Governor Adegboyega Oyetola of Osun state on Wednesday inaugurated the committee for the Implementation committee of the upgrade of the Osun State College of Education, Ilesa to a full fledged university.
While addressing the committee members at Excos Chamber of the Osun state government Secretariat, Osogbo, the Osun state capital, Oyetola noted that the goal of his administration is to increase access to quality and equitable education at all levels to empower Osun citizens to realize their full potential.
He added that the government have constantly collaborated with the private sector and other key stakeholders as well as supporting initiatives geared towards improving the education system.
“The idea of this University, therefore, has become necessary to further expand access to qualitative education, among other opportunities, for our young population.
“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, Oyetola said.
Speaking on the conversion of the college to a university status, the Governor said 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.
“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.
Going by the quality, experience, network, and exposure of all members of the Committee and KPMG, I do not doubt that our State would benefit significantly.
“It is now my pleasure to inaugurate this committee to the glory of God and the blessing of our collective humanity” Oyetola added.
Responding on behalf of other committee members, Chairman of the committee, Emeritus Professor Olu Aina appreciated Governor Oyetola for the initiative he described as responding to rescuing the college of Education Ilesha.
“I thank the Governor for the initiative of responding to the yearnings to rescue
the College of Education at llesha – a great institution which has recently been
plagued by a decline in enrolment – a situation which is also true for colleges of
education all over the country.
This rescue mission is more so appreciated in the face of meagre financial resources available to the State. I also wish to appreciate the doggedness and commitment of the community of llesha, universally known for their enterprise, for seeing to it that the College of Education is upgraded to a full-fledged University.
“While it may appear a policy contradiction on the part of Government considering the recent exit from the LAUTECH partnership, what needs to be done must be done for the future of our children, the direct and indirect staff of the institution and the community at large.
“I commend the Governor for his
courage which reminds me of a Chinese Proverb – If you are planning for a
year, sow rice; if you are planning for a decade, plant trees; if you are planning
for a lifetime, educate people. For the University of llesha, the Governor and
the lleshas have done the needful!
On behalf of the members of this Committee who are all patriots, I pledge our
resolve to carry out this assignment timely and diligently in the best interest of
our dear State. We are honoured to be found worthy to act in this capacity.
“While there is a lot going on in the polity currently, both within the State and
nationally, as responsible leaders we must evolve to the point where the
exercise of our democratic franchise no longer grinds activities to a halt, and in
the current case, tamper with the education of our future state and nation
“Consequently, and finally, it will be remiss on an occasion like this not to address the elephant in the room – i.e. the ongoing ASUU strike, which is now in its sixth month. I call on the Federal Government, ASUU, all stakeholders and lovers of the Nigerian child to behave responsibly, set aside their differences, and resolve the legitimate and well-founded agitations of our academics.
Enough is enough!”, he said.
Members of the committee include, Emeritus Prof. Olu Aina, Prof. Isaac Adewole, Prof. Labo Popoola, Prof. Wasiu Oyedokun-Alli, Prof. Yemisi Obilade, Prof. Jide Owoeye, Prof. Sola Akinrinade and Mr Hasheem Rasheed.