BY TIMOTHY AGBOR, OSOGBO
Osun State Governor, Ademola Adeleke, on Tuesday, inuagurated an 11-man adhoc committee to review the establishment of University of Ilesa, saying that the previous administration politicised the project.
The committee, chaired by Prof. Ashaolu Taiwo of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, was tasked to review and assess funding requirements for both capital and recurrent expenditures for the eventual take off of the university, among others, within six weeks.
Other members of the committee included Prof. Oyesoji Aremu, Prof. Lukman Jumoda, Prof. David Oladeji, Prof. Dayo Akintayo, Prof. (Mrs) Adefunke, Dr Mutalib Akanmu, Hon Bamidele Salam, P.ermanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, P.ermanent Secretary, Ministry of Education and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice.
Inaugurating the committee in Osogbo, Adeleke expressed displeasure over what he described as the politicisation of the university project by the preceding government, and tasked the committee to right all wrongs.
The governor said he had developed deep interest on the issue of University of Ilesa before the last governorship election in the state, saying that, “my first conviction is that Ilesa indeed deserves a University considering the achievements of Ijesha people at home and abroad.
“I was however worried about the politicisation of the project. The last administration avoided due diligence and comprehensive project report. Instead, it opted for political action on a subject that demands thorough planning ,covering financial and academic forecast and provision.
“This administration is however committed to doing the right thing. The ultimate goal is to ensure that the interest of Ijeshaland is adequately protected and satisfied. My desire is to have in place a University of Ilesa that will be sustainable, a university that will be one of the best in the country,” he added.
Highlighting the core mandates of the committee, Governor Adeleke described the the assignment as a sacred responsibility, saying that “this issue at hand touches the heart and soul of our people. You are therefore expected to bring your wealth of experience to bear on the discharge of this historical task. I have no doubt in my mind that you will submit a report that will provide a road map for a great University of Ilesa,” he told the committee members.
The terms of reference for the committee members, according to Adeleke are that they should, “Review and assess funding requirements for both capital and recurrent expenditures for the eventual take off of the university;
“Review and assess the sources of funds for both capital and recurrent expenditure for the eventual take off of the University; Generally review the implementation guidelines proposed by the Implementation Committee;
“Engage all relevant stakeholders including the host community, trade Unions, Alumni association of the College, the student body, etc. with a view to harmonize the position for the way forward; Identify the gaps within the UNILESA Establishment Law and make appropriate recommendations towards its amendment to ensure adequate coverage of relevant interests for the eventual take off of the University;
“Propose modalities for phased implementation of the University such that faculties and courses of study are matched with funding requirement of each phase of the implementation; and Evaluate and draw appropriate policy recommendations towards the execution of the existing obligations, assets and liabilities of the College of Education, Ilesa with a view to removing all impediments for the eventual take off of the University.”