Geoffrey Anyanwu, Awka
Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano, has expressed the willingness of his administration to assist the Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UNIZIK), Awka, become a more competitive institution.
In a congratulatory message to the new Vice Chancellor, Prof. Charles Esimone, he lamented the backwardness of Nigeria’s higher institutions in the international rankings.
He noted that of the 43 federal and 48 state universities as well as 79 privately-owned ones in Nigeria, only the University of Ibadan and Covenant University in Ogun State made the list of the world’s top 1,000 universities in the latest annual Times Higher Education survey, which is the most respected and influential of such studies across the globe.
Obiano, who described Prof. Esimone’s appointment as the new vice chancellor of UNIZIK as most deserving, urged him to display uncanny leadership.
Esimone, whose appointment was announced last week by the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council of the university, Alhaji Azeez Bello, would assume office on June 4.
In a message issued by the Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, C. Don Adinuba, Governor Obiano said:
“Having served the university as deputy vice chancellor (Academics) and founding dean of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, it is difficult to think of a more prepared person for the job. Having displayed excellence in research and teaching, Prof. Esimone is now required to display uncanny leadership as the vice chancellor of UNIZIK.
“Nnamdi Azikiwe University is not just another federal higher institution, but one named for the greatest person from West Africa in over two centuries, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, GCFR, PC, the man who led Nigeria to independence and inspired a generation of great African nationalists like Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana. Therefore, Esimone should always be conscious of the special place of this higher institution in Nigerian-nay African-cosmology.
“UNIZIK has to do more than ever to produce graduates and researchers who can help drive Africa’s competitiveness in the age of globalisation.
“This will be much in line with the vision of the Great Zik of Africa, who spent all his life devoted to the emancipation of all Africans and the Black people throughout the world, so that we can take our rightful position in the comity of nations.”