UNN @ 60: Obi inaugurates N5bn development fund



As part of moves to enhance the development of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) and to mark the 60th anniversary and Founder’s Day of the first indigenous university in the country, the former Governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi, has inaugurated a N5 billion development fund to address infrastructure challenges in the university.


Obi, an alumnus of the Class  of 1984 of the university, inaugurated the capital campaign during the 60th Founders’ Day celebration of the university, where as the guest lecturer, he delivered the Founder’s Day Lecture.


The former governor, who frowned at the slow pace of development in the university, however, expressed worry that alumni of the institution had done very little or nothing to help their alma mater. He said that the fund raising campaign would run for a period of five years with a target mobilisation of N1 billion annually from alumni of the university effective from 2021.


“If about 10,000 alumni of the university can come together and make annual contribution of N100,000 each, we should be able to raise N1 billion yearly to help our alma mater,” the former governor had said


According to Obi, who promised to pay two per cent of annual fund mobilisation, said that he would make funds available to the management of the university to furnish office apartments from where the  fund drive would be coordinated and judiciously utilised. “I will be fully involved and will personally supervise activities of the office,” he added.


The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Charles Igwe lamented the deplorable state of infrastructure in the university, stating that at 60, existing infrastructure had aged and deteriorated and therefore required urgent facelift. Igwe noted that the UNN was the only first generation university in the country without a befitting Senate building, regretting that the University Senate is “still meeting at a make-shift venue furnished with plastic seats.”


The Vice-Chancellor, however, stated that the space is no longer adequate for the growing number of professors in the university, even as he bemoaned the overwhelming problem of power supply confronting the institution. Igwe recalled that the monthly energy bill of the university, which stands at over N70, 000,000 has consistently left a hole in the pocket of the university, saying: “Being able to generate our own electricity, like some of our contemporaries would be a huge relief to the university.”


Therefore, the Vice-Chancellor said that the capital campaign spearheaded by the former governor became necessary to save the soul of the university, explaining further that Obi was selected to drive the campaign because of his passion for improved funding for education and track record of prudent management of public funds.


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