Yinka Kolawole in Osogbo and Kuni Tyessi in Abuja
The National Universities Commission (NUC) yesterday presented a ‘Letter of Recognition’ for the official take off of University of Ilesa to the Osun State Government.
The presentation of the letter has given birth to the successful completion of the formal documentary process into the establishment of the university.
This is even as the state Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola, reiterated his administration’s commitment to ensuring that the establishment of the university will not in any way put unnecessary financial burden on the state.
By the recognition, the university becomes the 60th state university and 220th university in Nigeria.
The letter conveying the recognition was personally received from the NUC Executive Secretary, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, by the state governor.
This is just as the NUC Executive Secretary lauded the governor for the initiative, noting that the establishment of the university remains one of the most important legacies of Governor Oyetola, and added that the governor established the university in the “right place, with the right people. I am sure the people of Ilesa will not allow it to go under.”
Among those present at the brief ceremony were former state Governor, Chief Bisi Akande; Emeritus Prof. Olu Aina; Speaker of state House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Timothy Owoeye; Chief of Staff to the Governor, Dr. Charles Akinola; former Health Minister, Prof. Isaac Adewole, among others.
eceiving the ‘Letter of Recognition’ at the NUC Secretariat in Abuja, Oyetola said the event has further laid credence to his commitment to upgrading the 44 years old College of Education to a university.
Oyetola, who described education as the bedrock of socio-economic and political development, said the establishment of the university would go a long way to address palpable deficit in university education, particularly in the state and beyond.
According to him, the university would further help to train and equip a diverse group of youths with professional skills, entrepreneurial ability, and innovative insights, especially in agri-business, mining and health.
He noted that since higher education is central to the creation of future wealth, better socio-economic attainment, efficient agro-economy and mining technology in the current dispensation of the knowledge economy, the quest to upgrade the college to a full-fledged university was worthwhile.
The governor said: “Our commitment is to contribute to developing the human resources needed to drive growth in Osun State and Nigeria. Higher education worldwide is a veritable driver of human development, innovation, technological advancement, and resource exploration.
“The new University of Ilesa shall focus on agriculture and agro-business to address food insecurity; mining technology, building on the abundant gold deposit in Ijesaland; and Medical Sciences to enhance the human resource need in the health sector.
\“We are very deliberate in our approach as we seek to contribute to the diversification of our economy and wean it away from over reliance on oil.”