By Bassey Inyang
An Industrialist and Chief Executive Officer of KAM Holdings, Nigeria Limited, Dr. Kamoru Yusuf, has pledged to construct an ultra-modern Open and Distance Learning (ODL) Centre for the University of Calabar.
The groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the proposed centre was performed recently, as part of activities marking the 34th convocation ceremony of the university.
Speaking on the importance of the project, Yusuf said his decision to build and equip the ODL centre stemmed from his desire to fulfill part of the corporate social responsibility he owes the society as an industrialist, adding that he was sure that at completion and use, the facility would add to the advancement of the society.
“What contributed to the growth of western countries is because the people wholeheartedly embraced education. I am passionate about education, and we have to teach our youths and provide the necessary facilities like this building for them all over Nigeria,” Yusuf said.
The industrialist who was among the few dignitaries conferred with Doctorate Degree in Business Management (Honoria Causa) by the University of Calabar, expressed optimism that the new ODL centre, would encourage more Nigerians to embrace education. Yusuf called on other philanthropists in Nigeria to do same for educational advancement in the country.
Deputy Governor of Kwara State, Kayode Alabi, who was one of the dignitaries that graced the convocation lauded Yusuf for the initiative to encourage distance learning.
He said the centre would serve as part of his contribution towards development and growth of education in Nigeria.
“I am not surprised because Dr. Yusuf is a first class industrialists and lover of education. So, deciding to build a centre for the educational development of young Nigerians is worthy of emulation,” the deputy governor said.
In her remarks, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Calabar Prof. Florence Obi, commended the Kwara State-born business mogul and industrialist for his contribution to the advancement of education.
She said the university remained grateful to Yusuf for deciding to sponsor the building of the ODL Center.
“When we went to meet him, we presented our challenges to him ,especially that we wanted to start our distance education programme, which will provide access to many more Nigerians, who do not have the opportunity of coming to do face-to-face contact in the university. He quickly obliged us, and today he is here in person to perform the ground breaking for the construction.
“One of the criteria given by the National Universities Commission (NUC) to approve any ODL Center for a iniversity is that, they must be a stand-alone structure. This will enable us meet the benchmark of the NUC,” she remarked.
At the 34th convocation, the university management awarded diplomas, first, second and doctorate degrees to about 4,000 students of the university.
A total of 4,558 students graduated with first degrees and national diplomas in various programmes, out of which, 22 finished with first class honours, 1,073 students had second class upper, 2,763 had second class lower, 547 had third class while 26 graduated with pass.