The Governor of the State of Osun and Visitor to Osun State University, Adegboyega Oyetola, has challenged universities in the country to lead the society out of the challenges posed by the Coronavirus pandemic ravaging the entire world.
He also charged the nation’s universities to look inward and invest more in researches, innovations and technologies as a permanent way to prepare the world for eventualities that may come in the future.
Governor Oyetola spoke on Monday at the 9th convocation ceremony of the Osun State University (UNIOSUN), Osogbo, the State capital.
The convocation which was held virtually as necessitated by the novel Coronavirus pandemic, was the first of its kind in the history of the nation’s public universities in Nigeria.
Addressing the participants, Governor Oyetola said the time has come for the leadership of the nation’s tertiary institutions, particularly universities, to prove their strength in finding solutions to the myriad challenges confronting the country.
He said the university must continue to bear the creativity and innovation torch for the industry and the society, most importantly at this critical time when the whole world is moving from physical to virtual engagement.
The Governor tasked the graduands to take advantage of the numerous opportunities inherent in the global pandemic by looking inward to employ the entrepreneurial skills and competencies which the university has imbued in them to be job creators and employers of labour.
He added: “The accompanying new normal presented by Covid-19 is an invitation to the graduands to look inward and put to use the entrepreneurial skills and competencies which the University has imbued in them to be job creators and employers of labour.
“The graduands are products and ambassadors of innovation and entrepreneurship which the University stands for in a world in need of thinkers as a solution to its myriad problems.
“I challenge the graduands to take up the challenge with courage and be solutions to the unemployment quagmire the nation and the world are grappling with.
“At this critical time when the whole world is moving from physical to virtual engagement, the University must continue to bear the creativity and innovation torch for the industry and the society.
“I charge the University to lead the society out of the challenges posed by Covid-19 and prepare the world for eventualities that may come in the future.”
While commending the leadership of the university for being the trail blazer both in academic standard and character building, Oyetola said the resolve to hold the 9th convocation virtually is a testimony to the edge the institution has in the comity of universities in the country and beyond.
He applauded the university for the success of its virtual convocation which, according to him, has posed a challenge to others to follow suit.
The Governor also thanked the University Chancellor, Dr. Mrs. Folorunso Alakija, for her “consistent efforts in remodelling and repositioning the University and for her kind donation of a world-class Teaching Hospital Complex to this Institution. Her immense interest in our University is unparalleled and much appreciated.
“As we are all aware, this convocation is novel in view of the fact that it is the first virtual convocation ceremony of this university and in the history of public universities in Nigeria.
“This new normal is an invitation to the university to show leadership in a world looking up to the Ivory Tower for solutions to novelties and daunting challenges”, Oyetola said.
The Governor who congratulated the university, the graduands and their parents, reaffirmed his administration’s resolve to make UNIOSUN the preferred university of excellence in research and human capacity building in Nigeria, Africa and the whole world.
He said his government is committed to do all possible things required to ensure that the institution achieves its vision and mandate saying, “the university must spare no effort to achieve this and be aware that this can only be accomplished when its staff and students are alive to their responsibilities and are committed to service to humanity.”