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UNIOSUN commissions access road

By Nofisat Marindoti, The Nigerian Voice, Osogbo
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The Osun State University, UNIOSUN, has commissioned an access road leading to the main campus in Osogbo, the state capital.

In his remarks, the vice chancellor of the University, Professor Labode Popoola, applauded the philanthropic gestures of the donor, Dr. (Mrs) Folorunso Alakija, describing her as a seasoned philanthropist.

The Chancellor of UNIOSUN, Chief Mrs Folorunso Alakija was said to have assisted the university with the sum N250 million, which was the exact amount they needed to complete the road project.

Popoola recalled the steps taken by the management of the institution at constructing an access road to the university’s main campus, saying that the vision led the management of the institution to extend hands of help to the Chancellor.

According to him: “One of my first major activities on assumption of duties was a meeting to renegotiate the contract for the construction of this road. I bless the day, 22 March, 2017 when I led my Management Team to our Chancellor, Dr. (Mrs) Folorunso Alakija, in her Lagos Office as part of the preparation towards the 6th Convocation of our University.

“In my briefing, I lamented the state of the access road to our university and the challenge to raise the sum of N250 million to complete the road project.

“But three days after the visit, we received the alert of the sum of two hundred and fifty million naira from the school chancellor and for this reason, the chancellor deserves our accolade.

“She is always there for us, her unparalleled benevolence for the completion of this road project is highly commendable. Her unending passion to positively impact humanity is an inspiration for us as an institution."

In her remarks, the donor, Mrs Alakija, attributed the gesture towards the construction of the university’s access road to her immeasurable passion for education.

She lamented on deplorable state of the nation’s education system, saying it is lamentable and disheartening that no Nigerian University made the list of the first 1000 universities in the world.

According to her, “The education system in Nigeria presently needs urgent assistance and unless there is a major overhaul, the future of the next generation of Nigerians will be bleak.

“As we all know, education is very important for sustaining and developing people. With it, people acquire wisdom and knowledge. They build confidence and develop the ability to fend for themselves from what they have learnt.

“It is also both an instrument of stability and of change; stability in the sense that good traditions are documented, taught, imbibed and practiced; change because it prepares and equips people to meet new challenges. In the same vein, education is a tool for inculcating moral values in the citizens."

In his speech, the Governor of the state who was also at the event, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola held that Nigerian universities should adopt world best practices where schools raise funds through endowments, grants and donations from the larger society, which is the primary beneficiary of university education.

Aregbesola averred that university funding anywhere in the world is capital intensive and requires helps from philanthropist like Mrs Alakija to boost education system.

He commended Mrs Alakija’s gesture, saying it is a refreshing perspective on funding for education, particularly the university, which requires a huge financial outlay.

The Chairman Governing Council of the University and Pro-Chancellor, Mallam Yusuf Ali, also commended the donor, Mrs Alakija, for being passionate about the plights of the institution.

He disclosed that the institution only paid N100 million out of N350 million spent for the construction of the access road.

Mallam Ali however called on well-meaning Nigerians to see the need for supporting education by imbibing the philanthropic life style that could help to advance quality, qualitative and sound education in the country.

“Government alone cannot bear the cost of financing education. Those who run institutions of higher learning should put on their thinking cap and be creative in sourcing for funds to develop these institutions.

“Also, an individual, whom God has materially endowed has shown by the example of our Chancellor, Dr. Folorunso Alakija, could make a lot of difference.

"Where the managers of our resources act honestly, transparently and without corruption, men and women of goodwill who are endowed will be more readily disposed to help fund our educational system."