The Lagos State House of Assembly has ordered it’s Committee on Tertiary Education, headed by Hon. Ajani Owolabi to investigate the cause of the delay in selecting a new Vice Chancellor for the Lagos State University (LASU) and report back to the House in a week.
The matter was raised as Urgent Matter of Public Importance by the Majority Leader of the House, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade during plenary on Tuesday.
According to Agunbiade, LASU is currently having an acting Vice Chancellor as a new VC is yet to be selected for the institution.
The Majority Leader stated that a committee was raised towards the end of the tenure of the last VC of the institution, Professor Olanrewaju Fagbohun, but that the committee was dissolved because one of the three shortlisted candidates did not have PhD as he was said to have possessed just a university fellowship.
He said that, when another committee was raised they did an advertisement and said that someone with fellowship of an institution could apply for the office.
He added that nine persons were shortlisted, but that the second process has also been put on hold.
“Now, LASU does not have a VC or Governing Board. LASU has dropped from number two in the country to number five. Something must be done urgently about the selection of a new VC for the university.
“The House Committee on Education should be asked to commence investigation into the issues in LASU and come up with recommendations.
“The Lagos State Governor should also see into the issues surrounding the selection of a Vice Chancellor for the institution,” he said.
Speaking on the matter, the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon
Mudashiru Obasa said that the process of handing over from one administration to another has always been a problem in the institution.
“We eulogised LASU over it’s feats recently only for the issue of succession to draw the institution back.
“They have regulations on how a VC should be selected. They did a test for the people shortlisted for the office and their marks were very close to one another.
“They should have selected one of the shortlisted candidates. But I believe that there is more to what is happening in the institution despite what we are seeing,” he said.
The Speaker then ordered the House Committee on Education (Tertiary) to investigate the matter and report back to the House in a week.
In his contribution, Hon. Ganiu Sanni (Kosofe 1) said that the issue of LASU is taking a worrisome trend despite it’s achievements over the years.
Okanlawon recalled that LASU was number two in Nigeria and between the first 500 to 600 universities in the world.
“What is happening in LASU is a clash of interest and intra campus politics.
“They all want to have stronghold in the affairs and activities of LASU. This will cause problem if there is no moderation.
“The advert for the position of Vice Chancellor stated that the person that would be the VC could be a fellow or PhD holder as stated in the law that established the university.
“I don’t know why that caused an issue now. The Govenor should take a bold step and take decisive actions. We must consider professionalism, competence and experience in the selection,” he said.
Another lawmaker, Hon. Desmond Elliot (Surulere 1) said that over 50% of the lawmakers in the assembly were graduates of LASU.
Elliot said that LASU has grown in leaps and bounds, and that accolades kept growing for it before the latest problem occured.
He then called for a seamless transition from one government to another in LASU.
This was corroborated by Hon. Gbolahan Yishawu (Eti Osa 2), who called for a stoppage to the noticeable lacuna in the selection of a new Vice Chancellor for the university.
In his comments, Hon. Rasheed Makinde (Ifako/Ijaiye 2) said that the issue did not project the image of the institution properly.
Makinde stated that the institution would be 38 years old and that they were being giving subvention so that the school could develop, adding that it is regrettable that crisis comes anytime a new VC is to be appointed in the institution.