By AbuSatar Hamed
Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, has urged Nigerian graduates to use the knowledge gained in their fields of study to proffer practical solutions to the numerous challenges confronting the nation.
Governor Abiodun who made the call on Friday, January 31, 2020 at the 28th and 29th Convocation ceremony of the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State, said as those who had received both academic and moral training, it was expected of them to think of things that would benefit not them alone, but the society at large.
His words, “One thing is sure, all of you are leaving the University with your certificates documents to go to the university of life where there is no paper certificate. Your certificates are what you can do for yourself and contribute to the be development of humanity.
“The University had inculcated in you necessary employable skills, expertise and Technical competence needed to fit in and compete well in the outside world. Your education is to set you on the right path and make you a better global citizen”.
He said though the University was facing some challenges, it has made tremendous achievements by ensuring interrupted academic calendar in the past eight years, expansion of academic Programmes, provision of hostel facilities and full digitalization of the University operations.
Prince Abiodun reiterated that as part of his admission’s agenda to build the State together, efforts have been made for a continued mutual benefit between the town and the institution, adding that it would continue to create and strengthen interface for cross fertilisation of ideas between industry and academia.
The governor also thanked the management, staff and students of the university for the peace and harmony on the campus, without which he said all the achievements being celebrated would not have been possible.
He particularly “noted with joy” the reports of the National Universities Commission (NUC) accreditation visits to the university, the most recent of which gave OOU programmes 96 percent accreditation status.
The governor expressed his delight and congratulated the university on the outstanding feat it had achieved over the years, saying, “I want to assure you that the challenges facing the only outstanding course, Architecture, are being addressed. We are currently constructing six studios and a departmental building.
“I commend the university council and management for this giant stride,” Governor Abiodun said, adding that his administration would do all it can to ensure that the university attains 100 percent accreditation status for all its programmes”.
While appreciating the founding fathers of the University for laying a solid foundation, Governor Abiodun empathized that to equip products of the State higher institutions with required competencies to face life challenges, government would continue to provide the enabling environment for its institution to achieve their objectives.
He congratulated the awardees for contributing to the development of the school and the society at large, calling on well meaning individuals, organizations and corporate bodies as well as alumni to partner with his administration in taking the school to greater heights.
In her welcome address, the Pro-Chancellor, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Mrs. Mosun Belo Olusoga who noted that the university had gone through massive infrastructural development in all of its campuses, advised the graduating students to be positive, proactive, focused and live their life with passion, adding that they should not be discouraged as they step into a new world.
The Vice- Chancellor, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Prof. Ganiyu Olatunji Olatunde in his remarks noted that discussions was currently ongoing with various corporate organizations on the need to construct 100 units of housing for staffs of the institution, which he said would boost the residential status of the institution, adding that the university under his charge had ensured prompt and regular payment of salaries.
Professor Olatunde, in his address announced that Olabisi Onabanjo University had transited from its non-residential policy to residential.
According to him, from the modest figure of 150 students resident in the university hostel, the university now houses over 1,300 students on campus. This achievement he said was made possible due to the involvement of private developers who had partnered with the university to build affordable hostels on campus.
He, however, noted that there is still inadequate on-campus accommodation for staff, but that discussions had been opened with corporate organizations towards building 100 units of housing for staff.
The VC commended the state governor for approving the rehabilitation of the institutions internal roads, particularly the road leading to the Professional Chair Complex and the staff quarters, charging the graduating students to be worthy ambassadors of the institution.
Delivering his convocation lecture with the theme, “The integrity Challenge in Nigerian Higher Education: Towards Creating a New Norma”, the Provost, Anti-Corruption Academy of Nigeria, Prof. Olusola Akinrinade who disclosed that corruption in the higher institution of learning is nothing new, added that corruption in any form is destructive to good governance and the overall welfare of the society.
Akinrinade noted that some of the best ways to tackle corruption in the higher institution, include implementing anti-corruption initiatives and structural reforms necessary to reduce the opportunity for corruption within the system, taking steps towards enhancing prevention mechanisms by entrenching good governance and transparency in their academic and administrative processes and implementation of sanctions and enforcing the rule against infractions.
Responding on behalf of the awardees, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed noted that the task of service to the nation is a collective one and a responsibility that everyone carries, adding that as a product and an alumni of the institution, she is glad to be associated with the relentless effort of the institution in producing some of the best brains that have made significant, social, economic and political development of the country.
Ahmed who commended President Muhammadu Buhari for taking the country out of recession in 2016 through the Nigeria Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, a medium term plan for four years, (2017-2020), added that the main focus of the plan was to pull the economy out of recession and send the country back to the path of inclusive and sustainable growth.
She added that the Nigeria Economic Recovery and Growth Plan was also designed to diversify the economy, restore economic growth, create jobs, empower youths and develop human capital, as well as the development of infrastructure and improving the ease of doing business, adding that one key result of the plan, was that the country was able to exit recession quickly.
The highlight of the event was the conferment of honorary Doctor of Science (DSc.) on the Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed (an alumnus of the university) and the Olu of Ilaro and Paramount Ruler of Yewaland, Oba Kehinde Gbadewole Olugbenle (MFR); while Major General Sansadeen Adebanjo Awosanya (rtd) was conferred with Doctor of Letters (D.Litt).
Ajayi Jesulayomi Opeyemi, from the department of Engineering and Chinozor Justice from the department of Basic and Medical Sciences graduated as the best students for the 2017/2018 and 2018/2019 sessions, the duo got automatic employment into the state civil service