The Academia, diplomats, politicians, captains of industry, representatives of traditional rulers, religion leaders, students, etc, today, May the 10th, 2023 gathered to celebrate the 24th Founder’s Day anniversary of Nigeria’s premier university – Igbinedion University, Okada, Edo State.
The Founder’s Day Lecture which held at the University’s main auditorium was themed: ‘Advancing Higher Education Legacy Through Partnership: Private Sector Engagement.’
In his speech, Guest Speaker and South African High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Thamsanqa Dennis Mseleku emphasised the need for university-private sector partnership in building a formidable society.
While eulogising the founder of the university, Sir (Chief) Gabriel Igbinedion, for taking such a bold step to establishing the first private university in Nigeria 24 years ago, Mr. Mseleku said the Founder’s Day anniversary was not just for Igbinedion University but for the entire university community in Nigeria.
On university – private sector partnership, the High Commissioner said: “As we move to the future, the collaboration between universities and the private sector is essential in driving progress and innovation. University is to bring the innovation while the private sector brings the expertise.”
While commending Igbinedion University for building a strong partnership with the US Consulate, he urged management of the university to make more efforts in partnering more organisations including international organisations.
Earlier in his welcome address, Vice Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Lawrence Ezemonye, said the birth of Igbinedion University had forever altered the narrative of the nation’s tertiary education system for good.
According to the VC, though the university started with just few academic programmes and students, after 24 years, the school prides itself with no fewer than 34 undergraduate courses and 51 postgraduate programmes, adding that all are acredited by the National University Commission (NUC).
On how well the university has contributed to the nation and global development through its products, Prof Ezemonye said: “At 24, it is significant to note that the brilliant exploits of our Blue-sky graduates in their various fields of endeavour across the globe evidences the quality of our products. This is predicated on IUO’s commitment to continually seek ways to advance knowledge and educate our students to make a difference in our society and the world.”
The Vice Chancellor hinted that to make education more accessible and easier for members of the public, “efforts are at advanced stage towards commencing the open and Distance Learning programme to cater for all those who are unable to undertake full-time mode of study, supported by our robust IT infrastructure.”
Chancellor and Founder of Igbinedion University, Sir (Chief) Gabriel Igbinadion represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor, His Excellency, Chief Lucky Igbinadion had earlier in an address said since the inception of the university, academic activities had been running without any form of break.
The students of the Department of Theatre Arts of the University also spiced up the event with their renditions.