Key stakeholders of Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State have promised to turn around the fortunes of the 36-year-old institution especially in ranking and research.
The pledges to lift OOU to greater height were made at the 27th convocation in which Ogun State governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, governing council chairman, Mrs. Mosun Belo-Olusoga and Vice Chancellor, Prof Ganiyu Olatunde insisted more needed to be done to reposition the university.
Governor Amosun who donated a 10-storey Senate Complex, admitted OOU had made giant strides and required additional support from key stakeholders to make the institution one of the best among its peers.
The governor lauded the governing chairman, VC and management team for piloting the affairs of OOU to greater height and stressed that it would continue to grow bigger and better.
He pledged that his administration would support the management to improve on its current ranking and “we will make OOU a reference point. At 2017 convocation, I promised to support the university. And the results showed OOU is doing well.
“I am aware of the challenges facing OOU and I am happy the council and management have taken some initiatives to reposition OOU. We have taken note of the giant strides made by the university and have intervened to resolve some challenges. My administration will assist OOU to maintain it position in the Nigerian University System (NUS).’’
Amosun said Ogun State is now the industrial hub in Nigeria so, the government has reviewed the curriculum to empower the youths and challeneged them to embrace politics as well as take over from the old politicians.
The Pro-Chancellor and chairman of council, Mrs. Belo-Olusoga, assured that the council would sustain the progress so far made and improve on it stating that “the university has enjoyed infrastructure development in the last five years as result of judicious use of fund from state government, TETFUND, NEEDS and IGR.”
She appealed for more funds from the state government to service the agreements between the federal government and university unions, which the branches on campus expect Ogun State government to implement.
According to her, the vision of the council is to reposition the university to attain the status of a 21st Century citadel of learning within the next five years.
Belo-Olusoga said the eight-point agenda on which the vision would be anchore are, increase in internally generated funds, infrastructural development, support for research and development, availablity of basic amenities-power, water and good roads, increase in staff and students welfare, robust ICT developement and increase in carrying capacity (staff-students ratio).
‘’Council has already commenced activities to ensure the excution of the content of this agenda through the approval of the provision of counterpart fund for staff pension to enhance staff welfare, approval to run seven additional academic progrannes, in preparation for NUC resources verification visit, increase in hostel facilities for student
In his address, OOU VC, Prof Olatunde, acknowledged the giant strides being taken by the universty to achieve its tripodal mandate of teaching, research and community service.
He said OOU continued to experience sustained growth and development in the last six years without disruption stating that in the last Post-UTME exercise, over 21,000 candidates were screened for admissions but only 6,416 were considered for admission.
Prof Olatunde disclosed that OOU produced 18 First Class graduates, 605 second class upper division, 1,938 second lower, 1,402 third class, 79 pass and 208 awarded diploma. He said 105 received postgraduate diplomas, 474 master’s degrees, one M,Phil and 74 PhD.
The VC said the icing on the cake during the 27th convocation was the conferment of honorary awards on four prominent Nigerians who were selected based on their outstanding contributions to the development of Ogun State , Nigeria and humanity.
They are Oba Adedotun Gbadebo, Alake of Egbaland, Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, immediate past president of Nigerian Stock Exchange, Mrs. Ibukun Awosika, chairman of First Bank Plc, and Prof Toyin Falola, renowed historian from University of Texas, Austin, USA.