…’Varsity not a product of mere fanciful effort’
The Governor of Osun, Adegboyega Oyetola, on Wednesday, inaugurated the Implementation Committee for the proposed University of Ilesa.
He said the upgrade of the existing Osun State College of Education, Ilesa, to a full-flegded University was ‘not a product of fanciful effort’ but rather a product of thorough and rigorous interrogation, characteristic of the culture of deep engagement for which his administration is noted for.
This is even as the Governor noted that the proposed University has been carefully conceived as a thoroughly entrepreneurial and innovative institution that would be funded through a mix of sources such as the government, community, industry, and other stakeholders without exerting unnecessary pressure on the finances of the State.
Recall that the State House of Assembly had on Monday, August 8th, 2022, passed into law the Bill seeking to upgrade the Osun State College of Education, Ilesa to a full-flegded University.
The newly-inaugurated Committee chaired by a renowned educationist, Prof. Oluremi Aina, has former Vice-Chancellor, Osun State University, Prof. Labo Popoola; a former Vice Chancellor, Tai Solarin University, Prof. Yemisi Obilade; a former Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole; Chancellor and Chairman of Council, Lead City University, Prof. Jide Owoeye; Pioneer Vice-Chancellor Osun State University, Prof. Sola Akinrinade; Professor of English Language and Applied Linguistics, Prof. Wasiu Oyedokun, and Mr. Rasheed Sarumi.
The Committee will be working with members of the Interface Team which include the Chief of Staff, Dr. Charles ‘Diji Akinola; Commissioner for Education, Mr. Folorunsho Oladoyin; Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Mr. Femi Akande, and Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Bola Oyebamiji.
Inaugurating the Implementation Committee in his office, State Government Secretariat, Abere, Osogbo, Governor Oyetola assured that the running of the affairs of the university when established would be a model.
He noted that the proposed University will undoubtedly be unique as it is being carefully nurtured to be inoculated from the perennial challenges that plague an average public university in the country, but benchmarked against the best global practices.
Oyetola who emphasised his administration’s commitment to building a truly-diversified and resilient economy, said the idea of the University, therefore, has become necessary to further expand access to qualitative education, among other opportunities, for the teeming young population.
According to him, the government has focused on sustained investment in the education sector as part of efforts to drive its agenda and galvanise requisite human capital development.
In actualising the set objectives in the education sector, Governor reiterated that his government has constantly collaborated with the private sector and other key stakeholders as well as supporting initiatives geared towards improving the education system.
“The decision to upgrade the College of Education, Ilesa, I must note, is not a product of mere fanciful effort, but one that is a product of thorough and rigorous interrogation, characteristic of the culture of deep engagement for which this administration is noted.
“Among others, we also took into copious consideration, the College of Education, its existing infrastructural and human resource assets as the State’s oldest College of Education.
“I wish to emphasise that equally important to us is a demonstration of the self-sustainability of the University and the continued support of all critical stakeholders, considering the current and future economic outlook of the State.
“This is because upgrading the College to a University will require enormous financial and human resources, and concerted efforts of stakeholders.
“It is for this reason that the university has been carefully conceived as a thoroughly entrepreneurial and innovative university that would be funded through a mix of sources such as the government, community, industry, and other stakeholders without exerting unnecessary pressure on the finances of the State.
“What this means from the word ‘go’, is that this is a university that is undoubtedly going to be unique because it is being carefully nurtured to be inoculated from the perennial challenges that plague an average public university in the country, but benchmarked against the best global practices.
“Considering the above and to support our Administration’s prompt implementation of the upgrade, we engaged the global advisory firm, KPMG, to offer advisory services on the smooth take-off of the proposed University, to produce a Sustainability Plan and Governance Charter.
“I am happy to note that we have received the initial report of the firm and we shall make it available for the consideration of the Implementation Committee.
“As evident from their rich profile, the membership of the Implementation Committee is made of highly-eminent academics and professionals who will bring to bear their unique and diverse experience in actualizing our objectives for the upgrade of the College of Education, Ilesa, to a full-fledged University”, he added.
Speaking on behalf of the newly-inaugurated Implementation Committee, the Committee’s Chairman, Prof. Olu Aina, promised not to only meet the target but also beat the expectations.
According to him, the members of the Committee have given their consent to serve with utmost diligence and commitment to ensure the quick actualisation of the upgrade of the College to a full-flegded University.
“Going by the caliber of people and personalities in this Committee, I am confident we will deliver on our mandate. I commended Mr. Governor for organizing this team. I am assuring you that we will not let you down.
I appreciate the government for rising to the upgrade of the College. With this gesture, Government has done the needful”, he added.