The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, FAS, has called for support and cooperation from well-meaning Nigerians that includes industry professionals, Alumni and other stakeholders, in rebuilding the institution.
Prof. Ogundipe made the disclosure while performing the ground-breaking and foundation laying ceremony of the proposed Sir Kessington Adebutu Research Centre at the College of Medicine, Idi-Araba, Lagos. He described the lastest achievement as a testament to the efficacy of the P3P – Pick a Project, a Programme, a Person – Strategy of his administration. He revealed that the epoch-making occasion was first foresighted during the reigns of a former College Provost, Prof. Folasade Ogunsola, intensified by her successor, Prof. Afolabi Lesi and now being actualised during the time of Professor Adewale Anthonio Oke.
He extolled the virtue of the elder statesman, for the several landmark projects he has commissioned across notable tertiary institutions towards the development of education in country. He expressed appreciation to the donor for his selfless service to humanity even as he celebrates his eighty-six (86) birthday.
Prof. Ogundipe averred that the infrastructural needs of the university, have come from deep-pocket of eminent Nigerians to assist the institution in several areas of need and the results has been gratifying. Among which was the donation of 3,500 tablets to aid indigent students of the University to support their online learning endeavours by the Founder and Chairman of Zenith Bank Plc, Jim Ovia, the vertical extension and upgrade of the Faculty of Law by a former Federal Commissioner for Works, Alhaji Femi Okunnu to the tune of N100 million. Similarly, he called on friends of the university to continue to support indigent students.
The Provost, College of Medicine, Prof. Adewale Anthonio Oke also confirmed the enormous support the University of Lagos continues to enjoy from the kindness of the Odole Oodua of Yorubaland, Sir Kessington Adebutu, whose large heartedness he described as unequalled.
Noting with delight how the institution had impacted a lot in him as an alumnus, the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council, Distinguished Senator Olanrewaju Tejuosho enjoined other speakers in appreciating the octogenarian for being very supportive of the university whenever he is called upon.
The celebrant and donor, Sir Kessington Adebutu who spoke through his daughter, Dr. Abiola Olorode acknowledged the inability of tertiary institution to effectively address the country’s numerous public health challenges which has ultimately contributed to the persistent and high level of poverty and the weakness of the health system.
She described her father as a consummate human being and one who believes that households and individuals in Nigeria bear the burden of a dysfunctional and inequitable health system – delaying or not seeking health care and having to pay out of pocket for health care services that are not affordable.
Earlier in his remarks, the Chairman, College of Medicine Court of Governors Dr. Aderemi Adesalu commended the decision to build and establish the Sir Kessington Adebutu Research Centre in the university stating that it will play a vital role in developing viable structures for the dissemination of research findings, and providing the enabling environment and facilities for health research and training.
Dignitaries at the occasion includes the former ALUMNI President worldwide of the University of Lagos and a friend of the celebrant, Olorogun (Dr) Sonny Kuku; Hon. Dave Salako, former Vice Chancellor, Tai Solarin University of Education, Prof. Segun Awonusi; former Deputy College Provost, Professor Okoisor amongst many others.