AKURE– GOVERNOR Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has expressed the determination of his administration to retain and support the three universities in the state.
Akeredolu said thiss during the third Founder’s Day Lecture of the University of Medical Sciences, (UNIMED), Ondo City.
The three state-owned universities are University of Medical Sciences, UNIMED; Ondo State University of Science and Technology, Okitipupa (OSUSTECH); and Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko (AAUA).
He explained that although, the task was not easy, it was not possible to abandon a special university like university of medical sciences.
He said: “It is the first University of Medical Sciences in Nigeria. A University that deals in specialized areas, can we afford to say we are not supporting it.
“There have been arguments to merge all three universities, but we will continue to try to retain all three. That is my resolve as a governor.
“OSUSTECH was abandoned for sometime. But we will get it up. It is also a good university for what it was established for because science and technology must be the goal too, so we cannot afford to also cancel it.
“AAUA is also on a good footing, we just need to continue to support them.”
The governor also expressed continued support for all educational institutions, even from the primary schools.
According to Akeredolu, we are concerned about building our education from that level, our own idea is to improve on the schools we have.
“Better classrooms for our students so that people will go to school, and we make sure it is secured. That is why we have started fencing all our primary schools because of the spate of insecurity that we face.
“In most of our primary schools, we have modern toilets, water, and we teach sanitation and hygiene. We also have solar to provide lights for the classrooms, these are the things we try to do to improve education in this state,” he said.
He further explained that whatever was invested in the youths was done for the future, because education was everything for his administration.
“There is no investment greater than that. World Health Organisation (WHO) said to us at a point that the life of a child is worth more than billions invested in some companies.
“Let us unearth the hidden potentials of our youths, that is our goal. I assure you our next stage of development in education, so many of our schools don’t have teachers, we are going to employ more teachers and train them,” he said.
In his lecture titled: Ethics, Law and Medicine as Foundation for National Development, Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN, Guest Lecturer, lamented the high level of brain drain in the health sector. He revealed that in 2017 about 40,000 of 75,000 registered medical doctors in Nigeria were practicing outside the country, while 75 percent of doctors in Nigeria were planning to leave.
Speaking earlier, Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof Friday Okonofua explained that the “Friends of UNIMED fund” (FUF), was initiated by the institution to complement the efforts of the state government in providing additional funds to support the growth of the University.
He thanked the Governor, who has for the first time, approved capital budget for the Institution and for promptly paying staff salaries as well as all arrears.
The Vice-Chancellor particularly commended Governor Akeredolu for his untiring efforts at ensuring that the University is sustained through immediate release of funds to scale-up the varsity’s infrastructural development to provide enabling environment for conducive learning.