As we round off the Year 2023, I heartily congratulate us on the grace to witness the end of the year.
As we transition into the New Year, we are filled with the renewed hope of the grace in a new beginning. The lessons taken and learnt from the past year will fuel our enthusiasm in 2024. As we look back briefly on the year we are about to close, we are thankful for the gift of life and for this we are grateful to the Giver of life.
We however reminisce on the lives and times of those who departed in the course of the year, cherish their memories, and look forward to the promise of the future. May their souls find rest in the bosom of our Maker.
The outgoing year was challenging in very many ways for nearly everyone. We are thankful, however, that in spite of those challenges, we were yet able to sow seeds which we have full confidence will yield good fruits in the New Year.
Despite 2023’s challenges, we had some bright light developments in the course of the year. Our members all over the world celebrated appointments, milestone birthdays and personal advancements in the course of 2023. May the New Year bring more of these good news.
Perhaps one of the most remarkable events of the outgoing year was the historic holding, for the first time ever outside of Lagos, of the Annual General Meeting of the Association in Abeokuta, Ogun State. The event is also significant in that it is the testimony of the result of reconciliation and unification efforts embarked upon earlier in the year by your National Executive Committee.
The Ogun State Branch which was hitherto under suspension, as well as other branches have now been fully integrated into the mainstream of the Association. The enduring support of our branches and teeming members will continue to be our backbone. Together we shall continue to resist any attempt to divide our Association under any guise. We would not tolerate any attempt to use the growing popularity and influence of the University of Lagos Alumni Association to feed personal whims and caprices.
It is gratifying that another milestone was recorded earlier in the year as the University of Lagos witnessed the investiture of its thirteenth Vice Chancellor, Prof. Folasade Ogunsola, FAS, OON as its first ever female to occupy that exalted position in the 60-year history of the Institution.
In the same vein and in line with our cherished tradition, your President was elected into the Governing Council of our Alma Mater as Convocation Representative to fill the vacancy left by the immediate past holder of the position. Please permit me to use this opportunity to express my gratitude to all who made the process the success that it was.
I am also pleased to report that in fulifillment of my earlier promise, I was blessed to donate an industrial BookEye 5V2 scanner to the University. This will facilitate and fast-track the processing of transcripts which had previously attracted our concerns. Similarly, we have commenced the processes aimed at realising the construction of a 500 bed hostel and refurbishment of at least one of the existing hostels in the University.
In further cheerful updates, the Faculty of Engineering Alumni donated a building to the Faculty of Engineering, a feat we hope will be replicated by other faculty alumni. We also note the class room renovation by alumni of Quantity Surveying Department. We applaud these giveback initiatives and call for more in the New Year. I can authoritatively say that projects of this kind are the most pressing in aid of the growth of our alma mater. These I dare say should be our focus going forward rather than situating projects that have no direct relevance to its growth outside of the University.
The UNILAG Alumni Association continues to enjoy seamless and harmonious relationship with the University Management in order to achieve our common goal to sustain the position of University of Lagos as the University of first choice and the nation’s pride. For this we commend the leadership of the University under the able leadership of our amiable Vice-Chancellor, Professor Folasade Ogunsola.
As we take on the New Year, I would like to thank you all for your support and belief in my team. We trust we can continue to count on you.
With your unabashed encouragement and our determination, I am optimistic that 2024 will be a new start. It will, by God’s grace, be replete with personal, professional and Group accomplishments. As we commit to navigating the environment successfully, we are hopeful for a turnaround in the Nigerian economy. I believe that despite the enormity of challenges before us, joy will come in the morning, as the good Book says.
I wish you Happy and fulfilling New Year in advance! See you all in 2024.
Engr. Ife Oyedele, FNSE, FNIEEE,
FNIPE, KJW, D. Eng. (Honoris Causa)