Ologunorisa unveils programmes to drive Nigeria’s blue economy as OAUSTECH graduates 982 at maiden convocation

  • Left to Right: OAUSTECH Pro-Chancellor and Chairman Governing Council, Prof. Akinbo Adesomoju; Chancellor and Olugbo of Ugbo Kingdom, Oba Frederick Obateru Akinruntan; Visitor and Ondo State Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu; Vice Chancellor, Prof. Temi Ologunorisa; and Mr. Oluwafemi Olowokanga of the Academic Affairs Unit; at the university’s maiden convocation on Saturday, March 25, 2023
  • Lists achievements, vision, and challenges

By Banji Ayoola

First degrees of the Olusegun Agagu University of Science and Technology, Okitipupa, OAUSTECH, were awarded on Saturday to 982 graduates of the institution who completed their programmes between the 2014/2015 and 2019/2020 academic sessions.

Besides, at the combined convocation ceremony, the university conferred its Doctor of Business Administration (Honours Causa) on its Chancellor and the Olugbo of Ugboland, Oba (Dr.) Frederick Obateru Akinruntan “in recognition of his success stories in the global business environment which he traversed scientifically with regal success.”

The breakdown of the graduates, as given by the Vice Chancellor, Prof Temi Ologunorisa, shows that there were 26 first-class; 307 second-class upper division; 488 second-class lower division; and 161 third-class holders.

They all graduated in 2014/2015, 2015/2016, 2016/2017, 2017/2018, 2018/2019, and 2019/2020 academic sessions; but the university was unable to hold convocation ceremonies for them promptly due to some challenges including the dreaded COVID-19 lockdown.

In his speech, Ologunorisa reeled out his achievements since he assumed office in February last year. These included the approval by the National Universities Commission, NUC, to commence four new programmes including B.Sc Accounting, B.Sc Business Administration, B.Sc Entrepreneurship Management, and B.Sc Project Management.

Also, he said that two other programmes including B.Sc. Applied Geology, and B.Sc. Nursing Science in the School of Earth Sciences and the School of Basic Medical Sciences, are awaiting the NUC verification.

Besides, B.Sc. Computer Engineering, B.Sc. Petroleum and Gas Engineering, and B.Sc. Marine Engineering are taking off in the School of Engineering from the 2023/24 academic session.

Ologunorisa said that the School of Maritime Transport and Logistics, simply called Maritime Academy, being built by the Ondo State Government through OSOPADEC, at Ugbo Nla, on completion in September this year, will run six courses to help drive the blue economy.

The courses are Public Administration and E-Government, Business Administration and E-Commerce, Finance and E-Banking, Agric Business Management, Forensic Accounting, Coastal Environmental Management, Fisheries and Aquaculture, Technology, Coastal Tourism, Port and Shipping Management, and Coastal Biotechnology.

The achievements also included feats on research, grants, and fellowship awards; public lecture and international visitation; and infrastructural development and Tetfund projects; among others.

On challenges confronting the university, the Vice Chancellor appealed to the state government to increase its N42 million monthly subvention in view of the enlarged responsibilities. Also, he listed power supply and hostel accommodation as other areas he needs help.

At the ceremony, a former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Emeritus Prof. Olufemi Bamiro, delivered a Convocation Lecture titled: “Transforming the Nigerian University System for Graduate Employability and Socio-economic Development”.

In it, he recommended the formation of a tripartite relationship among the universities, government, and industries as an urgently needed vehicle and model to trigger the country’s economic development.

Speaking with The Radiance on the sidelines, Ologunorisa assured that now that all the outstanding convocation ceremonies have been cleared, the university will henceforth regularly hold the convocation ceremony for its graduands yearly.

The Vice-Chancellor gave kudos to OSOPADEC, which is helping the university with the building of the planned Maritime Academy in the riverine area of the state to kick off its programmes to stimulate the blue economy of Ondo State and the country. Also, he thanked the Ondo State Government for its support all along.

