The immediate Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, has charged researchers to be solution providers and strive to deepen innovation for a better society.
Ogundipe gave the charge in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on the sidelines of an event on Thursday.
The event was a “Welcome Back to Laboratory” programme organised by 26 of his mentees.
The event held at UNILAG.
NAN reports that Ogundipe concluded his five-year tenure as UNILAG’s vice chancellor on November 11.
The Professor of Botany was appointed the university’s 12th Vice Chancellor in November 2017.
He told NAN that researchers should seek more ways to improve lives.
He urged his mentees to be relevant to their environments and Nigeria, saying that going the extra mile in providing solutions to societal challenges should be their priority.
He also urged them to distinguish themselves in the area of scholarship to remain relevant.
Ogundipe said: “I want to charge them to bring new ideas on board, be innovative, strive to be solution providers and deepen their research skills and knowledge.
“They must try to bring something new into any office they are occupying.”
On the mentorship, he said that he was just an instrument in God’s hands to coach the mentees.
He said: “I return all glory to God.
“No man is capable of sharing in His glory.
“HE allowed these great men and women to let me into their lives.
“Today’s event is about my PhD students who have graduated.
“Some are now professors, some associate professors, some working outside UNILAG.
“They felt the need to welcome me back to the laboratory to continue with research work fully with them.”
The former vice-chancellor said that the event provided an opportunity for the mentees and him to assemble and see what he could do to assist them more in terms of research and collaboration.
He added: “I want to say I am most elated at what is going on here today in my honour.
“I am happy that 26 of my students (mentees) came up with this initiative.
“I return all glory to God.”
According to Ogundipe, he supervised and co-supervised the 26 mentees as PhD students.
He expressed gratitude to God for using him to impact their lives.
Ogundipe added that the mentees had always celebrated him at every of his landmark achievements.
He urged them to continue to add value to the lives of people, be solution providers and love and serve God.
Earlier, Dr, Lauretta Ofodile, who spoke on behalf of the mentees, told NAN that Ogundipe deserved the honour, describing him as a wonderful personality.
According to Ofodile, a lecturer at the Yaba College of Technology, Lagos, Ogundipe’s disposition and investment in the mentees’ lives gave rise to the honour.
He said: “Our mentor is unbelievably selfless.
“There is nothing we do here today to honour him that is too much.
“He has been relating with us as a father.
“He has invested in our lives individuality.
“That is why we are here to thank him and show gratitude to the wife, Oluwaseun, for her support.
“Mentorship is the bedrock of development in academia.
“To those of us that are advanced in the system, we are supposed to ensure that we bring up younger ones to be able to leave indelible footprints in the system.
“Where there is no mentorship, academic excellence is lacking, both in innovation and in research, and even in lecture delivery.”
Ofodile urged younger scholars to seek mentorship early to avoid knowledge gap.
“There should be a bank of knowledge always,” she said.