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Ikenga advocates improved collaboration between academia, private sector

By Ngozi Egenuka
02 December 2021   |   4:11 am
The Group Managing Director of Eunisell Limited, Chika Ikenga, has said that improved collaboration between the academia and business sector is necessary, desirable and relevant to assure tangible growth and development for the nation and its people.

The Group Managing Director of Eunisell Limited, Chika Ikenga, has said that improved collaboration between the academia and business sector is necessary, desirable and relevant to assure tangible growth and development for the nation and its people. 
  
Ikenga, who was conferred with the Doctor of Business Administration (Honoris Causa) by the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia State, stated that improved collaboration would help in the sharing of solutions to societal problems.
   
The Vice Chancellor, Professor Maduebibisi Ofo Iwe, in his address said the conferment was in recognition of contributions to humanity and economic development.
   


The VC added that, “It’s an honour we expect should stimulate the recipients to partner more closely with our University and cause their success stories to rub on the development of Agriculture, Science and Technology in our University.”
  
During his acceptance speech, Ikenga said: “I believe in sustainable collaboration between the university and business circle. The synergy holds the key to unlocking relevant discoveries and solutions that will enhance the quality of life in diverse ways, aid the economy and boost national growth and development.
   
The Eunisell boss also pledged to continue his support for education by donating significantly towards boosting the school infrastructure, establishing an endowment fund and partnering the Chemistry Department for joint research with Eunisell. 
   
“On behalf of my family and company Eunisell, I will engage the university leadership and donate significantly towards boosting infrastructure for a more functional academic environment and thriving institution of learning and research.  
  
“As a man who has applied the knowledge of chemistry in the larger society, my company will partner the Chemistry Department and facilitate joint research programs that will benefit the nation. The idea of an endowment fund is noble and we shall explore that as well.” he noted. 
   

The industrialist who founded the Group including Eunisell Limited, Eunisell Interlinked and Recare Limited 27 years ago also added that quality education with a focus on technology and entrepreneurship is the pathway to accelerated development as no nation can rise beyond the quality of its human resources.
   
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari, who was represented by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Mohammed Abubakar at the occasion, challenged universities of agriculture in the country to bridge the gap of food insecurity and address the nation’s dependence on imported foods.
  
He noted that the specialised universities must play their crucial role in catalysing the development of the agricultural sector, to help the Federal Government achieve its goal of sustainable green economy.
   
Abia State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Udo Okochukwu commended the Federal Government for the establishment of the university in the state; and the school for its giant strides under the new leadership and urged the administration to forge ahead as the government will continue to offer support.