AE-FUNAI VC Calls for Private Partnership
*…Graduates 916 Graduands
Brenda Chidinma Imo-Eze
The Vice-Chancellor of the Alex Ekweme Federal University, Ndufu Alike, Ikwo LGA of Ebonyi State, Prof. Sunday Elom has called on well meaning individuals , private organisations and government parastatals to partner with the institution to build students hostels and staff quarters.
Prof. Elom made this known on Tuesday, December ,14, 2021 during the sixth convocation ceremony of the institution held at the University Convocation arena, while revealing that the institution graduated a total of 916 graduates of the 2020/2021 academic session.
In his address Prof. Elom pointed out that as a young striving university , the institution needs more projects especially from the Ecological fund office and TETFund to address the challenges facing the institution, he maintained that much need to be done especially as regards to faculty buildings, office blocks, lecture halls/theaters, students hostels and accommodation, staff quarters among others.
Adding that the projects are capital intensive for the university to fund, hence the institution seeks private partnerships in the area of students hostels and staff quarters.
Stating “it is our dream to build a campus where 60% of our staff and students will live, interact, work and study on campus as a community in order to enhance our global ranking.
“We therefore call on the Government, organised private sector , philanthropists, good-spirited individuals and friends of the University to partner with us to take this University to greater heights.”
He disclosed that the institution has improved tremendously in academics excellence over the past ten years , as one of its goals is to be ranked among the best top ten universities in Nigeria.
He further said that the graduates of the university had been groomed in the institution’s core values of excellence, integrity and entrepreneurship.
The VC who reiterated the university’s culture of academic excellence noted that AEFUNAI was the only public university to mobilise its students for the 2019/2020 national Youth Service Corps programme despite the hiccups occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said that the university would continue to keep its promise of maintaining the academic calendar in order to graduate and mobilise all hard working students to National Youth Service Scheme every year.
He urged fresh graduands to represent the institution wherever they found themselves and appealed to them not to settle for less.
In his speech, the Visitor to the institution, President Mohammed Buhari represented by former Vice Chancellor of the university and Scholar with the National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof Chinedum Mwajiuba, said that the Federal Government was committed to funding education at all levels.
He restated the commitment of the Federal Government in propelling the country to greatness, economic growth and development through quality tertiary education.
He added that the FG had increased specific interventions to tertiary education through the provision of Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) and from other Support agencies.
“I am glad we have released 100 per cent capital allocation for the university this 2021.
“It goes without saying that the quality and quantity of functional knowledge and saleable skills at the disposal of our nation’s citizens is directly proportional to their degree of socio-economic and political empowerment especially in 21st century economy.
“I urge all Nigerians and especially the academia to remain focused in the cardinal objectives of university education which are teaching, research and community service,” Buhari said.
The President urged the graduands to remain good ambassadors of their alma-mata and use the knowledge to contribute to national development.
Earlier, the Chancellor of the institution and the Paramount Ruler of Egba Land Oba Michael Gbadebo, the Aleke urged the graduands to remain focused on their dreams and be good ambassador of the university anywhere there are.
“Today’s ceremony is a true reflection of hard work, commitment and persistence of the Nigerian youths and the vision of the university as a factory of knowledge.
“Be good ambassadors of this university anywhere you go and more importantly, be productive and honest in all your undertakings.
“This is the only way Nigeria can get back on track; as you leave, do not stop learning; continue to seek more knowledge, build bridges of friendships and partnerships because in today’s world, you cannot make it alone,” Gbadebo said.
Similarly, Prof Nimi Briggs, Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Governing Council applauded the graduands for meeting the requirements for the award of a degree of the institution.
He urged the graduands not to forget the university’s timeless principles of excellence; integrity, hard work, responsibility and self reliance on which they had been trained.
However, the institution awarded the sum of five hundred thousand naira along with other prizes to the overall best graduate, Miss Cynthia Chioma Onuigbo of the department of Geology department with 4.86 Cumulative Grade Point Average (CCGPA).
Other best students awarded include “Miss Omaga Mary Jane .I. of the department of Sociology, Miss Duru Emmanuella of the department of Economics, Miss Nwonu Kosisochukwu of the department of English and Literature Studies, Nwokedi Somtochi of the department of Agribusiness, Linguistics, Mr.Chukwu Chibuike of the department of Anotomy.
Also, Mr. Eluu Maximillia of the department of Biotechnology, Chicago Chisom of the department of Science Education, Ezeagu Chinonso of the department of Chemistry Engineering, Ezeoke Praise God of the department of Enviromental Science, Ekekwe Chinemerem of the department of Foreign Language , Onwe Gloria of the department of Banking and Finance.
Highlight of the event were Goodwill messages from sisters universities.