The Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile Ife has honoured the Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, SAN and 59 other distinguished alumni in celebration of the University’s 60th anniversary.
The notable alumni were presented with Awards of Excellence during the formal launching of Great Ife Advancement Foundation held at the Marriot Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos.
Among the honorees are: the Governor of Ondo State, Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN; First Lady of Ekiti State, Erelu Bisi Fayemi; former Osun State Governor, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola; former Ondo State Governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko; former First Lady of Lagos State, Senator Oluremi Tinubu; Minister of Information and National Orientation, Alhaji Lai Mohammed; Minister of State for Health, Senator Olorunimbe Mamora; Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor; and the Orangun of Oke-Ila, His Royal Majesty, Oba Adedokun Omoniyi Abolarin.
The awardees also include: the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Chief Femi Adesina; Special Adviser to the President on Economic Matters in the Office of the Vice-President, Ambassador Adeyemi Dipeolu; Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Senator Babafemi Ojudu; former Chairman of Access Bank and Chairman of Board of Trustees of Great Ife Advancement Foundation, Mr. Gbenga Oyebode; Justice of the Supreme Court, Hon. Justice Amina Augie; Chief Executive Officer of Nigerians In Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa; Human Rights Activists and lawyers: Mr. Femi Falana, SAN and Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN; and Chairman of ThisDay Editorial Board, Mr. Olusegun Adeniyi, among others.
The former Chairman of First Bank of Nigeria (FBN) Group and a member of the Board of Trustees of Great Ife Advancement Foundation, Dr. Ibukun Awosika, presented the Award of Excellence to the ICPC Chairman, Prof. Owasanoye.
Speaking at the occasion, the Vice Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University, Prof. Eyitope Ogunbodede, said the 60 awardees were dedicated “Great Ife ambassadors” who had contributed over the past 60 years to the advancement of the institution and the country.
Ogunbodede said, “This well-deserved Award of Excellence for 60 very passionate, supportive and dedicated Great Ife ambassadors who have contributed over the past 60 years, is to further show the University Management’s appreciation.”
The Vice Chancellor further noted that the institution had in its 60 years of existence lived up to the expectation of the founding fathers.
“The University has achieved rapid growth and development, particularly in the areas of Academic Programmes, Research, Infrastructural Development, and Human Resources Development.
“The University which started with 244 students, 64 academic members of staff and 15 senior administrative and technical staff in five Faculties, now has over 25,000 students and more than 4,000 members currently has two Colleges, 13 Faculties and 94 Academic Programmes.
“All the 94 academic programmes in the University are currently accredited by the National Universities Commission, making OAU one of the few Universities with 100 percent accreditation of its programmes,” Prof. Ogunbodede added.
In his reaction to the award by the OAU, the ICPC Chairman called for support for Nigerian Universities by their alumni, noting that such support was globally acceptable and in line with best practices.
“It is gratifying to be among the honorees and I accept the award with humility. What OAU has done is in line with the best practices. All over the world, great institutions are supported by their alumni by promoting endowments to support and advance the development of the institutions,” Prof. Owasanoye said.
The ICPC boss had only last month bagged the 2021 Presidential Award of Excellence of the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors’ (NIQS).
The award was approved by the NIQS’s National Policy Committee (NPC) in recognition of Prof. Owasanoye’s commitment in ensuring prudency in the expenditure of public funds in government projects.
“As a pragmatic and diligent professional, your sterling qualities and laudable initiatives are speedily ending the era of contractors siphoning public funds and abandonment/shabby execution of constituency projects across the country,” the NIQS President, Mohammed Abba Tor had stated while presenting the award to the ICPC Chairman.