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Unizik stakeholders move to actualize UBS building project

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By Simon Njoku, Lagos

Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State stakeholders across the country Saturday took a step forward to raise N5 billion for the institution’s business school building project as well as an endowment fund for its operation on a sustainable basis.

At the fund raising dinner for the project held at the Colonades Hotel, Ikoyi, Lagos, the Vice Chancellor of the university, Professor Charles Esimone told his guests that the UBS building project was in tune with the vision “with which I assumed office as the Vice Chancellor of Nnamdi Azikiwe University which is to transform: the university into the best university in Nigeria, among the top ten universities in Africa and among the best 200 universities in the world, building on the foundation already laid by my predecessors”.

Esimone regretted that the school was hamstrung by the lack of a building built to the specifications required for its operations.

Speaking in a similar vein, the Director, Unizik Business School (UBS), Professor Emma Okoye, gave insight into the objective of the school, saying:
” We have a mandate cum mission to provide a centrally co-ordinated interdisciplinary postgraduate degree/certificate programmes in management, public administration and allied disciplines with in-depth academic content and practical orientation among others.
“Our philosophy has been to engage with industries and develop a new generation of industrialists, skilled businessmen and women that shall be catalysts for innovations and creators of wealth,” Okoye said.
In this regard, the business school, according to him, had forged collaborations with a number of associations including the Onitsha Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ONICCIMA, the Alaba International Electronics Market, Lagos and others.

Consequently, the professor noted, “it has become imperative for the growing student population to keep pace with a robust learning facility that encompasses classrooms and syndicate rooms as well as offices and library.
” There will also be a restaurant and a five-star hotel appurtenances to the new structure. In addition, we are developing a robust Information and Communication Technology (ICT) hub that will help drive our processes.”
Professor Okoye added:
“We intend to equip classrooms, conference, seminar and syndicate rooms with full multimedia. Overall, the entire building project cum furnishings is estimated to cost UBS no less than N4.5 billion only. With all of these in place, we would have arrived at the business school of our dream that will clearly put us ahead in the league of business schools not just east of the Niger where we are currently leading but in Nigeria as a whole and the world at large.”

On his part, Chairman of the occasion and Co-chairman of UBS Board of Directors, Dr. ABC Orjiakor, who was not in the mood for speech making, delved straight into the business of the day, reducing every talk to its Naira equivalent, with the sole purpose of actualizing not only the sum needed for the building project but a surplus that could serve as an endowment fund for the sustainable operation of the school.
The Seplat Energy PLC Chairman therefore tasked ten members of the school’s board of directors to raise N500 million Naira each, with the support of family, friends and well wishers.
Pledges were also solicited from all willing to donate towards the realization of the project.
The second phase of the fund raising event is to hold at a date yet to be announced.

Present at the occasion were distinguished businessmen and women including board members such as Dr. Cosmas Maduka, CEO, Coscharis Group; Dr. Stanley Uzochukwu, CEO, Stanel Group; Dr. Poly Emenike, Chairman, Nerus Pharmaceutical; Dr. Ifeanyi Odili, President/CEO, Ultimus Holdings,
among others.
Also in attendance was the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Professor Sulyman Alege Kuranga as well as the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academics), Prof. Frederick Odibo;Provost, College of Postgraduate Studies, Prof. Philomena Igbokwe; Dean, Faculty of Management Sciences, Prof. Lilian Orogbu and members of the Unizik Business School including Dr. Chinedu Onyeizugbe, the Deputy Director.

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