Yinka Kolawole in Osogbo
The Osun State Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola, has assented to the law seeking to upgrade the Osun State College of Education, Ilesa, to a full-fledged university.
The governor’s assent followed the successful passage of the Executive Bill into law by the state House of Assembly in August this year.
Speaking shortly after assenting to the law, Oyetola reiterated the fact that the decision of the state government to upgrade the CoE to a university was “not a product of fanciful effort, but a thorough and rigorous interrogation, characteristic of the culture of deep engagement which his administration is known for.”
According to him, the proposed university has been carefully conceived as a thoroughly entrepreneurial and innovative institution that would be funded through a mix of sources such as the government, community, industry, and other stakeholders without exerting unnecessary pressure on the finances of the state.
The Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Hon. Timothy Owoeye, while receiving the copies of the University Establishment Law from the governor after his assent, said: “The signing of this bill into law is a new dawn in Ilesa land in particular and the state in general.
“This is a huge development for Ilesa people and Osun State. This is what we have been clamouring for, for over 40 years. As a matter of fact, the college, which was established in 1979, is more than 40 years now, and thinking to upgrade it to a full-fledged university is a welcome development. We commend and appreciate the governor for his magnanimity and generosity to the Ilesa people.
“I want to assure you that the establishment of this university will attract a lot of developments as well as improve on the socioeconomic activities of Ilesa land; and by extension, it is going to turn the town into a tourist centre as the people of Ilesa, home and abroad, will come to support the government. I can assure you that the government will not regret upgrading the college to a university.”
The Chairman, Implementation Committee of the proposed university, Prof. Olu Aina, applauded the governor for the swift response, saying the signing will give the committee the enablement to continue to conclude the implementation process.
He described the signing of the bill by the governor as a clear testament to his love for education, and indeed the provision of quality, qualitative and functional education since assuming office.
“The work is not yet completed. What we had today is the enablement for us to continue to conclude the work of implementation. I can see three major stages ahead of us.
“First, the constitution of Governing Council and appointment of Principal Officers of the university, and secondly we will start work, and commence the recruitment of staff, and finally we will open the classrooms for academic activities.
“With this, the government is opening up more opportunities for youths to have access to quality education. This is going to be the first university of its type in Nigeria to have Public-Private Partnership (PPP) and the provision of quality education which will be vocation-orientated. We are all looking forward to it,” he stated.