The efforts of the Ikorodu Division Resource Development Group (IDRDG) to build a befitting Science Center in honour of the late pioneer Chairman of the group, Professor Anthony Afolabi Adegbola, who was a former Deputy Vice Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, received a boost on Saturday, November 30, 2019, with a maiden fund raising programme of Two Billion Naira (N2,000,000,000).
The event, which was held at the Ikorodu Town Hall, was attended by several dignitaries, IDRDG members, members of late Adegbola family, students of Oriwu Model College and many others, who had all come to honour the memory of late Adegbola and also drum support for IDRDG towards the actualization of the great project. The royal fathers in the division, who were equally expected to grace the event, were conspicuously absent but sent in their respective apologies and donations in demonstration of their supports and commitments for the project.
Although, attendance was below what the organisers had expected, yet, the event was not organized in vain as a substantial sum of N12,005,000 was raised.
Meanwhile, Chairman of the occasion, Alhaji Babatunde Rotinwa, the Chairman of Lagos State Local Government Service Commission, in his brief address, commended IDRDG for conceiving the idea of establishing Prof. Afolabi Adegbola Science Centre to further enhance the development of Ikorodu division and urged those who attended the fund raising event to count themselves lucky to have been privileged to partake in the accomplishment of such a noble project.
He explained that Science Centres across the world are reputed for enhancing and advancing the development of Science and Technology knowledge and added that Prof. Afolabi Adegbola Science Centre is not going to be an exception as it is going to be a world class academic centre, where students and other academics will be able to work with massive state of the art equipment.
Alhaji Rotinwa stated that Ikorodu division is privileged to be proposing a science centre of international repute as only five (5) of its kind are available in the whole of Africa. He, therefore, appealed to the well-meaning people of the division to give necessary support to IDRDG in actualizing the project.
Earlier, Mr. Olalekan Lasisi, FCA, the Chairman of IDRDG, as at the time of holding the event in his welcome address, stated that the Science Centre was conceived and initiated for construction purposely to immortalize late Adegbola and continue his good work, which he had commenced during his life time. He described the late Professor as personage of true zeal cum deep integrity, whose contributions to Science and Technology transcend the immediate terrain of Ikorodu division while also adding that no one has so far surpassed him in his unwavering commitment to the development of Ikorodu division through the instrumentalities of Science and Technology.
Mr. Lasisi highlighted some of the contributions of late Adegbola to the development of the division, which include completion of Ikorodu Town Hall from foundation level, establishment of Ikorodu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI), organization of the first trade fair in Ikorodu division tagged IKODIV EXPO 2000, Award of full scholarship for medical students in Collaboration with Association of Ikorodu Descendants in Chicago, United States of America (AKD – USA), among many others. He informed the gathering that IDRDG had already reached an agreement with the Lagos State Polytechnic, Ikorodu to partner with the organisation in actualising the project, and that the institution had keyed into it by donating a large parcel of land within its Ikorodu campus for its construction.
Mr. Lasisi assured that the science centre, upon completion, would not only afford IDRDG the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of Late Adegbola in developing Science and Technology and promoting the economic value of the division, but also enhance its knowledge, research works and assuage the thirst for leisure and recreation. He added that donors’ funds and contributions by IDRDG members of more than N10million naira has so far been committed on the project in the area of topographical survey, preparation for architectural, structural, electrical and mechanical drawings, land and road path clearing, registration of the Science Centre Foundation with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) in Abuja, turning of the soil and perimeter fencing of the land donated by LASPOTECH.
While thanking the management of LASPOTECH, Taiwo Kara and Associates, Vasons Concepts Consultants Limited, Project Monitoring Consult and UNECON Associates for their supports, Mr. Lasisi appealed to others for generous donations and continued support in actualizing the Prof. Afolabi Adegbola Science Centre for the benefit of humanity. Also, Sir Engr. (Chief) R. O. Shoderu, the Chairman of the Technical and Implementation Committee for the Science Centre, while giving an update on the project, stated that the idea of establishing the Science Centre was conceived in the year 2000 after the demise of Prof. Adegbola, and added that the centre will be modelled after established Education And Research Institutions across the world such as the Ontario Science Centre in Toronto, Canada.
He explained that IDRDG, in order to actualize the project, constituted a board of trustees headed by Chief (Dr.) Babatunde Olushola Benson, SAN, KJW, while other members include Prof. Sikiru Adebayo Sanni; Prof. Ademola Olufunmilola Segun; Prof. Kunle Ade Wahab, OON, OFR; Dame (Prof) A. A. Majekodunmi, and the Rector of the Lagos State Polytechnic. Engr. Shoderu said his committee was constituted and saddled with the responsibility of monitoring the constitution of the project and mentioned other members of the committee to include Engr. (Chief) Layi Adegbola; Prof. (Chief) Kunle Ade Wahab, OON, OFR; Oloye Monsuru Oyetunde Solebo; Prince Jamiu Adio Saka; Rev. Col. (rtd.) Bolaji T. Onafowokan, and Prof. Michael Olusanya Ajetunmobi.
According to him, the Science Centre would have a Science Exhibition Hall, Bio-Technological Laboratories, Research rooms and offices, Electronic Media Research, Photo Gallery and Green Energy Building, Lecture Theatre, Cinema Hall, IDRDG Centre, Children’s Science Parks, Display Platform for Scientific Inventions, Prototype Machines, Restaurant, IT. Centre (Tech Hub) and adequate parking spots, while it would also serve as a tourism outlet, avenue for employment, recreation arena, source of revenue generation (both direct and indirect with foreign earnings), means of imparting Science and Technology knowledge-based education, ways of developing entrepreneuralship skills, and promotion of external economies advantages, among others.
Others at the event were, Oba Bashiru Shotinwa, Sekumade of Ipakodo; Mrs. Olubunmi Olarenwaju, (representative of TG/PS Education District 2); Prof. Kune Ade Wahab; Mrs. Maria Adegbola, (wife of late Prof. Adegbola); Oloye Oyesolabo; Dr. Taiwo Hassan; Hon. Fatiu, Chairman, Ijede LCDA; Alhaji Musliu Animasaun (De-Cubano); Prince Jamiu Adio Saka; Chief Tele Oduloye; Alhaji T. S. Animashaun, and many others.