It was an emotional laden moment filled with joy, excitement and sense of fulfillment when Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi on Wednesday granted scholarship and N5million cash reward to the overall best graduating student of Lagos State University (LASU), Ogunsanya Fuhad Adetoro.
Adetoro, who is of the Faculty of Management Sciences, was announced as the best graduating student at the 22nd convocation ceremony held at the Auditorium Complex of the University in Ojo having scored CGPA 4.78. Responding to Adetoro's request for scholarship to go for masters’ study outside the country, Governor Ambode said he would personally finance the student's education in any university of his choice anywhere in the world.
“In response to the best graduating student's request, Lagos State Government does not generally give scholarship anymore but only bursary. So, I adopt him. His story is too compelling and it reflects on my own story. So, any university he wants to go, I will do it personally; I will be responsible. In addition to that, because he is the best graduating student, I dash him N5million,” Governor Ambode said.
The Governor said occasions such as university convocation deserved necessary attention as the future of any nation could only be guaranteed when its youths, who form a majority of the population, are educated enough to contribute to the economy and the continued sustenance of the country. Recalling the pledge to construct 6000 capacity hostel for the institution, Governor Ambode said it was gratifying to report that preliminary works had already been concluded on the project, while work would start in few months, adding that other ongoing projects in the university were on course and would also be delivered on schedule. Already, preliminary works on the Six Thousand (6,000) capacity hostel for the University which we promised last year have been concluded and in the next few weeks, construction would start. In addition, the Government’s Legacy Projects in the University including the New Senate Building, the Ultra-Modern Library, Students’ Arcade, LASU Homs (Staff Quarters) and the New Faculty of Management Sciences Buildings are all nearing completion simultaneously, the Governor said, adding that the projects, when completed, would change the entire overview of the landscape of the University. While alluding to the fact that provision of qualitative education was a cardinal duty which government must render to its people, the Governor said such necessitated the 12.07 per cent allocation for education in the total 2018 Budget of the State, saying the education of the teeming youths remained a priority for his administration.
“Our State has always been a trailblazer in various spheres of life and in order to consolidate on the economic gains made so far, the education of our youth is paramount. We seek the cooperation of all Lagosians to ensure we eradicate illiteracy in the State, groom the next generation of leaders and captains of industry as well as position our State as the standard bearer for the nation in the provision of qualitative tertiary education,” the Governor said.
Besides, Governor Ambode said he was encouraged by the successes so far recorded through Ready.Set.Work (RSW), an initiative of the State Government targeted at equipping penultimate and final year students of public tertiary institutions in the State with employability and entrepreneurship skills.
He said: “The feedback we get from the Corporate World is that with adequate and proper mentoring, our graduates can stand toe-to-toe with their colleagues from anywhere across the globe.
“These success stories are a huge motivation for us to increase the scope of this initiative to accommodate more of our students as we have resolved to make every succeeding year of the programme bigger and better than the previous edition.”
While lauding LASU management, staff and students for the feats recorded by the institution, Governor Ambode assured of continuous support in ensuring accreditation of courses and completion of all ongoing projects in the University.
“On our part, as Government, we will support the University in the Accreditation of its various programmes and courses. We will work with the University to ensure that all our facilities and personnel meet the required standards for accreditation because we understand that the rating and sustenance of the University is hinged on the Accreditation of its programmes by the National Universities Commission and other bodies with such responsibilities,” he said.
In his opening remarks, Chancellor of LASU, Justice Adesola Oguntade (Rtd) lauded Governor Ambode for the RSW initiative introduced by the present administration in the State, saying it was gratifying that the scheme keeps getting bigger and better.
He said the initiative had turned out to be a game changer in the lives of students, adding: "It is rapidly changing the thinking of students from being job seekers after school to job producers even while in school."
Besides, Oguntade charged the graduands to make integrity their watchword, broaden knowledge by reading very well, be bold to take risk and never be afraid of failure, just as he urged them to strive to create a better world for incoming generations. Also, LASU Vice Chancellor, Professor Olanrewaju Fagbohun said the graduands have been found worthy in learning and character, saying they have been adequately schooled to contribute to the development of the country. He said due to reforms put in place, the institution ranked first among state universities in the 2018 maiden edition of National Universities Commission (NUC) ranking, while LASU was also selected by NUC as lead institution for the development of blueprints on how to ensure health security by 2050 and blueprint for transportation in Nigeria. He lauded Governor Ambode for the various initiatives designed to promote education in the State and projects executed in LASU especially the RSW through which over 1500 students of the institution had been trained in employability and entrepreneurship skills and Code Lagos programme, among others. A total of 29,710 students graduated with 201 awarded diploma; 21,481 first degrees; 7982 Post Graduate Diploma (PGD); and 46 Doctorate Degrees. In all, 26 students graduated with first class.