The Vice Chancellor, Lagos State University, Prof. Ibiyemi Ibilola Olatunji-Bello, mni, NPOM, has charged Nigerians, in particular, staff, students and members of the institution’s host community, to adopt the use of bicycles, in order to keep their health sound, ensure mobility and decarbonize the environment.
Prof. Olatunji-Bello, mni, NPOM, made this known at the Royal Edition of the World Bicycle Day for the Year 2023 themed “Promoting Mobility, Good Health And Sustainable Environment.” The event was held on Saturday, 3rd June 2023.
The Vice Chancellor, who was represented by the Dean, Lagos State University School of Transport and Logistics (LASUSOT), Prof. Charles Ojima Asenime, spoke at the second edition of the World Bicycle Day organized by the Asian – African Chamber of Commerce & Industry (AACCI) in collaboration with the Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos.
The Professor of Physiology averred that the World Bicycle Day event was in line with the “T.H.E.M.E.S” Agenda of the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu and that Lagos State University has also keyed into the agenda. “…LASU is in tune with the T.H.E.M. E.S Agenda…the world bicycle day is for everybody and it is designed for each and everyone not only to be able to move easily, but, to become healthier. Instead of spending hours on the same spot on a treadmill, get a bicycle for good health, mobility and to decarbonize the environment”, the VC said.
She added that the use of bicycles would go a long way to reduce carbon print. Students who live around the Iba community could also make use of bicycles to their various Departments and Faculties in the University.
The Dean, Lagos State University School of Transport and Logistics, Prof. Charles Asenime appreciated the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Ibiyemi Ibilola Olatunji-Bello, mni, NPOM, for providing the platform and enabling environment to play host for the annual event. He thanked the Oniba Ekun of Iba Kingdom, His Imperial Majesty Oba (Dr.) Adeshina Sulaimon Raji Okikiola for accepting to be the Special Guest of Honour and for his uncommon support.
He added that this year’s royal edition was apt as it has come at a time when PMS subsidy was removed. “…this year’s bicycle day has come at the right time in Nigeria when the people are presently complaining of no money for short distances. I encourage Nigerians to get their bicycles, mount, and embark on short distances…it is safe.”
He further appealed to motorists to accommodate bicycle riders as they too are equally road users and have to be respected as well.
The President, Asian – African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AACCI), Nigeria Mr. Anrinle Ahmed Adekunle gave the background of the world bicycle day celebration, the decision to make this year’s edition a Royal Edition, and the factors that culminated in the choice of LASU as the host institution:”…Lagos State University is one of the foremost Universities in Nigeria and it comes first when we talk on innovations. The University always takes the lead when it comes to things of international matters.”, he said.
Mr. Anrinle affirmed that the World Bicycle Day – a United Nations Programme was proclaimed on 3rd June 2018, adding that “…the day is meant to encourage the usage of bicycles as a sustainable means of transportation…so we collaborated with Lagos State University to start the advocacy on the need for what is known as cycling infrastructure.”
Two Hundred and Six registered participants (96 students, LNSC – 70, Professionals – 20, and Members of Iba Community – 20) who took part in the Year 2023 World Bicycle Day defied the heavy downpour in the early hours to win prizes for themselves.
The social ride started at the palace of Oniba Ekun of Iba Kingdom while the competition proper was held at the Lagos State University Main Campus, Ojo (From AJ to Staff School to eyo statue roundabout to Gate to Bakery to Students’ Arcade to roundabout and to Senate).
Prizes Award which include a one-year academic scholarship for student cyclists and cash prizes were won at the well-attended event.