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Igbinedion University 20th Anniversary: Esama of Benin hails Babangida, Abubakar for private varsity Initiative

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The Chancellor of Igbinedion University, Okada (IUO), Chief Gabriel Osawaru Igbinedion on Friday hailed the efforts and contributions of two former Heads of State , Gen. Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida, and Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar for granting approval for the  establishment of Nigeria’s First Registered Private University in the country.

He said Gen. Abdulasami Abubakar  did not only actualizing the dream of private universities Establishment into becoming a reality since 1999, but provided the foundation for the establishment of 79 private universities in the country.

The Chancellor of Igbinedion University, Okada (IUO) expressed his appreciation to the federal government under the leadership of former Heads of State , Gen. Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida IBB, and Gen. Abdulasami Abubakar.

He said the remarkable initiative and uncommon bravery and disposition towards granting licences for the private universities establishment in the country is today been celebrated after 20 years of the University approval with certificate number 01.

Igbinedion recalled with nostalgia the challenges he faced in getting approval for the commencement of the first private university in the country in 1999.

He specially showered praises on Former Head of State, Gen. Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida for the support for the institution and commended  former Head of State, Gen. Abdulasalami Abubakar who he said gave the approval for the establishment of Nigeria’s first Private University, Igbinedion University , Okada.

“Igbinedion University Okada, is my brainchild and vision. But His Excellency, General Abdulsalami Abubakar ,GCFR, who is our chairman today, gave us our trail-blazing position as the Premier Private University in Nigeria.

As military Head of State and Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 1999, he believed in our dream, and with great conviction, approved our request for a private university. 

“Today, we are the most sought after in the milieu of 70 private universities in Nigeria. We doff our hat to a great man of courage and faith in a better Nigeria, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, GCFR.” Chief Igbinedion said.

Appreciating the efforts and contributions of the Pioneer vice chancellor and Chairmen of the Governing Councils of the University , Igbinedion said, “ I want to place on record the efforts and commitment of the past and present  Chairmen of the Governing Councils of the University for their selfless service. 

“In this regard, I salute, with profound gratitude, Prof. Bashir Ahmad Ikara of blessed memory;Prof. Olu Aina, OFR; Prof. David Awanbor; Emeritus Prof. Oluwole Akande, OON; and Prof. Sheikh A. Abdullah, OON.”

He also commended the interim Vice Chancellor from May to October 1999, Prof.Emmanuel Emovon for laying a solid academic and administrative structure for the institution as well as the two former Vice Chancellors, Late Prof. Anthony Osagie and immediate Past Vice Chancellor, Prof Eghosa Osaghae and Ag. Vice Chancellor, Prof. Nduka Uraih,  for their dedication and contribution to the impressive successes recorded by the University.

Deputy Chancellor , Igbinedion University and former Governor of Edo State , Chief Lucky Igbinedion who addressed the audience at the institution’s 20th Anniversary in Okada, Edo State said the University is committed to academic excellence.

In his speech, Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki described the University which is the brainchild of the Esama of Benin as the pace setter of private universities in the country.

Represented by his deputy, Comrade Philip Shaibu extolled the sterling qualities of the chancellor of the institution, Chief Gabriel Igbinedion adding that without his pursuit for private University Establishment, there would be no private universities in the country.

The 20th Anniversary of Igbinedion University witnessed the presence of  various heads of higher institutions including, Vice Chancellor of  University of Medical Science Ondo State, Prof. Friday Okonofua and Representatives of University of Benin (UNIBEN), Delta State  Polytechnic,  Auchi Polytechnic and Benson Idahosa University (BIU).

Vice Chancellor, Igbinedion University, Prof Lawrence Ezemonye said that the institutional innovation that Igbinedion University represent since the last 20 years of existence is absolutely path-breaking and exemplary in Nigeria Higher Education.


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