Lagos — The National President of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka Alumni Association, Dr. Nwanne Chioke, Wednesday disclosed that the association's 1st Founders Day Dinner and Award Ceremony was designed to raise fund for the construction of a state-of-the-art lodge to be located inside the University campus, at Nsukka.
He explained that the event was the first step towards positioning the alumni association for a more critical role in the sustenance of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, against the background that government's subvention to universities in Nigeria had been on a steady decline.
Speaking with journalists, he explained that in most universities abroad, the alumni associations contribute hugely to their financial administration, citing the case of Oxford University, where its alumni had contributed about 40 billion USD in 2010/2011academic session.
Besides this, he observed that it was unfortunate that after 52 years of the existence of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, its alumni association had no presence on the university campus in terms a befitting lodge where it could host its officials and members from time to time.
He said: "The philosophy of the founding fathers of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka stated that after 5 years, all the alumnus need to come back to the university and be reunited. It stated that after 10 years, we need to come home with our families to the university. Now, without a lodge or an Alumni Centre as the case may be, where would we stay, especially if the students were in session?"
He stated that this initial aspiration was aimed at building a lodge in no distance time, but added that the association would in future construct a magnificent Alumni Centre, which would be capable of responding to and contributing to the overall development of the university.
He stated that honour's list for this year's event could not contain all the people who rightly deserved to be honoured with an award, but promised that since it was annual event by the association, all those who could not be recognised this year would be duly acknowledged by next year.
The event is billed for Thursday, December 6, in Abuja; he stated adding that honours and awards, for contributions to education, for contributions to security and for the development of the Nigerian economy would be bestowed on notable Nigerians, whose contributions and resilience have recommended them for such recognition.
Among the dignitaries to be honoured at the event include Minister of Education, Professor Ruquayatu Rufai, Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Mr. Tunde Lemo, Inspector General of Police, IGP, Alhaji Abubakar Mohammed and the President, Nigerian Guild of Editors, Mr. Gbenga Adefaye, among others.
Former Governor of Kano State, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau and former Governor of Rivers State, Dr. Peter Odili, would be specially recognised at the event.