Also, in an interview with The Radiance at the ceremony, the immediate former Vice-Chancellor of OAUSTECH, Prof Sunday Roberts Ogunduyile, whose tenure, which spanned February 2017 and February 2022, produced many of the 982 graduates, said he was glad to witness the ceremony, which he described as a personal festival.

He urged the graduates to be good ambassadors of OAUSTECH as he wished the university’s authorities giant strides in the implementation of the novel academic and research programmes.

On his own, the Executive Director (Networks) of Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC), Engnr Ife Oyedele, spoke of what is being done to ensure regular electricity supply to the entire Ondo South Senatorial District, and particularly to power the university’s Maritime Academy.

He told The Radiance: “I am sure you saw at the entrance that there is a 33 11 KV substation there. That is one of the things we are doing. Right now we are constructing a feeder from the 132 KV substation in Ode Erinje to this university, and that will be completed very soon. By the time we finish, the entire Ondo South Senatorial District will have an uninterruptible, reliable power supply because they would be getting their power supply from Omotoso; and it will be the first time in the history of this state.”

Earlier in his speech, the Visitor to the university and Ondo State Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, showered praises on the late Governor Olusegun Agagu for founding the institution.

He pledged the resolve of his administration to support the university to attain the mission and vision of the founding fathers; noting that education is a cardinal responsibility of his administration as a social debt to the people.

Akeredolu said his administration at inception was alarmed by the deplorable condition of things in the University, especially in terms of roads, buildings, and other essential facilities connected to a conducive learning environment.

His words: “This informed our resolve to change the narrative, by immediately commencing a gradual, radical, and systematic implementation of the State Government’s Strategic Plan for the university.

“I am delighted to recall that within our 100 days in office, we facilitated the asphalt overlay of the first phase of the university road network and inaugurated the same for use. We have also recently approved the construction of a 2.5 kilometre road network for the University which has achieved about 75% level of completion.”

He stressed that as part of his administration’s intervention, he has released funds for the completion of some major building projects which were abandoned for almost a decade.

According to him, the projects completed include the University Senate Building, the University Library, and the University Auditorium.

He declared his resolve to open up other similar abandoned projects which shall be completed in batches as the state’s finances improve.

The governor, who said it is a new era in OAUSTECH, assured that his administration has not relented in supporting the university in all spheres.

He said: “To this end, our administration has tremendously supported the university’s quest for TETFund funding. Today, we are all happy that the university has started to have the presence of TETFund projects while more opportunities are underway.

“We have also noted that within the last six years of our administration, OAUSTECH, which used to offer courses only in the School of Science, has added courses in two additional schools: the School of Engineering and Engineering Technology and the School of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.

“All courses offered by the university in the three schools have been accredited by the National Universities Commission (NUC).

“I commend the university management and Council for these achievements.”

Akeredolu specifically praised Agagu, adding that his special passion, commitment, and magnanimity had made the establishment of the university a reality for the benefit of the entire people of Ondo State and the people of the Ondo State Southern Senatorial District in particular.

While congratulating the graduating students and their parents on the occasion, he charged the graduands to go out and project, distill and exhibit the glowing tendencies that they have adopted while in school.

“I expect that by now, you all have the capacity and the emotional intelligence to handle every situation of life. There is no doubt in my mind that all of you have the potential to transform our State and indeed our country by putting to use and continuing to develop the training and experiences which you have garnered during your stay in this university.” the Governor stressed.

Earlier in his address, the Pro-Chancellor/Chairman, Governing Council of the University, Professor Akinbo Adesomoju, commendedAkeredolu, for his non-relenting efforts at improving the institution through many interventions, especially in terms of infrastructural developments.

He said the present administration has been able to complete several previously abandoned capital projects in the University including the Main Auditorium, and the development of an internal road network among several others.

OAUSTECH immediate former Vice Chancellor, Prof Sunday Roberts Ogunduyile, and an ex-Vice Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Prof Faborode, at the ceremony

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Visitor, Governor Akeredolu

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OAUSTECH to graduate 982 at maiden convocation Saturday March 25

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