The Vice-Chancellor of Olabisi Onabanjo University, Professor Ganiyu Olatunji Olatunde has dropped the hints that the University Governing Council and Management are working tirelessly and steadily to make the University first among equals in the country.
Professor Olatunde made this disclosure while he was delivering his address at the 28th/29th Convocation Ceremonies for the award of Postgraduate Degrees and Diplomas held on Friday, 31st January, 2020 at the Otunba Gbenga Daniel Lecture Theatre.
The Vice-Chancellor assuredly informed the Visitor to the University and the Governor of Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun, invited guests, parents and graduands that “our goal is to make the growth and development of the University our utmost priority to ensure that Olabisi Onabanjo University ranks as one of the best.”
He, thereafter, went on to give a synopsis of activities that have taken place in the University in the last two and half years that were geared towards achieving this lofty goal. Among such activities were sustained academic growth and massive infrastructural development.
According to the Vice-Chancellor, the University has continued to experience uninterrupted academic activities and sustained academic development in the last few years.
He stated that the accreditation exercises to the University have also been very successful with an improvement status of 97% from 76% which was met on ground two and half years ago. Professor Ganiyu Olatunde added that three new academic programmes; Nursing, Music and Linguistics already approved by the National Universities Commission (NUC) are running well while the University’s Postgraduate programmes continued to attract more candidates due to timely completion of students’ programmes. The Vice-Chancellor remarked further that plans to start the Open Distance Learning Programme (ODL) in the University have reached an advanced stage.
According to Professor Ganiyu Olatunde, by the time the ODL would take off, it would increase access to University education for candidates and, of course, increase the students’ population to about 40,000 from the present 25,000.
On infrastructural development, the Vice-Chancellor informed the congregation that in the last eight years, the University had witnessed “tremendous infrastructural development with over 25 buildings completed. This is apart from the hostel construction that is ongoing in the University and which is being built through Public Private Partnership (PPP).”
Professor Olatunde revealed to the admiration of the graduands, invited guests and parents that a newly completed University Senate Building and a 3,000 – seater ICT Building, which he said was the largest in any Nigerian University were commissioned earlier on in the day by the Governor , Prince Dapo Abiodun.
He listed six new ongoing projects in the University to include “a 1,000 seater auditorium and Faculty Building for the Faculty of Science; 750 – seater auditorium and Faculty Building for the Faculty of Social Sciences; the College Building for College of Agriculture in Ayetoro; the Morbid and Morbid Anatomy Department Building and Animal House in Sagamu; and the Architecture Department Building in Ibogun.
According to Professor Olatunde, with an envisaged completion of these buildings in the next 48 weeks, “it is expected that they will ease learning and research, and further enhance the image and rating of the University.”
The Vice-Chancellor also added that “the beautification of the University through landscaping and greenery in order to make the environment conducive for teaching, learning and research are being undertaken.”
He, however, attributed the success of these developmental activities towards making the University becoming the best in the country to “the commitment of staff to their duties and the determination of our students to engage meaningfully in their studies”. The Vice-Chancellor equally acknowledged the assistance of Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), Ogun State Government and some development partners of the University, particularly, General S. A. Awosanya for the donation of 54 double arm poles, solar-powered street light that covered a distance of 2.1km.
Professor Olatunde also remarked that the University has transited from its non-residential policy to being residential. According to the Vice-Chancellor, from the modest figure of 150 students resident in the University hostel, the number has now increased to 1,300 student residents. He attributed the significant achievement to the involvement of private developers, who had partnered with the University to build affordable hostels on campus. He, therefore called on other investors to take advantage of the favourable investment climate of the institution to invest more in the construction of students’ hostels and most especially, residential accommodation for staff.
“We have opened discussions with corporate organizations to partner with the University in the provision of residential accommodation for staff and students of the University. Discussions are ongoing with these organizations for the building of 100 Units of Housing for Staff of the University on campus.” Said, the Vice-Chancellor.