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At Omolewa’s 80th birthday, Alli urges varsities to strive for growth

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Chairman of the occasion, Mallam Yusuf Alli (left); Acting Vice Chancellor, University of Ibadan, Prof. Babatunde Ekanola; celebrant, Emeritus Prof. Michael Omolewa and Pastor Foluke Adeboye during a book presentation to mark Omolewa’s 80th birthday in Ibadan, Oyo State…yesterday. PHOTO: NAJEEM RAHEEM

Prominent Nigerians from all walks of life, yesterday, gathered in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, to celebrate Prof. Abiola Omolewa at his 80th birthday.

They included a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and Pro- Chancellor of Osun State University, Osogbo, Yusuf Alli; Acting Vice Chancellor, University of Ibadan (UI), Prof. Babatunde Ekanola; Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, Pastor (Mrs.) Foluke Adeboye; former Vice Chancellor of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso, Prof. Adeniyi Gbadegesin and others.

The event took place at Ellie Events Place, Sango, Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.

The Guest Speaker, Alli, who spoke on the theme: “University Autonomy: Opportunities and Challenges,” said for universities to compete globally, they have to be autonomous administratively, financially and academically.

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“Like it happened in most advanced countries, the universities should strive to grow to a level where the government will have little or nothing to do with direct funding. This is referred to as the classical view, which guarantees the university its autonomy that entails total independence from state control.

“The universities should be allowed to generate funds internally for recurrent expenditure, while the government provides infrastructure by way of grant.

Minister of Education Adamu Adamu, who was represented by the Executive Secretary, National Commission for Mass Literacy, Adult and Non-Formal Education, Prof. Abba Abubakar Haladu, commended the celebrant for his contribution to education and public service.

He described the Omolewa’s contributions as unquantifiable.

Earlier, Ekanola said Omolewa was specially favoured and blessed by God.

He described him as a mentor to many people who made marks in diverse fields of life.

The Head of Department (HOD) of Adult Education, UI, Prof. K.O. Ojokheta, described Omolewa as a motivator par excellence who is kindhearted.

Mrs. Adeboye prayed for the celebrant.

Omolewa, who thanked God for how far He has taken him, also thanked those present to celebrate his birthday.

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