There was drama today at the Lagos State House of Assembly during a public hearing on a Bill for a Law to provide for the Establishment of the University of Education, Lagos (UNEDLAG) and for connected purposes, as two traditional rulers HRM Oba Folarin Ogunsanwo and Oloto of Awori, Oba Olanrewaju disagreed over the take off-site for the proposed University of Education, Lagos (UNEDLAG) to be situated Oto, Ijanikin area of Lagos.
The Bill aimed at converting the present Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education (AOCOED) Otto/Ijanikin and Michael Otedola College of Primary Education (MOCPED), Noforija, Epe, to a university of Education, Lagos.
Stakeholders at the event had alluded to the growing demand for university education as against the drop for other tertiary education in the country.
In his submission, Oba Folarin argued that with the large expanse of land available in Epe, the take off-site for the university should be stationed in the Epe division of the State.
The royal father also noted that the proximity of the University of Lagos (LASU) to AOCOED would have a considerable impact on traffic along the LASU-Ojo corridor.
“Today history is being made. I’m speaking on behalf of all royal fathers in the Epe division. The proposed university is deepening the third pillar of the THEMES agenda of the State Governor. Education is the best legacy we can bequeath to our children.”
While arguing that the NCE certificate was fast going into oblivion, he stated, “It is right for the university to be sited in MOCPED Epe, It is difficult to have two universities along the same corridor.
There is a sizeable expanse of land in Epe. This will provide befitting structures and allow students to study in a conducive atmosphere. I urge the government to look at this side,” Oba Ogunsanwo posited.
However, the Oloto of Awori, Oba Olanrewaju cautioned the State Government not to dabble into unnecessary controversy, saying the Badagry division had been clamouring for the upgrade of AOCOED for over twenty years.
The royal father who spoke in the Yoruba language appealed to the State Government not to dash the hope of the people in the area, arguing that the take off-site should be domiciled in Ijanikin.
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According to him, “We have been clamouring for this in the last twenty years. You, members of the House of Assembly have been doing what you are elected for, your representation, no doubt is pleasing to us. We should be careful, we should not allow conspiracy to destroy this lofty idea.
Inasmuch as the university is located in Ijanikin, it is also in Lagos. We have achieved this kind of a feat in the past, this should not be an exemption.”
In his response, the Deputy Speaker, Wasiu Eshinlokun-Sanni who spoke on behalf of the Speaker, Mudashiru Obasa said the House would not dabble into the fray, saying what it is interested in is to do what will be the interest of the State.
“The House will not join the fray. The argument is neither here nor there. It is what is in the interest of the State that will be done, we cannot support one community against the other,” Obasa noted.
While giving the overview of the Bill, the Leader of the House, Sanai Agunbiade said there are 53 sections in the proposed Law.
According to him, section 44 which is the generation of funds addresses the funding of the institution.
It reads, “Local Government in the State shall contribute two per cent of their Financial Allocation to a tertiary institution in the State such that not less than sixty per cent of such money should be given to tertiary Universities owned by the State, for the purpose of educational development (Academic and Physical).
Meanwhile, the Lagos State House of Assembly also held a public hearing on the Bill to establish the Lagos State University of Science and Technology to make provision for its powers, functions and general administration and for connected purposes.
The Bill if passed would upgrade the existing Lagos state polytechnic, Laspotech to Lagos State University of science and technology.
This according to the Assembly would give quality backup to the institution to remove the disparity between the HND and BSc holders.
Speaking on the Bill, the Special Adviser to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Education, Tokunbo Wahab said the establishment of the institution was part of the governor’s THEMES agenda, adding that certificates of Colleges of education and Polytechnics are obsolete.
He said further that the certificates were inherent from the Colonial Masters and that the United Kingdom has redesigned its educational system to suite the Contemporary needs of the society.
Wahab explained that the Lagos State University could not accommodate all courses of education and so that prompted the need to establish the University of education in the State.
Speaking on the disagreement between the traditional rulers on the location of the proposed university, Wahab described it as “mundane”, adding that it can never distract the government from the bigger picture. “Mr. Governor and the Speaker in their own wisdom agree on the location”, he said.
On the accommodation, he noted the Bill itself has made the institution to be residential, adding that there would be approval for the school to have hostels.
Source: Vanguard Newspaper