BUA Group has commended the administrative efforts of the University of Benin led by its Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Lilian Salami. This was on Tuesday 27th July during a courtesy call on the institution’s Vice-Chancellor at her office, in Benin City, the Edo State capital.
Founder and Chairman of BUA Group, Alhaji AbdulSamad Rabiu, who gave the commendation, said the University was in safe hands with Prof. Salami as Vice-Chancellor. He commended the University administration for their commitment to ensuring the highest standards in tertiary education at UNIBEN.
Represented by Mr Udoh Ubon, Managing Director of the Abdul Samad Rabiu (ASR) African Initiative, an initiative of BUA Group, Rabiu said the group was at the University to formally present an educational grant under the ASR to UNIBEN for the development of its critical infrastructure.
Ubon quoted Founder and Chairman of BUA Group, Alhaji AbdulSamad Rabiu, as saying that UNIBEN was chosen as one of the six Universities in Nigeria in recognition of its quality services and the pedigree of its graduates both locally and internationally.
He said ASR Africa Initiative – the brainchild of Abdul Samad Rabiu, would be providing the grant of N1 billion Naira to UNIBEN as part of its yearly $100 million ASR Africa Fund for Social Development and Renewal. This grant will be channelled towards ICT for the students and the Student Affairs Building as identified by the University today.
Meanwhile, Mr Ubon commended the Vice-Chancellor for promptly identifying the projects that needed intervention, while revealing that the other five universities have also identified such projects with the ASR team to fast-track the project initiation.
Responding, and in her remarks, Prof. Salami expressed appreciation to the BUA Group Chairman and Founder for the grant and noted that it will enable the institution to meet pressing development needs which will positively impact the quality of education being delivered at the university.
The Vice-Chancellor promised to work with the BUA Group to deliver a project that would be the pride of both the beneficiary and benefactor, adding, “the projects we have selected will have an impact on our students not just for now but even for posterity.”
She praised the Founder of the ASR African Initiative and Chairman of BUA Group, Alhaji AbdulSamad Rabiu, for his consistent commitment to social good and commended the philanthropic work of the group’s chairman.
The Vice-Chancellor also extolled the good works of ASR across Africa and thanked the philanthropist for the grant. She assured the representatives that the University Management, Staff and Students will forever be grateful to ASR Africa for this gesture.
The Vice-Chancellor disclosed that the University Management team had carefully identified the Student Affairs Building and ICT as projects to be covered by the grant to train its students for global relevance and competitiveness.
“COVID-19 has shown that we are not ready for ICT despite living in a global village, hence, the need to train and equip our students on ICT for them to be able to compete favourably with their counterparts globally,” she said.
Prof. Salami told the benefactor that the University of Benin is a world-class institution with a vision for sustainable development of the society, saying that the University looks for a continuous relationship with the ASR Initiative.
Describing the Chairman and Founder of BUA as a very patriotic Nigerian who believes in the development of Nigeria, the Vice-Chancellor revealed that Rabiu is an alumnus of the University having been awarded an honorary degree in the past.
The highpoint of the visit was the formal presentation of the Nomination letter conveying the award to the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Lilian Salami by the ASR African Initiative MD, Mr Udoh Ubon.
Mr Ubon was accompanied on the visit to the University of Benin Vice-Chancellor by the Head, Corporate Communications, BUA Group, Mr O’tega Ogra and other members of the team.
The ASR Africa Initiative, which is the brainchild of industrialist and Philanthropist, Abdul Samad Rabiu, grants $100 million annually for social development and renewal, focusing on education, health and social development issues within the African continent – with Nigeria to benefit $50 million yearly and the rest of Africa, $50 million in what is the largest private philanthropic giving of its kind by an individual in Africa.
The University of Benin is one of the six Nigerian Universities carefully selected across the country’s six geopolitical zones in a first cohort that will benefit from a donation of N1 billion each from the initiative as part of its Tertiary Education Grants Scheme.