Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State, Tuesday, signed a bill into law converting the Lagos State University, LASU, Ojo, to a residential institution, as well as approving 70 years retirement age for professors of the institution.
Over the last few years, there has been a running battle between the institution’s chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, with the immediate-past Vice Chancellor, Prof. John Obafunwa, over demands that the school approves 70 years as retirement age for professors, single term of five years for Vice Chancellor, among others.The law, LASU (Amendment) Bill 2015, also approved a five-year single term for the Vice Chancellor of the institution.
Signing the bill into law at the State House, Ikeja, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria on Tuesday, Ambode said the amended law is aimed at raising the standard of the school to an enviable position and a school that people would be proud of.
The governor said it is the desire of the state government to build a LASU that would produce better students, saying that in the next few days, changes would begin to take place in the school.
Deputy Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Wasiu Eshinlokun-Sanni said the law was amended to address the acrimonies that arose during the tenure of Prof. Obafunwa as Vice Chancellor of the school.
He said the major reform of the law is approving five-year single term for the Vice Chancellor of the school in order to prevent the crisis often encountered when the Vice Chancellor’s position runs for two terms.
Another major reform in the law, he disclosed, is converting LASU to a residential campus, while the retirement age of professors of the institution would now be 70 years instead of the usual 65 years.
He said turning the school to a residential campus would help in mitigating incessant clashes between students of the school and Iba residents.
Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Steve Ayorinde had in November, 2015 said the LASU (Amendment) Bill 2015 was meant to serve as an improvement over the two previous amendments in 1990 and 1992 with the aim of finding lasting solution to the challenges that have plagued the state-owned institution in recent years.
“The bill is proposing to amend certain sections of the Law to meet current realities in line with best practices. It seeks to review the exercise of general supervision over discipline in the university imposed on the Vice-Chancellor and to propose a single term of five years for the institution’s Vice-Chancellor,” he had said.
He added that the LASU Bill also sought an amendment that would make the appointment of the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council the prerogative of the Visitor in line with standard practice.
“Yet, it seeks an amendment to Section 36(1) and (2) of the Law which deals with admission policy to place the responsibility of determining the minimum admission requirement on the Senate of the university,” he said.