Prof. Ibiyemi Olatunji-Bello, Vice-Chancellor, Lagos State University, (LASU), Ojo, on Tuesday demanded more funds for the university following a population surge of about 156.3 per cent between 2016 and 2020.
Olatunji-Bello made the demand in her presentation at a 2-day South/West Zonal Public Hearing on the Review of Revenue Allocation Formula by Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC).
Newsmen report that the event was attended by representatives of the six south/west states comprising of Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Ondo and Ekiti.
Olatunji-Bello, the newly appointed second female LASU VC, canvassed for an upward review of the Lagos State’s allocation to enable it cope with its metropolitan structure.
“The revenue allocation formula for our state has not changed in the last five years while demands for the same revenue have increased.
“For example in LASU, the student population increased from 10,299 in the year 2016 to 26,311 in 2020.
“The limited resources are therefore overused with concomitant increased overheads. Similarly, more academic staff is needed because due to retirements and deaths, the total number of academic staff is lower now when compared to 2016.
“In addition, in line with my vision for the university, three new faculties will be established. They are Faculty of Pharmacy, Faculty of Allied Health Sciences and Faculty of Environmental Sciences. This will lead to an astronomical increase in the student population and staff recruitment.
“Statistically, only 15 per cent of applicants are admitted into our great institution. We are planning to request the NUC to increase our admission quota so that we can admit more students,” she said.
Olatunji-Bello added that “This will imply that infrastructure in terms of lecture theatres, sporting and library facilities should be available. Health and safety facilities should be world-class in order to make life better for our teeming students on campus.
“We plan to have a fire station on campus. All these cost money. Because of the low admission rate of 15 per cent coupled with the need to provide more opportunities for the large number of applicants in the state.
“Our proprietor, the state government has seen the need for Lagos State to have 2 more universities, Lagos State University of Education and Lagos State University of Technology. These will be established in a matter of months from now.
“With the aforementioned justification, there is no doubt that for our tertiary institutions in Lagos State, there are urgent needs for an increase in revenue allocation,” she noted.
Olatunji-Bello, also the first Professor of Physiology in Lagos State University College of Medicine (LASUCOM), Ikeja, stated that the state-owned university had been saddled with enormous responsibilities but less manpower.
She recalled that LASU was established as a public university in 1983 with a vision to provide Lagos State with the required human capital for the sustenance of her position as the commercial and industrial hub of the country.
She added that the mission of the university was to provide qualitative education to the large populace of the state in particular and Nigeria as a whole to manage its public and private sectors.