Oyo State governor, ’Seyi Makinde, on Friday, immortalised the immediate past governor of the state, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, by renaming the state-owned First Technical University, Ibadan after his late predecessor.
Governor Makinde announced the change of the name of the university during his speech at the 2nd Convocation Ceremony of the institution, held at the University Hall, First Technical University, on Lagos-Ibadan expressway, Ibadan, Oyo State.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, indicated that Governor Makinde, who is the Visitor to the university, also declared that his administration will put the Governing Council of the institution in place before the end of April.
The governor 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.
Explaining how his administration has increased access to education, including university education, the governor maintained that his administration increased the number of universities owned by Oyo State to three from one and a half universities in 2019.
He added that since 2019, there has been a significant improvement in the ranking of Oyo State in the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB).
Governor Makinde, while commending the efforts of the Management of the Tech-U, urged the graduands 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.”
The governor, who added that his government 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, also used the occasion to encourage the new graduates about life.
“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 Vice Chancellor of the university, 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.
He added 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.
Speaking further, Prof. Ajayi lauded the governor and the Oyo State Government for the support they have given to the institution, adding that the management has equally repaid the trust by sustaining commitment to adopt global best practices.
He said that out of 165 graduating students, 24 graduated with First Class, 76 with Second Class Honoure upper division, 52 graduated with Second Class hounours Lower division while 13 others graduated with 3rd Class.
The VC said 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 JAMB were admitted into the institution and that they graduated with First Class degrees.