Gov AbdulRazaq gets report on establishment of Kwara University of Education Stephen Olufemi Oni, Ilorin

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Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has received a three-pronged report from the Prof. Shuaib Oba Abdulraheem-led Planning and Implementation Committee for the Establishment of Kwara State University of Education.

The report included an academic brief; a draft (establishment) bill; and the proposed master plan for the university.

Receiving the documents at the Government House Ilorin, AbdulRazaq said the government would take prompt action on the report for quick take-off of the university, including forwarding the bill to the House within reasonable time.

“We will look at the academic brief and the masterplan for the proposed university of education as well,” he said.

The Governor said the government would weigh all the factors stated in the report for the location of the varsity for efficiency and overall success of the project for the maximum benefits of all.

“I must say that no part of Kwara State is undeserving of the location of the university,” he added.

“I was in the TETFUND office in Abuja last month, and they assured me of support for the smooth take-off of the university of education. So, we will move quickly to ensure that this is done.”

AbdulRazaq said the administration has not increased tuition fees across its tertiary institutions since it came in 2019 despite the rate of inflation in the country.

He added: “On the issues of fees and so on, we shall cross the bridge when we get there because the issues of fees are challenging. If you look at what private and some public universities are charging against what we charge for tuition, you will see that there is a huge gap there. Since this administration came into being, we have not increased tuition fees. If you look at the rate of inflation, you will realise that we are actually discounting fees while that of private institutions is rising. It is part of our responsibility to make sure that we keep the space open for qualified students to seek fairly competitive paths to a great future.

“Once again, let me thank you for the yeoman job you have done by bringing your experience in the academia to bear.”

Other members of the committee are Deacon Pastor Afolayan J. Babatunde (Secretary); Professor (Mrs) Medinat Salman; Professor Sidikat Adeyemi; Professor Umar Gunu; Engineer Sa’ad Belgore; Mrs. Mulikat Lawal; Femi Aina; former Special Adviser on Special Duties Alhaji Abubakar Abdul-Razaq Jiddah; and a representative each of the Ministries of Housing and Urban Development and Justice.

Prof Abdulraheem, for his part, acknowledged the commitment and understanding that Governor AbdulRazaq attaches to Kwara education as displayed in the course of carrying out the committee’s assignment.

“I am pleased to report that the journey has been tough but very exciting indeed and productive. Your Excellency, the establishment of the University of Education is a favourite pet project in your mind for quite some time, and I know your commitment and the worth you attached to education in Kwara State,” he said.

“It is with that zeal and understanding that I and my colleagues worked to produce this status report before you today.

“Your Excellency, the task you assigned to us has very many exciting angles to it — human and material. I must thank you very much and appreciate your very prompt attention to the issue of logistics for the committee, without which we couldn’t have moved as fast as we did.”

The former Vice Chancellor of University of Ilorin said the three documents presented would hasten the establishment of the university of education.

“We had the tasks of producing three key documents — academic brief, which is going to be the intellectual instrument on which the functioning of the proposed university will be defined. There is also a draft bill for the establishment of the Kwara State University of Education, and the third is the Masterplan.

“I am pleased to report to Your Excellency that the academic brief is second to none, and it is very ready. The draft bill is also ready and to be processed to the House of Assembly. The third is the Masterplan. That, we have not been able to conclude, but we have been able to scratch the ground. This is because when you are on the field, you can do nothing but scratch the ground. That will only be made possible when a decision has been taken about the location of the university.

“We have taken our time to visit potential candidates in terms of location for the university project. We visited the facilities and staff of the Colleges of Education Ilorin, Lafiagi, and Oro. We have also taken time to consult stakeholders, apart from advertising in national newspapers and social media. We also invited input from members of the public to harness and harvest their opinions about the prospects of the university.

“The preponderance of the result which we got are more political than academic. Everybody wants the university to be located within their own environment. That doesn’t excite me because that is a burden on the government, not mine.

“I was expecting to be assisted on the academic and intellectual content on what the university is going to be. But I was assisted by a very hardworking team, and we have produced an academic brief.”

The top academic said he was optimistic that the university would be established and run seamlessly with the documents presented and abundance of human resources across the state.

“The three documents to be presented to the NUC are here, and I must say you have been wonderful in your support. I had the opportunity in the past to lead the establishment of the Kwara State University, Malete, and that took me two years. This one is likely to take us less than one year,” he said.

“Your Excellency, once we present to you our final report, you can apply for recognition from the NUC because once the law is passed, you already established the Kwara State University of Education; you are not seeking a permission to do it. You are only asking NUC for recognition, which is different from what is done to private universities.

“The only other decision to be taken is to determine the location of the university. There are many factors to determine the location of the university, and those factors are better considered by Your Excellency. You will consider factors of the economy as it is today whether it is economical to open a university in a virgin land with all the costs. If Kwara State has the resources, that will be wonderful. It also depends on the issue of security in the country. You can also consider the cost of municipal services such as light, water, road infrastructure, etc. These are things that would contribute to the easy start-up of the university for the foundational students. They must not be exposed to any hardship.

“We must as a government assist by deciding the location of the university where life will be really conducive for excellent intellectual growth.”


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