Endowment: Sir Emeka Offor foundation doles out N150m for UNN, Unizik [PICTURES]

Sir Emeka Offor Foundation (SEOF) has doled out a total of 150 million for University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN) and Nnamdi Azikiwe University (NAU) Awka mostly known as Unizik.

While UNN received N100 million for research activities and scholarly enterprise that will impact the Faculty of Business Administration, NAU received N50 million for welfare of widows, children with special needs and other vulnerable members of the society.

SEOF President Chief Emeka Offor who disclosed this at an event organised in his honour and that of his wife Adaora Offor, where they were honoured with doctorate degrees by both schools, said the endowment funds would be a restricted one where the principal sum would be held in perpetuity except otherwise decided by SEOF and the Universities.

Offor said the earnings from the invested assets would be expended according to the donor’s specifications. 

“This entails funding of research and scholarly enterprise in the Faculty of Business Administration and Social Science of both universities.

“This gesture is our desire towards supporting higher education in Nigeria and strengthening the bond of friendship between the SEOF and the UNN/NAU.

“By the time you create opportunities just like we have done to these universities, you are reducing the suffering of the masses by creating opportunities for the youths to get the right job.

“We gave those monies as endowment funds and there are conditions attached for the usage; what that means is that the funds will be invested in high-yielding portfolios, not a risky one.

“We don’t want to hear that the money was lost in a bank because they were looking for higher yields; what we want from this N150 million is to remain in the university system to support research, encourage professional exchanges with other countries to acquire knowledge.

“The principal sum shall be maintained in a high-yielding but legitimate investment platform wherein SEOF and UNN/NAU shall nominate the signatories.

“There shall be a committee to be set up between SEOF and UNN/NAU to manage the funds and take decisions as appropriate,” he said.

Offor added that there must be a status report to be made available by the committee to both parties every 12 calendar months.

Earlier, Minister of Education, Prof. Tahir Mamman, commended the donors for their kind gesture, expressing the hope that the endowment funds would be judiciously used for what they were meant for.

“The good thing is that the endowment is tied to particular activities in the universities and there are clear terms for usage and I believe that the institutions will utilise the money,” he added.

Mamman then urged philanthropists and kind-hearted individuals to also invest in the federal government safe school initiative to protect school children from attacks and other forms of violence.

The minister said, though the government had spent so much in funding education, private individuals and philanthropists needed to emulate what Emeka Offor and wife had done through their Foundation, to support education.

Both Chief Emeka and Adaora Offor were awarded degrees in Business Administration and Social Advocacy (Honours) respectively by UNN and NAU, Awka.

Dr. Mrs. Adaora Offor who was celebrated alongside her spouse said their support to the institutions is aimed at advancing knowledge  through research related activities. 

“I and my husband were just doing what we could to give meaning to the less privileged and you know that knowledge is power. That’s why we are investing more in education. This what we started from primary, secondary and now tertiary education,” she said.

The acting Vice Chancellor of UNN, Prof. Romanus Ezeokonkwo, on the occasion assured that the fund would be judiciously used.

He said the donors mentioned what they want to do with the money and we will follow it judiciously and there will be no diversion.

The immediate past Vice Chancellor Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, Prof. 

Charles Okechukwu Esimone and Senator Magnus Abe who were among the many personalities at the occasion, said Emeka Offor’s had been in the forefront of education among other empowerment programmes, and the selfless service of the philanthropist would create a long-term legacy in the country’s educational system.

Other guests ranging from the academia to political pheres, enjoined UNN as well as NAU to ensure that the endowment funds donated by the duo through the Sir Emeka Offor Foundation meet the purpose they are meant for.