By Ikenna Nwokedi
Anambra Billionaire and Akwaeze-born philanthropist, Chief Ikenna Okafor has endowed the sum of one hundred million naira to support the growth of education for Nnamdi Azikiwe University Business School (UBS).
The endowment to the UBS was made public when Chief Okafor hosted the University management and Governing Council members at his home in Akwaeze, Anaocha LGA of Anambra State on Tuesday, 3rd January 2023.
Chief Okafor stated that the endowment became necessary because of the passion he has for education as Education is the bedrock upon which any society grows and develops.
“For every society that strives to achieve meaningful development, education is the key. When a system of education fails, the country is as good as dead and that is why we should collectively support this sector in the development of our society for the foreseeable future and for generations not yet born”,
“It is important for anyone who loves him or herself to channel a portion of his wealth to support education as without education we cannot fully attain the growth we desire especially in the era of civilization and globalization occasioned by Information and Technology. This is the first step of my support to the business school as a member of the board of directors”, he said.
Chief Okafor commended UNIZIK Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Charles Esimone and his team for the good works being witnessed in the institution through his ideas and vision of ‘Project 200’.
He thanked the members of his team for the confidence reposed in him while also pledging continuous support to academic programmes in the institution.
The ‘Ide Akwaeze’ also harped on the need to encourage speaking of the Igbo language as it is essential in maintaining core cultural values and tradition.
The business tycoon who also sponsored flight tickets to the tune of N8.5 million for Team UNIZIK student-athletes and officials to last year’s All Africa Universities Games held at the Kenyatta University Nairobi, Kenya used the opportunity to receive the Team UNIZIK student-athletes and officials led by the Chairman University’s Sports Committee, Dr. Dereck Orji.
He commended them for their exploits at the biennial Inter African Universities Games.
In his response, UNIZIK Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Charles Esimone thanked Chief Okafor for his philanthropic gesture and immense support to education not just to UNIZIK but other institutions at large.
Prof Esimone stated that at the beginning of his administration, Chief Okafor promised to support him by doing something remarkable that will ensure his administration will be remembered for many years to come.
The scholar described Chief Okafor as one who keeps to his promises, he thanked him for the huge support by way of funding to the institution while also asking God for continuous blessings in all his endeavours.
In his vote of thanks, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Prof. Frederick Odibo thanked the benefactor for the huge endowment and financial support towards the UNIZIK Business School.
He described the development as unique and unprecedented considering the state of the country, he however asked God to bless Chief Okafor while expressing optimism that before the end of the year, there would be a remarkable difference at the UBS.
Others who spoke on the occasion were the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration), Prof. Joseph Ikechebelu and President-General of Akwaeze town, Dr. Ignatius Maduka.
Presentation of dummy cheque for the donation formed the high points of the occasion.