The Lagos State Government said it had invested N15 billion in infrastructure in state-owned schools over the past three and a half years.
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode made this known on Thursday during the official opening of the newly-constructed Aderemi Makanjuola Ultra-Modern Lecture Theatre at the Lagos State University (LASU).
The occasion was also marked with the presentation of a book entitled “Global Aids and Tertiary Education: An Overview”.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the lecture theatre was donated by Aderemi Makanjuola, Chairman, Caverton Offshore Support Group to mark his 70th birthday anniversary.
The governor said infrastructure facilities were provided to ensure that students learn in a conducive environment.
According to him, the state government under my administration has also employed 3,400 primary and secondary teachers to improve the teacher to student ratio as well as the quality of learning in the schools.
“As you may be aware, Lagos State is the fifth largest economy in Africa based on the size of our GDP and one of the strengths of our state is our teeming population of which youths constitute a majority.
“This administration has determined that the continued prosperity of Lagos State is dependent on a well-educated population that is competent to create value and take up opportunities in the global economy.
“Beyond these statutory activities, we developed innovative solutions to bridge gaps in our education system and to position Lagos State for a technology-driven future, ‘’ the governor said.
According to him, the strategy of the state government has been all-encompassing, reaching every level of the society to ensure no one is left behind.
Mr Ambode said in response to concerns from Corporate Nigeria regarding the work-readiness of graduates, the ReadySetWork programme was launched in 2016.
He said the programme aimed at ensuring that every student who graduated from a tertiary institution in the state had the skills, knowledge, and mindset required to function effectively in the world of work.
“To date, over 34,000 students have graduated from the programme and are making impact in their respective spheres – some pursuing doctoral degrees, others applying their entrepreneurial skills to solve social problems.
“While some others transforming organisations across Nigeria as value-adding employees, ‘’ he said.
The governor said the CodeLagos initiative was launched in 2017 with a handful of coding centres in both government and private schools in the state with a mission to position Lagos as the technology frontier in Africa by teaching one million residents code.
“As of today, we have set up coding centres in 648 primary and secondary schools across the state and we are offering free coding classes to Lagos residents at over 40 out-of-school centres.
“Through `Eko Nke Koo’, the Lagos State Agency for Mass Education increased the number of adult literacy centres across the state from 532 centres in 2016 to 782 as at January 2018, ‘’ he said.
Mr Ambode appreciated the privilege and honour to work alongside collaborators bordering large scale organisations or well-meaning individuals in the society.
He said these were people who recognised their roles in state and nation building and had worked tirelessly to support the efforts of government.
Mr Ambode however said the opening of the theatre was symbolic of a citizen-partnership as Makanjuola had sown a seed that would outlive him by bequeathing the ultra-modern lecture theatre to the university.
“Sir, this is a gesture that will be remembered for generations and for that we are eternally grateful.
“On behalf of the government and people of Lagos State, and the entire Lagos State University community, I say a very happy birthday to you, Sir.
“In another 48 hours, our philanthropist will be 70 years old. Congratulations Sir, as those who are present here today bear witness to your generosity.
“I thank the LASU management for reciprocating your kind gesture by publishing the book being presented to the public today entitled “Global Aids and Tertiary Education: An Overvie’’, in honour of Mr Remi Makanjuola.
‘“I am told the book would make a good reading and also serve as an inspiration to all who read it,” he said.
The governor congratulated the Chancellor, the Governing Council, the Vice-Chancellor and other members of the university management for repositioning LASU and placing her on the path of growth and progress.
“I believe strongly that the high level commitment demonstrated by the management of the university has played a major role in attracting support from corporate organisations and individuals, one of whom we are gathered here to celebrate.
“I urge our lecturers and students to make the best use of this facility; use it to propel yourselves to achieving your dreams. That is when the vision of Mr Remi Makanjuola would have been realised, ‘’ the governor said.
Mr Ambode also assured the university community of his commitment to ensure the completion of all ongoing developmental projects in the university.
“This is toward achieving the goal of making the university one of the best centres of knowledge and research in Africa,’’ he said.
In his address, Mr Makanjuola said he made the donation because education was the bedrock of development in every society and it was also an avenue for him to give back to Lagos State where he enjoyed scholarship.
Mr Makanjoula said the building was completed within six months while hailing all those who were members of the building team for the efforts at ensuring things were done properly and timely.
“It is not for me to tell anybody to donate because everybody has what he or she wants to use his or her money for but we all know how important education is,’’ he said.