Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode on Thursday revealed plans by his administration to build a 6000-bed hostel within the campus of Lagos State University (LASU), Ojo in partnership with the private sector to improve on the learning experience in the institution.
Speaking at the 21st Convocation ceremony of LASU held at the university’s auditorium complex, Governor Ambode said government will continue to invest in infrastructure in tertiary institutions in the State including LASU to make them emerge as great citadels of learning and pride of all.
While commending the management and governing council of the institution for the professionalism with which the affairs of LASU had been piloted, Governor Ambode charged them to build on the ranking of the institution as the Best State University in Nigeria to become one of the best five universities in the country by 2020.
The Governor particularly encouraged the management to work assiduously to make LASU emerge as the preferred university of choice by 2025.
He said: “You will recall that at the 20th Convocation of this institution last year, I made a commitment that our Government will invest massively here and upgrade its status to that obtainable anywhere around the world provided all stakeholders can ensure that peace reigns on Campus.
“One of the results of that is the accreditation of this institution’s School of Dentistry; the only State University to have an accredited School of Dentistry.
“We will continue to invest in physical and social infrastructure in this University. We have many projects nearing completion and these legacy projects when completed will no doubt change the entire overview of the landscape of the university. One of these projects is a PPP arrangement to deliver a 6,000-bed hostel for LASU.”
Besides, Governor Ambode urged students of the institution to take advantage of the Ready.Set.Work (RSW) initiative of the State Government to learn necessary entrepreneurial skills to be self-dependent and employer of labour, rather than looking for job after graduating from school.
He said with programmes such as RSW, government will continue to develop the capacity of tertiary institutions in the State to produce graduates who are immediately employable upon entry into the labour market.
While congratulating the eminent Nigerians who were deservedly honoured at the convocation ceremony, the Governor admonished the graduands to be good ambassadors of LASU and the State, especially by conquering the world.
Earlier, LASU Chancellor and retired justice of Supreme Court, Justice Adesola Oguntade, and Chairman of Governing Council of the Institution, Professor Adebayo Ninalowo, in their respective speeches, commended Governor Ambode for matching his words with action in terms of huge investment in infrastructure and academic excellence in the Institution.
They observed that the repositioning of LASU initiated and sustained by the Governor was already yielding results with the recent ranking of the institution as the Best State University in Nigeria in 2016 by the National Universities Commission (NUC), and the first State University to secure full accreditation of its Faculty of Dentistry by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, among other numerous achievements.
Also, Vice Chancellor of LASU, Professor Olanrewaju Fagbohun thanked the Governor for progressively implementing reforms in the institution, saying while the management of LASU was not resting, it nonetheless can conveniently assert that graduates of the institution have been imbued with cutting-edge ethics and intellectual capabilities to contribute meaningfully to the society.
He also urged public spirited Nigerians to come to the aid of the institution especially in building additional lecture halls, among others.
A total of 36, 540 students graduated from various faculties and obtained certificates ranging from diploma, first degree and higher degrees.
Honourary awards were also presented to some eminent Nigerians. They are former NUC Executive Secretary, Professor Peter Okebukola; foremost industrialist, Sir Adebutu Kessington; and one of the richest black women in the world, Chief Mrs Folorunsho Alakija.