Being the Remarks by His Excellency Seyi Makinde, the Executive Governor of Oyo State, at the Inauguration of the College of Agricultural Sciences and Renewable Natural Resources [LAUTECH Iseyin] Campus on Friday, 15 September, 2023.
Let me warmly welcome all our dignitaries and guests to the inauguration of the College of Agricultural Sciences and Renewable Natural Resources (LAUTECH Iseyin) Campus. This is another one of the landmark projects we have invested in here in Iseyin.
When we came into office in 2019, we planned to make Oyo State an education hub. For us, it was not just about increasing the number of universities in the State.
Yes, we went from one and a half universities to three universities. But more importantly, we wanted to use the available resources to achieve our vision. So, we took sole ownership of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH). And then, building on that resource, we took a multicampus approach to expanding the university. And to ensure both campuses of LAUTECH are connected, we are constructing a brand-new road, the 76.67 km Iseyin-Fapote-Ogbomoso Road which is about 80% complete.
I must mention that many people did not even understand what were doing and kicked against our multicampus approach. But when you think of the time it would have taken us to apply for accreditation of courses, recruiting lecturers and all other administrative activities associated with building a university from scratch, you will understand why this was the best approach for accelerated development.
So, here we are today for the inauguration of the College of Agricultural Sciences and Renewable Natural Resources (LAUTECH Iseyin) Campus. And I have to mention that the siting of this campus here is strategic. We want to open up the Oke-Ogun Zone to more economic activities. We will be having 1,533 students resuming on this campus next month. They will need accommodation, they will visit the markets, they will have their friends and family come and visit. All of these will have a multiplier effect on the economy here.
For sustainability, we also expect that there will be both on-campus and off-campus research and development. So, we are looking at attracting development agencies such as the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and others who would come around and work with our students here to further develop our agricultural sector.
So, I expect the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, The Oyo State Agribusiness Development Agency (OYSADA) and the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology to work together to see to further sustainable actions that will be taken here to give this campus the leverage it requires to be the best of its kind in Nigeria.
Before I end my remarks, let me also mention that this LAUTECH Iseyin Campus inauguration exemplifies what happens when we have existing infrastructure, whether they are physical or administrative, to build on.
People have been commenting that Oyo State should be building an internal rail system, and I say, yes, that’s something we should be doing. If the previous administrations had laid the framework as they did in Lagos, then we would not come in and have to lay the foundation again.
So, I am happy that in the last four years, we have been able to pull Oyo State out of the trenches, to a large extent, and we will continue to take sustainable actions which the next administration can build on. We now have LAUTECH Iseyin. Maybe the next administration will build LAUTECH Oyo and situate the Communications Campus of the university there—just a thought.
On this note, I will once again yield the microphone to our Special Guest of Honour for today, His Excellency, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo GCFR, before we proceed with the inauguration of the College of Agricultural Sciences and Renewable Natural Resources to the glory of God and for the benefit of the good people of Oyo State.
15 September 2023