Oyo State Governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde, has maintained that the State Government would continue to collaborate with the University of Ibadan for the development of the state.
The Governor, stated this while speaking at the 71st Founder’s Day and Convocation ceremony, held at the International Conference Centre, University of Ibadan on Monday.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Makinde, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, indicated that the Governor also declared the readiness of his government to readily employ data and research produced by the University to develop the State.
He added that State will continue to partner with other stakeholders in advancing University of Ibadan further, noting that the cooperation between the Government and the University was already obvious, as many of the University’s staff were collaborating with the State officially and in private capacities to restore Oyo State’s glory.
The Governor maintained that the Government and People of the State had always been proud to be associated with the University, noting that its existence in Ibadan remained a great testament to the pace-setter status of the State.
“It is indeed a pleasure for me to give a goodwill message at this year’s Foundation Day ceremony of the premier University in Nigeria, the University of Ibadan.
“As the Governor of Oyo State and head of the State Government, I commit the State to partnering with you in advancing University of Ibadan further. The cooperation between our Government and the University is already obvious, as many of your staff are collaborating with us both officially and in private capacities to restore Oyo State to the past glory as the founding fathers had hoped.
“At a stage, this University shot the city of Ibadan to the pinnacle of being the Intellectual capital of the African continent. As the landlord of the University, The Government of Oyo State and its people are indeed proud and happy to be associated with UI,” he said.
Governor Makinde maintained that his administration’s resolve to continue to collaborate with the University stemmed from its belief that an educated population is an asset, noting that in line with that belief, it had begun a process of revolutionizing education through sound and well-thought-out policies.
He also pointed out that the free and qualitative education policy of the Government, which is aimed at building a sound foundation for the future products of the University of Ibadan and other higher institutions, was on course, noting that a university system could only work with the materials they were presented with in terms of students.
He said: “As part of the policy of ensuring a foundational quality for education, our Government has distributed textbooks and exercise books to students. We have also produced a compendium of past questions and answers to assist our Senior Secondary School students.”
The Governor added that the goal of his Government is to see to it that the education budget of the State reached the 15 to 20 per cent recommended target set by UNESCO, noting that the goal had been well-received by the people of the State, who expressed approval and acceptance for the Government’s educational policies during the stakeholders’ meetings on inclusive budget initiative held across the three senatorial districts in preparation for the 2020 budget of the state.
Governor Makinde congratulated those receiving their Ph.D. awards as well as eminent Nigerians being honoured with honorary doctorates, including legal luminary, Aare Afe Babalola; General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor E.A. Adeboye, among others.
He said: “I wish to congratulate all those ladies and gentlemen who have just bagged their doctorate degrees. It is a no mean achievement. This is the reward for your hard work, perseverance and diligence. I do not need to remind you the efforts you had all put in to get the degrees. I, however, take the liberty to admonish you to justify being found worthy in character and learning to earn the degrees in all ramifications and at all times. One good way to do this is by staying back in Nigeria so together we can build a great country. In Oyo State for instance, I assure you that the foundation we are laying will lead to the emergence of a virile economy, which will demand inputs from your various skills.
“I also wish to congratulate all the eminent Nigerians that have received honourary doctorate degrees and Fellowship of the University of Ibadan today. There is no doubt that you have all merited this great honour. May you continue to use your God-given endowments for advancement of mankind.
“To the University of Ibadan community and stakeholders, I join you in appreciating the founding fathers of this University. The little you can do is to sustain the legacy of excellence which the University of Ibadan label is known for.”
Earlier, the pro-chancellor of the University and Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, stated that it was important for the University to celebrate the 71st anniversary of the Founder’s Day with joy as much as reflections.