Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Tuesday inaugurated a Special Visitation Panel to look into issues relating to appointment of a substantive vice chancellor and other issues in Lagos State University (LASU).
The Visitation Panel was raised following the controversy trailing the appointment of a substantive Vice Chancellor for the state owned university.
The panel comprising former vice chancellors, seasoned administrator, technocrats and top public servant is headed by the Pro-Chancellor of the Ekiti State University and former Vice Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Prof. Bamitale Omole.
Other members of the Special Visitation Panel are; former Vice Chancellor of University of Port Harcourt, Prof. Joseph Ajienka; a renowned university don, Prof. Ayo Olukotun; former Registrar of University of Ibadan, Olujimi Olukoya, former Lagos State Solicitor-General and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice, Lawal Pedro (SAN) and a Level-17 Officer in the Office of the Special Adviser, Education, Funmilola Olajide, who will serve as the Secretary of the Visitation Panel.
Sanwo-Olu on Tuesday also inaugurated 11 members of the Board of Lagos State Consumer Protection Agency (LASCOPA), chaired by a human rights activist and lawyer, Mrs. Funmilola Falana and 21 members Lagos State Market Advisory Council chaired by the Iyaloja General of Nigeria, Chief Folasade Tinubu-Ojo.
Speaking at the inauguration of the Special Visitation Panel to LASU, Sanwo-Olu urged members of the panel to discharge their responsibilities with fairness, firmness and forthrightness to continue to ensure that the state university takes its rightful place in the comity of universities.
He said: “I want to thank you because we know that you are donating your time and intellect for the state government to be able to put a lasting solution to the current situation that we found ourselves in the appointment of a new Vice Chancellor for Lagos State University.
“As enshrined in the laws setting up LASU, the procedures for the appointment of a Vice Chancellor are clearly stated there and as the Visitor, my responsibility is to ensure that fairness, firmness and forthrightness are emboldened in that process and become a process that is flawless.
“We have been hit by barrage of complaints and unimaginable issues coming out from it. And by the power that has being reposed in me as the Visitor, I need to step in to ensure that we put LASU on the proper footing again and ensure that it takes its rightful place in the comity of universities.
“This assignment will be time driven. There is an advert that has gone out and which the general public are meant to respond to.
“Timeline has been stipulated and for the panel to thereafter review whatever has been brought forward to them and be able to make decision and recommendation to me so that we can resolve the current impasse and we can appoint a substantive Vice Chancellor into our university.”
Speaking during the inauguration of the Board of the Lagos State Consumer Protection Agency (LASCOPA) and Lagos State Market Advisory Council, Sanwo-Olu noted that with Lagos State fast becoming the business hub of Africa, the inauguration of the two boards comes at an auspicious time when all hands must be on deck to maximize the gains of a rapidly growing economy in the state.
He tasked members of the Board of LASCOPA to urgently educate Lagosians on their rights as consumers, what constitutes a violation of those rights and the steps they need for the Board to seek redress on their behalf.
“As I inaugurate the Lagos State Market Advisory Council, I urge you to do all that is required within the ambit of the law to effectively manage and control our markets in line with international best practices. In carrying out your duties, you must consult widely in order to harmonise the interests of all stakeholders.
“In accordance with making Lagos a 21st century economy, which is one of the pillars of our administration’s T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda, I implore you to use your new office to seamlessly engage traders, our market men and women and all relevant stakeholders in order to acquaint them with the policies of this administration.
“To the members of the newly constituted Lagos State Consumer Protection Agency Board, it is your duty to protect the rights of citizens against unfair, deceptive, and fraudulent business practices, which may result in exploitation, injury, and even loss of lives.
“You must, therefore, perform your duties with a great sense of responsibility. To whom much is given, much is expected. Our consumers are counting on you to protect their rights and interests,” he said.
In his vote of assurance, the Chairman of the Special Visitation Panel to LASU, Prof. Bamitale Omole thanked Governor Sanwo-Olu for finding members of the panel worthy of the assignment, promising to ensure that it is done properly, promptly and efficiently.
“I want to assure you (Governor Sanwo-Olu) on behalf of the distinguished members of this panel that we are going to give the assignment our best, not only in examining the issues but also in charting a way forward so that LASU will continue to own its own in the comity of respected and respectable universities in Nigeria.
“In carrying out this assignment, I want to assure you that we shall be fearless, forthright and indeed very objective,” he assured Governor Sanwo-Olu.
In their vote of assurance, Falana and Tinubu-Ojo thanked Governor Sanwo-Olu for the confidence reposed in them and promised to deliver on their mandates without fear or favour.
Tinubu-Ojo said: “I want to assure Mr. Governor on behalf of Lagos State Market Advisory Council that the council will do the needful and we will not mess up the trust and the confidence you imbibed in us.”
Falana who was reappointed as chairman of the Board of LASCOPA, promised Governor Sanwo-Olu and the entire people of Lagos and by extension Nigerians that they will do more than what is expected of them as custodian of the rights of consumers in Lagos State.