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Thursday, 10 November 2022

SPEECH OF HIS EXCELLENCY, OSUN GOVERNOR, MR. ADEGBOYEGA OYETOLA, ON THE OCCASION OF THE PRESENTATION OF THE OPERATING LICENCE OF THE UNIVERSITY OF ILESA AT THE NATIONAL UNIVERSITIES COMMISSION, NUC, ABUJA, ON THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 2022.

 


Today represents a historic moment in the annals of education in our dear State in particular and Nigeria in general. 


The event we are witnessing today is the outcome of a thorough exercise that started several years   ago.   The   agitation,   however,   gathered   steam   on   6   August   2021   when   a delegation of Ijesa elites paid me a courtesy visit and officially re-tabled the request to upgrade the 44-year-old College of Education, Ilesa, to a full-fledged University.


I assured the visiting delegation of our intention to critically scrutinise the request to determine the merit of the request and Osun State Government’s ability to sustain another University of international repute. We thereafter   commissioned  a   reputable   firm   of  KPMG   to   advise  the  Government  on   the sustainability of the initiative and the firm turned in a favourable report. 


I formerly conveyed the decision of the Government of Osun to upgrade the  institution, acknowledged  to be  the   oldest   remaining  College   of  Education   to   a   full-fledged University on 31 March 2022. The   establishment   of  the  University  of Ilesa  is   necessitated by  the  massive   gap between   qualified   candidates   and   available   space   in   existing   higher   institutions within   the   state,   as   education   remains   the  primary   industry   in   Osun.   The yearning is considerably insatiable, and as responsible leaders, we cannot ignore these needs.


Our commitment is to contribute to developing the human resources needed to drive growth in Osun and Nigeria. Higher education worldwide is a veritable driver of human   development,   innovation,   technological   advancement,   and   resource exploration.


Higher education is central to the creation of future wealth, better socio-economic attainment, efficient agro-economy and mining technology in the current dispensation of the knowledge economy. Better and efficient managers of resources and upward mobile professionals are all products of a well-designed curriculum and focused advanced training. Every aspect of human endeavour depends on higher education   to   attain   an   efficient   level   of   production   and   performance.   


Thus,   the increase in the quest for knowledge further strengthens the importance of higher education in this twenty-first century. Higher education institutions are also critical and central to the development of well-rounded leaders and skilled  personnel in all  areas of human  activities. Hence, the need to develop our current college of education into a full-fledged university to train and equip a diverse group of youths with professional skills, entrepreneurial ability, and innovative insights especially in agri-business, mining and health.


The new University of Ilesa shall focus on Agriculture and Agri-business to address food insecurity, mining technology building on the abundant gold deposit in Ijesaland and Medical Sciences to enhance the human resource need in the health sector. 


We are very deliberate in our approach as we seek to contribute to the diversification of our economy and wean it away from over reliance on oil.


In anticipation of the license issuance, we have identified credible candidates for the Governing Council and Principal Officers, ready to be appointed and hit the ground running.


The outgoing College of Education facilities are more than sufficient to conveniently accommodate the University in the first phase of its development. We have made adequate provisions for the students of the College of Education to complete and better their careers as the life of the College of Education comes to an end.


I wish to put on record the sincere appreciation of the Government and people of Osun  to   the   National   Universities   Commission   (NUC)   for   your   cooperation   and support in bringing the LAUTECH issue between Oyo and Osun states to a win-win close. 


We recall your promise to support the Government of Osun should it decide to set up another university. Today's exercise opens a new chapter in this regard, and we look forward to continual support.


Before I conclude, let me once again reiterate that the proposed university has been carefully conceived as a thoroughly entrepreneurial and innovative institution 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 thank you and God bless.

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