Following the upgrading of the Osun State College of Education, Ilesa, to a full-fledged University, the National National Universities Commission (NUC) has issued a letter of recognition for the take-off of the university to be known as the University of Ilesha.
Professor Abubakar Abdulrasheed, the Executive Secretary of NUC, presented the licence to Governor Gboyega Oyetola of Osun State at the headquarters of the Commission in Abuja on Thursday.
The new the University of Ilesa would focus on Agriculture and Agri-business to address food insecurity, mining technology building on the abundant gold deposit in Ijesaland, and Medical Sciences to enhance the human resource need in the health sector, the governor said.
“We are very deliberate in our approach as we seek to contribute to the diversification of our economy and wean it away from over-reliance on oil,” he said.
“In anticipation of the license issuance, we have identified credible candidates for the Governing Council and Principal Officers, ready to be appointed and hit the ground running.”
Speaking on upgrading the College of Education to a university, the Governor said, “I formerly conveyed the decision of the Government of Osun to upgrade the institution, acknowledged to be the oldest remaining College of Education, to a full-fledged University on 31 March 2022”.
“The establishment of the University of Ilesa is necessitated by the massive gap between qualified candidates and available space in existing higher institutions within the state, as education remains the primary industry in Osun. The yearning is considerably insatiable, and as responsible leaders, we cannot ignore these needs,” he added.
Speaking also, Timothy Owoeye, the Speaker, of the Osun House of Assembly, who received copies of the University Establishment Law from the Governor after his assent, said, “The signing of this Bill into law is a new dawn in the entire Ijesa land in particular and the State in general.”
“This is a huge development for the Ijesa people and Osun State. This is what we have been clamouring for, for over 40 years. As a matter of fact, the College, which was established in 1979, is more than 40 years old now, and thinking of upgrading it to a full-fledged University is a welcome development. We commend and appreciate Mr Governor for his magnanimity and generosity to the Ijesa people.”
“I want to assure you that the establishment of this University will attract a lot of development and improve the socioeconomic activities of Ijesa land; and by extension, it is going to turn Ijesa into a tourist centre as Ijesas home and abroad will come to support the government. I can assure you that the government will not regret upgrading the College to a University.”