It is always a pleasure to come to this great Institution, the Lagos State University. This will be my last visit in my capacity as the Visitor of this Institution and it has been an honour to be your Visitor.
On behalf of the good people of Lagos, I welcome and thank the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, GCON, SAN and the former President of the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency, Mr. John Dramani Mahama for honouring the invitation of the Lagos State University to be here today.
In 2015, one of our targets in education was to reposition the Lagos State University as a proper citadel of learning and character development. At that time, this institution was facing a number of challenges which interfered with the quality of education delivered.
Our LASU had a backlog of unreleased results, the subvention by government was no longer sufficient, the infrastructure needed serious rehabilitation and there were incessant industrial and student conflicts.
We were determined to put an end to all these because we believe that LASU is well positioned to be one of the leading educational institutions in Nigeria.
This vision led to the re-composition of the University Governing Council. We selected individuals with experience, dedication and a track record of remarkable leadership. This deliberate action to change the narrative of the University also led to the emergence of the dynamic management that the University currently enjoys.
Today, there is an atmosphere of peace and industrial harmony in LASU. The backlog of results have been cleared and our students are graduating every year; stepping out in flying colours, armed with qualifications, character and ideas to change the world.
Our government increased the subvention for LASU and also amended the laws governing the Institution especially regarding the tenure of the Vice-Chancellor and making LASU a residential institution. We have embarked on an extensive infrastructural development which has entailed upgrading the network of roads within the institution and installation of street lights.
In line with our efforts to transform LASU, our Government embarked on various projects to add to the infrastructural landscape of the University:
- The new Senate Building we are commissioning today; a project started by my predecessor, Mr. Babjide Raji Fashola (SAN)
- A new Students Arcade
- An Ultra-Modern Central Library
- The New Faculty of Management Sciences Building, and
- LASU Homes.
The Students’ Arcade is 75% complete and has been fully paid for. The progress of work on the Central Library is at 60% and we expect the project to be completed by the end of the year. The same can be said for the new Faculty of Management Sciences with the work at 50% completion.
The construction of 3 prototype blocks of Lagos Homs Apartments at the LASU staff quarters is nearing completion with work at about 70%. These apartments which are targeted at staff of the University should be completed in seven months.
We have commenced the process of providing a 6000 bed student hostel for our students through a Public Private Partnership (PPP).
A lot of work has been done here but there is still a lot more to be done and I am confident that the next administration will accord this institution the same priority.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the education of our youths is imperative. It will shape the future of our nation. As the State’s Number 1 tertiary institution, we have tried to give LASU the right attention it deserves. This is one of the reasons why I made it a point of duty to attend all the Convocation Ceremonies of this institution since we came into office in 2015.
Aside what we have done in LASU, we have initiated programmes to prepare our youths for the challenges of this era; to enable them have a good mix of theoretical and practical knowledge to fit into life after school. One of such programmes is the ‘Ready, Set, Work’ Initiative for all final year students of Tertiary Institutions in Lagos State.
Three years down the line, the ‘Ready Set Work’ initiative is already yielding the positive results we desired, with over 30,000 students trained through the face-to-face and online academy. Over 3,000 students have gotten internship placements with leading corporate organizations and the enthusiasm of our students to be part of this programme has grown from year to year.
I am very confident today that our youths and graduates are ready for work and ready for innovation. Looking at our graduates today, I can see the sparkle in their eyes and energy to face the world.
I congratulate and thank the Chancellor, the Pro-Chancellor and other members of the Governing Council and the University Management on another convocation. You have discharged your duties diligently and taken our University to new heights. The Lagos State University is the better and gradually gravitating towards becoming the reference point in Nigeria and I am sure the Alumni and current students are grateful for all you have done.
In conclusion, I congratulate the graduands of today, their parents/guardians, family and friends.
The world out there is highly competitive and you will face challenges. The good news is that this Institution has equipped you to surmount these challenges.
Your respective families look up to you; your alma mater looks up to you; and the larger society looks up to you too. Do not disappoint us. Go out there and change the world.
Thank you and God bless you.
Itesiwaju ipinle eko lo je wa logun!
Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode
Governor of Lagos State
16 MAY, 2019.