Let me once again welcome the Vice Chairman of Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, Mr. Heinz Stockhausen and members of his entourage to our university, Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti, (ABUAD), which has been variously described as a model, a benchmark and a reference point in quality, functional and reformatory education.
About the University:
Afe Babalola University is a Federal Government licensed private University in Nigeria. Its vision is to reform and provide functional education by example and lead others in quality education, industry, service and character as well as discipline, following the models of world class universities like Harvard.
Following its giant strides since its inception on 4th January 2010, the University has won several national and international awards, including “Best Private University in Nigeria Award” by the National Association of Nigerian Law Students, 2012. The university has been acknowledged by All African Students Union with headquarters in Ghana, present and former president and Heads of State of Nigeria, the Universities Commission (NUC) (the Regulatory Body for Education in Nigeria), and numerous stakeholders as a “model, benchmark and reference point, the most dynamic, progressive and fastest growing private university in Africa”.
The university, though only four years old now has been rated by the Global University Webometric as the second (2nd) Best Private University in Nigeria and number thirteen (13th) of the totality of the 157 universities in Nigeria. It recently secured 100% accreditation in all the fourteen Programmes presented to NUC for accreditation in 2013. The Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) has also accredited all the seven engineering programmes. Similarly the Computer Professionals Registration Council of Nigeria (CPN) also granted full accreditation for its computer programmes.
In appreciation of the huge investment in the University’s College of Law and the international standard of its Faculty, the Council of Legal Education, by its letter of November 6, 2013, increased the admission quota of the College from 80 to 180, a further confirmation of NUC’s position which once described our Law College in the following words: “The University Law College is certainly the best in West Africa”.
Last November, UNESCO invited ABUAD to collaborate with it on issues relating to education, “Strengthen Education Systems for Sustainable Development in Africa and Improve Equity, Quality and Relevance”. The UNESCO promised to publicize UNESCO-ABUAD initiatives on its website”, and ‘portray the university as one of the shining beacon of excellence in its endeavour to be one of the best universities in African and the world’.
It must be in appreciation of all these national and international recognitions and encomiums that our four-year old university has been appointed as the ‘Mentoring tertiary institution and affiliate’ to the new College of Industrial Development (UID), Accra, Ghana.
Julius Berger Nigeria Plc.
Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, a renowned construction company right from Nigeria’s independence, has been a reliable and veritable friend of Nigeria. Although, a German company, it has contributed immensely to the economic, social and educational development of this country more than most. I am not aware of any company that has contributed to the economic, social and educational progress of Nigeria as Julius Berger has done.
As part of its generosity and kindness of heart, one can remember many times in the past where some other contractors have done some lousy and shoddy jobs, Julius Berger is the one called upon to repair. Apart from this, it is on record that Julius Berger has been engaging in man social and educational developments in the country, very much unlike most contractors.
The practice all over the world is for an important international company who makes success in a country to positively impact and affect its host community. This, I want to humbly submit, Julius Berger has been doing consistently and very well too. Apart from payment of tax, which is quite huge, the company has voted several billions of Naira for different development plans in the country. I challenge other successful company to emulate Julius Berger.
When I was Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council at the University of Lagos, I invited many of my clients to partner with us in our efforts to turn the university around. At that time, the University of Lagos had Korea problem. The University was like a market. Roads were dilapidated, hospitals and college building structures had deteriorated. I had to invite my client, Julius Berger was one of the many that agreed to assist us. It bought laboratory equipments to replace obsolete ones, built a modern auditorium and furnished it, tarred the dilapidated buildings. I had no alternative but to award Doctor of Engineering of the University on Dr. Hans Whittman
We are always grateful to those who support our university and bearing in mind your gigantic contributions to UNILAG, we want to seize this opportunity to invite you to put up structures or laboratory centres as well constructing some f our roads. Your positive response in this regard will be appreciated.
Second Convocation Ceremony.
Very soon, our university will be hosting its second convocation ceremony and the Council of the university has unanimously agreed to confer on you an Honourary Doctorate Degree in Engineering. We look forward to receiving you at the ceremony.
The management usually receive our visitors at the Council Chambers. But we consider your visit as a special occasion and that is why we are honouring by hosting you at the hallowed bowel of our College of Law Auditorium, a College which has been described by the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC) as the best in West Africa. It is our wish that you see over 4,500 students of this university but on this occasion we believe that by seeing the students of Law College, you would have a feel of what the College is like – discipline, courteous and well dressed students. This is why the university is described as a pace-setter in reformatory education.
Our hosting you in this auditorium will afford you the opportunity of meeting some of the brightest lawyers that will be passing out of this university later this year. Today, we have 4,600 students in our College of Law and they are reputed to be leaders in discipline, learning and character as well as dressing. Other only follow them. We are very proud of them.
We urge you to spend some time to visit College of Engineering commissioned by President Jonathan, College of Law other colleges, our water, printing, bakery and other utilities.
Sir, we have come to reform education, we have come to establish a model university, a benchmark and reference point to others. Now the NUC, Council of Legal Education send other universities to us for mentoring. A Ghana University has applied to us for mentoring. This is why your coming will convince you that you have not come in vain. We are agents of change. You will henceforth be part of agent of change.
With these few remarks, I welcome you one again.
AARE AFE BABALOLA, OFR, CON,SAN, LL.D,D.Litt