VC reiterates commitment to achieving dreams of UNN founding fathers


The University of Nigeria,  Nsukka  has marked her 59th Founders’ Day anniversary with the Vice Chancellor , Prof  Charles Igwe, reiterating  his commitment to upholding the dreams of the University ‘s Founding Fathers. 

He gave the re-assurance  in a welcome  address  he presented at the Founders’ Day lecture of the University  held on Tuesday,, 8Th October,  2019 at the Princess Alexandra  auditorium and unity hall  of the Nsukka  campus of the University.
He  said that  the topic of the  lecture,  “‘Preparing for Tomorrow ‘s Zero  Oil Economy  in Ebonyi State ” was apt , one that should  preoccupy the minds of any visionary leader in Nigeria. 

The Vice Chancellor  noted that,” Reducing  our dependence on crude oil  will require a lot of  research  in policy  and technological  innovations . Noting,  “It is my desire that some of the required   research  in policy and innovations  can be done  here at the  University of Nigeria”.  He said that  seeking such collaborations  is central to the plan of his “administration  to  continue  to drive the University to the direction  set for us  by our founding  fathers ” 

Professor  Igwe acknowledged that  the increase in the number of  Universities in the  country  has increased  the competition  for  such opportunities. He  said that the  relationships with  governments and  institutions  around the world  have become important  in this era of globalisation when Universities are ranked regularly  by different  ranking agencies. .

The Vice Chancellor  paid tribute to his predecessors, the  Alumin of the University  for their various contributions toward the development of the University. He hinted that “the Founders’ Day lecture  remains the most prestigious  of the  public lectures  that take place at University of Nigeria. It is an ideal platform for discussion s on tropical issues of national and international relevance”.

In his lecture on ” Preparing for Tomorrow ‘s Zero  Oil Economy  in Ebonyi State ” the guest lecturer  and Governor of Ebonyi State,  Engr. Dave Umahi  said  that ‘the topic is a  wake up call for all stakeholders  that the oil will one day fail. He called for restructuring of the Nigerian economy, noting that there are so much expenditure on the oil business and  “We are not even gaining  on the  oil” 

The Governor advocated  for an alternative  source of economy outside oil. He said  in Ebonyi, they had started looking for an alternative economy,  they embarked on the development of textiles,  solid minerals,  agriculture,  security, and others.   He disclosed that  the State  had signed an agreement with  the Federal government to  develop the salt in  Ebonyi State.,”My administration tends to  make Ebonyi State an Economic hub .
Umahi,  who is also the Chairman of the  South East governors forum,  highlighted some of his achievements  which included,  construction of concrete roads with a life span of 50-75 years in some parts of Ebonyi State ,  construction of fertilizer blending plants, construction of Rice milling plants,  construction of light tunnel , construction of glass bridge,  construction of Three fly over,  modern stadium and international airport,  under construction,  securing an approval from the federal government to construct a 189km ring road to be built on concrete.
 He disclosed that the State government had built 35km of the road and African Development Bank will build the remaining 154km.
Others included dualizing  48km Abakaliki-Enugu road,  10km Okposi -Mpu road,  15km Nkalagu road, construction of Ecumenical Centre,  development of agricultural sector,  introduction of one man,  one hectare  of land and soft loans to Civil servants to embark on agriculture. He added that his administration has a  scholarship scheme for students , Human capital development , reviving of the NigerCem industry among others. 
Umahi announced that in the next three months,  a sum of N7.5 billion would be injected on education.

Earlier,  chairman of the occasion and  Pioneer Registrar  of the University , His Royal Majesty,  Eze (Professor) Chukwuemeka  Ike, Eze Ndikelionwu , Anambra State,  commended the University for maintaining the dreams of their Founding Fathers. He urged the students and Igbo people to develop the Biafranism (talents,)  in them for the development of the country. 
In a goodwill message,  the Pro- Chancellor  and  Chairman of the Governing Council of the University, Chief Michael Olorunfemi,  represented by a member of the Council,  Alhaji Abdullahi  Yunusa announced that the Governing Council will be introducing  an entrepreneurship program in UNN  to train the students to become self reliant after graduation.
He said that some programmes were put in place to enhance the generation of the Internally Generated Revenue , IGR of the  University.

The Chancellor of the University,  Oba Adeyeye  Enitan  Babatunde Ogunwusi,  Ojaja 11, the Ooni  of Ife was represented by two members of his council,  Oba Segun Layemi  and Prince of Ife Kingdom,  Prof  Jere Ojuade. Enugu State Governor, Rt Hon.  Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi was represented  by the Commissioner for Chieftaincy Affairs,  Hon. Peter Okonkwo.
The event attracted musical and cultural  dance display.


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