*To host Distinguished Alumni Awards
The University of Lagos (UNILAG) Alumni Association has concluded plans to launch a 500-bed space hostel project estimated at N2 billion. To this effect, the association will kick off a fund-raising initiative for the project at the 2017 Distinguished Alumni Awards Ceremony slated for Friday, 13th October, 2017 at the Oriental Hotel, Lagos.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, Government officials, captains of industries, outstanding alumnus and professionals amongst other prominent personalities in the public and private sectors are expected to attend the event. With the theme “UNILAG @55”, the occasion will also commemorate UNILAG’s 55th anniversary as well as recognition awards to be presented to outstanding alumnus of the institution.
The Chairman of the occasion, billionaire businessman, Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and Chairman of Bi-Courtney Group of Companies, Dr. Wale Babalakin, who is also the Pro-Chancellor of the University. Vice President Osinbajo will be the Special Guest of Honour.
Speaking on the state of preparation, the National Vice President of the association, Otunba Seni Adetu, former Managing Director of Guinness Plc, who represented the President of the association, Olor’ogun (Dr.) Sonny Kuku, disclosed to newsmen at a press conference in Lagos on Friday that plans were in top gear to make the event memorable and it would be a three-in-one event.
According to Adetu, “The first one is that we are celebrating 55 years of productive existence. Secondly, we are announcing the distinguished awardees of Distinguished Alumni Awards, that we do now and then, where we go out and identify eminent products of University of Lagos and we reward them accordingly for their contribution to the growth of Nigerian community and thirdly, we will be announcing the commencement of the major project that we are embarking on as an association and that is 500 bed space Alumni project.”
Adetu explained further that the project when completed would help solve the accommodation challenges confronting students, adding that such a project would help boost the morale of the students as they strive for academic excellence.
He further hinted that the Alumni Association concluded to embark on the project having engaged with the university authority on the priority needs of famous institution. The institution, he said, identified the problem of hostel accommodation.
The organizers also released the names of awardees at a formal press conference held to herald the event. These are: Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita bagged the ‘Distinguished Alumna Award’ while seven personalities will be honoured with ‘Distinguished Alumnus Awards’ for their outstanding performance in their various field. Other important dignitaries expected to be honoured include Chairman of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and three-term Senator Victor Ndoma Egba, House of Reps Majority Leader, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, Mr. Godwin Obla, Dr. John Abebe, former Shell BP MD, Mr. Mutiu Sunmonu, and former Managing Director of the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) Mr. Mustafa Chike-Obi.
Similarly, the ‘Honorary Distinguished Alumnus’ will be bestowed on Prof. Rahamon Ade Bello while the Law Set of 1983, Akoka Axis and Engineering Alumni set of 1969 -1973 will be honoured with ‘Sectoral Distinguished Alumni Award’ and Dr. D.K. Olukoya will be receive ‘Special Recognition Award.’
The University of Lagos Alumni Association came into existence in 1969; four (4) years after the first 41 graduates were turned out of the University that was established in 1962.
The Association has embarked on series of projects like the building of the Post Graduate Hall of residence in the University some years ago. Although, hampered by lack of fund, the first phase attracted a distinguished Alumnus Dr. Erastus Akingbola who donated a four-storey building hostel to the University. Other donors include Dr. D.K. Olukoya (N150 Million for a Research Laboratory), The Sahara Energy Group (N300 Million – Charity Donation), and Dr. M. I. Okoro (N5 Million for Chair Endowment).