The National Universities Commission (NUC), the regulatory body in charge of universities in Nigeria, said it has communicated appropriate educational agencies of government including the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Tertiary Education Trust Find (TETFund) and the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), among others, of the additional two universities in Lagos State.
The development followed the approval of the two new universities by the regulatory body as proposed by the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu-led administration of the state.
In a statement issued by the state government and shared with PREMIUM TIMES by the governor’s senior special assistant on new media, Jubril Gawat, said the executive secretary of NUC, Abubakar Rasheed, reportedly said this during the presentation of clearance certificate of operations to Mr Sanwo-Olu on Tuesday at the agency’s headquarters in Abuja.
The new institutions are the Lagos State University of Science and Technology (LASUST), Ikorodu, and the Lagos State University of Education (LASUED), Ijanikin. While the former is a transmutation of the existing Lagos State Polytechnic (LASPOTECH), the latter is a product of the transmutation of both the Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education (AOCOED), Ijanikin, and Michael Otedola College of Primary Education (MOCPED), Epe.
“New universities may admit in 2022”
The special adviser to Governor Sanwo-Olu on education, Tokunbo Wahab, has said the implication of the approval licence granted the government by NUC is that fresh students may resume into the university for the 2022/2023 academic session.
He, however, added that the new development marks the end of admission of candidates into the hitherto existing National Diploma (ND), Higher National Diploma (HND) and the National Certificate in Education (NCE) programmes offered by LASPOTECH, AOCOED and MOCPED.
Mr Wahab, who spoke in an exclusive interview with PREMIUM TIMES, said all hands are on deck to ensure the smooth transmutation of both the institutions and the staff.
Mr Wahab said; “So, in between February and May when UTME registration and examination are scheduled to hold, I believe strongly we would have done a lot of things and be ready to go. We want them to start admitting new students this year.
“By the way of this recognition by NUC, they can’t admit students into subsisting structures as polytechnics and colleges of education. That ends, but they will have to graduate the students that have been admitted before now.”
NUC hails Sanwo-Olu
According to the statement, speaking on the new universities, the NUC boss, Mr Rasheed, a professor, pledged the commission’s total support to the two universities and urged Lagos State Government to take full advantage of the professional and technical advice that the commission would provide to the state government for the establishment and operation of their universities.
He said: “We congratulate the governor on his efforts and initiative. We congratulate your team on the vision of moving Lagos State forward. We particularly congratulate you on your decision to invest wisely in higher education.
“The Lagos State University of Science and Technology certainly would be a benefit to the position of Lagos as the hub of industries and technology in this country and West Africa. And if properly supported, this is a university that can help Lagos State’s determination to transit into a knowledge economy.
“Lagos as a state can move ahead of others based on investment in education. I know that the economy of Lagos alone is the fifth in the entire African continent. The economy of Lagos alone is more than the entire economy of Ghana and Ivory Coast put together.”
The statement also said governor was excited by the development, noting that with the certificate received by the governor “Lagos State University of Education is now the 56th State university and 204th university in Nigeria, as well as the second university of education in Nigeria while Lagos State University of Science and Technology is 57th state university and 205th university in Nigeria.”
Speaking at the NUC headquarters, Mr Sanwo-Olu, who commended the Commission for granting the operational certificates, said the creation of the two universities by his administration is not about being ambition but doing what is proper for the people of the state.
He commended the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obas, and the lawmakers for what he described as working with him and others toward passage of the law setting up the two universities.
He also appreciated the leadership of the legacy tertiary institutions for their understanding.
Mr Sanwo-Olu said converting LASPOTECH to University of Science and Technology will bring about innovative engineering, science invention and other innovations that are critical to the development of the country and the state.
He said the two additional universities will assist in meeting the demands and needs of teeming youths.
“It is about the future of our citizens. It is about the future of our youths, who truly believe in us to do the right thing. It is about our commitment to taking tertiary education to a level that all of us would be proud of. It is all around ensuring that we give hope and opportunity to our teeming youths that believe in us to do the right thing.
“We are giving a commitment that what we have done in LASU, we will also replicate it in the two universities. We will ensure that the two great children that we are giving birth to today are not left alone. All of the various development infrastructure; human and materials that are required to make the universities one of the best in the country, Lagos State would make those resources available for them.
“We say this with every sense of responsibility, knowing fully-well what we are doing in LASU, the level of infrastructure we are putting into erstwhile polytechnic and colleges of education, we would double up those efforts at ensuring that they can turn into great citadels of higher learning and universities that would be reference points in the years ahead.”
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