The Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola yesterday vowed to reposition the Lagos State University to its past glory, even as he ordered the ban of awards of honourary degrees in the institution.
The governor who spoke at the 17th Convocation ceremony of the Lagos State University held at its campus located in Ojo area of the state said awards of honourary degrees in the country had gone from sublime to the ridiculous, adding that people now network to get honourary degrees to raise their curriculum vitae in the society.
The visibly perturbed Fashola who affirmed that awards of honourary degrees should be commensurate with the level of contribution of the awardees to the development of the society, noted that arbitrary awards of degrees generally in the country had made both the academic and honourary degrees so awarded worthless.
According to him,” Honorary degree which is a mark of honour is conferred by any degree awarding institution on a person as a way of honouring the contribution made by someone in a specific field of human endeavour or contribution to the society in general.
“All the honorary degrees that we have awarded to people in different disciplines have not reflected in adding value to the society.
“Regrettably, in our society, we all desire to receive title and honour in order to add values to the society. And because we are determined to keep the stream of honours here, we have decided to raise the bar. Our university wants to lead this society to a higher degree of excellence by challenging our people to seek for higher values.
“What is the basis for our honouring people . Do we have electricity. Can we refine our own petroleum products. What are their inventions. If we cannot do all these, why are we honouring people with degrees?”
Meanwhile Lagos State yesterday got its 14th Chief Judge as Justice Ayotunde Adeyoola Phillips, was sworn in to head the third organ of government for the state.
The state governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola while swearing in the new CJ testified to her courage and independent-mindedness.
“I can assure the people of Lagos State that not only have we appointed a fearless and independent judge but we have appointed a reformist and transformer judge,” the governor stated.
Fashola reiterated the independence of the three arms of government but said their interdependence in the state had led to the success of the reform agenda of his administration.
The governor said the appointment of Justice Phillips marked the commencement of another leg of the reform agenda for the judiciary in the state.