The saying that “What you sow is what you reap” fittingly describes the event of Friday, July 28, 2023 at the Faculty of Engineering, University of Lagos.
At the event, alumni of the faculty donated new blocks of lecturer offices to the faculty, both on personal and collective levels.
In his Welcome Address, Chairman of the UNILAG Faculty of Engineering Alumni Association (UNILAGFEAA), Engr. Dideolu Falobi, FNSE, expressed delight at being back at his Alma Mater, leading the association of alumni, in a give-back mode.
His words: “As alumni, we hold a significant responsibility in contributing to the growth and development of our alma mater. Today’s event is a testament to the collective efforts of the alumni association, the faculty, and the university administration in creating an environment that is conducive to learning, innovation, and research.”
He also singled out for praise the individual donor of the day, Engr. Kolawole Ogunsanya, FNSE, who financed the vertical extension of the building housing the Departments of Mechanical Engineering, and Civil and Environmental Engineering.
“Secondly, I must thank my classmate, my friend, my brother, a distinguished fellow of the Nigerian Society of Engineers and a leader in the Oil and Gas engineering field globally, Engr. Kolawole Ogunsanya, FNSE for this most generous and humanitarian gesture of donating these offices to our alma mater. It is a testimony to his love for our faculty in particular and the university in general.”
He disclosed that the Engineering alumni association had a N500million development package from which it hopes to make other development interventions in the faculty, and urged other members of the alumni to lend their support.
“The commissioning being done today would bring to 12 the total number of lecturer offices that the Association would hand over within the past few years of its existence, with the 1985 set having earlier delivered four offices. We are pleased to report that four 116-seater classrooms are also under construction. Other projects in the
N500million development bouquet of the Association include a two-storey students’ study centre/restaurant, an expansion of the car park, general upgrade of the faculty’s buildings and laboratories and an operational bus for the faculty. I seize this opportunity to call on the alumni of the faculty to come on board and contribute their quota to the improvement of the learning environment that was the stepping stone to wherever we may be now.”, he said.
“Joy to our Heart”
Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Prof. O.M. Sadiq, FAEng, showered encomium on the donors. He expressed gratitude on behalf of the Faculty of Engineering and the University of Lagos, and gave assurances of the faculty’s commitment to put the facilities to great use.
“The Chairman of UNILAGFEAA, Engr. Dideolu Falobi, is a man of uncommon courage, who has never turned us back empty-handed. In the same vein, Geoplex Drillteq Ltd, the company of Engr. Kolawole Ogunsanya, has been conducting interviews and recruiting our graduates for the past five years. All these are gestures that bring joy to our heart as a Faculty”.
Leadership and Passion
The individual donor of the day, Engr. Kolawole Ogunsanya, FNSE, commended the Dean, Prof Sadiq, and the University Management for their excellent leadership which created the enabling environment for giving back to the university.
“I spent the most important parts of my academic life here at the Faculty of Engineering. I got here as a 17-year-old. The excellent leadership that I see here and the passion that I have for this faculty and the university as a whole, owing to what the university has given us beforehand, are the basis for this project”, he said.
He urged the faculty to interface more with the industry, especially in the area of translating research ideas to commercially successful products and services. He offered to lend a supporting hand in that regard too.
“How we can take ideas from research models to successful commercial products and services is the next project that we will be working with the faculty on. Our company is an Applied Engineering company, and we are going to provide the bridge for that”, he promised.
“The Nehemiah Spirit”
The immediate past Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Works and Infrastructure and an alumnus of the faculty, Engr. Aramide Adeyoye, FNSE, was the Special Guest of Honour at the event. She commended the alumni association and the individual effort of Engineer Ogunsanya, and encouraged other alumni to follow suit.
“What we see on display here is a demonstration of the Nehemiah Spirit. It is the spirit of restoration and rebuilding that I urge all of us to operate by. Lagos is building a Mega City, and that is an open opportunity for us all to contribute our quotas”.
Moving from Problem to Solution
The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Folasade Ogunsola, FAS, was present at the event. She appreciated the large-heartedness of the donors, and called for closer ties between the university and the industry.
Her words: “On behalf of Management and Staff, I thank the Engineering Alumni Association and Engr. Kolawole Ogunsaya, FNSE. On the basis of what you have been doing, I must confess that the university has developed an industry engagement framework which we are encouraging other faculties to buy into. At the University of Lagos, we believe that education must run on a robust and dynamic curriculum. It must not be static. That is why we will not relent in our efforts to work more closely with the Town in order to get first-hand experience of its challenges and needs. It would be great if our research inspiration is taken from the industry, so that we would be moving from problem to solution”.
Tour, Cheers, and Pictures
Prof. Efe Ikponmwonsa thereafter led the gathering on a tour of the commissioned facilities and the ones still under construction.