The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has appointed acting vice-chancellors for the two newly established universities in the state.
While Idowu Okuneye, a professor of education, will serve as the acting vice-chancellor for Lagos State University of Education (LASUED), Ijanikin, Oluremi Olaleye, a holder of PhD in Microbiology, will serve in the same capacity at the Lagos State University of Science and Technology (LASUSTECH), Ikorodu.
The appointment, according to the special adviser on education to Mr Sanwo-Olu, Tokunbo Wahab, will be for a period of three months.
Mr Wahab, who confirmed the development to newsmen in a terse message, did not provide details.
It is, however, unclear if the process for the appointment of substantive vice-chancellors for the universities would have been initiated and concluded before the expiration of the three-month tenure.
Mrs Okuneye, formerly a lecturer at the Lagos State University (LASU), Ojo, was also the provost of the erstwhile Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education (AOCOED), Ijanikin.
She will be assisted as acting deputy vice-chancellor by the former provost of Michael Otedola College of Primary Education (MOCPED), Epe, Nasiru Onibon.
Mr Onibon, a PhD certificate holder in Arabic Language Studies, was a lecturer at the Foreign Language Department in LASU until his appointment to head MOCPED.
On his part, Mr Olaleye, a former LASPOTECH rector, will be assisted by both Olumide Metilelu and Kola Godonu as deputy vice-chancellors in acting capacity in charge of academic and administration, respectively.
Confirming the development on the phone, Mrs Okuneye thanked the governor and Mr Wahab for finding them worthy of being capable to give a sound footing to the new institutions.
According Mrs Okuneye, LASUED is prepared to admit new intakes for its degree programmes, saying the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has listed the two new institutions among the available ivory towers for the 2022 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) which has been scheduled to hold in May.
The acting VC also spoke on the new things to expect from the institution, even as she called on relevant stakeholders to support the government’s vision of building “a sound future for the incoming generations through quality and impact-driven education.”
She said: ”Before now, we were raining professional teachers at the lower level leading to the award of NCE. But now we are going to train professional teachers at the higher level and they are going to be awarded degree certificates.
“And for those currently in our NCE programme, instead of graduating them after three years, they will now be graduating after additional three years, making six years to acquire their degree certificates of bachellor in education (B.ed). And before their convocation, they would have been registered with the Teachers Registration of Nigeria (TRCN).”
She said the transmutation has been smooth all along and appealed to the staff and students of the institution to support “the drive for excellence.”
The acting vice-chancellor also spoke on the government’s decision to offer the new leaderships of the two institutions only three months in acting capacities.
She said the government knew why it took the decision and that it must be in the interest of the institutions.
“Honestly, the government has been very passionate about this project and they know very well what is good for the institution. It is a testing period, and I think we are just feeling the pulse. So it is in the government’s wisdom to do what they think is best for us.”
The National Universities Commission (NUC), Nigeria’s regulatory body in charge of universities, had earlier in February presented the operational licences for the two universities to Mr Sanwo-Olu as a mark of the completion of the establishment processes.
NUC’s executive secretary, Abdulrasheed Abubakar, had also told the governor that the agency had communicated appropriate educational agencies of government including JAMB, Tertiary Education Trust Find (TETFund) and the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), among others, of the additional two universities.
While LASUSTECH is a transmutation of the hitherto existing (LASPOTECH), the latter is a product of the transmutation of both the Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education (AOCOED), Ijanikin, and Michael Otedola College of Primary Education (MOCPED), Epe.
Also speaking during the presentation of the licences, Mr Wahab had said the government would expedite action towards ensuring that fresh students resume into the university for the 2022/2023 academic session.
He, however, added that the new development marks the end of admission of candidates into the hitherto existing National Diploma (ND), Higher National Diploma (HND) and the National Certificate in Education (NCE) programmes offered by LASPOTECH, AOCOED and MOCPED.