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Unizik: Akpuaka, Ogbuagu reward best ICH graduates with cash gifts

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By Gabriel Chy Alonta

A retired professor of Organic Chemistry, Mabel Ukachi Akpuaka, has rewarded Juliet Chidiebube Uka, the best graduating student of the Department of Pure and Industrial Chemistry, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, with N50,000 cash gift. 

Akpuaka presented the cash gift through the Head, Department of Pure and Industrial Chemistry, Dr. Uche Ekpunobi, during the sendforth and prize-giving day in honour of the transferred and outstanding staff. The event took place at the departmental ICH Classroom on Friday, December 17, 2021.

She also gifted the best female student in Organic Chemistry, Chisom Stephanie Anunobi, with N30,000 cash. The beneficiaries were drawn from the 2019/2020 academic session.

Orient Daily reports that the benefactor, instituted the award, christened, “Prof. Mabel Akpuaka Prizes for the best graduating student in Chemistry and best graduating female student in Organic Chemistry” in 2017, aimed at celebrating excellence, as well as encouraging girl-child to perform optimally in organic chemistry. 

Akpuaka, a first female professor of organic chemistry in South East, enjoined the beneficiaries to ensure they keep the flag flying, and assured that she would sustain the gesture annually. “My many years of experience in teaching and research in Chemistry, girls have always done well in teaching, research and industries.

Such gesture as this, will spur the girl-child to study harder to become the best in whatever field they choose. I’m also convinced that Nigeria will be better-governed when a woman becomes its President”, she enthused.

In a related development, the Dean of Physical Sciences, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Prof. Josephat Okey Ogbuagu, instituted a prize – “Prof. J. O. Ogbuagu’s Prize for the best student in Industrial Chemistry”, where Juliet Chidiebube Uka emerged the overall best for the 2019/2020 academic session and won a cash of N15,000. 

The Dean said he was propelled to institute the award to encourage students do well in Industrial Chemistry, and noted that the award would be an annual ritual. While congratulating the winners, Ogbuagu remarked that celebrating outstanding staff and students should be done across the university to boost productivity.

In a response, Miss Uka thanked the benefactors, her supervisor and lecturers for their guidance and suppprt throughout her stay in the university. She promised to be worthy ambassador of the department, institution and society at large.

Earlier in a remark, Dr. Ekpunobi, said the event was to thank God for the gift of life and protection upon the staff and students all through the year. She lauded outstanding staff of the department for their commitment and selfless service, urging them not to rest on their oars.

Excellent service award to past Heads of Department, Pure and Industrial Chemistry, as well as certificate of recognition to outstanding staff formed high points of the occasion.

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