Lagos State University has been in the news not for bad but for innovative projects that have added promotions in the life of the institution ever since the amiable Vice Chancellor, Professor Olanrewaju Adigun Fagbohun (SAN), took over the pilot seat of the citadel of learning. It was a double activity recently when the university held her first ever research fair and opening of an ultra modern Computer Based Training Centre (CBTC). CYRIACUS NNAJI writes.
To mark kick-off of the first LASU research fair, the Guest Speaker, the former Governor of Lagos and now Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola, stressed the need for data in national development.
He maintained that most of the data that are available in the country were largely unverified and called on Nigerian universities and other institutions of learning to embark on research which result would be applied for the enhancement of national development.
The theme of the Fair was “Driving National Development through Research and Innovation”
Among what he called unverified data include the reports about Nigeria having 10 million out of school children, 17million housing deficit and a population of 200 million people.
While laying emphasis on verifiable and published data that will enhance decision and stimulate policies, he said, the All Progressives Congress (APC) emerged victorious in the 2015 election when everyone thought it was impossible. He decried the inability of any university in Nigeria to delve into research that would unravel the reason behind the feat.
In his words “I will tell you how it happened. APC chose to innovate; the party conducted a research, an opinion poll to ask Nigerians what they wanted. We collected millions of data which guided our direction. Nigerians wanted security, fighting corruption and perception of the government.
“What I am driving at is that when we study things (research), they produce results and in turn improve our lives. Today, we talk about increase in kidnapping? Does it correlate with reduction in armed robbery?” Fashola queried while also encouraging organizations and academic institutions to research on trends of crime in Nigeria.
On the research fair, Fagbonun said “What we are trying to do here today is to bring together all the scholars, we all want to think together and work together, so that we can bring to bear solutions that would bridge the gaps within the system of Nigeria. What we have started today is a conversation between the academic community, the industry and government; we want a situation where the ecosystem is something that we would develop in a way that is sensitive to the need for research and the solution that will come out of it.
“We want the industry to believe in Nigerian academic community that they can deliver, on providing solutions to issues that are affecting us, and it is not going to be the same again. You recall that just about a week ago, the university of Lagos had a research fair, Lasu is having this now, and the synergies of all these institutions is what we continue to bring together for the interest of Nigerians and the world at large,” Fagbohun Stated.
On the CBTC Fagbohun revealed how the partnership between his institution and ProvidusBank metamorphosed into the establishment of a Computer Based Training Centre in the university.
While speaking a short but colourful ceremony for the official commissioning of the university’s 500 capacity ultra modern CBTC at campus, Fagbohun specially thanked the Managing Director, ProvidusBank, Walter Akpani, for partnering with LASU.
Fagbonun harped on private sector participation in providing services to the public when he said “We recognize the fact that government cannot do it alone, Lagos State University, more than 38 years old, we could not boast of a CBTC; that would meet the test of scrutiny. JAMB goes on, we are not involved in that process because we didn’t have the facility, and putting together the funds that would get us there, it was a challenge, government do so much, but quite a number to achieve. So one of the things he mentioned is CBT, and that was the beginning of this gigantic project (CBTC).
The commissioning performed by the Special Adviser on Education, Mr. Tokunbo Wahab on behalf of his boss, the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu assured the institution of the state’s readiness to it especially in area of research towards addressing the challenges of the state.
ProvidusBank Managing Director expressed the joy in achieving the project saying that the main aim of the project is to enable the students tested in atmosphere that measure up with world-class facility standard, assuring that the CBT center will still be relevant for the next 25years.
He added that profit was never a motivating factor in the project “Profit was never an objective when we started this journey, profit at the end might come but the objective is to have a place to conduct examination and also make them proud of being a student of this university” he said.