Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Monday said the priority of his administration for educational institutions at the tertiary level is for them to nurture students to become wealth creators and innovators capable of contributing positively to the communities and the nation.
Ambode, who spoke at the Lagos House in Alausa, Ikeja while inaugurating Professor Olanrewaju Adigun Fagbohun as the 8th substantive Vice Chancellor of the Lagos State University (LASU), said the State Government was not just passionate about academic excellence, but equally committed to raising the standards and providing the necessary infrastructure for tertiary institutions in the State to deliver outstanding results.
While insisting that he was not oblivious of the unique position that LASU occupies, Governor Ambode charged the new leadership of the institution to re-focus on intellectual engagement, show leadership and brace up to the developmental and academic challenges of an emerging globally competitive citadel of learning.
In providing the roadmap for LASU, Governor Ambode recalled that the journey towards the actualization of his vision for the institution began on September 22, 2015 when the Governing Council was inaugurated, and that to take it to realization, he equally assented to a Bill amending the enabling law setting up the institution.
The amendment, according to the Governor, was fundamental as it will address pertinent issues that have for long created discord within the academic community.
Besides, Governor Ambode recalled the protracted crisis in LASU which was recently resolved, and said Professor Fagbohun was appointed to put things right in the institution after a thorough screening and selection process by the Governing Council.
He said: “Over the past few years, LASU has had her fair share of successes and challenges. As a result, there is a lot of work required to propel the University to a world-class status.
“As we set our sights on a more viable future, we must ask ourselves some important questions: How successful are our Students after they graduate from our institution? What is the University’s contribution to our Community, our Country and the World?
“I urge that we all ponder over these questions and use today’s event as a rallying call for all to join hands to move LASU forward.
“There is no gainsaying the fact that the new Vice Chancellor is assuming office at a challenging time in the history of the University. He has the task of rekindling hope and rebuilding confidence in the system after a protracted crisis. In this task, he requires the support and cooperation of all the stakeholders particularly the academic and non-academic staff as well as students, all of whom he must carry along to enthrone a peaceful atmosphere that will promote academic excellence,” the Governor said.
In his acceptance speech, Professor Fagbohun said the passion that he has for the job is such that he was already running, adding that LASU shall become great again.
He said: “My strategic imperatives are to restore peace, foster high level scholarship, make gains on previous gains, create an environment that can attract funds and make the institution a valued partner to the Lagos State, the Nigerian nation and the international community.
“From this moment, the language of engagement is inclusive governance, consultative approach and the will mantra. We will robustly and consistently engage in open, honest and constructive communication on critical issues such as welfare of staff and students, among others. Overall, we will ensure that our dear University worth its name.
“We will make His Excellency and Lagos State proud. I am highly confident that we can do it. My confidence stems from what I know of the University and the enormous energy of my colleagues both academics, non-academics and our dear students. I say LASU will become great again,” Professor Fagbohun said.
While assuring that discipline and rule of law would be upheld, Professor Fagbohun urged Governor Ambode and all stakeholders in the LASU project to join hands with him in the task of putting the institution back on the front row of academic excellence.