From Magnus Eze, Enugu
Billionaire businessman, Prince Arthur Eze has donated N350million to the Coal City University (CCU), Emene, Enugu to support the new privately owned-institution.
This is as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, has urged universities in the country toinculcate innovative ideas in their students as a solution to increasing youth unemployment.
The philanthropist was in the university last week, where he inspected facilities including the Prince Arthur Eze Community Education Centre, under construction.
Speaking after his tour of the school, Eze announced that N250million was for the completion of the Education Centre; while he would release N100million annually to subsidize the students’ tuition fees, especially the indigent ones among them.
He, therefore, called on wealthy Nigerians and corporate bodies to support educational institutions whether public or private, noting that the latter needed support more since many of them were non-profit ventures.
He also commended the Chancellor of the university, Chinedu Ani, for the choice of name of the university, pointing out that with the CCU, coal which was the bedrock of the economy of the defunct Eastern region would not die.
Eze said: “God gave you the wisdom and vision. You devoted your life and everything you have to build this thing. You are not doing it for your- self. You have graduated for a long time. You are doing it for all these people. I’m grateful for your good works. I heard every- thing you said but I will start with these people. Every year, I will give N100 million for their scholarship, all the students here. In January next year, I will send you N100 million for their scholarship because some of them will be Vice Chancellors, some of them will be many things in future. They will train our children and grandchildren. The Centre you are building is a good thing you are doing. You are not doing it to make money. I am going to give you another N250 million for that centre.”
Onyeama, made the call during a courtesy visit to the management of CCU, where he said that there was need for universities in the country to produce graduates who are self-reliant because it was the only way to cub the frantic search for non-existent white-collar jobs in the country.
“I think universities should now be bringing out people, not those looking out for white-cola job but those that would be creating jobs through innovations and we have to push innovations and push intellectual properties.
“When you look at different ways that the university can succeed, you have to think of what
lies within your powers and for me, I think innovation and intellectual properties are the key. With innovation and intellectual properties, the university in the country will play a vital role in the society and development of the country,” he stated.
In his separate remarks, during the visits, Vice Chancellor of CCU, Prof Afam Icha-Ituma, described the university as a globally focused and fast-rising university in Nigeria which strives to provide students with the skill set to live and work in an increasingly interconnected world.
He also solicited for endowment of professional chairs, instituting of scholarships and awards for well performing and best graduating students in various programmes of the university; as well as building of physical facilities and provision of school buses.
Chancellor of the institution, Chinedu Ani, assured that management would stop at nothing in making CCU the pride of Africa as already evidenced in its inter- national linkage programmes.