Society honours 5 VCs, 26 organisations for contributions to national development
The Nigerian Mining and Geosciences Society (NMGS) on Friday in Lagos honoured five Vice Chancellors and 26 `outstanding’ corporate organisations, for their contributions to national development.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the five vice chancellors, who are members of the society, were being celebrated for their appointments, all within a time frame of six months.
They included Prof. Ibrahim Garba of the Ahmadu Bello University(ABU), Zaria, Prof. Idowu Olayinka of the University of Ibadan, and Prof. Elijah Ayolabi of the Mountain Top University, Ogun.
Also honoured were: Prof. Luke Anike of the Enugu State University of Science and Technology, and Prof. Isa Funtua, of the Umaru Musa Yar’adua University, Katsina.
The NMGS president, Prof. Gbenga Okunlola, in his welcome address, explained that the recognitions became necessary as this was the first time in the nation’s history that an association was able to record such feat.
He disclosed that the 26 outstanding companies in the extractive industry who have sponsored the society’s activities and championed the nation’s economic growth over the years, were also being honoured.
“In six months, the NMGS has produced five distinguished vice chancellors and for making us proud, I think it is something to celebrate.
“That we have produced these five VCs show that we have gone a long way and to gather the crem de la crem who produce the wealth of this nation in oil and gas, mining and the water sector, shows that we are indeed growing,” he said.
Okunlola announced that the NMGS would host a global conference of 1,000 geoscientists in the country, next month.
He reiterated that the diversification of the Nigerian economy through mineral resources was important, and would be the focus of the conference.
The society’s president, however, noted that the extractive industry went under, at a point, because for 19 years, government was not listening to the advice of the society.
He commended the efforts of the Federal Government in recent times for looking into policies suggested by the society, for speedy economic growth.
Okunlola stressed the need for all hands to be on deck towards harnessing the nation’s huge mineral deposits.
“We, as professionals, have to help this government and we will never fail in doing such,” he said.
He said that the society was now 55 years old and that in the past, before independence, its director- general sat in the cabinet.
Some companies also honoured at the occasion included: the Department of Petroleum Resources, the Shell Petroleum Development Company, Chevron Nigeria Ltd, Julius Berger Ltd, VERSA-TECH Ltd, and the Council of Nigerian Mining Engineers and Geoscientists.
Others were: Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited, Yinka Folawiyo Petroleum Company Ltd, Total Exploration and Production Nigeria Ltd, Sahara Energy Fields Ltd, and the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency, among others.
Responding on behalf of the awardees, the VC of ABU, Prof. Garba, who is a fellow of the NMGS, commended the society’s initiative in the awards
He stressed the need for more government attention to other mineral resources other than Oil.