Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode has stressed that his administration will soon resolve the seven-month-old protracted crisis at the Lagos State University (LASU).
Governor Ambode, who spoke in Ilara-Epe at the inauguration of Augustine University, a private university owned by the Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos assured the gathering of his plans to end the lingering crisis that has rocked the 32-year-old LASU.
According to him, the need to resolve the protracted crisis in the university prompted his administration to inaugurate new Governing Councils for LASU and other tertiary institutions in the state.
LASU Vice Chancellor, Prof John Obafunwa was chased out of the campus by the university workers on March 16, after a week long protest and has not used his office at the Admin Block 1 in the last seven months.
Ambode also revealed that his administration has earmarked over N1billion for renovation and supply of furnitures and education materials across all secondary schools in the state.
The state helmsman who reiterated the determination of his administration to invest massively in the education sector, said 1, 300 teachers from thousands of persons who applied last month will soon be employed to teach in the primary schools in the state.
Appreciating the Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos for the project, Governor Ambode said the best way to prepare for change whether positive or negative is to anticipate and manage it.
“From my exposures, I have come to the conclusion that there is no greater form of preparation to manage change than through education. There is no greater investment that the individual parent can make than investment in education of highest possible quality”, he said.
Ambode said that considering the population of the state which is about 20million, 60 per cent of which are people below 35, thus the state is seriously in need of institutions of higher learning, adding that the establishment of Augustine University, which brings the number of privately owned universities in the state to four and six universities in all, was a welcome development.
Earlier, in his address, the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo told the gathering that the Federal Government was pleased with the initiative of Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos to establish AUI and that it will bring quality university education nearer to the people.
The VP who was represented by the Vice Chancellor, National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), Prof Vincent Tenebe, said the Federal Government will encourage private investors in the education sector as a means to boost access to education.
Prof Osinbajo describe education as mean by government and private investors in the sector to ensure positive change in the country and tasked the management of AUI to maintain standard and provide quality education for which the Catholic Church is known for.
Earlier, in his pre-inaugural briefing, Archbishop of Lagos Catholic Archdiocese, His Eminence Adewale Martins, said the idea to establish the university was muted seven years ago with the laudable goal of taking Catholic education to the next level in Nigeria.
He thanked the Lagos State Government for providing the institution with necessary documents needed for the approval of license by the National Universities Commission (NUC).
The Vice Chancellor of AUI, Prof Stephen Afolami revealed that the institution sits on a massive 105 hectares of land in Ilara-Epe. He said the foundation of the institution was laid on October 27, 2009 and the operational license was granted by the National Universities Commission (NUC) on May 27, 2015.
Prof Afolami said the university is starting with 13 programmes to be run by two faculties and that academic activities will start on October 30 with about 200 students out which 80 had been issued admission letters.
Aside the VP’s representative and Governor Ambode, other dignitaries that graced the occasion include, General T.Y, Danjuma (Rtd) who was the chairman of the event, Apostolic Nuncio to Nigeria, Archbishop Augustine Kasuja, Chief S.O. Bakare, chairman, Oluwalogbon Motors, Mr. Steve Omojafor, chairman, AUI Board of Trustee, Pro-Chancellor, chairman of Governing Council, Mr. Gilbert Grant, former Lagos state First Lady, Lady Doja Otedola, Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Archbishop Adewale Martins, first female NBA President, Mrs. P. Kuye, Oba A.OAdesanya, Alara of Epe, Chief Philip Asiodu, Chief Bode Emmanuel, several Archbishops, some AUI new students and Catholic faithful.
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