The proprietor of Oduduwa University, Ipetumodu, Ile-Ife, Osun State, Dr Rahmon Adegoke Adedoyin, is a prince from Ile-Ife (Agbedegbede/Oshinkola) Akui Ruling House. His developmental strides, particularly in the cradle of Yoruba land, prompted the late Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, to honour him with the chieftaincy title of the Maye of Ife.
Adedoyin also owns a university in the United States and two polytechnics in Nigeria among other investments.
In this interview, he speaks about the problems and prospects of education in Nigeria and how history and tradition favour him to emerge as the next Ooni of Ife.
How the journey began
This bold vision started about 35years ago when I was an undergraduate at the then University of Ife. I was approached by a particular lecturer to coach his child in Mathematics. The success I recorded with that child led to his introducing me to a number of his other colleagues. By the time I graduated, I had established a fairly large home lesson such that I didn’t bother to look for a white collar job on the completion of my service year. Those familiar with the old Oyo State in the early 80s will remember the name Universal Tutorial College.
When the military government deregulated tertiary education in Nigeria, we took advantage of the opportunity to apply for the licence to run a polytechnic and, after crossing so many hurdles, Universal College of Technology, Ile-Ife, the first private polytechnic to be recognised by government, emerged and got accreditation with the National Board for Technical Education.
We later sought approval for a change in nomenclature which was granted in 2009 and so the Universal College of Technology, Ile-Ife changed to what is now called The Polytechnic, Ile-Ife.
We also sought approval from the National Universities Commission towards the establishment of a university and with the assistance of notable Nigerians like the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, among others, the licence to run Oduduwa University, Ipetumodu, Ile-Ife was granted on November 3, 2009.
My plans to develop Ile-Ife
Inspite of my busy schedule, even outside the country, out of 365 days in a year, I often spend over 200 in Ile-Ife and many people can attest to this. What this simply means is that i have lived all my life in Ife, so I know Ife problems and I have plans on how to solve them. I will offend many people if I start to enumerate them.