…Ambode, Babalakin, Oyebode charge others to emulate him
By Oghenefego Obaebor
The need for the private sector to cooperate with the government to develop the country’s education sector was the focus last week Thursday, when businessman, philanthropist and Chairman, Caverton Offshore Support Group, Mr. Aderemi Makanjuola donated a 500-seater Ultra- Modern Lecture Theatre to Lagos State University to commemorate his 70th birthday.
Education no doubt, is the solid rock of any society as it catapults a nation from obscurity to prominence in the comity of nations.
Against this backdrop, corporate organisations and individuals have been charged to join hands with government to move Nigerian eduation sector to the greater heights. This was the advice of the executive governor of Lagos State, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode at the commissioning of the lecture theatre.
The governor expressed gratitude to Makanjuola, for building such an edifice and said government needed more of this kind gesture from individuals and corporate organisations to address infrastructural deficits in the education sector.
He noted that while education is the bedrock for national development, running a qualitative education system is capital intensive stressing that given the competing demands of different sectors of the economy and scarce resources, government needs support of individuals and corporate organisations to provide infrastructure in public schools.”Whatever we need to do in terms of endowment we need to start thinking about legacies we want leave for posterity”,he added.
The donor and Chairman, Caverton Offshore Support Group, Mr. Aderemi Makanjuola said his desire to give back to society especially LASU was borne out of his involvement with the institution having been part of the governing council since late the ’80s. ‘
‘Education is important and I believe if we have good environment for education, student will excel. I felt that I should do something, because when you help people you are helping yourself.
Again, anything for Lagos should be the best. I attended University of Leicester in the United Kingdom and I felt Lagos, the Center of Excellence, deservers the best that I must give back”, he said. Makanjuola seized the opportunity to thank his childhood guardian, Alhaji Jimoh Gbadamosi for his support. His virtues and values, he said, made him what he is today. He thanked his wife, Yoyinsola for her support in raising their children. On the building, he said the ”governor did a lot to ensure it was erected.
The crop of lecturers are committed and it helped to complete the building within six months. Let’s us continue to invest in infrastructure” Makanjuola ended his speech by encouraging all to be of help to mankind and be forward-looking. ”Opportunities are there and that is why we should encourage the younger ones. I remember when we started Caverton, nobody gave us a chance ,but today here we are”, he said.
In his opening prayer, Chief Missioner, Ansar U Deen Society of Nigeria, Sheik Abdulraham commended the business tycoon for his heart of kindness. ”He is a man of means who places posterity above prosperity by deciding to invest in education and donate a lecture theatre to LASU. This is a selfless service to humanity. I don’t know him to be a politician. He is a man who believes in today and tomorrow by investing in the youth. If we have more people like Aderemi Makanjuola, there is hope for this country. God will continue to enrich him with good health”, he said. In his remarks, Vice-Chancellor, Lagos State University, Prof. Olanrewaju Fagbohun expressed appreciation to the Lagos State Government for giving the university a face-lift. The kind gesture he said boosts the confidence of both students and teachers of the institution and even made the Alumni proud of this beautiful citadel of learning.
The elated Fagbohun described Makanjuola as a benefactor and hero.”Since the establishment of the institution, it has produced eminent people who have ímpacted socio-political life and economy of the nation. Government has changed the narrative by elevating it from a perceived glorified secondary school to a university of repute.
His commitment no doubt has opened flood gates of goodwill from this unassuming businessman and philanthropist. Today, that 500-seater lecture theatre is standing tall and it has changed the landscape of LASU. The name Remi Makanjuola has now become part of the legacy of LASU”, he said.
Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council, Prof. Adebayo Ninalowo extolled the virtues of the Caverton boss whom he described as distinguished and noble. A humble, unassuming and gentle man. ”I respect this man for his simplicity. His generousity cuts across the society and I am not surprised that LASU benefitted from him.
This is not the first lecture theatre he will be donating. He donated one in Minna, early this year and another at Summit University in Offa, Kwara State in memory of his late mother. This is the third one. We are indeed grateful”, he said.
Wale Babalakin, Chairman of Bi-Courtney Group in his brief speech also canvassed ”more funds for high institutions”.