THE ADDRESS OF HIS EXCELLENCY, GOVERNOR AKINWUNMI AMBODE, AT THE 20TH CONVOCATION CEREMONY OF LAGOS STATE UNIVERSITY TODAY, 26 MAY 2016.
I welcome you all to the 20th Convocation Ceremony of Lagos State University. I am particularly honoured to be presiding over this memorable occasion as the Visitor to the University. Upon my assumption of office as the Governor of Lagos State, I saw the urgent need to focus on Lagos State University and quickly bring the then lingering crises in the University to a halt.
Today, we can confidently say that good reasoning has prevailed and the crisis is behind us now. As a government that places premium on Education, this administration carefully and painstakingly selected and appointed an experienced Legal Icon who is passionate about Education of the youth, in the person of retired Honourable Justice Adesola Oguntade, as the Fourth Chancellor of Lagos State University. Same goes for the respected men and women, who have excelled in their various fields, who constitute the 10th Governing Council of the University.
To these distinguished Nigerians I say a big thank you for the selfless service of gradually remodelling the future of Lagos State in particular and Nigeria in general and for putting Lagos State on the path of further greatness through LASU. After learning of the yearning of members of staff through their respective Staff Unions, I assented to the bill amending the Lagos State University Law on 5th January, 2016. With these amendments, Academic Staff of Professional Cadre can now retire at the age of Seventy (70) years while Academic Staff of other Cadres and Non-Academic Staff will now retire at Sixty-Five (65) years.
Students can now reside on Campus and the Vice Chancellor shall henceforth hold office for a single term of five (5) years. In the last few months, our Government has increased the monthly Subvention of the University while also embarking on massive infrastructural development in the Ojo Campus of the University. These include re-laying of all the roads on Campus and lighting up of the Campus. We are also working on the LASU Senate Building, Main Library, Staff Quarters and the rehabilitation of LASU Waterworks, Ojo.
This government has directed the Contractors handling the projects to expedite action and handover as quickly as possible. I am glad that the repositioning of LASU, a conscious initiative of our administration and driven by the present Council and Management, is making a positive impact. The University has begun to reap benefits of efforts in this regard with its recent ranking as the best State University in Nigeria and 11 th Overall best among scores of public Universities in the Country.
I am proud of this feat, and I congratulate the Council, Management and Senate of LASU for this laudable achievement. Our vision for LASU is to produce the next generation of leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs who will not be looking for employment but be job creators and employers of labour. With this in mind and considering the current unemployment statistics, Lagos State Government has proactively instituted a programme that will enable fresh graduates become job creators rather than job seekers. This capacity building initiative tagged “Ready, Set, Work” is targeted at final year students in Lagos State Tertiary Institutions. This programme will enable successful students get internship placements in high ranking corporate organizations. At the end of the programme, those with best business ideas will get linked to major investors and the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund. I therefore enjoin all our final year students to avail themselves of this opportunity.
The mission of the Lagos State Government is to make LASU the preferred University of Excellence in research and human capacity building in Nigeria, Africa and beyond. This can only be achieved when staff and students of the University are alive to their responsibilities and are committed to serving their fatherland.
As a government, we are ready to do all that is required to achieve this. We are committed to this and will keep working to support the Governing Council, Management and Students of the University. I congratulate the parents and families of all our Graduands who have been found worthy in learning and character for the award of various degrees of this great citadel of learning. I wish you all a successful and promising future.
Mr. Akinwunmi AMBODE
Governor of Lagos State
Visitor, Lagos State University
May 26th, 2016