United Bank For Africa (UBA) Has Given N52.9m To University Of Lagos In The Effort To Resuscitate Its Professorial Chair On Finance At The School
Seventeen years after it was rested, banking giants, United Bank for Africa (UBA), weekend resuscitated its 43-years-old Professorial Chair of Finance at the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka, with the formal presentation of an endowment of N52,904,000 to the University’s Management in Lagos.
The presentation was made on behalf of UBA by its Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mr Phillips Oduoza, who led a team of the bank’s top Management to the Senate Chamber of UNILAG, where the formal presentation was held.
The University’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Rahamon Bello, received the cheque of N52,904,000 presented by Oduoza, amidst jubilation by dignitaries and members of the University community, including the principal officers, who witnessed the historic event.
In his remarks, Oduoza explained that UBA embarked on the endowment project in demonstration of its commitment to quality human capital and infrastructure development which he said was inevitable in achieving rapid economic development in the country. He commended the outstanding performance of UNILAG in academics and human capital development and expressed pleasure that the Chair was being resuscitated 17 years after it was rested, following the voluntary retirement of its pioneer occupant, Professor Green Nwankwo, from the Institution in 1998.
He said the intervention would assist in addressing infrastructure gap plaguing the nation’s development. “Resuscitating the endowment, for us in UBA, represents another major milestone. We have seen that educational institutions are not wellfunded; we therefore believe we should actually jumpstart with that –by supporting University of Lagos.
This is reason we decided to resuscitate the endowment. “For us as an institution, we strongly believe in the future of Nigeria. We also believe that well-trained and educated human capital is very critical to the growth of any particular nation; hence we believe we should be part of that”, Oduoza said.
He stressed importance of finance in a nation’s development, pointing out that it facilitates the mobilisation of capital for infrastructure, a role he said UBA had played across Africa as a global bank with presence in 19 countries outside Nigeria. He also said UBA was instrumental in the establishment of modern, world-class Information Communication and Technology (ICT) centres in various tertiary institutions in Nigeria, adding that UBA would also consider extending similar gesture to the Faculty of Engineering of UNILAG.
“Evidently, finance is very critical in the development of every nation. First, it enables you to actually mobilize capital for infrastructure. As you know, we have infrastructure gap in Nigeria today –from power to roads, bridges, airports, and others. “If you look critically, and quantify that, you will find that we need about $100 billion investment annually to fill these gaps in the next 10 years.
We believe that banks need to play major role in this regard; and UBA has been doing this. “Again, we believe that UBA should continue to support the financing of various aspects that lead to growth across the continent. UBA, today, is what we call Africa’s Global Bank: We operate in 19 African countries outside Nigeria. “We have been financing, power, we have been financing roads, we have been financing bridges, airports, and other areas of infrastructure.
We believe that human capital is very key to these,” the GMD said, as he called on sister banks, and other institutions, to join UBA in its drive towards the development of Nigeria’s human capital and infrastructure, a role he said the government alone could not play.
In his speech, Prof Bello, commended UBA’s role in the development stride of UNILAG since inception, recalling that the bank launched the endowment of its Professorial Chair of Finance in 1972 under the leadership of its then General Manager, Mr. G.I.L. Schneider, and promised that the funds would be judiciously utilized in the areas of training and research.
Among the dignitaries that graced the occasion were Senator Adeseye Ogunlewe; the University Registrar and Secretary to Council, Dr (Mrs) Taiwo Ipaye; University Bursar, Dr Lateef Odekunle and Director, Office of Advancement, Mrs. Ronke Salaam.
– Sam Diala