By: Polycarp Onwubiko (Special Correspondent)
Nnamdi Azikiwe University [NAU] Faculty of Management Sciences held “2023 Alumni Home Coming/Award presentation and Endowment” at the ASUU-NAU Secretariat, Awka, Anambra state on Friday, October, 20, 2023.
The nominated Special Guests of Honour [who graced the epochal occasion or represented] were: the Vice Chancellor of NAU Prof. Charles O. Esimone as Chief Host; Prince Arthur Eze [Ozoigbondu Nigeria], Royal Fathers of the day: HRH Igwe Bob Orji, traditional ruler of Ezinifite, Chairman Aguata council of traditional rulers; and traditional ruler of Igboukwu, HRH Igwe Alexander E.E. Azike; Mother of the Day, Senator Uche Ekwunife [IYOM], Director General South-East Governors Forum; Hon. Prof. Obiageli Orogbu, Member representing Awka North and South Federal Constituency [a lecturer in the Faculty of Management Sciences before she was elected as Member of House of Representatives], Chairman of the occasion, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Uba [Ebubechukwu Uzo] representing Anambra South Senatorial District; and a host of other distinguished personalities from all parts of the country.
In his Welcome Address, the Dean Faculty of Management Sciences, Prof. PVC Okoye while expressing joy at the mammoth crowd that graced the unique occasion, said: “Our Alumni, the pride of our institution, have always been a beacon of inspiration for our current students…Every story of success, every milestone achieved, and every challenge overcome by our Alumni is a testament to the foundation laid here at the Faculty of Management Sciences.
“The essence of today’s event is beautifully captured in our Theme—‘ALUMNI: THE NUCLEUS OF UNIVERSITY DEVELOPMENT”. Just as the nucleus is central to the functioning of a cell, our Alumni are central to evolution and growth of the University…Our Alumni form the cornerstone of the alliance that supports our University’s growth. As we move forward, the synergy between this alliance and the broader society becomes crucial in championing sustainable development, not only within the walls of our University but beyond…I implore each Alumnus and Alumna present to persist as the vital nucleus, continually driving our esteemed Faculty of Management Sciences to the zenith of academic and societal contributions”.
The former Managing Director of Anambra Broadcasting Service, Dr. Uche Nworah, an Author and currently the Chairman Editorial Board, DAILY TIMES, delivered the Alumni Special Lecture titled “Alumni: The Nucleus of University Development; Leveraging the Global Power of Alumni”. His citation was read by a distinguished political science scholar and NAU’ Orator, Prof. Frank Collins Okafor. Dr. Nworah, a management and communication expert who had widely travelled outside for further studies and working career, commended the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Charles Esimone for his grits and doggedness devoted in raising the infrastructure profile of NAU which has made the ivory tower’s global rating to come down from 4,494 position to 1,500.
He deplored governments inadequate funding of the education sector stressing that education remains pivotal to socio-economic growth and development hence the need for people who passed through secondary schools and tertiary institutions to rally round the institutions to support them in the provision of the enabling conducive learning environment and skill acquisition.
Citing his former secondary school, CIC Enugu, Dr. Nworah said that the Alumni have made outstanding financial contributions for the provision of infrastructural facilities in the secondary school.
Using NAU as crucial and pivotal for mobilizing resources from the Alumni, he said: “Alumni is an enduring creation that outlast the university; lecturers should enrich the students experience. Alumni are usually people who are great resource for the development of the university because the university needs resources.
Alumni can engage the University authority with respect to the emerging challenges of the University”.
The management and communication expert contended that passion is crucial to bond the Alumni, contending that “Alumni is a career adviser; an interface between university and students”
He said that what motivates financial help from Alumni is the love one was bestowed while in the school and advised lecturers to be restrained in the way they chide students so that they will feel loved and wanted to be nurtured and become successful after leaving the school.
While recommending the role to be played by the authorities of the educational institutions, he stressed the need for keying into the advanced science and technologies like establishing website, data base of students and monitoring their life after leaving the walls of the university.
In conclusion, the erudite scholar advised that universities especially should explore the possibility of establishing sustainable Endowment Fund.
He said that in the developed nations of the world, well-heeled individuals and flourishing corporate organizations establish Endowment Funds hence the high standard of infrastructural facilities that inspire love of the students.
After the delivery of the Alumini lecture, Honorary Doctorate Degree was conferred on Dr. Michael Kasachi Enyinnaya while over fifty Alumni were given Awards for Excellence and Human Capital Development.
The Awardees made pledges to enable the Faculty of Management Sciences in collaboration with other Faculties to meet the infrastructural needs of the potentially citadel of learning to meet the needs and aspirations.
Offering perspectives on the imperative of providing adequate funding for the institutions of higher learning universities in Nigeria, the issue of restructuring governance to reinvent true fiscal federalism was re-echoed.
Exchanging views with journalists, Prof. Denis Chinedum Amobi who lamented the inadequate funding of federal universities, appealed to the Federal Government to heed the moral suasion of the UNESCO to the emerging economies to be making at least 26 per cent of budgetary provision to the education sector. However, he supports the nationwide clarion calls for reinventing true federalism whereby there will be only two tiers of government-Federal and state [or regional as was in the first republic] so that state governments or the ethnic nationalities within the six geo-political zones can respectively plan the sectors of governance like education, health, agriculture etc, according to the deep yearnings and aspirations of their people.
In his view, Dr. Michael Kasarachi Enyinna [PhD Finance] and Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Fundvive Group, Lagos, who was also given an Award of Excellence for human capital development, equally decried the poor funding of the education sector and advised the feasibility of Endowment Fund.
Also commenting, the Deputy Majority Leader, Anambra state House of Asesembly, Dr. Jude Akpua, said that he believes that the federal government has the capacity to re-order its priority so as to make enough resources available for a robust education sector.
He commended Governor Charles Chukwuma Soludo for good governance and especially giving free education from primary to Junior secondary school and hopes that such noble gesture will be extended to the senior secondary school in the near future.
In his position, the MD/CEO Nahan Christopher construction Limited, Sir Arinze Obasi, a pioneer set of the Faculty of Management Sciences and second president of Business Administration, praised the Alumni for the impressive attendance to the 2023 Alumni home coming ceremony saying that our children stand to reap the immense benefits of adequate learning environment.
He believes that Alumni is critical to meeting the sustainable growth of NAU adding that the federal government has proved incapable of funding the universities and federal polytechnics.
Outstanding financial donations from the Alumni hallmarked the occasion with free medical treatment. The Chairman of the occasion, Senator Ifeanyi Uba represented by Hon Augustine Onyekachukwu Ike, member of House of Assembly, Nnewi north, made donation of one million naira.