Vice-Chancellor, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, Prof. Charles Esimone has described the maiden Alumni Home-Coming and Award Presentation Ceremony by the Faculty of Education as timely and in tandem with the vision of his administration.
He said alumni associations provide a network through which members remain connected with themselves for their mutual benefits, organize social events, and importantly mobilize efforts, through fundraising, endowments and any other activities towards the development of the institution.
Esimone stated this during the event aimed at raising funds for the 100-million ultra-modern virtual classroom project, occasioned by obvious paucity of funds to the education sector and inability of the government to adequately fund education in Nigeria.
He said, “The intervention of alumni associations in the development of their alma mater may be by the individual members or the association or through the enlistment of third parties in such endeavours.
“I commend the Dean of the Faculty of Education, Prof. Vivian Nwogbo, her management team and the leadership of the Faculty of Education Alumni Association for conceiving the idea of a N100 million ultra-modern virtual classroom.
“The realization of the proposal should not be a one stop affair, but one requiring sustained efforts overtime. I therefore call on all well-wishers of the Faculty to donate handsomely to make this dream a reality.”
In an address, Dean, Faculty of Education, Prof. Nwogbo, congratulated the awardees and noted that they were selected due to their various contributions and feats in education, business, leadership, entrepreneurship and human capital development. She extolled the award recipients for setting exemplary standards for other alumni of the faculty.
She said, “The role of Alumni in ensuring progress and sustainability of quality education cannot be overemphasized because it is only through quality education that students can achieve development.
“This project, when completed, will benefit both staff and students of the faculty, and the university at large. We promise to put all donations to good use and to ensure transparency and accountability throughout the entire process”.
Speaking on the sideline of the event, Anambra State House of Assembly Speaker, Rt. Hon. Uche Okafor, who was also a recipient of the prestigious leadership award, thanked the faculty of education for finding him worthy of the recognition, and promised to continue supporting the Faculty, which he described as the mother faculty.
Also, immediate past president and chief executive officer, Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc (Transcorp), Valentine Chineto Ozigbo who was presented with the Exemplary Leadership Award in recognition of his leadership acumen stressed the importance of education as the bedrock of development.
Ozigbo, a People’s Democratic Party’s candidate in the 2021 governorship election in Anambra, thanked the faculty of education for deeming it fit to decorate him with such a prestigious honour. Mr. Ozigbo was represented by Dr. Mirian Ngozi Alike of the Department of Philosophy, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.
Earlier, Chairman of the occasion, High Chief Emeka Nwabueze, urged the Vice-Chancellor to reach out to the business community to assist him develop the university, which, he said, is possible by designing programmes for business operators.
Nwabueze, a former Special Adviser to President George Bush on Technology, also stressed the need for more research capable of creating jobs for teeming youths. He then promised not to relent in supporting the project until it comes to fruition.
Among the awardees are Prof. Charles Okechukwu Esimone, Chief John Ezeani Dike, Senator (Dr.) Ifeanyi Patrick Ubah, Rev Fr. Emmanuel Obimma, Dr. Nwachukwu J. Obiako (Excellent leadership award), Chief Nathan ifeanyichukwu Oforma, Ezeani Sir Engr. Dr. Josephat Kanayo Okoye, Ozo Dr. Ekene Ekwueme, High Chief Emeka Ken Nwabueze, Sir Evaristus Okafor and Dr. Esoswo Francisica Ogbomo,
Others are Prof. Nkechi Ikediugwu, Dr. Vera Nwadinobi, Prof. Ebere N. Anyaoku, Comrade Dr. Njideka Nwangwu, Engr. Kingsley Chukwuwemeka, Princess Amaka Fidelia Obi, Chief Ughanze Christian, Dr. (Mrs) Stella Obianuju Okoli, Very Rev. Fr. Charles Ugochukwu, Dr. Amanze Ikwu, Lolo Nkechi Ezenwankwo, Hon. Princess Chinwe Nnabuife, Dr. Deka Ezeadili and Dr. Roseline Mfon.