Opening Remarks of the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olanrewaju A. Fagbohun, at the 2015/2016 Convocation Lecture Entitled “Beyond Education: Bridging the Gap for Graduate Employability” Delivered by Mr. Hakeem Oguniran, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, UACN Property Development Company Plc on Tuesday 21st March, 2017.
The Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council of the Lagos State University, Professor Adebayo Ninalowo;
Members of the Governing Council;
The Convocation Lecturer, Mr. Hakeem Ogunniran, MD/CEO of UACN Property Development Company Plc; and His amiable wife;
Distinguished Professor Peter Okebukola, OFR, formerly Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission;
Former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Professor Oluwafemi Olaiya Balogun;
Former Vice-Chancellor, Obafemi Awolowo University, Professor Bamitale Omole;
The Vice-Chancellor, Macpherson University, Professor Adeniyi Agunbiade;
The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academics), Professor Olumuyiwa Noah;
The Registrar, Mr. Akinwunmi Lewis;
The Bursar, Mr. Hassan Adetayo;
The University Librarian, Dr. Adebambo Oduwole;
Provost, College of Medicine/Deans of Faculties and Directors;
The Chairman, Ceremonies Committee, Professor Ayo Badejo;
Former Deputy Vice-Chancellors here present (Professor Sena-Bakre; Prof Okon Ansa, University of Uyo);
Professors; Heads of Departments and Units;
Our Outstanding Administrators;
Respected Colleagues (Academics & Non-Academics);
President; Members of the Board of Trustees; and other Members of the Alunmi;
President and other Members of Exco of the Lagos State Students Union;
Our World Class Students (Great LASUITES); We are LASU, We are Proud.
Gentlemen of the Print and Electronic Media;
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen;
On behalf of the Governing Council, Senate, Staff and Students of the Lagos State University, it gives me enormous pleasure to welcome you all to the 21st Convocation Lecture of our great Institution. The events started on Thursday 16th of March 2017 with the Convocation Press Conference, and was followed by the Jumat Service and Special Thanksgiving Service which respectively held on Friday 17th and Sunday 19th of March, 2017. Yesterday, we had a Command Performance by the Department of Theatre Arts and Music at the Convocation Play, titled “The Spirit of Lagos”. Today, we are opportune to have the pleasure of a world class brain, a brilliant and astute Legal practitioner and administrator per excellence, Mr. Hakeem Ogunniran, Managing Director/CEO of UACN Property Development Company Plc to deliver this year’s Convocation Lecture.
The significance of today’s lecture must not be lost on us. In this climate of crisis of recession and giant leaps in statistics relating to unemployment, we must begin to look differently at Education. Beyond our primary mission of giving good education through the creation of a community of teaching and research, the challenging questions of “What Next?” and “Where do I go from here?” which confronts every graduate after the award of degree demands that we aggressively shift our perspective to think deeply about graduate employability. In this respect, we must rethink the assumptions of the past, and pose creative questions about the present in such ways that will assist us to connect more with the future.
The lecture of today will without doubt interrogate some of the critical perspectives that we should be looking at. As the preferred University at the Centre of Excellence, we are proudly happy that we are a part of this dialogue. The more we worry about the gap in graduate employability, the more we improve on our information and strategies for meeting the issues. The rich and versatile background of Mr. Hakeem Ogunniran puts him in good stead to interrogate the relevant issues. For several years he was in the academia before he left to join the industry. Even at that, he has always been “two legs in the industry and an ad-hoc leg in the academia”. He is very much at home with the secrets of these two sides which are inextricably linked in their relationship, and must effectively work together in the interest of our graduates and the progress of our nation.
I certainly will not try to pre-empt Mr. Ogunniran’s Lecture. I am confident, however, that his thoughtful considerations and suggestions will go a long way to complement related ongoing initiatives here at the Lagos State University. Of note in this respect is the “Ready Set Work” initiative of the Lagos State Ministry of Education which is aimed at deepening entrepreneurship and employability of final year students of the Lagos State Government-owned tertiary institutions. Our Distinguished Lecture Series through which we bring leading entrepreneurs and industry leaders to share perspectives with our students is another. What is clear is that for as long as we keep probing our challenges with rigour, our expectations will be fulfilled.
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, I heartily welcome you to this Convocation Lecture. Happy listening.
Professor Olanrewaju Fagbohun, Ph.D
21st March, 2017