Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Olushola Sanwo – Olu, has stated that his government is taking education to a level that every citizenry in the state would be proud of.
Sanwo – Olu gave the assurance at the National Universities Commission (NUC) headquarters, Abuja, on Tuesday (yesterday), after he received clearance certificates of operations for the two newly approved State-owned universities; Lagos State University of Education (LASUED), Ijanikin, and Lagos State University of Science and Technology (LASUST).
With the Clearance Certificates of Operation by NUC, Lagos State University of Education is now the 56th State University and 204th University in Nigeria, as well as the second University of education in Nigeria while Lagos State University of Science and Technology is 57th State University and 205th University in Nigeria.
The two Universities, which are expected to kick start operations any moment from now are in addition to the existing Lagos State University (LASU), Ojo, established in 1982 by the first Civilian Governor of Lagos, late Alhaji Lateef Jakande. Lagos State now has three state-owned universities.
He said that his administration is doing what is proper for the people of Lagos State with the establishment of the two institutions.
“It is about the future of our citizens. It is about the future of our youths, who truly believe in us to do the right thing. It is about our commitment to take tertiary education to a level that all of us would be proud of. It is all about ensuring that we give hope and opportunity to our teeming youths that believe in us to do the right thing.
“We are giving a commitment that what we have done in LASU, we will also replicate it in the two universities. We will ensure that the two great children that we are giving birth to today are not left alone. All of the various development infrastructure; human and materials that are required to make the universities one of the best in the country, Lagos State would make those resources available for them.
“We say this with every sense of responsibility, knowing fully-well what we are doing in LASU, the level of infrastructure we are putting into erstwhile polytechnic and colleges of education, we would double up those efforts at ensuring that they can turn into great citadels of higher learning and universities that would be reference points in the years ahead,” he said.
He said that the establishment of the two universities wasn’t just an idea that came overnight but well – thought out plans to improve educational and technological developments which are part of his administration’s economic development agenda.
“Education and Technology are in our economic agenda. So, it is not something that we just fell into overnight; it was something that we thought out. It is something that our people deserve and we plan that in four years, we are going to deliver to them. We thank all the stakeholders, the House of Assembly and all the various communities where these institutions would be cited and all of our other players in the private sector who are looking forward to this”, he said.
“There are over 20,000 schools in Lagos that are in private institutions that are looking for teachers; teachers in science education and other curricula of education that have university degrees. It is a ready market that we are trying to fill. So, we are excited and proud that we can take it back home today”.
Sanwo-Olu also said that his administration in the last three years has been investing extensively in the institutions in the State, noting that one of the legacy institutions currently has almost 60 P.hD holders as lecturers.
Speaking earlier, the Executive Secretary of NUC, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, pledged the commission’s total support to the two universities.
He also urged Lagos State Government to take full advantage of the professional and technical advice that the commission would provide to the state government for the establishment and operations of their universities.
“We congratulate the governor on his efforts and initiative. We congratulate your team on the vision of moving Lagos State forward. We particularly congratulate you on your decision to invest wisely in higher education.
“The Lagos State University of Science and Technology certainly would be a benefit to the position of Lagos as the hub of industries and technology in this country and West Africa. And if properly supported, this is a university that can help Lagos State’s determination to transit into a knowledge economy.
“Lagos, as a state, can move ahead of others based on investment in education. I know that the economy of Lagos alone is the fifth largest in the entire African continent. The economy of Lagos alone is more than the entire economy of Ghana and Ivory Coast put together.”
The NUC boss also disclosed that Joint Admission Matriculation Board (JAMB), Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) and National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) had been fully notified about the operations of the two universities.