The Oyo state Government, under the leadership of the Former Executive Governor, Late Senator Abiola Ajimobi, in late November 2012 constituted the Implementation Committee for the planning and Implementation of First Technical University, Ibadan. The implementation Committee comprised former Vice-Chancellors, eminent Professors and professionals with considerable experience in higher education.
The University, a product of very strong vision, had its first major event in the history of its formation in a way of the retreat, held in Ibadan, between the 12th and 17th day of November, 2012. The purpose of this retreat was to bring together professionals, stakeholders, business persons, visionary individuals and achievers from all spheres of life to deliberates on the strategies best applicable to the objectives of this great dream; an Educational Institution that is world class, that can produce globally competitive graduates; trained for high performance in industry, solving current economic problems of today’s world and charting the course for the re-enactment of standardized (Nigerian) Education sector while placing the spot light back on Oyo state, Nigeria, custodian of the first tertiary Institution in Nigeria.
The retreat was a brainstorming session at which attendees were enlightened on the Vision, Mission and Targets of the new University to guide their deliberations. This was the forum where all stakeholders could jointly lay a good foundation of ideas and develop strategies for their implementation in sustainable ways to the end that First Technical University can flag-off its operations on the best of notes.
The Governor inaugurated the Committee during the retreat that was held for members. Members of the Implementation Committee and the Consults developing the Academic Brief and the Master Plan attended the one – week Retreat. Also in attendance were notable participants from the Academic, industry, top Management Practitioners, with a significant number of these from the United State of America, the United Kingdom and South Africa, among others. Such a rich composition provided very useful input into the development of the Master Plan and the Academic Brief.
At the Retreat, the following Action Points formed the basis of the meticulous planning: Furthermore, there is a Federal College of Education, also a tertiary Institution, in Oyo town about half an hour drive away from Ibadan city. Oyo state is also home to the following notable research institutions: the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, IITA, Ibadan; the Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria, CRIN, Onigambari, Ibadan, Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research (NISER), Ibadan Agricultural Institute of Research and Training, (AIR&T), Ibadan: and the Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria (FRIN), Ibadan.
Thus, one might ask for the rationale for the establishment of yet another tertiary Institution in Oyo state, and in Ibadan city especially, given the above state of affairs in the State’s tertiary education sector. This question also engaged the participants of the retreat. Other questions might also be asked in connection with the ongoing transitional arrangement for the Polytechnic, Ibadan to become a degree awarding tertiary Institution in the immediate future, questions such as why not upgrade the Polytechnic, Ibadan to become the envisaged First Technical University considering the infrastructure currently on ground at the Polytechnic, Ibadan for Technical Education? Another question that may be asked is why Oyo state Government would be interested in establishing yet another Tertiary Institution in the State (the fourth University or the sixth tertiary institution).
Answers to these questions, which emerged at the retreat, are discussed extensively. The desire for the establishment of yet another tertiary institution in Oyo state and in Ibadan by the State Government has risen from the recognized need to produce: a brand new set of graduates who are entrepreneurial in training and in spirit; employment and wealth creators rather than job-seekers; innovators rather than imitators; internationally competitive students and staffs with a broad global view and focus while yet responsive to, and impacting positively on, the local environment. Science, Engineering, Technology, Research and Innovation (SETRI) will be central to the Institutional, management and students thinking.
The Institutional project, “driven” by the Oyo state Government, is conceived as a public- private-partnership (PPP) rights from its inception. This is a brand-new concept in Institutional ownership and hence management in these climes, no doubt. Thus, solidly based on the foundation of a knowledge economy, such an Institution would become the wealth and employment creation hub of Oyo State, the “oil” and “diamond” resource of Oyo State, the driver of real and visible development and the leverage to freedom from poverty and underdevelopment.