By Adeola Ogunrinde
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode has said the conscious initiative of his administration at ensuring enduring peace and the repositioning of Lagos State University (LASU) are already yielding positive results.
Ambode said this in his address at the 20th Convocation ceremony and installation of the new Chancellor of the Lagos State University (LASU) held at the New Auditorium Complex of the Ojo Campus of the institution.
He said the recent ranking of the institution as the best state university in Nigeria and the 11th overall best public university in the country had made LASU the preferred university of excellence in research and human capacity building in Nigeria, Africa and beyond.
Ambode said his vision was for the citadel of learning to produce the next generation of leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs who will not be looking for employment but be job creators and employers of labour.
To this end and considering the current unemployment statistics, the governor said his administration had proactively instituted a programme that will enable fresh graduates become job creators rather than job seekers.
He said: “This capacity building initiative tagged “Ready, Set, Work” is targeted at final year students in Lagos State Tertiary Institutions. This programme will enable successful students get internship placements in high ranking corporate organizations arranged by us. At the end of the programme, those with best business ideas will get linked to major investors and the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund.”
While encouraging the final year students of tertiary institutions in the state to avail themselves of the opportunity, Governor Ambode said his administration woul keep on supporting the Governing Council, Management and Students of the University.
He also assured the school that the state government would not rest on its oars in doing all that is required to achieve its vision of transforming LASU and indeed other academic institutions in the state.
While recalling measures put in place by his administration upon assumption of office to ensure enduring peace and development at the institution, Governor Ambode said he assented to a bill amending the Lagos State University Law on 5th January, 2016; increased the monthly subvention to the university and also embarked on massive infrastructural development at the Ojo Campus.
He said with the amendments, Academic Staff of Professional Cadre can now retire at the age of 70, while Academic Staff of other Cadres and Non-Academic Staff will now retire at 65 years.
He said students can now also reside on Campus, while the Vice Chancellor shall henceforth hold office for a single term of five years.
Some of the infrastructural development at the institution, according to Governor Ambode, included the re-laying of all the roads on campus and lighting up of the campus, while work is currently ongoing on LASU Senate Building, Main Library, Staff Quarters and the rehabilitation of LASU Waterworks, Ojo.
Governor Ambode, who expressed optimism that the projects would be completed by next year, however urged the staff and students of the university to build on the efforts of his administration by being alive to their responsibilities and showing commitment to serving their fatherland.
Governor Ambode further said the state government would give top priority to LASU graduates in employment opportunities.
Earlier, Ambode had commissioned the new Faculty of Science Complex and the Faculty of Law Twin Lecture Theatre and the LASU Radio donated by a businessman and philanthropist, Chief Adebutu Kessington.
The governor, who also inaugurated retired Justice Adeshola Oguntade as the Chancellor of the institution, commended the Governing Council and management of the university for their selfless service towards remodeling the future of the state on the path of further greatness.
In his acceptance speech, Justice Oguntade, while thanking Governor Ambode for the opportunity given to him to serve the state, urged staff and students of the institution to allow peace to thrive, saying development can only thrive in a peaceful atmosphere.
Also, Pro Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council, Professor Adebayo Ninalowo, and Vice Chancellor, Professor Olanrewaju Fagbohun, commended the governor for his passion towards the development of the institution, especially for the infrastructural development both completed and ongoing at the institution.