The move to scuttle the take of academic and administrative activities of the newly approved University of Ilesa, Osun State has been uncovered, following investigation which revealed the alleged involvement of some suspected highly placed individual behind the plot.
The Osun State Government chose to transform Osun State College of Education, (OSCOED), Ilesa into University of Ilesa, as part of its serious effort to provide a secure future for Education in Osun State.
The physical manpower development of the university showed that the majority of the University’s launch programs will originate from Osun State College of Education, (OSCOED), a reputable institution with schools offering National Certificate of Education (NCE) certificate programs in a variety of fields, which is predicted that the University will launch with nearly adequate facilities.
In additional investigation conducted by the correspondent, the facilities include laboratory workshops, classrooms, lecture theaters, a central administrative block, sporting facilities, among others as the college, is a full-fledge tertiary school with such infrastructure.
The findings also showed that area surrounding the campus is adequately served by Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) power supply and other basic infrastructure, while the roads and other facilities are found to be excellent.
The investigation confirmed that both the Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile-Ife and the Osun State University with the same state with the proposed University of Ilesa are already well-established postsecondary institutions that will be of great assistance to the University.
The findings by our correspondent noted that the College of Education, Ilesa throughout its history, has earned acclaim as a world-class college that stands shoulder to shoulder with the most prestigious colleges of Education across the globe.
The physical manpower development of the university as contained in a committee report showed that the country’s educational strategy has shifted to prioritize higher education, leading to skyrocketing demand for higher education and a diminishing reputation, hence, the importance to transform the College of Education into a University to better serve the needs of the state and the country as a whole as they grow and develop.
The planned University is envisioned as a way to broaden participation in higher education by opening doors to students both now and in the future who are interested in enrolling in a university in Nigeria or studying abroad, which will be a traditional institution focused on the advancement of scientific knowledge and technological innovation with the goal of producing highly skilled graduates with solid business acumen who are in a prime position to propel human progress in every sphere of endeavour.
The committee submitted that the University will also support innovative research that is tailored to meet the requirements of Osun State and the country as a whole, with an emphasis on how academic findings may be put into practice to address pressing societal issues.
The committee emphasized that the masterplan is to facilitate the campus’s evolution into University of Ilesa and further the institution’s growth and development over the next fifteen years, considered as comprehensive, and dynamic development plan.
The Masterplan is a living document that can serve as a solid foundation for preventing chaotic and disorderly construction, it also serves as a long-term roadmap for coordinating University Development’s land-use and activity decisions.
The latest findings on the take-off of the university is now being threatened following a recent worrisome letter ordered by Governor Ademola Adeleke, asking the university council and other organs to put hold any actions towards the implementation of the commencement of both academic and administrative activities.
The letter was addressed to the Chairman/Pro Chancellor of the University, which emanated from the office of the Secretary to the Osun State Government, dated January 25, 2023 and signed by Hon Teslim Igbalaye.
‘I present to you the very warm compliment of the Government and people of Osun State. As you are kindly aware, the Executive Governor of Osun State, His Excellency, Senator Ademola Jackson Nurudeen Adeleke had already inaugurated an Adhoc Committee on the University’, the letter reads
‘Consequently, all activities of the Council and other organs of the new university are to be put on hold pending further directives by the State Government. While the State Government appreciates the Governing Council of the University, please accept the assurance of my warmest regards and best wishes’, the letter emphasized.
Further investigation revealed that, since the issuance of the controversial letter, the government has remained mute on positive development, on need for timely take off of the university.
The National Universities Commission (NUC), it is recalled has issued a letter of recognition for the take-off of the University of Ilesha, following its upgrade from Osun State College of Education, Ilesa, a provisional licence presented by Executive Secretary of the Commission, Professor Abubakar Abdulrasheed, to the then Governor of Osun State Gboyega Oyetola in Abuja
Oyetola in response noted that the new University of Ilesa would focus on Agriculture and Agri-business to address food insecurity, mining technology building on the abundant gold deposit in Ijesaland, and Medical Sciences to enhance the human resource need in the health sector.
“We are very deliberate in our approach as we seek to contribute to the diversification of our economy and wean it away from over-reliance on oil. In anticipation of the license issuance, we have identified credible candidates for the Governing Council and Principal Officers, ready to be appointed and hit the ground running”, he noted.
“I formerly conveyed the decision of the Government of Osun to upgrade the institution, acknowledged to be the oldest remaining College of Education, to a full-fledged University on 31 March 2022”, Oyetola was quoted saying.
“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,” he added.
The ugly development has been identified as a stumbling block, with a negative effect on the commencement of the university operations, while as at the time of this investigation it was uncovered that, expectedly the admission of students and other relevant activities ought to have started, but all these are on standstill as time runs out
Meanwhile, all frantic efforts to get the Chairman/ Pro Vice-Chancellor or other committee members of the university for reactions proved abortive, but sources disclosed that they cannot and not authorize to speak to the media as at the time of filing this report.