Bello bows out as UNILAG’s VC, renders account of stewardship
Outgoing vice chancellor of the University of Lagos, Prof Rahamon Bello assessed his performance in the last five years and concluded that he is leaving the institution better than he met it.
Bello at his valedictory press conference held at the Senate chambers said about 104 professors were appointed in the last five years, which amounted to 35.6 percent of the 292 professors produced by the institution since its existence.
Besides, he disclosed that 25 percent of the over 300,000 graduates churned out by the institution were during his five-year reign.
Bello who bows out as the 11th vice chancellor of the institution on Saturday added that 75 of the 354 inaugural lectures delivered in the university since inception were during his reign.
He said, “Our administration sets out to make strong impression on the overall development of the university and despite seeming insurmountable challenges, we have been able to make remarkable achievements. In order to institutionalize most of the innovations of our administration, we came up with a few strategies; first we developed a 25-year plan of actions and implementation, in tranches of five years, which is tagged the 25-year golden strategic plan. This, together with few other policies has helped us to put the university on an auto-run.”
He listed his other achievements to include strengthening quality assurance, expanding infrastructure, facilitating international collaborations, introduction of online result processing, e-admission as well as electronic document management system.
According to him, “The institution has signed over 40 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with institutions across the world which provided staff and students exchange and collaborative research opportunities.
He however identified his inability to resolve the students’ union crisis, non-completion of the Faculty of Law, Postgraduate School and the Distance Learning Institute as some of his challenges.
“The buildings planned for the School of Postgraduate studies, Distance Learning Institute (DLI) and Faculty of Law were not done. If we had financial autonomy, we could have done it on Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement. Already the DLI has almost N1 billion for the building; the PG school has close to N400/N500 million; while Faculty of Law has between N100-N300 million. The road also planned to connect the Commercial Avenue to Jaja Hall could not be done because of constraints of funds and bureaucracy.”
On the students’ union proscription, Bello said, “My greatest challenge was the student crisis. This administration, believing in students leadership decided to allow the reinstatement of full students unionism in 2014 about 10 years after its proscription. However, the unfortunate incident of 2016, which led to the suspension of union activities, indicates the level of decadence in the type of leaders that emerged.
Bello enjoined his successor, Prof Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, who was the former Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academics and Research), to give priority attention to the university at all times, while also urging him to carry everyone along in the task of running the institution.
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