By Nsan Ndoma-Neji, Calabar

All is now set by the University of Calabar, UniCal, to construct a multi-million naira distance learning centre.

The Distance Learning Center, which would be used for running the administration of distance learning by the University of Calabar, UniCal, and which is estimated to cost millions of naira, will be erected and donated by Kwara State industrialist, Dr. Kamoru Ibitoye Yusuf, as a contribution of his quota towards the development of education activity in Nigeria.

While performing the ground breaking ceremony of the edifice yesterday in Calabar, as part of the activities marking UniCal’s convocation ceremony and to enable contractors move to site, Dr Yusuf said that education was the bedrock of modern societies.

L-R: UniCal VC, Prof. Obi, flanked by Dr. Yusuf, unveiling the plaque for take off of the KAM-Wire ODL Building for Distance Learning shortly before kick-off of UniCal’s 34th Convocation yesterday in Calabar.

He therefore called on other meaningful individuals and philanthropists in Nigeria to lend a helping hand to the management of UniCal, in its quest to make the institution rank among best in Nigeria and beyond.

The Centre, to be name after the donor and founder of KAM Holdings, Dr. Yusuf, and which would be called ‘KAM-Wire ODL Building,’ will help the institution realize its goal of taking education to the doorsteps of many across the country.

The Kwara State-born industrialist stated that because education remains the bed rock of any given society, what has been contributed to the growth of Western countries is because the people wholeheartedly embraced education.

Ibitoye, who was also an awardee of the University of Calabar Doctorate degree in Business Management (Honoris Causa), expressed the hope that the facility would encourage more Nigerians to embrace education.

He said, “I am passionate about education, and we have to teach our youths and provide the necessary facilities like this building for our youths all over Nigeria.”

Kwara State Industrialist, Dr Yusuf performing the Ground Breaking Ceremony for the Distance Learning Centre, shortly before kick-off of UniCal’s 34th Convocation yesterday in Calabar.

Also speaking, the Deputy Governor of Kwara State, Kayode Alabi, lauded Dr. Yusuf for joining other distinguished Nigerians to write their names in the sand of time by embarking on the multi-million naira edifice to aide distance learning in the country.

Alabi said, “I am not surprised, because Dr. Yusuf is a first class industrialist and lover of education. So, deciding to build a centre for the educational development of young Nigerians is worthy of emulation.”

Yusuf charged other philanthropists in Nigerians to do same for educational advancement in Nigeria.

Speaking earlier before the foundation was laid by the philanthropist, the institution’s Vice Chancellor, Prof. Florence Obi, commended the Kwara State business tycoon/industrialist for conceiving the idea to build a distance learning centre for UniCal.

She said, “We are indeed very grateful to you for deciding to build an ODL centre for us. When we went to meet him, we presented our challenges to him, especially that we wanted to start our distance education programme, which will provide access to many more Nigerians, who do not have the opportunity of coming to do face-to-face contact in the university.

“This will enable us meet the benchmark of the National Universities Commission, NUC, that for a distance learning programme, we must have a stand alone building labelled as Open and Distance Learning Centre for NUC accreditation.”

The convocation ceremony was rounded off with the award of diplomas, first, second and doctorate degrees to about 4,000 students of the University of Calabar.


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