By WILFRED JIBRIL reporting from Porto Novo, Benin Republic
Plans are afoot by Benin Republic’s most successful university, Ecole Superieure Des Sciences De Commerce Et D’administration Des Entreprises Du Benin (University of Science, Commerce and Business Administration, Porto Novo, Benin Republic), to establish a world class campus.
The International Director of the university, Ambassador (Dr) Abba Joel Michael, JP, who disclosed this at the 6th matriculation/convocation of ESCAE held at the massive Complexe Tiwani, Porto Novo, yesterday, explained that the plan was part of the efforts to make the university rank among the best in the world.
According to him, the ultra modern permanent site would be built close to the border, principally to mitigate the plight of foreign students, particularly, Nigerians who constitute the bulk of the student population of the university.
He revealed that the university required 32 acres of land for the project and appealed to all and sundry to rally round ESCAE in actualizing the dream.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Registrar, Engineer Marius Ahonon, had described ESCAE as a young but rapidly growing university, adding: “We are growing with you and gradually, we are putting the structures that will propel you to greater heights in place”.
According to him, it was the responsibility of ESCAE to help build the nation’s human capital through the training of highly skilled manpower.
His words: “Knowledge and understanding are key elements in the life of every individual, and opportunities to acquire these virtues should not be ignored”.
Engineer Ahonon, however, revealed that the university was up against financial challenges impeding the execution of its several projects and programmes such as library, permanent site, laboratories and hostels, among others, adding that ESCAE has embarked on a fundraising campaign to address the hiccups.
He, therefore, urged individuals, corporate bodies and philanthropists to come to the aid of the promising university.
Also speaking at the event, the Chancellor, Dr. Theodore Dossa Mehoba, explained that the contribution of ESCAE to national development was to satisfy the intellectual needs of the society, advance the frontiers of knowledge and most importantly, to transmit knowledge from one generation to another.
Dr. Mehoba opined that the purpose of university education is to be trained to serve and improve humanity, adding that African countries would become great if the students work hard and come out to serve and improve the prevailing conditions in Africa.
Six prominent Nigerians were awarded honorary doctorate (Honoris Causa) at the twin event. They are Comptroller Mohammed A. Aliyu, head of Seme Command of the Nigeria Customs Service, a management expert, Christopher Onwudiwe, Managing Director of Layus Investment Company Limited, Alhaji Olatunji Yusuf Lawal, Chairman, Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (Seme Krake Border), an ICT expert, Mr. Richard Adekunle Oluwasanya, Mr. Ayotunde Coker and Prince Samson Adeyemo.
The Chancellor, Dr. Mehoba bagged the Icon of the year award, the Innovator of the year award went to the registrar, Engineer Ahonon, Ambassador (Dr) Abba got the partner of the year award and Engineer Smart carted away the Staff of the year award.