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.As visitation panel submits report

By Olasunkanmi Akoni

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has expressed commitment to fully implement the recommendations of the  visitation panel constituted by the state government to look into the issues surrounding the appointment of the 9th Vice chancellor of the Lagos State University, LASU, Ojo.

Sanwo-Olu gave the assurance on Monday, at presentation of the report by the panel, led by it’s chairman Prof. Bamitele Omole, former Vice Chancellor, Obafemi Awolowo University and Pro chancellor, Ekiti State University, held at Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja.

Recall that panel which was constituted in accordance with the provisions of Section 23 of the Lagos State University Law, Chapter L 69, Volume 7, Laws of Lagos State, 2015, was given clear terms of reference to guide its assignment within the ambit of the law and the subject matter, which include: To look at the remote and the immediate causes for the impasse into the selection process and procedures for the appointment of the 9th Vice Chancellor, to review, in the public interest, the relevance or otherwise of the deluge of petitions against the first and second processes for the appointment.

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To examine if the extant laws of the university and other relevant guidelines were followed in the process for the appointment, to review and advise, on all other relevant matters in respect of the process adopted so far, and to make other recommendations for the smooth running of the university.

To ensure transparency, the constitution of the visitation panel and request for submission of memoranda by the public was immediately published in at least three major national newspapers and major television stations commercials to create public awareness and give equal opportunity to all.

The governor, while receiving the report, said: “Let me assure you and the general public that the report of this panel will be well utilized while its recommendations will be fully implemented in the appointment of the 9th Vice Chancellor of LASU because, we are confident that the outcome of this panel’s report will make the appointment of the next Vice Chancellor a seamless exercise for the State Government.

He said: “This effort is geared towards ensuring that there is equality, fairness, transparency, openness and level playing ground for all in the process of selection and to ensure that the best and the most qualified person that would drive the vision for the establishment of the University by its founding fathers emerges at the end of the process that will be adjudged as most transparent.

“We therefore can not thank the special Visitation Panel enough and we are very proud of you all.

“I am particularly happy that this panel is turning this report just within the three weeks’ time –frame given to the panel.

“This is nothing but a demonstration of your competency, selflessness, dedication, hard work and a share of the State Government’s vision for peaceful transition, where every stakeholder is given a level plane ground and equal opportunity so as to foster unity, harmony, peaceful industrial relations and academic excellence after the whole process in the overall interest of our students and the public at large.

“LASU as we all know is rated as the Second-Best University in Nigeria and one of the best 600 in the world. This administration is determined not only to sustain this tempo of academic excellence of the University but work harder to make it the first choice University in Africa.

“I am particularly impressed by the ability of this panel to keep its findings close to its chest which has helped to prevent information leakage, manipulation, lobby or unnecessary pressures from any quarters.

“I must equally thank you for not allowing your personal interest to override the purpose for which this panel was constituted; all which will give credibility to the outcome of the whole process.”

Earlier, Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Barrister Tokunbo Wahab, said that the report of the panel would guide the state government in getting the best and most qualified candidate to be appointed for the job.

“Let me therefore thank Mr. Governor and the Deputy Governor for your leadership quality and administrative excellence. Your various reforms geared towards repositioning LASU and other state owned Higher institutions to rank among the best in the world is yielding positive result.

“While promising Mr. Governor that our Ministry will not relent in initiating and implementing sustainable educational policies that will continue to raise the standard of the State education as the Centre of excellence,

“I want to assure that we will double our efforts to ensure that LASU and our other institutions continue to maintain excellence in all their academic and moral activities.”

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