The National Universities Commission (NUC) has issued a letter of recognition/licence to the University of Ilesa, formerly Osun State College of Education, Ilesa, to begin academic operations as a fullfledged university with focus on agriculture and agri-business, mining technology, building and medical sciences.
Executive Secretary of NUC, Prof Abubakar Rasheed, presented the licence yesterday, in Abuja, to Governor Gboyega Oyetola, who was accompanied by a former governor of the state, Chief Bisi Akande, Speaker of the Osun House of Assembly, Timothy Owoeye and former Minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole. The NUC boss commended the governor for compensating the state for opting out of the joint-ownership of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), withanewuniversity, saying:. “This is a well-thought plan. Thank you for trying to give back to the community what the community has given to you.”
Rasheed who noted that 94 per cent of university students were domiciled in public universities, leaving just 6 per cent to private universities, insisted that with a population of over 200 million, Nigeria was in need of more universities to accommodatemorestudentsandaddressthegrowingdemandon tertiary education. Oyetola, who said the university took into consideration the growing food insecurity, abundant gold deposit in Ijesaland, and the human resource need in the health sector as baseline for its area of focus, added that the idea was to contribute its quotatodiversificationof the economy and wean it from over-reliance on oil.
“The establishment of the University of Ilesa is necessitated by the massive gap between qualified candidates and available space in existing higher institutions within the state as education remains the primary industry in Osun. The yearning is considerably insatiable and as responsible leaders, we cannot ignore these needs. Speaker of the Osun House of Assembly, Timothy Owoeye, who expressed excitement, noted: “This is what we have been clamouring for for over 40 years. As a matter of fact, the college, which was established in 1979, is more than 40 years old now, and thinking of upgrading it to a full-fledged university is a welcome development.
We appreciate Mr Governor for his magnanimity and generosity to Ijesa people. “I want to assure you that the establishment of this university will attract a lot of development and improve the socio-economic activities of Ijesa land. I can assure you that the government will not regret upgrading the college to a university.”