By Williams Anuku, Abuja
The Chairman, Bua Group, Abdul Samad Rabiu, has donated one billion naira to the University of Ibadan to improve critical infrastructure in the institution.
He made the donation during a courtesy call on the Acting Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Adebola Babatunde Ekanola, in his office.
The BUA chairman and the initiator of AbdulSamad Rabiu Initiative (ASR Africa), represented by Dr. Aliyu Idi Hong, the Director, Government Relations, BUA Group, said the annual ASR Africa Fund for Social Development and Renewal is an intervention initiative of the AbdulSamad Rabiu Initiative for Africa (ASR Africa) targeted at impactful and sustainable interventions in Social Development, Health and Education in Africa, and that all interventions fall within these three areas, stressing that the donation is made to the “University of Ibadan in recognition of the quality services delivered by your institution and the pedigree of graduates nationally and internationally.”
Dr. Hong said, “AbdulSamad Rabiu Initiative (ASR) is a foundation that was established by Alhaji AbdulSamad Rabiu towards giving back to the society. The Chairman and Founder of this initiative is a very patriotic Nigerian and he believes in the development of Nigeria. After working very diligently and very hard as a business man, he deemed it fit to give back to the society, where he would improve the quality of life of Nigerians and Africans.”
In this direction, according to him, “he has set aside annually, a continuous One Hundred Million dollars ($100,000,000) grant for sustainable development, health and education intervention in Nigeria and Africa. As a first tranche of this endowment, Fifty Million ($50,000,000:00) dollar has been set aside specifically for Nigeria’s intervention and another Fifty Million ($50,000,000:00) dollar has been set aside for the rest of Africa.
“These interventions will be in the areas of education, health and social development. And part of this has already been committed. Six Billion Naira (N6,000,000,000:00) has been allocated to six premier universities; one per geo-political zone in the country that would benefit towards augmenting their resources and intervening in their area of need to improve the quality of the services they render in their institutions”, Dr. Hong explained.
He further stated that “more interventions would be given in the areas of health and social development; and other educational institutions would benefit from these. This is not just a one-off thing. It would be an annual event that sooner or later we would still come back to Ibadan, God willing.”
Alhaji Rabiu’s representative commended the Acting Vice-Chancellor for promptly identifying the projects that needed intervention.
The Acting VC, in accepting the donation, thanked the Chairman of AbdulSamad Rabiu Initiative and the entire Group for the wonderful intervention in a statement by the University’s Director of Public Communication, Mr. Olatunji Oladejo.
He said, “the donation will go a long way in empowering the University to be more efficient and effective in its activities that are related to teaching, research and community service.”
Prof. Ekanola further said the donation will empower the institution to train its students for global relevance and competitiveness.
He told the benefactor that the University of Ibadan is an high-ranking world-class institution with a vision for sustainable development of the society, saying that the University looks for a continuous relationship with ASR Initiative.
“From what we have heard and have been told, this is not a one-off thing; it is something that will continue from time to time. So, what we can say is that this initiative will go a long way in revamping the higher education sector in Nigeria, with specific reference to university system generally”, the Acting VC said.
Dr. Hong was accompanied on the visit by the Group Head, Corporate Communications, BUA Group, Mr. O’tega Ogra.
Present at the occasion were the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration), Prof. K. O. Adebowale, mni; Registrar, Mrs. Olubunmi O. Faluyi; Acting Bursar, Mr. O.A. Abimbola; University Librarian, Dr. Hellen Komolafe-Opadeji; Director of Works, Engr. O. Adetolu; Director, University Advancement Centre, Mr. A.A. Adeosun and the Deputy Registrar (Vice-Chancellor ‘s Office), Mr. O. Dada.