RISE TO THE CHALLENGES OF 21ST CENTURY, GLOBAL PANDEMIC, GOV AKEREDOLU CHARGES UNIVERSITIES, SEEKS END TO EXODUS OF HEALTH PERSONNEL
By Mike Osemeke
Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu,SAN, has called on Universities in the country to rise to the challenges of the 21st century, including the global pandemic.
Governor Akeredolu, particularly charged the Universities to be at the forefront of national development in this age of knowledge economy.
He spoke at the 2nd and 3rd combined convocation ceremony of the University of Medical Sciences , Ondo, on Wednesday, 2nd February, 2022.
Arakunrin Akeredolu, who is also Visitor to the University, noted that the graduands from UNIMED will contribute towards filling some of the vacuums left behind by exodus of health professionals to other countries presumably for greener pasture.
He reiterated his administration’s commitment to the funding, resourcing and overall development of the university within the limit of the state’s resources.
“History will forever bear witness to the fact that the Sunshine State blazes the trail of establishing Nigeria’s first specialised medical and health Sciences University, which was established on 8th December 2014, UNIMED commenced academic activities in the 2015/16 session.
“Thus, the institution was in its infancy when we came to the saddle on 24th February, 2017. It has been a great delight watching this university grow and our government is very proud to have funded the university for most of its existence.
“The recent ranking of Nigerian universities by the National University Commission bears eloquent testimony to UNIMED’s phenomenal growth and achievement.
“Currently, UNIMED is ranked as the fourth best state university in the country, the third best specialised university, the second best university in Ondo State (after the 40-year old Federal University of Technology, Akure), and the overall 19th highest-ranked university in Nigeria. What a feat in just seven years! We are proud to be associated with this trailblazing university.” Arakunrin Akeredolu said.
The Governor called on all well-meaning sons and daughters of Ondo State and Nigerian as well as people of other nationalities and international development organisations to join hands with his government to support the growth and development of the institution, UNIMED.
He said:”The need for Nigeria universities to be at the forefront of national development in an age of knowledge economy cannot be overemphasised, particularly in this crucial point in our national history and in the face of collective global disruptors like COVID-19.
“For emphasis, let me state again that our administration remains committed to the funding and strengthening of this university. Indeed, we shall not relent in our commitment to the funding of all our four tertiary institutions within the limit of our resources as quality education is one of the crucial elements of our REDEEMED policy thrust.
“Yet, it is important to remind all stakeholders, on this august occasion, that the government alone cannot successfully single-handedly fund tertiary-level education. Indeed, nowhere on earth is the development of the university solely the responsibility of the government.”
He appreciated Chief Olu Akinkugbe, for the initiative of the Chief Olu Akinkugbe Faculty of Pharmacy Building which is currently ongoing in the University permanent site, while also thanking Chief (Dr) Isaac Akintade for promising another building for the permanent site, in addition to the one he had already built at the Laje Medical Campus.
The Governor was accompanied to the event by members of the State Executive Council, led by the Secretary to the State Government, Princess Oladunni Odu; while the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Bamidele Oleyelogun was represented by Honorable Taofik Oladele Mohammed, among other dignitaries.