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UNN 59th Founders’ Day Lecture
The Salt of the Nation Executive Governor, His Excellency, Engr (Dr) David Nweze Umahi the Lion of South East and Chairman of South East Governors’ Forum was accompanied to the epochal event by his amiable wife, Her Excellency, Chief Mrs Rachel Ogonna Umahi and the Deputy Governor of Ebonyi, His Excellency, Dr Barr Eric Kelechi Igwe.
The Founders’ Day Lecture is a very prestigious lecture and usually signifies the climax of a week-long series of activities lined up to mark the anniversary of Nigeria’s first indigenous university. This year’s event was chaired by the first registrar of the University, His Royal Majesty, Eze Chukwuemeka Ike.
His Excellency, Engr (Dr) David Nweze Umahi by delivering this epoch,historical and World changing lecture during the event followed in the footpaths of other prominent Nigerians who delivered the prestigious lecture in the past
Lady Monica Ada Chidinma Eze the President of DUNAETA and Technical Assistant (TA) on Media to Governor Umahi made this remark in a press statement she personally signed and issued on Sunday and circulated in Abakaliki the State capital of Ebonyi State further highlighted that the epoch event took the peaceful town of Nsukka by storm as she has never witnessed such a mammoth crowd for a long time. The historical event took place at the prestigious Princess Alexandria Auditorium and Unity Hall, Nsukka Campus of University of Nigeria Nsukka.
Monica Eze stated that Governor Umahi once described as the wisest Governor in Nigeria and winner of the Zik’s award for leadership is the Chairman of the South East Governors Forum and Vice Chairman of Southern Nigeria Governors Forum in his lecture described as one of the most outstanding lectures ever delivered in the University used the opportunity to expose his political and economic agenda for Ebonyi State.
According to the erudite and eloquent Guest Speaker and Governor of Ebonyi State the Salt of the Nation, Dr Umahi highlighted that Nigeria must shift from single oil economy expressing optimism that with proper investment in both physical and human development, Nigeria’s economy can survive without relying on oil exposing three vital areas Nigeria needs to pursue for a zero oil economy.
The three vital areas include insulating the economy from the risk of being vulnerable to a single commodity; creation of jobs that can raise the living standard of an average Nigerian and preparing for life beyond the oil revenue.
Lady Monica Aka Ada Ebonyi further highlighted that the Governor in his Lecture which he titled: “Preparing Ebonyi State for zero oil Economy”, Umahi stated that Ebonyi has started laying the foundations for sustained economic growth and prosperity beyond the era of oil.
The TA on Media to Governor Umahi quoted the Governor as saying that the oil economy breeds low standard of living and widens the gap between the poor and rich; economic imbalance as well as encourages unemployment, said that Nigeria must “use oil to move beyond oil; our large population of 180 million people means we do not have enough oil to meet the needs of all our citizens. Nigeria, therefore, cannot expect to only stick to exporting oil, and become a major economic engine, or deepen the size and resilience of its economy.
To achieve this, the governor explained however that the Government must opportunities for Nigerians to have easy credit access for small business, opportunities for medium-size business, modernization in the agriculture sector, development of textiles industries and development of tourism and creative industry.
Ada Ebonyi further quoted his boss thus “in Ebonyi, we have made the modest strides we have made in our state through a combination of prudence, preparation for the future and diversification of our economy beyond oil. We stretch out our hand in partnership to everyone that is willing and able to partner us on this journey, including this reputable university”.
The event was witnessed by the National Vice Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Deacon Austin Umahi, Secretary to State Government SSG , Ebonyi State, Ugbala Kenneth (PhD), the Chairman People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Ebonyi State, Barr Onyekachi Nwaebonyi, Members of Ebonyi State Executive Council including the Principal Secretary to the Governor, Chief Clement Alobu Nweke,
Royal Fathers, Capital of Industries and all political appointees from Ebonyi State including the Coordinators of Development Centers, members of EAs, STAs and TAs, members of Akubaraoha Youth Assembly.
Others that witnessed the epochal making event were the Vice Chancellor of UNN, Prof. Charles Igwe, the Pro-chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council of the university, Chief Mike Olorunfemi, a member of the Governing Council of UNN, Alhaji Abdulahi Yunusa, the Chairman of Senate Ceremonials Committee of the university, Prof Bennett C. Nwanguma amongst notable alumni and distinguished Dignitaries.
She described Governor Umahi as an enigma and proud of the new generation of our leaders.
Monica also congratulated her boss for establishing himself as a rare gem and a leading light for our nation.