President Muhammadu Buhari will on Friday, May 10 inaugurate 17 projects and lay the foundation for 16 others as part of activities to mark the 13th Convocation of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UNIZIK), Awka.

The Vice-Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Joseph Ahaneku, disclosed this while addressing newsmen on activities mapped out for the convocation ceremony in Awka on Monday.

Ahaneku, who noted that the president would be represented by the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, said the programme would commence with an interdenominational church service on May 6.

“Some of the projects listed for inauguration are the institution’s main entrance called the Beautiful Gate, six classroom blocks, professorial offices, the remodeled Multipurpose Hall and Uzodike Hall.

“The president is also expected to lay the foundation for the construction of the institution’s permanent Medical Centre and vice-chancellor’s lodge within the main campus, among others.

“A Research Exhibition will hold on May 7, with the former Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Julius Okojie as Special Guest of Honour,’’ he revealed.

The vice-chancellor said that the Convocation lecture: “National Integration, Peace and Development,” would be delivered by the former Senate President, Sen. Ken Nnamani, on May 8.

He added that the former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, would chair the convocation lecture.

Ahaneku said the institution would award first degrees to students on May 9, while 790 students would be awarded Masters Degrees, and 295 students awarded Doctors of Philosophy (PhD) on May 10.

“The institution shall also award prizes to celebrate best graduating students as a way of celebrating them and their families to encourage hard work,” he emphasised.

The vice-chancellor said that Honorary Doctorate Degrees of Science would be awarded to the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Achebe.

Others are: Chief Emeka Offor, Honorary Doctor of Entrepreneurship and Amb. Babagana Kingibe, Honorary Doctor of Politics and Strategy.

“These are Nigerians that have contributed immensely to the development of the country in different spheres.

“We shall also install seven Emeriti professors, who are critical stakeholders in education sector to continue to impact knowledge on our students,” he added.

He listed the names of the Emeriti professors as: Prof. Obiona Nwogu, Prof. Rose Ebenebe, Prof. I.C.A. Oyeka, Prof. Ilochi Okafor (SAN), Prof. V.C. Egboka, Prof. Ikenne Oyido and Prof. Sam Nnaomenyi.

Ahaneku, who is expected to leave office in June, said the construction of the Beautiful Gate, the proposed Medical Centre and vice-chancellor’s lodge are the critical projects under his administration.

He stressed that the institution’s main entrance with dual carriageway had been closed for 12 years but would be inaugurated during the convocation ceremony.

“I have no regrets as the vice-chancellor, however, the management of human beings and their ability to accept change, which is not peculiar to this institution, was one of my challenges.

“The social media is another challenge because people while patronising fake and untrue stories are distracted by issues concerning my administration,” the UNIZIK vice-chancellor said.

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