By IGHO OYOYO
The Lagos State University (LASU) has conferred on the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) an Honorary Doctorate Degree of Arts.
Princess Adejoke Orelope Adefulire, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) while receiving the Doctorate Degree, said she dedicated it to thousands of unsung heroes, which include women and youths.
Orelope-Adefulire, in her acceptance speech after the conferment of the Honorary Doctor of Arts (Poverty Alleviation and Technology Incubation) Degree on her at the 24th Convocation Ceremony of LASU at the institution’s main campus in Ojo Lagos on Thursday, also expressed her delight and appreciation to the management of the university for deeming her worth of the award.
The presidential adviser said, “I accept it on behalf of thousands of unsung heroes, the youth, women and the underprivileged striving to eke out a living amidst excruciating realities and those among you, particularly our graduands, who feel a measure of nervousness about the future.
“I feel your excitement and yet the uncertainties of the future. I am delighted to share this moment with you and assure you that the future is bright. Today, I am more than happy to offer my personal and special appreciation to all graduands and other members of the University Community.”
Orelope-Adefulire, a former student of LASU also commended the Vice Chancellor of the University Professor Olanrewaju Adigun Fagbohun for the transformation that has taken place in the institution under his leadership.
While promising that he will continue to support the institution, the presidential aide also appealed to his fellow awardees to rally round the University Management by committing their resources to the academic and infrastructural development of the LASU as a token of their contribution to humanity.
While conferring the doctorate award on her, the management of LASU had noted that the presidential adviser had in over 25 years’ service of the public service career carved a niche for herself as an accomplished grassroots politician with a passion for the education and empowerment of womenfolk, youth development and the girl-child as well as an administrator with a long history of great achievements.
As the presidential adviser on SDGs, she has in the past five years been saddled with the responsibility of coordinating the implementation of activities and programmes and providing strategic direction for the achievement of the Goals at the national and subnational levels in Nigeria.
As an accomplished public servant, administrator, consummate grassroots politician and an advocate of the rights of the girl child, their education and full development over the years, Princess Orelope-Adefulire has implemented many women economic empowerment programmes.
She co-sponsored the Child Right’s Law as well as the Domestic Violence Law as Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation in Lagos State and was pivotal to the establishment of at least 18 functional skill acquisition centres and a a 176-bed Transit Home was also constructed for victims of domestic violence and abuse in Lagos.
Her strides in the area of poverty alleviation, women and youth empowerment have been recognized with various awards locally and internationally.
She was awarded the International Public Servant of the Year 2007 award by the Scottish Widows; a UK-based Non- Governmental Organisation and bagged the Lagos State Man of the Year award in 2009. She received the Daisey George Award 2010 in USA as an advocate of children’s protection and development.
She was also in 2018, honoured with an award by the International Women’s Society (IWS) in recognition of her efforts in the empowerment and defence of rights of women, youth and children.
Based on her contributions towards the attainment of Goal 8 and 10 of the SDGs, Princess Adejoke was on May 10, 2019 inducted as a fellow of the global membership platform of the Association of Business Executives, ABE in United Kingdom. She is also a fellow of the Anglican Diocese of Lagos West and receipt of Award of recognition from Anglican Church of Resurrection.