The outgoing Vice-Chancellor, University of Lagos (UNILAG), Professor Rahmon Bello has called on stakeholders of the institution to support his successor, Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe for the university’s development, just as he urged the incoming vice-chancellor to put the institution first in his decisions.
Bello, who made the call recently during a valedictory press conference held at the Senate Chamber, said when an administrator places his personal interest first against the interest of the institution, he derails from his primary purpose in office.
“What is important is that once you do the right things and ensure the objectives of the institution and you are straightforward in what you do, you will succeed. The moment you derail, you are courting trouble.”
Bello, who reeled out the projects executed by his administration in the past five years, called on Ogundipe to stick to the vision of the institution. “As a vice-chancellor, once he can defend what he does, he will have no problem. I am convinced and can say with all modesty that I will be leaving office with fond memories of University of Lagos as a better place in terms of teaching, research and service to the community.”
Meanwhile, Bello has launched a book titled ‘Walking the Vision’. Speaking at the book presentation held at the J.F Ade-Ajayi Auditorium, the reviewer, Professor Nimi Briggs, described the book as unique, adding that he would freely recommend it for those interested in higher education and future leaders.
In his remarks, the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council, Dr. Wale Babalakin commended the vice-chancellor for his commitment to duties.
“The best way to celebrate people like Bello was for his colleagues to put up something like this for him.”
He expressed concern that there is no Nigerian university ranked among 800 universities globally, while calling for stakeholders’ participation in the sector to ensure that it is well funded.
“Gone were the days when government had money to fund education. We have been authorised by the federal government to create means of funding education,” he said, adding that the education sector is at crossroads.
He appealed to stakeholders to partner the government to stop the present downward trend, adding, “there was a time when the University of Ibadan Medical School was ranked fourth in the commonwealth of nations. When you talk about Commonwealth nations, England is also inclusive.”
The immediate past Pro-Chancellor, Professor Jerry Gana described Bello as a man of vision.
Gana, who was represented by Dr. Isua Dogo said, “Professor Rahmon Bello represents one of the best brains in UNILAG. His vision and mission have brought him the achievement.”
In his response, Bello, who lauded the honour bestowed on him, dedicated the book to the three councils he worked with, adding that they contributed to the success of his administration.
He said the university has what it takes to excel in the world. “I am still in UNILAG, I remain UNILAG and continue to be its alumnus.”