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Abia Gov. Otti To Deliver UNN 63rd Founders’ Day Lecture.

…..As Institution Has  Produced Over 200,000 Graduates From Inception.

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Abia State Governor Dr. Alex Otti is set to deliver the 63rd Founders day lecture of the University of Nigeria Nsukka UNN on Thursday, 4, October 20243, even as the institution  says it has produced over 200,000 graduates since inception in 1960,  which is close to 60 generations of her alumni.

Vice Chancellor of UNN, Prof. Charles Igwe disclosed this in Enugu  Tuesday while briefing journalists on activities lined up for  the University’s 63rd Founders’ Day celebration.

“As you all know, our founders’ day celebration is an annual event held in commemoration of the founding of our university-Nigeria’s first indigenous university. 

“Thus, we should be celebrating not only the birth of UNN, but also the historical milestone of the birth of University Education as a whole. 

“It is on record that the University of Nigeria has now produced close to 60 generations of alumni and from our matriculation number the exact number of graduates produced so far by the university is over 200,000.

He said the Abia governor will be speaking on the topic: “Petrol Subsidy Removal: “Dealing with the challenges, Harnessing the opportunity”

“It is for this reason that our Founders’ Day celebration is marked as an elaborate and weeklong activity during which staff, students and alumni come together to honour our founders and forebears”. Prof. Igwe said.

“First and foremost, the University of Nigeria has continued to re-invent itself, retaining and improving her place in the league of universities in Nigeria, Africa and the world in general. 

“We have remained competitive in spite of some very peculiar challenges which we face. In terms of academic output, our staff have been quite productive not only in the form of conference attendance, research publications, but also in inventions and patents. 

“This year alone, the University has hosted many national and international conferences. The University is also currently publishing a growing number of academic journals and some of these have been listed or indexed by international agencies. 

“A good example is the Nigerian Journal of Technology which is published by our Faculty of Engineering and which was recently indexed by SCOPUS -the globally recognized abstract and citation database owned by Elsevier.

“Still on academic output, a good number of our staff have also emerged the proud recipients and winners of many local and international research grants.

” A case in point is a World Bank grant for research in sustainable power and energy development valued at USD 6 million”. Prof. Igwe stated.

“In addition to maintaining all the existing partnerships, the university has entered into a number of new international collaborations with reputable universities across the world. 

The VC added that “In the last one year. we have signed a good number of MOUs with several universities, including those in very distant countries like Australia, Japan and Russia. This is an additional proof that the University of Nigeria is an outward-looking Institution. 

“The enthusiasm with which these institutions offer or accept to collaborate with UNN has continued to reassure me that our reputation is still sky high in spite of the unique challenges we face. 

Igwe further stated that the “contributions of these international collaborations to the global visibility and reputation of the university cannot be overstated. 

“As a result, our university has continued to retain and enjoy her reputation as a growing 21st century university”. Prof. Igwe reiterated.

The university have also continued to address the unique challenges of infrastructure deficit which it faces across its campuses.

” As a first generation, multi-campus and rapidly growing institution, some of these challenges are simply peculiar to UNN. 

“These include aging and inadequate infrastructure and the huge cost of providing municipal services across the campuses. 

“Nonetheless, we have continued in our drive to change the narrative. For example, the new University Medical Centre has now been completed, commissioned and occupied.

” It is worthy of note that before now the medical centre operated from the prefabricated buildings, which were built as temporary structures over four decades ago. 

“The special thing about this building is that it was completed with internally generated funds. Our university has also continued to benefit from the generous donations and gifts of alumni groups and individuals”.

“Time however would not allow the VC to give the details of these gifts, but he commend the alumni of the Faculties of Engineering, Law and Medical Sciences for what they have been able to achieve with their alumni. 

“In doing so, it is important that i equally commend the past and present deans of these faculties for reaching out to their alumni and convincing them to make donations to the University. 

“I am sure that the deans of other faculties already feel challenged by what I have just said. I am aware that not all gifts from friends, alumni or past students of the university are brought to the attention of the management. 

“However, I hope the recipients of these donations should bring them to the attention of the management so we can appreciate the donors”. Igwe said.

The university of Nigeria has also continued to benefit from the Capital Allocation, NEEDS assessment and TETFund intervention projects. 

“Recall that I recently lamented that UNN was the only first generation university without a senate building. I am happy to announce today that our dream of having a befitting senate building is closer to reality than it has ever been.

“Other new projects which will soon take off the ground include the following; a new classroom and office block for the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, a new building complex for the Department of Mass Communication, the rehabilitation of the Food Science and Technology building and the reconstruction of Odim Street at the Nsukka Campus.

” These projects are only awaiting the completion of due process for the award of the contracts. 

“Also worthy of mention is the on-going reconstruction of the roads in the Junior Staff Quarters at Nsukka Campus. These roads had been virtually washed off by erosion over the years.

“We also have a total of at least 20 TETFund projects which are currently at various stages of completion. These could be grouped into the construction of new buildings, such as the new building for the Department of Adult Education and Extra Mural Studies, and the procurement of furniture and analytical equipment for offices and laboratories across the three campuses of the University. 

“These are not the only projects currently on-going in the university, as I have not listed the projects being sponsored by the alumni and friends of the University. 

“Some of the projects are also being sponsored through research grants, for example, the Core Service Building of the African Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Power and Energy Development, which contains laboratories, offices, classrooms and libraries. 

Our friends from the media, the fourth estate of the realm, I urge you to undertake a tour of our campuses to see things for yourselves, pending when we can schedule a guided tour of the campus. 

It is common knowledge that the high cost of energy and the rising price of diesel now pose additional challenge to public universities across the country. 

“This is because private institutions are able to adjust their tuition and service charges in line with current economic realities, while public institutions are not. As a solution to this problem, my administration has introduced a programme of phased transition to renewable energy. 

“For example, in July this year, a 20 KVA solar solution was installed in the administration building. Thanks to Dr Obioha Fubara Okoroafor, an alumnus of the University, who sponsored the solar energy project. 

“There are also plans to achieve such energy transitions in some other strategic buildings, such as the ICT building, in the near future.

As always, we are grateful to the Federal Government, friends and alumni of the University for their immense generosity. 

“I am also thankful to my management and the entire staff of the University for their various contributions to the growth of our university over the years. .

“These developments and achievements are the main reasons for these celebrations, because in their absence there would be nothing to celebrate.

” I am also grateful to our forebears, especially former Vice-Chancellors, principal officers and staff who laid the foundation on which we have recorded these incremental achievements”


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