The governor of Oyo State, Engr ’Seyi Makinde, on Friday, immortalised his immediate predecessor in office, late Senator Abiola Ajimobi, by renaming the state-owned First Technical University, Ibadan, after him.
The change of name of the Oyo State-owned tertiary institutions was announced by Governor Makinde while speaking at the second convocation ceremony of the institution, held at the University Hall, First Technical University, on Lagos-Ibadan expressway, Ibadan, Oyo State.
A statement signed by the governor’s spokesman, Taiwo Adisa, and made available to the media stated that Governor Makinde, who is the Visitor to the university, also declared that his administration will put in place the Governing Council of the institution before the end of April.
Governor Makinde equally approved a Category 3 Primary Health Centre for the university, stating that the facility will provide continuous and comprehensive care for the students and the entire staff of the institution.
Reiterating the commitment of his administration to the provision of quality education and how his administration has increased access to education, including university education, Makinde maintained that his administration increased the number of universities owned by the state to three from one and a half universities in 2019.
He added that there has been significant improvement in the ranking of Oyo State in the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, UTME, by the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board, JAMB, since 2019.
Commending the efforts o the management of institution, Makinde, urged the graduating students to be good ambassadors of the university and Oyo State.
He said, “This is another notable day in the history of the First Technical University, Ibadan, as you host the second convocation ceremony for students in the different programmes in the Faculty of Natural and Applied Sciences and graduate the pioneer set of engineering students from this great institution.
“Looking at the progress this university has made from its humble beginnings, today is a good day to honour my predecessor, who established the university. So, we have made the decision to rename this university the Senator Abiola Ajimobi First Technical University, Ibadan.”
Makinde added that his administration has been able to do its bit to ensure that the university’s calendar has never been disrupted in the last four years of his administration, even as he also used the occasion to encourage the new graduates about life.
He told them, “Today will be a reference point for you, graduands. Some of you have been here for four years and some for five, but none of you have spent a semester more than you should, because of any sort of strike action. This is the legacy of our administration to do our bit to ensure that the school calendar is never disrupted.
“As I stand here watching all graduands seated, I am taken back to the day I sat like you are sitting, thinking of what the future would bring for me. It was, for me, a mixture of excitement, expectation, anticipation and fear. I know many of you are feeling the same emotions.
“So let me share with you today a lesson I have learnt as the years passed. Just a little something from my life to encourage you as you leave school today, either to seek employment or to pursue another dream.
“Permit me to share this lesson based on a scripture in Ecclesiastes 3:6. The message translation puts it this way: ‘There is a right time to search and another to count your losses, a right time to hold on and another to let go’.”
Earlier, the university Vice Chancellor, VC, Prof. Adesola Ajayi, stated that Governor Makinde’s presence has given a great encouragement to the entire university community and, more importantly, to the pioneer engineering graduates and those coming behind them.
Prof. Ajayi averred that the excellence achieved by the governor over the years, both in his private professional calling and in politics, has further helped to break the glass ceiling for young people and encouraged them to aspire to be whoever they dream to be.
Prof. Ajayi further lauded the governor and the Oyo State government for their support for the university, adding that the management has equally repaid the trust by sustaining commitment to adopt global best practices.
He said that out of the 165 graduating students, 24 graduated with First Class, 76 with Second Class Honours Upper Division, 52 graduated with Second Class Honours Lower Division, while 13 others graduated with 3rd Class.
The VC added that the university has been providing unique opportunities to less privileged students in the state to receive tertiary education, as according to him, two students who would have been denied admission into the conventional universities because of their low grades in UTME, were admitted into the institution, adding that they graduated with First Class degrees.