The Oyo State Governor, ‘Seyi Makinde on Saturday encouraged the Old Students Associations of schools to take up the challenge of supporting government’s efforts in lifting the standards of education, by giving back to their alma maters.
Makinde made this call while speaking at the commissioning/handing over ceremony of the Oluwarotimi Akeredolu Hall, built by the 1968/1972 set of Loyola College Old Boys Association.
The old students of Loyola College, Ibadan, 1968/1972 set, earlier on Saturday, 30 July, 2022, made history by handing over an expansive and magnificent hall to the school management, for the use of the college and the Old Boys Association, to mark their 50 years of leaving the school and as part of their resolve to give back to their alma mater.
Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, being an alumnus of Loyola College, Ibadan; together with his former school mates of 1968/1972 set, donated the hall to the college
The magnificent hall, named after Governor Akeredolu, was commissioned by the Ekiti State Governor and Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Dr. John Kayode Fayemi.
The set, known as VERITA “6872”, also remodeled the frontal school fence which was commissioned by His Excellency, Governor Makinde.
The edifice was blessed and unveiled by His Grace, Most Rev. Dr. Gabriel Abegunrin, the Catholic Archbishop of Ibadan Diocese.
Speaking at the event, Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, who appreciated his school mates for the honour done him, equally called on the association to sustain the good work and fellowship.
“This is my alma-mater, the school that moulded me, the school that I have all the pride in. Loyola College is everything to me. My mates and all of us sat together and decided to build this hall and in their own wisdom, they chose to name it after me. I felt honoured. They have done so well for me and I thank them. So, today is my happiest day and I’m so happy about it,”
He further noted that without the college he would not have been something in life, describing Loyola as the best in nurturing future leaders.
The governor also challenged students of the college to be ready to do better than the old students.
In his welcome address, the President, Loyola College Old Boys Association (LOCOBA) 68/72 Set, Dr. Segun Oshin, said the school has produced accomplished and successful individuals across professions.
He added that the project was part of their contributions to their Alma mater and the development of education in the state.
He advised the school authority to put the edifice to good use to serve its purpose.
On the return of the college to the original owners, Gov Makinde in his address promised that his administration will be willing to consider a proposal for a return of the school to its original owners if it receives one, as advised by Dr. Oshin during his address.
He disclosed that the motive behind his readiness to discuss the proof of consent, which could see the school handed over to its original owners or the Old Students Association was premised on the need to ensure continuous development of the school
He partly said: “It is a great honour for me to host my two other brothers (Governors Rotimi Akeredolu and Kayode Fayemi) here, and when we say Oyo State is a Pacesetter state, now you know what we are talking about. Three governors here, out of 36 in Nigeria, had their roots and were moulded here in Oyo State.
“So let me thank the 1968-1972 set for this edifice. By the way, education is one of the four major pillars of Oyo State and I know that the government alone cannot provide everything that we require and everytime that we can see people, associations and philanthropists that can support the government, I am always very thankful. So, today, on behalf of the government and people of Oyo state, we want to say thank you to Loyola College Old Boys Association, ’68-72 set.
“And I am using this to also call on others to come and give back. We have the students out here, they are also looking at a day like this, when they would come back and give back to their school and they can only do that if we provide the enabling environment for them to succeed, and this is exactly what this set has done”, he added.
Among those who graced the event were: Wife of Ondo State Governor, Chief Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, family and friends of the Governor, the National President, Loyola College Old Boys’ Association, Prof Femi Ogunbiyi; the Catholic Archbishop of Ibadan Diocese, His Grace, Most Rev. Dr. Gabriel Abegunrin, among others.