Protest: Lagos approves funds for LASUCOM

Protest: Lagos approves funds for LASUCOM

Babajide Fasesin

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The Lagos State Government has approved the funds that would ensure full accreditation of Dentistry department in the Lagos State University College of Medicine (LASUCOM), Ikeja.

LASUCOM Provost Prof Babatunde Solagberu said the last stage, out of four stages to guarantee the department’s full accreditation by the Medical and Dental Practitioners Council of Nigeria (MDCN) had been stalled due to lack of funds.

Speaking to journalists in College’s conference room yesterday, he noted that the funds have now been approved by the state government to procure the “few” items left to guarantee full accreditation of the department of Dentistry.

Prof Solagberu said: “We have a new programme running in the university – the Dentistry department. We are the only state-owned university that is running the dentistry department. Other states run away from it because it is capital intensive, but the Lagos State government has chosen to put it in place here. There are four stages of accreditation. The initial three stages have been done successfully and we were running a little hitch on the fourth one. But now, I can assure you that Governor Akinwunmi Ambode has signed the approval for the funds that would procure the equipment left to guarantee the final stage of accreditation. It just takes some processes to effect it. Yesterday (Monday), we obtained the ‘Certificate of No Objection’ from the Lagos State Procurement Office. This is the certificate that ensures that the money can be released to us.”

He noted that the department was already almost fully equipped, except for the need to procure about four additional dental chairs, expand some spaces and other surgical equipment, since the Council’s specification says there should not be more than four students working with one dental chair.

Responding to the Dentistry department students’ protest on Monday, the provost said: “Truly the students’ certificates have been delayed, but it was not just because of the accreditation issue. Many other factors contributed to their spending eight years, rather than the normal six years. Like the fact that some of them did a year of diploma before commencing their programme; the hitches that paused academic activities of the University; among others. I am sure the students are very appreciative of the Governor’s efforts in the school. We have 24 hours electricity supply, our monthly subvention was increased by 30 per cent in June, among others. We reassure them that we have their best interests at heart and so does government.”

The students had staged a protest at the Governor’s office in Alausa on Monday, clamouring for immediate accreditation of their department to help them graduate.