A leading business tycoon, who is also the richest woman in Africa, Mrs Folorunso Alakija is set to build a world-class paediatric hospital in Osun State University, in fulfilment of her promise to the citadel.
Politics Tempo recalls that Alakija pledged to build the medical edifice upon her appointment as the Chancellor of the University in 2016 by the Governor of the State, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, to succeed the late Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade.
The commencement of the project was therefore made known last week when the Management of Osun State University visited Alakija in her office in Lagos to formally notify her of the plan to hold the 7th Convocation ceremony from Monday, 19th to Thursday 22nd November, 2018.
While expressing her excitement in receiving the Management team of the University led by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Labode Popoola and the Chairman of the University Advancement Board, Mr. Kayode Sofola (SAN), she gave the University a marching order to make necessary preparations for the foundation laying ceremony of the hospital to take place during the Convocation ceremony.
She reassured the Management team of her commitment to giving the University the benefit to own a paediatric hospital, for the purpose of serving humanity, and creation of employment to the teeming youths and generate revenues for the state.
According to her, the foundation-laying ceremony of the hospital structure would be necessary not only to set the ball rolling, but also as a mark of honour to the Visitor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, who would be leaving office as Governor of the State of Osun on 27th November, 2018.
“As I have always said, the power to do everything is with God and with Him, everything is possible. This paediatric hospital has been part of my dream for humanity, being the Chancellor of Osun State University has given me the opportunity to make this dream come to reality. We are eager to surmount all odds and begin this project and formally lay the foundation while Governor Aregbesola is still in office.
“We should think of UNIOSUN beyond just a State University. For us, the sky is not the limit but a stepping stone. I am very optimistic that we’ll get there. People are tired of giving free donations except there is something to gain in return.
“As an institution, we have to look inward and run the University like a business. The profits from the business could now be used to maintain and sustain the University”, Alakija said.
In his remarks, the Vice-Chancellor, thanked the Chancellor for her immense contributions to the development of the University, particularly her generous donation of 250 Million Naira towards the completion of the access road to the Main Campus of the University which was commissioned in October, last year and named Folorunso Alakija Boulevard.
He used the opportunity of the visit to inform the Chancellor of some of the achievements of the University in the last one year, including the outstanding performance of her law students at the last Nigeria Law School final bar examination which saw two of UNIOSUN students bagging first class and the university rated as the best State University in the Law programme in Nigeria.
While handling a document containing the highlight of many achievements of his administration to the Chancellor, Prof Popoola said, “As part of our numerous achievements contained in this document, I am glad to inform you that the University recently got the National Universities Commission (NUC) approval for 19 additional courses at postgraduate and undergraduate levels. It will also interest you to note that all the courses we run in the university have accreditation by the NUC.
“The University is poor , but in our endless strives to block leakages and cut wastages, we have been able to manage and deplore our meagre resources in meaningful ways. Through the University Integrated Venture , we are now set to handle contracts and invest our resources in ways to enable us become financially independent and self-sustaining.
“UNIOSUN water is gradually gaining a wide acceptance in the market, particularly within the Osun State; we have started a block-making industry and we are about to register a Microfinance Bank.
“For these purposes, we have acquired a land in Osogbo where we intend to build a business plaza expected to house our Microfinance Bank and a host of other businesses. In spite of the financial challenges facing the University and the State in general, the Management of the University has not reneged on our commitment to payment of salaries and other benefits of staff as and when due.”
Other members of Management in the team that visited the Chancellor were the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration & Development), Professor Janet Olaitan; the Registrar, Mr. G. A. A. Shittu represented by the former Acting Registrar, Mr. A. A. Adeosun; the Bursar, Mr. Abolarinwa Feruke; the University Librarian, Mrs Tinuade Adewale; the Director of Works, Physical Planning and Maintenance, Engr. S. A. Adepoju; Director of Advancement Board, Mr. Marcus Awobifa; Acting Provost, College of Health Sciences, Dr. Mrs. M. Isawumi; Chairperson, Ceremonials Committee, Professor E. O. Asekun-Olarinmoye represented by the Acting Dean, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, Dr. I. P. Oyeyipo; the Public Relations Officer of the University, Mr. Jibola Oyekunle and Mr. Ayesanmi Owolabi from Information Management and Technology Centre (IMTC) of the University, among others.
News Credit: politicstempo.com