The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Charles Okechukwu Esimone, FAS on Tuesday commissioned office spaces for the department of Estate Management, Faculty of Environmental Sciences, remodelled by two alumni of the University, Mr. Chukwuebuka Arnold Ekweoba, CEO Arnold and Associates, and Mr Osorachukwu Ani, CEO Sure Homes and Land. The project was attracted by Dr. Joseph Chukwudi Onyejiaka of the Department of Estate Management.
Prof Esimone while commending the benefactors described the gesture as the way to go. He reiterated that most developmental strides in top institutions of the world come from Alumni.
Showering encomiums on the duo of Ekweoba and Ani, the Vice-Chancellor remarked that it was high time members of the University Alumni started contributing in their numbers to the development of the institution.
He described the benefactors as worthy ambassadors of the University and commended Dr. Onyejiaka for attracting such a project to the institution.
Prof. Esimone further promised to extend his support to the Faculty by building a befitting structure and supporting the furnishing of the offices to make them 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.
Earlier, the Dean of the Faculty, Prof. Ifeanyi Enete in his remark, eulogised the benefactors, urging them not to rest on their oars. He further expressed optimism that the Vice-Chancellor would continue to support the Faculty, commending him for approving three new programmes for the Faculty, which, according to him, were awaiting accreditation.
One of the benefactors, Mr. Ekweoba asserted that the gesture was informed by his desire to contribute and solve challenges faced by lecturers in his department, and by extension, the University. He disclosed that he had also awarded scholarships to over 20 students at different points to enable them to graduate seamlessly.
Similarly, Mr. Ani said he was moved to give back to the department that contributed immensely to his growth and would not hesitate in doing more.
The Head of the Department of Estate Management, Dr. Celestine Ugonabo in his address, lauded the Vice-Chancellor for graciously approving the remodelling 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 for more offices for the teeming number of our staff without offices and conducive environment where they attend and counsel students”, he said.
In a remark, Dr. Onyejiaka revealed that the benefactors graduated from the Department of Estate Management in 2015, and readily obliged to his request to handle the cost of remodelling the classrooms into office spaces.