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‘Our next step is to become a university soonest’- Dr Nosiru Olajide Onibon

By Tolani Ajifowowe

As the 25th Anniversary celebrations of Michael Otedola College of Primary Education (MOCPED) wrapped up, its leadership not resting on its oars.

The institution, located in the serene Noforija, in Epe area of Lagos, has kick-started fresh moves in preparing itself for possible transmuting into a university of education.

Provost of the college Dr Nosiru Olajide Onibon, said take away poor funding and political will, the institution is long overdue for the anticipated status.

Onibon challenged any doubting Thomas to look into the institution’s sprawling infrastructures, burgeoning enrolment and rich faculty staff to justify his stance.

The college, argued Onibon, has over the years, enjoyed goodwill of its proprietor- the Lagos State government; hence his confidence.

“We have enough facilities to transmute to a university,” Onibon said.

“This college is affiliated to the University of Ibadan. We run a bachelor degree on behalf of the UI. I am proud to say that we turned out the first set this year. At the convocation of UI last month, two of our students were awarded first class degree.

They were taught here by our resource persons and with a few entrants from outside. That gives me the pride to say come another 25 years, the name (of MOCPED) must change to a university.

“Look at our structures and resource persons. The guest lecturer for the 25th Anniversary Prof Leke Fakoya was here; and when we started introducing many of our members to him as ‘Dr this’ and ‘Dr that’, he had no option than to ask: ‘Are you people distributing PhD here?’ That is to tell you the number of PhD holders in the college.”

Onibon draws a comparison between Lagos and Ghana, lamenting that the latter though with less population boasts of more universities than the former.

He continued: “As the fifth largest economy in Africa, our population alone is more than Ghana, which houses scores of universities.

“For instance, Ogun State is housing more universities than Lagos. Then look at the statistics in the last admission. In LASU (Lagos State University) for instance, for the first choice, we had over 30,000 candidates, but LASU has a carrying capacity of only 5000 candidates.

So where do the remaining 25,000 go? This is for LASU alone. For the second choice in LASU, that runs into hundreds of thousands. I’m not talking of UNILAG (University of Lagos). That simply explains that Lagos requires more than the number of universities we have today. So, if we add MOCPED to it, then we might be talking of three or four.”

On lessons learnt from the anniversary, Onibon said it affords members of staff to shed off some pressures of work and launch into bout of celebrations.

The strings of events that characterise the almost a 14-day long activities appears albeit energy-sapping, yet quite an enjoyable experience.

Onibon, an associate professor, describes the Silver Jubilee anniversary as a ‘landmark’ in the college history, adding that its climax, which features award presentation to some retirees and other long- serving members of the college community, will forever inspires others to strive for excellence.

“The interesting thing is that when you reward excellence, that will encourage those in the system to workers harder,’’ he added.

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