The Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the United Bank for Africa (UBA), Mr Oliver Alawuba has said that one flag that is flown with pride in the UBA group is that of the University of Ibadan because UI Alumni outnumber those of other universities on the management team.
Mr Alawuba made this statement at his investiture and decoration as a UI@75 Ambassador in Lagos.
He said that without any equivocation, UI remains the first and best university in Nigeria.
According to him, he was very happy when he visited UI earlier this year and saw that the ageing structures and the environment were still well kept even better than they were in 1991 when he left UI with a Master's degree.
He commended the management of the university for doing its job well.
Mr Alawuba assured that the UBA Group, especially the UI Alumni within, would extend a hand of fellowship to the university in ensuring that it continues into the next century and beyond.
He noted that the responsibility of maintaining public universities is beyond the government, adding that the private sector needed to contribute.
He said the UBA Group would, henceforth, encourage students of the University of Ibadan in its Graduate Management Accelerated Programme, scholarship programmes, and sporting activities.
The GMD/CEO described the UI@75 thematic projects as forward-looking and a well-defined agenda to move the university forward.
He disclosed that the UBA Group would also be 75 years old in 2024. He said the Group has the whole of Africa as its constituency but now has a formidable presence in 20 African nations.
He said the UBA Foundation would be brought in to help market the University of Ibadan to foreign students in order to earn foreign exchange for the university.
The Executive Director Finance and Risk Management of the Bank, Mr Ugo Nwaghodah, also an Alumnus of UI, expressed gratitude to UI for building the foundation of who they are today.
He promised that they would all give support in order to give back to the university that made them.
The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Kayode O. Adebowale, mni, FAS, had earlier recounted how the University of Ibadan had grown from its three faculties and 104 students in 1948 to 18 faculties with a student population of over 42,000 in 2023, a College of Medicine adjudged to be the best in Sub-Sahara Africa, and a Postgraduate College that is the flagship of postgraduate education in Nigeria.
He said the university aligns with the UBA principles of Enterprise, Excellence, and Execution because knowledge which is the driving force of UI is a common denominator.
The Deputy Vice-Chancellor Administration, who is also the Chairman of the UI@75 Anniversary Committee, Professor Peter O. Olapegba, FNPA, had explained the thematic projects to be the upgrading of the University's Endowment Fund; converting research into innovation for national development; upgrading the University into a Smart campus; generating clean and alternative energy; providing scholarship for excellent and indigent students and promoting staff mobility and development.
He said these projects are in line with the vision of the Vice-Chancellor to raise $200 million during his 5-year tenure to further consolidate the development of the University.
The decoration of Mr Alawuba as a UI@75 Ambassador was performed by the Registrar, Mr Ganiyu O. Saliu.