An alumnus of the University of Lagos and Chairman, Inducon Nigeria Limited, Dr. John Abebe, has appealed to wealthy Nigerians to reach out to the less-privileged by contributing to their emancipation and the development of the nation at large.
Abebe, a former President of the Nigeria Cricket Federation, was one of the recipients of the recently held 2017 distinguished alumni awards and celebration of UNILAG at 55, organised by the alumni association.
He expressed delight at the award, saying that he was humbled by the recognition he was accorded. “One has been associated with the promotion, the sponsorship and funding of cricket in Nigeria for the past 40 years without really expecting any recognition and praises. As for one’s activities in the Old Boys Association of St Gregory’s College, I really didn’t think it would be noticed and commented upon by my alma mater. So I thank God for it.”
He noted that the length of time he has consistently been doing what he enjoyed doing for cricket and for the college must have influenced the decision of the UNILAG Alumni to honour him, adding that the award will spur him to do more
“I have always advocated that government alone shouldn’t be allowed to handle everything about education. Nigerians should learn to give back to the society that has made them what they are,” Abebe said.
He had for long in his private capacity sponsored cricket competitions across the country and donated cricket kits and equipment to the National Cricket Teams and many schools within and outside Lagos. As President of the Nigeria Cricket Federation between 2011 and 2005, Abebe ran the federation without government funding and single-handedly sponsored the national team on international training tours and competitions.
St. Gregory’s College has also during his stewardship as president of the old boys association, witnessed tremendous transformation in terms of facilities and quality of teaching. Abebe has also awarded scholarships to many indigent students.
In his remarks, the Alumni President, Dr. Sunny Kuku, said the awards took cognizance of those who contributed to the growth of the university in the past.
The Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, who was the special guest of honour, congratulated the awardees, saying that their achievements were worthy of celebration and had emanated from a great institution.
“I would like to thank everyone and to hope that when we celebrate our 60th you will all be here, we will all be here to celebrate the 70th and 80th and 100th as well for the young ones among us.”
Other honourees included the former Managing Director of AMCON, Mr. Mustafa Chike-Obi; Chairman, Niger Delta Development Commission, Senator Ndoma Egba; and Majority Leader, House of Representatives, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, among others.