Desire to Provide Quality Education Propelled Establishment of IOU -Igbinedion
Chief Gabriel Igbinedion, founder, Igbinedion University (IOU), Okada, Edo State, on Thursday, disclosed the reason for his establishment of the first private institution in 1999.
Igbinedion, who is the Esama of Benin Kingdom and Chancellor of IOU, spoke at his 89th birthday lecture organised by the university in his honour.
The founder, who was represented by his first son, Chief Lucky Igbinedion, said the desire to provide an enabling environment for uninterrupted quality education to future generations, propelled him to establish IOU.
He said it was gratifying that 24 years down the line, the vision had not only crystalised, but yielded fruits, witnessing an increase in the number of private universities to the present 148.
“The establishment of Igbinedion University in 1999, the first of such private universities in Nigeria, was borne out of my earnest desire to bequeath to future generations of Nigerians high-quality university education run with an uninterrupted calendar.
“This was at a time that access to higher education, especially at the university level, was limited compared to the number of aspirants, thus stalling human capital development and by extension the socio-economic progress of the dear nation.
“It is noteworthy that since its inception, the university has recorded remarkable successes in the areas of teaching and research, capacity building and innovation.
“Moreover, the university has kept to the October – June academic calendar and graduated students every November without fail.
“Significantly, Igbinedion University has carved a niche for itself, by embracing diversity, equity, and inclusion in its composition, thus becoming a vanguard for promoting national unity and cohesion.
“What’s more, the university has produced high-quality graduates in different fields of human endeavours who are contributing their quota to national and global development.
“These to me are sources of joy for which I remain grateful to Almighty God,” said Igbinedion.
Igbinedion, who is also the chancellor of the institution, reiterated his commitment towards the transformation of the educational landscape of the country through the university.
According to him, the hard earned reputation of being a point of reference in the rejuvenated education sector as Nigeria’s leading and most prestigious private university shall be defended and protected.
Delivering the lecture entitled “Power of Pioneering”, Mr Nick Mole, Executive Director, Carbonlogical Ltd., United Kingdom, said only the spirit of inspiration and collaboration could lead to such pioneering in chosen areas of endeavour.
To be a pioneer, he said, required dedication, discipline and inspiration such as was exhibited by Chief Igbinedion.
Earlier in his address of welcome, Prof. Lawrence Ezemonye, the vice-chancellor of the university, said the celebration of the chancellor’s birthday with an annual lecture such as this, was to give recognition to “whom it is due.”
He described as legendary and commendable, the unwavering commitment of Igbinedion to education and the development of the nation.
Through his tireless effort and boundless generosity, the vice-chancellor said, the university had continued to grow from strength to strength.