited of courses we are running, that shows that we are committed to excellence. We take exception to the statement made by Osodeke referring to Uniosun as a quack school.
“This university has a profile of having done what other universities have not done in 14 years of its existence. This University has 481 full time academic staff, out of them 387 of them are PhD holders.”
Kwara Gov. inaugurates Education Trust Fund board to enhance educational transformation
Kwara Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has inaugurated members of the Education Trust Fund Board, which he said will play a key role in helping to solidify educational transformation in the state.
“The inauguration of the Kwara State Education Trust Fund Board today is another strategic step towards providing the right environment for excellent learning outcomes for the Kwara child and to enable sustainable development in our state,” he said late Friday in Ilorin, the state capital, at the brief ceremony.
The Governor said the inauguration represents another phase in Kwara’s journey, touting some of the achievements of the administration in the sector, such as the massive school renewal projects and investments in training of teachers.
“A few months ago at an education event on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, I said that investing in education is the urgency of now. This notion has been the main driver of the many reforms we have carried out in the education sector,” he said.
“We have up-skilled and resourced thousands of teachers, and empowered tens of thousands of students with essential learning materials and more conducive school environments.
“Today, our teachers are reporting rapid improvements among their students. This growth is not only reported internally. Recently, Kwara passed the appraisal and was included in the World Bank’s Adolescent Girls Initiative for Learning and Empowerment programme. Our young girls are set to enjoy the benefits of Kwara AGILE.
“Our children are already posting great performances on the national stage. You will see that from the recent UBEC school debate, which Kwara won again after having won last year’s edition and are set to represent Nigeria in the Republic of Serbia in Europe for an international school debate.
“Notwithstanding these feats, we are not resting on our oars. If we are to deliver the promised dramatic improvements in learning outcomes in public schools for all children across Kwara State — and I promise you we will deliver — we need strong oversight, strategic direction, and resources that will ensure longevity.
“This is where the Kwara State Education Trust Fund Board comes in. A critical component of our Kwara State Education Transformation Agenda (KWETA), the board will mobilise resources to support infrastructural development and growth in our education sector. It will help us build stakeholder partnerships and ensure our educational investments are effective, efficient, and aligned with our goals.
“We have made a deliberate choice of the distinguished chairman, secretary, and every member of this board. Their great pedigrees speak clearly of what they bring to the table. I am confident, therefore, that the board will play a key role in helping to solidify educational transformation in Kwara State.”
Members of the Board are Mallam Abdulhakeem Uthman Mustapha (SAN) (chairman); Oluwadamilola Fatimah Amolegbe (Executive Secretary); Emir of Lafiagi Alhaji Mohammed Kudu-Kawu (Member); Permanent Secretary Ministry of Business Innovation and Technology, Mrs Kemi Mary Adeosun (Member); Professor Deborah Adekeye (Member); and renowned tech giant Iyinoluwa Aboyeji (Member).
Mustapha (SAN) commended the Governor for finding them worthy to serve in that capacity.
He congratulated the administration for its huge investments in the education sector, adding, “What you are doing in the education sector in Kwara state is commendable. You are planting a tree for the future. It shows you are forward-thinking and you are trying to provide the workforce that will impart on our state.”
He solicited the support of the government to achieve their goals and pledged not to disappoint the administration and entire Kwarans.
The chairman said the board looks forward to raising some N10bn from different stakeholders, especially private sector players and philanthropists, to support education infrastructure across Kwara State.
The government, for its part, is to support the board with some N100 million seed funds as it commences the assignment.
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