If we are asked today to mention one name that is a pillar behind this great Institution, the Lagos State University, all and sundry will be unanimous in our chorus of the name, ALHAJI (DR.) LATEEF KAYODE JAKANDE, popularly known as “LKJ” or “Baba Kekere”.
It was Mother Theresa who once said, “I alone cannot change the world, but, I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples”. In 1983, LKJ had the opportunity to cast a stone across the waters. He did that brilliantly so well that all of us here present and several millions out there are today beneficiaries of the positive ripples of the public service of this iconic, visionary and generational role model.
Distinguished Stakeholders, Ladies and Gentlemen, this inspirational and outstanding man of valour as the first elected Governor of Lagos State conceived of and signed into Law on 13th June, 1983, the Bill that established the Lagos State University. That act of Papa Jakande close to 4 decades ago, and which is just one of the many achievements of this remarkable legend of ideas, positively impacted the fortunes of so many.
Papa, you had a clear focus, which among others is to find a solution to the then prevalent narrative that the indigenous population of Lagos are backward. Today, we can eloquently attest to the fact that your strategy worked: from just three Faculties i.e Faculties of Education, Science, Law and Humanities; 55 academic staff; 37 administrative and technical staff; and student enrolment of 375 undergraduates, the Institution has metamorphosed into 3 major campuses, namely Ojo, Ikeja and Epe, comprising of 7 faculties (Arts, Education, Engineering, Law, Management Sciences, Science and Social Science), 4 Schools (Communication, Transport, Agriculture and School of Postgraduate Studies), 1 College (College of Medicine), and several Academic Centers. Our Academic Staff population is close to 800, while the Non-Academic staff population (Junior and Senior) is close to 2,000. Every year the University admits close to 6,500 students (Undergraduate and Postgraduate), with our overall student population standing close to 25,000.
LKJ, you are today revered as an institution and a shining example of what public service represents. That is why you are the subject of today’s public lecture titled: “Lateef Kayode Jakande: A phenom of Administration in Lagos State”, to be delivered by the erudite scholar and Professor of History, Professor Hakeem Damole.
We at the Lagos State University count ourselves privileged that we are a part of you and are able to celebrate you today. We rejoice with you and your wonderful family, and pray God to continue to grant you good health. The Dean of Arts, Professor Adeniyi Harrison and my amazing colleagues from the Faculty of Arts, thank you for putting this event together and making it possible for us to celebrate this legend of our time.
Happy birthday Sir to a man who truly made a difference in public service. Yours has been a rewarding 90 years of existence for humanity. Your name will continue to resonate in the annals of our great Institution. As a start, we have the approval of the Governing Council to name the longest road on Ojo Campus “Dr. Lateef Kayode Jakande Road”. Thank you for enriching our lives.
I welcome you all.
Professor Olanrewaju A. Fagbohun, Ph.D, SAN