Mr. Kufre Ekanem, the Corporate Affairs Adviser of Nigerian Breweries Plc and Mr. Abiola Popoola, a Human Resource icon have been announced as Goodwill Ambassadors of the Federal University of Technology, Akure.
The conferment and plaque presentation occurred in Akure as part of the activities of the institution’s first ever Distinguished Lecture which was delivered by Mr. Ekanem,.
The Distinguished Lecture, organised by the International Strategy Office of the University, was themed “Global Perspectives on Collaborations & Partnerships between Universities and Industry”.
Ekanem, a marketing and public relations practitioner, is also a published poet and Chairman of Rosemary’s Group of companies.
He sits on the advisory boards of several Small and Medium Scale (SME) enterprises in Nigeria. He is a Fellow of the National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria (NIMN), a Senior Member of the International PR Association, a Member of the Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM). Ekanem is also a corporate culture advocate who was voted the Best Image Maker in the Private Sector for 2017.
Mr. Abiola Popoola, who was the Chairman of the 1st Distinguished Lecture is a seasoned professional coach, Managing Partner of Context Consult and Chairman of Net Construct. He has had far-reaching experience in organisational development and change management working locally and globally. His training and development efforts is dimensioned towards development of HR professional, management and leadership capabilities.
In his speech at the event, Prof. Joseph Fuwape, Vice Chancellor of FUTA stated “the benefits of aligning priorities and cultivating a stronger relationship between the Industry and the University are enormous. However, understanding the need and a desire to cooperate are the prerequisites. I believe a conscious effort to build a strong town-gown relationship will act as a catalyst for economic development”.
Ahead of the conferment, Ekanem, in his one-hour lecture had posited that the competitiveness, productivity, growth and reputation of Nigeria in the comity of nations will be tremendously accelerated if we followed the proven track and ensured the upscaling of collaboration and joint-impact between the academia and industry.