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Encomiums as Unizik takes delivery of remodeled offices domicile in faculty of environmental sciences

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By Gabriel Chy Alonta

The authorities of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, have taken delivery of five new ultra modern offices for the Department of Estate Management, Faculty of Environmental Sciences of the institution.

The remodeled offices, Orient Daily reports, was attracted by Dr. Joseph Chukwudi Onyejiaka of the Department of Estate Management through the CEOs of Arnold & Associates, Mr. Arnold Chukwuebuka Ekweoba and Sure Homes & Land, Mr. Osorachukwu Ani.

The gesture was aimed at solving the office space problem in the department, as well as add to the existing office spaces in the university, this paper gathered.

While inaugurating the offices on Tuesday November 8, 2022, the university vice-chancellor, Prof. Charles Esimone, thanked the benefactors for their magnanimity, remarking that it was high time the university Alumni started contributing to the development of the institution. He described the benefactors as worthy ambassadors of the university and commended Dr. Onyejiaka for attracting such project to the institution.

Prof. Esimone further promised to extend his support to the faculty by building a befitting building, and promised to support the furnishing of the offices to make it more conducive. He disclosed that he had graciously approved the take-off of three new programmes – Water Resources, Urban and Rural Planning and Maritime Institute, all under the environmental sciences.

In a remark, the dean of the faculty, Prof. Ifeanyi Enete, expressed optimism that the vice-chancellor would continue to support the faculty, and commended him for approving three new programmes for the faculty, which, according to him, were awaiting accreditation. He equally eulogised the benefactors, urging them not to rest on their oars.

Participants pose for a photograph shortly after the inauguration

The Head of Department of Estate Management, Dr. Celestine Ugonabo, while welcoming his audience, lauded the vice-chancellor for graciously approving the remodeling aimed at providing an enabling environment to help staff become more productive.

“We are grateful to God for your gift to this university and on behalf of the staff of the department, I express our gratitude for your magnanimous approval of our request to remodel the hitherto classroom into offices to address the excruciating need of more offices for the teeming number of our staff without offices and conducive environment where they attend, counsel students”, he said.

One of the benefactors, Mr. Ekweoba, who is the CEO of Arnold and Associates, a leading Real Estate Development Company in Anambra state, said the gesture was informed by his desire to solve office space challenge faced by lecturers in the department, and by extension, the university. He disclosed that he had also given scholarship to over 20 students at different point to enable them graduate seamlessly.

Prof. Esimone receiving a souvenir from Mr. Arnold, while Prof. Enete and Dr. Ugonabo look on.

Similarly, the CEO of Sure Homes & Land, Mr. Ani said the desire to give back to the department that made him prompted his partnership with Arnold and Associates to provide conducive working environment for the staff of the Estate Management, while calling on the department to maintain the offices. He promised that they would also assist in furnishing the offices.

Dr. Onyejiaka had in a remark, said the benefactors graduated from the Department of Estate Management in 2015, and assured that he would continue to make efforts to attract similar projects.

He said, “I approached Mr. Arnold in 2021, requesting him to contribute his quota as a corporate social responsibility to his alma mater – Unizik. They agreed to fund the project from start to finish.

Dr. Joseph Chukwudi Onyejiaka

“A good number of staff in the department don’t have offices that will enable them to perform their duties optimally. The project will solve the problem of lack of office spaces, especially for the new staff.

“You can imagine a student who is a supervisee but his lecturer doesn’t have an office space to effectively supervise his project. The offices will ensure the availability of staff to our students.

“The department has been managing the little office space available to its staff. This will henceforth boost the chances of the department during National Universities Commission (NUC) accreditation exercises. The offices have a capacity to accommodate 15 staff members and it’s a plus to the university”, Onyejiaka enthused.

Cross section of participants during the ceremony

Earlier, the founding member of Estate Management and former Dean of Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Prof. Charles Egolum, described the gesture as salutary and timely, while urging other Alumni members of the university to borrow a leaf from the benefactors.

Prof. Charles Egolum and Mr. Gabriel Chy Alonta look on during the event
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