With the number of completed and ongoing infrastructural projects aimed at giving the Lagos State University (LASU), Ojo, a new face amongst the comity of universities in Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa, one would conclude that the crisis-ridden university is heading towards its best of times.
This assertion is premised on the commitment of the Vice Chancellor, Prof. John Obafunwa to transform the 29 year old institution into a citadel of first choice. On assumption of office in November 2011, some skeptics doubted if Obafunwa had the administrative-know-how and magic-wand to transform the university which was adjudged a glorified Secondary School into an ivory tower where high standards would be set in terms of academic and infrastructural uplift. In less than two years, many are beginning to sing a new song given a recent stock-taking exercise and tour of facilities by newsmen. They were conducted round by the Vice Chancellor and other principal officers of the university.
The visible projects include: the new School of Transport Building; the seven-storey Senate Building; four-storey Central Library; a twin Lecture Theatre at the Faculty of Law; new Faculty of Sciences Complex; the three-in-one Lecture Theatre in the Faculty of Education and LASU Radio Building. Other ongoing projects in the university are the ultra modern Students’ Union Arcade building; new Faculty of Sciences Complex; Teslim Elias Law Library and a deep drainage system.
Expressing optimism over the commitment of his administration to ensure all ongoing projects and others to be earmarked later are not abandoned, Obafunwa said: “Our team has continued to work assiduously to set high standards in qualitative education, through effective teaching, research, administrative competence and technology, as well as provision of infrastructures and teaching facilities in order to add value to the image and dignity of our prestigious university.
In the last one year and eight months, some of the achievements of the University in terms of provision of infrastructures and learning facilities are an ongoing seven-storey Senate building, whose phase one is about 50 per cent complete a month ago; an ongoing four-storey New Central Library, which will be completed 18 months from now, according to the site Engineer; new Faculty of Science Complex, which is almost completed with mechanical and electrical installations ongoing.” Obafunwa who was two-time Provost of the University’s College of Medicine, LASUCOM, Ikeja said his administration completed the Teslim Elias Law Library Building, already in use and which was commended by the accreditation team of National Universities Commission, NUC, when they visited in December 2012.
Prof. Obafunwa, VC, LASU *Prof. Obafunwa, VC, LASU “With our persistent efforts, LASU-Law, which was de-accredited in September 2010 along with 16 others, were re-accredited in March this year. Our School of Transport Building is completed, with its connection to the National grid remaining; there is an ongoing twin Lecture Theatre in Law Faculty; an ultra modern Students’ Union Arcade Building, almost completed; LASU Radio, which currently enjoys National Broadcasting Commission, NBC licence will be completed six months from now and we also have an ongoing construction of drainage system around the university to combat the menace of flooding,” he revealed.
The Forensic Pathologist while decrying the water-logged terrain of the university which leads to frequent flooding, assured that “the management is constantly in touch with officials of Lagos State Ministry of Environment on the best ways to keep flood at the barest minimum level during the rains. So, far the university has not recorded any flooding this year because of the construction of drainage system within the university. As a prerequisite for final and comprehensive repairs of our roads and control of flood, government has built new drainage system around the school’s business district area and at the Iba gate to collect waste water.
Asked reasons behind the poor state of access roads within the university, Obafunwa reiterated the management’s commitment towards improving the terrain of the university. “The poor state of access roads is due to the current rapid constructions going on in the university. Resurfacing the roads will amount to waste of money now, especially as heavy duty trucks of the construction companies still ply them. However, this is not to say that the construction companies don’t provide palliatives on the roads.
They do this regularly, even without being paid, because of our personal relationship with them,” he said.