SPEECH DELIVERED BY THE DEPUTY GOVERNOR OPERATIONS, CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA, MR ADEBAYO ADELABU ON THE OCCASION OF THE COMMISSIONING OF THE CBN 2013 INTERVENTION PROJECTS AT OYO STATE TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY, IBADAN OYO STATE
I am most delighted to be here this morning on the historic event of the commissioning of the completed CBN 2013 intervention projects, the Construction of a Library, Classrooms and Offices for the Oyo State Technical University Ibadan, Oyo State.
There is no gainsaying the fact that education is a bedrock for development and lifting people out of poverty. Nigeria is experiencing an acute shortage of high quality and world class educational institutions. For instance, the highest ranked university in Nigeria, according to The Times Higher Education World University Rankings for 2017, placed University of Ibadan (UI) as 801 out of the 980 universities surveyed worldwide. It is instructive to note that UI, although it came first in Nigeria in the Rankings, was ranked behind a number of South African universities.
Perhaps this is why there has been a surge in the number of Nigerian students going abroad to seek for quality education. This however has implications for the demand for foreign exchange and supply of qualified personnel to support the productive capacity of the country. We are all witnesses to what a combination of a high foreign exchange demand and low productive capacity can do to a country.
There is no way we can separate these problems from the core mandates of the Central Bank of Nigeria. This is why we cannot all continue to fold our arms.
Our primary mandate at the Central Bank of Nigeria includes maintenance of price and exchange rate stability, functional and stable financial system, effective payment system and credible currency.
At the heart of all these is achieving economic growth and development in collaboration with the Fiscal Policy authority. This behooves on us the responsibility for development financing through regular intervention in the critical sectors of the economy of which education is one, to bridge the manpower and infrastructural deficits accumulated over time.
It is against this background that the Central Bank of Nigeria commenced its intervention programmes in the education sector. It is worthy of note that Oyo State University is one of the seven Tertiary Institutions in 2013 which benefited from the intervention programme of the Central Bank of Nigeria as part of the Banks development function and the need for capacity building for the achievement of Vision 20, 2020 of the Federal Government. The intervention becomes more apt, especially, at this time of the rise in digital knowledge economy.
Having recognized Ibadan and Oyo state in general as a socio-political and educational head quarter of the South Western region, given its past role in the south west regional development and potential role it can still play in the general economic integration of the South West region, the state in the past three years has benefited from various intervention projects of the Central Bank of Nigeria. These include:
1. Building infrastructure for the University of Ibadan Center of Excellence for post graduate studies in Economics, Finance and Banking which cost about N10Billion .
2. Post Graduate Hostel building at the University of Ibadan which cost about N5billion.
3. Total Re-development of Classroom and Office infrastructures at the Bishop Philips Academy Secondary School, Iwo road Ibadan.
4. Establishment of the South West Regional Entrepreneur Development Center (EDC) in Oyo state at Samonda, Ibadan with quarterly financial support from the CBN for the running of the center.
5. Building of Lecture Rooms, Offices and State of the Art E-Library for the new Oyo State Technical University (which we are commissioning today).
In addition, there are a few other proposed intervention projects already listed for the state and at advance stage of approval to be executed over the next three years. These include:
1. Development of Lecture Rooms and Hostel facilities for the Polytechnic of Ibadan to cost about N3.5bilion.
2. Total Renovation and Building of New classrooms, Library and Technical and Science Laboratories for Lagelu Grammer School to cost about N500million.
3. Building of a Cancer Center or Modern Diagnostic Center for the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan.
In line with the Public Procurement Act, the contract for the Construction of the buildings was awarded in 2013 to Messrs Harrison George Nigeria Limited.
The projects for commissioning today which is located on the main campus of the institution involved the Construction of the following;
1. A fully furnished Library and E-Library complex.
2. A fully furnished Administrative and Classroom Block.
The project was completed in December, 2016 and handed over to the beneficiaries on the 20th April, 2017.
Though the project had its temporary setbacks, the Project Management Team comprising the Bank’s Project Implementation Office and the Consultants together with the contractor were able to complete the project, which is what made it possible for commissioning today.
It is therefore heartwarming that today, the beneficiaries including staff and students of the University will begin to make use of the buildings and derive the full benefits for which the project was intended.
I want to take this opportunity to express the hope that the University Management will adopt the necessary maintenance culture to keep the buildings and equipment in pristine condition so that the buildings and equipment will be available for use for many more years to come.
It is clear that Government cannot fund Education alone. The private sector equally has very important roles to play. Tertiary institutions are supposed to be the drivers of Research and Innovation relevant to Industry and Commerce. Research success will in turn attract funding. There are no limits to what heights are attainable with Creativity, Innovation and Hard Work. This intervention project is in fulfillment of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s commitment to developing capacity in tertiary institutions in the Country to bring about the desired change in our socio-economic fabric.
Finally, I wish to congratulate the State Governor and his team, the Pro-Chancellor, the Vice Chancellor, the Staff and Students of the University and the entire people of Oyo State on this occasion and to convey the best wishes of the Governor and Board of the Central Bank of Nigeria to the State Governor and Management of the University.
Adebayo Adekola Adelabu FCA, FCIB
Deputy Governor, Operations
Central Bank of Nigeria