By; RAYMOND TEDUNJAYE, Lagos
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Thursday reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to education and technology, saying his government will ensure that Lagos State remains the reference point for impactful, inclusive and innovative education.
He said education and technology would continue to occupy prime positions in his government because quality education and educational leadership are both critical to the execution of the T.H.E.M.E.S development agenda of his administration.
Governor Sanwo-Olu made the statement at the 2021 annual Governor’s Lecture of the Lagos State University (LASU) Alumni Association with the theme “Educational leadership and technology as viable options for economic recovery and nationhood: The experience of Lagos State,” held at LASU main campus, Ojo on Thursday.
The Governor said his administration is committing substantial resources to the provision of quality education that is needed to actualise economic recovery in a digitised world because the State Government recognises the transformational gains of integrating quality education with innovative technological solutions for economic recovery.
He said the State Government is closing the digital divide by collaborating with the private sector to deploy metropolitan fibre optics across the State, noting that his administration has implemented 3,000km of metro fibre connection.
“Our administration understands the key role that education and technology play in transforming the society, which explains why we made education one of the major pillars of our T.H.E.M.E.S Development Agenda (Traffic Management and Transportation, Health and Environment, Education and Technology, Making Lagos a 21st Economy, Entertainment and Tourism and Governance and Security.
“In the last two years, we have made extensive investments in education and technology but a major take away from the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on how we live, socialize and conduct business is the need for policymakers to determine how we can further use technology for sustainable economic growth.
“There must be intentional efforts by all stakeholders to promote equitable and quality education so that the products of our schools are equipped with the critical skills needed to proffer lasting solutions to our socio-economic problems. There is also no better time than now to deepen productive discourse on how we will continue to utilize technology to make life more meaningful.
“The indubitable fact is that technology now has a significant impact on the business and economic environment and we must as a matter of urgency accelerate the adoption of new technologies for sustainable development and economic stability,” he said.
Governor Sanwo-Olu said knowledge expansion is a crucial component of the 21st-century academic system and therefore tasked educators and educational leaders to harness the power of technology to produce skilled graduates who are able to drive long-term economic recovery.
“In Lagos State, we have been able to achieve some of our educational goals through a systematic blend of our curriculum with technology and the selfless efforts of our educators. We now operate an improved educational system with enhanced institutional capacity for digital learning,” the governor said.
Governor Sanwo-Olu also commended the LASU Alumni for remaining passionate about the continued growth and development of the institution as well as being worthy ambassadors of the school and remaining loyal to LASU long after they passed through the school.
“All over the world, alumni associations have become strategic players in educational and governmental issues: I am proud of your association’s commitment to ensuring that LASU becomes one of the best universities in the world; I assure you that this is my administration’s goal too and we will continue to create the enabling environment for LASU to thrive,” he said.
Speaking earlier, the Vice Chancellor of LASU, Prof. Ibiyemi Olatunji-Bello said Governor Sanwo-Olu has demonstrated quality leadership in the governance of the State and in the administration of all the tertiary institutions in Lagos State.
She said Governor Sanwo-Olu’s prompt response to all issues pertaining to the Lagos State University and the entire State is unprecedented.
“The Governor has demonstrated quality leadership and support for the University by the prompt release of monthly subvention for payment of salaries, immediate release of funds for accreditation, commencement of the construction of over 9,000-bed space students hostel on Ojo Campus and the release of additional N4 billion to the 2022 University Budget.
“Mr. Governor has also taken steps to renovate and revamp the Epe Campus of the University, unprecedented support of the Lagos State University College of Medicine and various ongoing projects across our campuses,” she said.
The Vice Chancellor said LASU management would continue to align with the six points strategic goals of the University to achieve the mandate of the institution and therefore urged the Governor to continue to support in meeting the needs of the institution.
The Vice Chancellor while commending LASU Alumni Association for consistently demonstrating its commitment to the development of the school said the association had brought about growth and development of networks for mutual support.
In his address, the Chairman of the occasion, Senator Seye Ogunlewe, stressed the need for additional universities in Lagos State, saying having more universities in the state will provide the opportunity for youths, especially Lagos indigenes and residents to be admitted into universities.