Osinbajo commissions Adebutu Auditorium in UI, SDGs rehabilitation at UCH

Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo on Wednesday commissioned the N350 million KAAF Auditorium, Department Of Human Nutrition And Dietetics, at the University of Ibadan, Oyo State.

He was also at the University College Hospital (UCH) in the same city where he commissioned significant rehabilitation projects.

According to the Vice President, the commissioning at the University of Ibadan highlighted the importance of relevant ideation, research and teaching, and the power of philanthropy in supporting development ideas.

“The most advanced nations on earth have the best universities. They all indeed have traditions of investment in research, and the best examples are those countries where private and public investment in education is robust. Research in those best practice countries is directed at solving health, technology, engineering, and a myriad of societal problems,” he said.

He added that beyond just being called an ivory tower, the university is the place where the best ideas and solutions are produced and finetuned for use of the public.

“We must now engage with government and the public sector so that relevant research must benefit our people.

“We now have to hone research in public health nutrition, nutrition and agriculture linkages. We must pay attention to food fortification, Nigeria has the local capacity to manufacture Ready to Use Therapeutic Foods (RUTF); energy, vitamins and mineral rich foods used to treat severe acute malnutrition in the country.

“We also have the potential to produce enough RUTF for the whole of Africa. And the projections are that the price of Ready to Use Therapeutic Foods is projected to increase. We must research the cheaper options and formulas and I am aware that the department played a pivotal role in the National Food Consumption and Micronutrient Survey and is a Centre for Excellence for Food Composition in Nigeria. We must now engage with government and the public sector so that relevant research must benefit our people,” he added.

The Vice President commended the work already done in food fortification by food manufacturing partners such as Dangote and BUA, even as he urged them to consider funding research in this area too.

He spoke on the significance of private philanthropy driven by public good inview of dwindling government resoirces.

“The most advanced nations on earth, especially liberal democracies, have traditions of private philanthropy contributing massively to the development of universities and research. Government budgets alone can hardly scratch the surface of our numerous developmental needs.

“Private capital must kick-in and positively directed philantrophy is the best course to take. But the coming together of philanthropy and the needs of universities requires forward looking individuals who understand this synergy.

“The best universities in the world, some of the universities that are doing well are the universities where there is aggressive fundraising. Many of the best universities – Harvard, Yale, Oxford, Cambridge, all have departments dedicated solely to aggressive marketing of the universities.

“There has to be aggressive marketing, no government in the world can ever fund universities to the extent that is required, it has to be aggressively marketed. It is the private money that sustains universities,” the VP added.

The VP lauded Chief Kensington Adebutu’s philanthropic contributions to the building and education development.

He added: “In my conversations with him, you can tell that his concerns are about national development, education, public healthcare etc. And I know that this sort of support for education is exactly what he loves to do. I am glad that he has continually set the pace in supporting human capital development through his huge donations.”

Also speaking at the formal commissioning of the rehabilitated parts of the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, the Vice President said: “The comprehensive rehabilitation and furnishing of the hospital will guarantee effective service delivery to poor and vulnerable Nigerians. It will equally reduce out-of-pocket expenditure at the point of service delivery.

“For over 7 decades UCH has played a crucial role in the training of medical personnel and other healthcare professionals across the West African sub-region.The need to upgrade facilities had been a challenge.

“This strategic intervention will address some of the challenges faced by the University College Hospital in the delivery of healthcare services for the teeming Nigerians demanding these services.”

The VP added that the intervention was part of government’s commitment to the achievement of the SDGs in Nigeria and commended the Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs, Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire for this intervention and for her commitment to the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development in Nigeria.

Some of the rehabilitated works commissioned at the UCH include; evacuation and piping of tunnel and reconstruction of hospital sewage system; rehabilitation works at the Pathology & Histology block; rehabilitation of the Microbiology Laboratory building; rehabilitation works at the Nursing and Finance block; rehabilitation works at the Chief Medical Director’s block amongst others.

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