The Chancellor of Gregory University Uturu Prof Gregory Ibe has been commended for being a selfless agent of transformation. This commendation was made by the former president of Nigeria Dr Goodluck Jonathan recently during a visit to the university. Speaking while laying the foundation stone of the institution’s 1000 bed Teaching hospital complex at Ezinnachi, Dr Jonathan lauded Prof Ibe for his famed commitment to healthcare. In his words, “I have confidence in the Chancellor of Gregory University Uturu, Prof Gregory Ibe, when it comes to the provision of quality healthcare to the people. This 1000 bed teaching hospital is a very ambitious project that will change the face of healthcare not just in Nigeria but in Africa”.
While appreciating Prof Ibe’s examplary commitment to societal transformation, the former Nigeria number one citizen however advocated for increased governmental support for private sector driven projects and called on state Governors to attract more private sector investments to their states by creating enabling environment and evolving mutually beneficial partnerships.
During the visit, Dr Goodluck Jonathan also commissioned a 5MVA 33KVA Transformer, that was procured by the university management for the purpose of supplying electricity to Uturu and environs. The former president also performed the re-dedication of the university auditorium (which incidentally is named after him), and was conferred with an honorary doctorate degree in public administration during an extra ordinary convocation ceremony that formed part of the itinerary of his one day visit.
Speaking while commissioning the electric transformer, Dr Jonathan again lauded the magnanimity of Prof Ibe, saying, “Prof Gregory Ibe has shown that with the little God blessed us with, we can change the society positively. The provision of electricity to an entire community is not a joke. Indeed Prof Ibe has shown that he has a large heart”.
He therefore encouraged Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) to partner Gregory University Uturu in ensuring achievement of the purpose for procuring the transformer.
Addressing the extra ordinary convocation ceremony, Prof Ibe paid glowing tributes to Dr Jonathan for providing the enabling policy framework as President that encouraged the establishment of many institutions of higher learning, including Gregory University Uturu. According to him, “when I caught the vision of establishing a world class university that would deliver ethically and morally sound professionally trained entrepreneurs to the global world of work, i was partly inspired by the policy direction of the then Yaradua/Jonathan presidency, which through their ‘Seven Point Agenda’ built on the good legacies of President Olusegun Obasanjo in the education sector. It is therefore not surprising that on assuming office as President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan’s ‘Transformation Agenda’ became a major boost to education, since he implemented a gradual increase of budgetary allocation to the sector from 8.43% in 2011 to an all time high of 10.68% in 2015. Till date that record remains unbroken. It was under this enabling environment that I started the process of securing government approval for this university. I was therefore not surprised when on 28 February 2012, under the watch of His Excellency Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, we were granted provisional license to commence the university”.
In a Goodwill message, the Governor of Abia state, who was represented by his deputy, Rt. Hon. Sir Ude Okochukwu, posited that education remains the trigger of development and praised Prof Ibe for the vision of establishing Gregory University Uturu. Pledging the sustained partnership of Abia state government with management of Gregory University Uturu, he counselled students of the institution to pursue excellence in their academics, while shunning all forms of deviancy, stressing that with knowledge and skills acquisition, they can rule the world.
Highlight of the ceremony was the conferment of honoray doctorate degree in public administration on the former president in the presence of a large gathering of eminent personalities including the Interim Administrator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Col Milliad Dikio(Rtd.) and former Vice President of ECOWAS Commission, Dr Edward Singhartey.
Sleek Ogbonnaya Ogwo(ANIPR)
Deputy Registrar,Media & Public Relations