Osun immortalises Bola Ige with Africa’s first mechatronic institute


Governor Rauf Aregbesola (right);  Guest Speaker, Ola Abraham; Managing Director, Osun State Investment Company Limited,  Bola Oyebamiji and the late Bola Ige’s daughter, Mrs Funsho Adegbola, during the official commissioning of Bola Ige Mechatronics Institute in Esa Oke… yesterday

OSUN State Government yesterday immortalised the former Attorney General and Minister for Justice of the Federation, Chief Bola Ige by opening the Mechatronic Institute at the Osun State College of Technology, Esa-Oke his hometown.

State governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, speaking at the event, alleged that the suspected killers of the ex-minister are the same set of people who have tried effortlessly to destabilise the state. ‎

Aregbesola noted that the Bola Ige Mechatronic Institute is a dream come true with the equipment alone costing N875 million and a befitting legacy in honour of the slain Chief James Ajibola Bola Ige, who he described as leader, national icon and a citizen of the world.

Aregbesola stressed that the newly commissioned institute will be training on-the-street mechanics from garages and candidates from automobile companies.

He said that the institute would also admit holders of Ordinary National Diploma and Technical College graduates for skills acquisition and Industrial Trainings.

The governor added that the institute plans to offer through National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) and National Universities Commission (NUC) approval for upgrade of the polytechnic syllabus, a degree course on Auto Mechatronics, using the facilities in future.

The governor revealed that‎ the institute is the first of its kind in Africa, adding that the state’s‎ vision for the institute began with the need to empower youths and equip artisans with the requisite skills to be relevant in an increasingly digital world.

Aregbesola maintained that though Ige was brutally murdered by those who thought they could silence him, his spirit has been restless and has been tormenting his killers who have been sinking deeper in what he called “the quagmire of infamy.”

According to him, “the spirit of Chief Bola Ige will not sleep until the killers are brought to book. These are the same individuals that have fruitlessly attempted to plunge the state into chaos and bring about a change of government through conspiracy and subterfuge in the recent past. “While the killers drink from the cup of shame, we shall continue to honour the memory of Ige as he is ensconced in the pantheons of departed Yoruba leaders.

Speaking earlier, Former Special Adviser to Governor Aregbesola on Federal Matters, Ms. Idiat Babalola had stressed that the diagnostic centre is designed to create employment for the youths and generate revenue internally for the state. ‎

Babalola stated that Osun received the biggest support on the project from the National Automotive Design and Development Council, under the auspices of the Federal Ministry of Trade and Industry, which got the Bank of Industry to finance it through First Bank of Nigeria.

She stated, “It is interesting to note that of all the states that competed for this project, Osun got the nod, partly due to the due diligence done on our proposal that confirmed our good credit rating,” the former Special Adviser told the gathering.

The guest lecturer, Mr. Ola Abraham in his lecture said the establishment of the centre was a re-enactment of wonders and miracles of the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo era.

The don said the mechatronic is one of its kinds on the black continent, saying it will in not too distant future become a force to be reckoned with.

He noted that a graduate of the institute would be equivalent to graduates of eight different disciplines because Mechatronic is multi-disciplinary study. “The establishment of this diagnostic institute indeed is a re-enactment of the old days of wonders and miracles that marked the regime of the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo administration of one of the best in Nigeria. “This centre, by the time it starts running the programmes will be a force to reckon with in the world,” Abraham said.

In his testimonial speech on behalf of the 31 beneficiaries, who were trained in Germany for the purpose of the institute, Yinka Oladipo, described the institute as a ‘mega hope.’

He said that just as the government of Aregbesola gave hope to youths through OYES scheme and the aged through Agba Osun Scheme, the mechatronic programme also gives hope to the youth in the area of modern technological acquisition as well as employment. “The diagnostic institute equipped us to be professionals after the acquisition of necessary skills so as for us to be able to function efficiently in our chosen fields. Through this, you gave us hope by giving us employment; you have kept our hopes alive,” Oladipo said.

Director General of the National Automotive Design and Development Council, Engineer Aminu Jalaal while speaking said the establishment of the institute is a testimony to the development initiative of Governor Aregbesola.

Describing the institute as landmark one, Engineer Jallal said the Bola Ige Mechatronic Institute would be a reference centre for other institutions across Africa. He said the institute has put Osun at a vantage position to lead in the mechatronic activities henceforth.

The Bank of Industry whose Managing Director Mr. Rasheed Olaoluwa was represented at the event commended Aregbesola for the prompt response of his government over programmes that are capable of providing jobs in the state.

He said while the Bank of Industry has to plead with many states over some of the schemes that are capable of changing the lives of the ordinary people, Governor Aregbesola was prompt and swift in taking advantage of the opportunities offered by the BoI.

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