Aregbesola, Alakija Want Varsities To Make Societal Impacts

Governor of Osun State, Mr Rauf Aregbesola, has called on Nigerian universities to make their impact felt in the society just as he charged them to produce graduates with good moral values.

Aregbesola stated this on Thursday while speaking as the Visitor to Osun State University (UNIOSUN) during the 10th year anniversary and 6th convocation of the university in Osogbo.

The governor said any academic activity without instilling good character in the learner will eventually spell doom for the society in the future.

He described all the negative happenings in the country as a result of learning without character, stressing that the extent of harm a knowledgeable person without character can wreck can only be imagined.

Aregbesola said, “We need to begin to learn with good character or else we are preparing for the beginning of evil vices in the country. All the negatives in the country is as a result of learning without character in our universities.

“There is no limit to the extent of evil a man who is learned but without character can do, such a person is like a time bomb.”

Aregbesola also charged Nigerian universities to engage in researches that will impact positively on the Nigerian society, saying the community needs to feel the impact of the university.

The governor added that Nigerian universities must be interested in building a virile society and that the nation’s citadels of learning should make it a point of duty to assist the nation in the area of infrastructural development.

His words “The university must be relevant to the host community and the nation at large. The community must feel the impact of the university.

“The Nigerian universities must be interested in development and how it is to be managed. You must engage in researches that can benefit the society.

“I charge our universities to begin to think beyond producing graduates, ” He noted.

The governor also called on tertiary institutions in Nigeria, especially the universities, to begin to focus more on the development of science and technology, stressing that in few years to come, technology would have changed the world dramatically.

He said Nigerian universities need to start preparing the youths toward a digitized future for the country to remain relevant in world order.

“We need to begin to prepare for a future where so many amazing things will be done technologically.

“In the next ten years, technological knowledge would have changed the world dramatically to the extent that cars will begin to drive itself without a driver.

“In ten years time, your mobile phone will be able to tell you a lot of things about your health and so on. We need to be prepared for this future as a country,” Aregbesola said.

In his opening remark, the Pro-Chancellor and chairman governing council of the University, Mallam Yusuf Alli, SAN, said the ten years of existence of the university was a period of preparation and now is the time for consolidation.

According to the legal luminary, the university needs to cultivate in its students exemplary and exceptional leadership, academic excellence, scholarship and best international practices.

The Pro-Chancellor stated that the university must also be committed to Science, Technology and Information Technology, saying the university would not be able to be a global participant if it relies on obsolete and outdated knowledge.

“Our Council is aware of the needs of tertiary education in these contemporary times and this demands that the University must keep to its vision and mission, even in the midst of economic challenges of the moment.

“To this end, we have continued to develop our infrastructure and facilities to meet the growing needs of our students and staff.

“We are proud to report that the university has continued to grow in leaps and bounds,” Yusuf Alli said.

The Vice Chancellor, Prof Labode Popoola in his address also said the university has made tremendous progress as it develops, saying the institution has made provision for thousands of student.

According to Prof Popoola, the ten year old university has graduated six thousand four hundred and ninety three (6,493) students.

The Don noted that the university does not only admit students but aim at developing a total individual in the students.

“I make bold to state here that the university is not just aiming to house students on its campuses but also to develop total individuals imbued with a culture of self-respect and respect for others, tolerance of and celebration of diversity, ethical behaviours and personal growth as well as holding each others accountable,” Popoola said.

Earlier in her address, the Chancellor of the university, Dr. Mrs Folorunso Alakija, expressed delight over the transformation the university is going through under the leadership of Aregbesola.

Alakija also commended the Governor for his efforts in creating a sound learning environment and laying of a good foundation for quality education through the construction of mega schools.

The Chancellor, who promised to build a paediatrics hospital for the university, called on the all stakeholders to support the institution in charting a new course with a view to attaining greater height.

She said, “The time has come for this institution to chart a new course towards attaining greater heights during its second decade of existence.

“We must be able to proffer solutions to societal challenges. The time has come for all stakeholders to collaborate to move this institution forward.”

SOURCE: The Nigerian Voice (local news)