A N5 billion fundraiser by Nigeria’s premier indigenous university, University of Nigeria, with two major campuses at Nsukka and Enugu in Enugu State, south eastern Nigeria, is targeting tackling the state of infrastructure at the university. The development fund raising campaign is been spearheaded by Peter Obi, a businessman and the immediate past governor of Anambra State, an old student of the university.
Obi, a 1984 Philosophy graduate of the federal institution, inaugurated the capital campaign during the 60th Founders’ Day celebration of the premier university where he featured as the guest lecturer.
The politician and renowned businessman bemoaned the slow pace of development in the university, stating that the alumni of the institution had done very little or nothing to help their alma mater.
He disclosed that the fund raising campaign would run for a period of five years with a target mobilization of N1 billion annually from the university’s alumni effective from 2021.
According to him, If about 10,000 alumni of the university could come together and make an annual contribution of N100,000.00 each, they should be able to raise N1 billion yearly to help the first full-fledged indigenous Nigerian university.
Obi, who pledged to pay two percent of the annual fund mobilization, said he would make funds available to the management of the university to furnish office apartments from where the fund drive would be coordinated and judiciously utilized. He also promised to be fully engaged and personally supervise the office activities.
Charles Igwe, the vice-chancellor of the university, expressed displeasure at the deplorable state of infrastructure in the university, stating that at 60, existing infrastructure had aged and deteriorated, requiring immediate facelift.
The soil science professor noted that the University of Nigeria was the only first generation university in the country without a senate building.
According to him, the university senate still meets at a make-shift venue furnished with plastic seats and the space is no longer adequate for the growing number of professors in the university
Igwe also spoke about the overwhelming problem of power supply explaining that the university’s monthly energy bill which stands at over N70,000,000 always leaves a hole in the pocket of the university.
He indicated that being able to generate its own electricity, like some other universities would be a huge relief to the management.
The vice-chancellor commended the capital campaign spearheaded by Peter Obi which he described as a necessity to save the soul of the university. He commented that Obi was selected to drive the campaign because of his passion for improved funding for education and his track record of prudent management of public funds.
He expressed confidence on the ability of Obi to mobilize other alumni of the university to come to the aid of their Alma Meter and assured that every “kobo” donated would be properly accounted for.