Written by Godfrey AKON

Okojie receives induction as ABE fellow

The Executive Secretary of National Universities Commission, NUC, Prof. Julius Okojie, has been formally inducted into the prestigious Fellowship of the Association of Business Executives, ABE.

Okojie’s investiture, which took place at the Institute of Financial Services, University College, London, makes him the first African who is not a Head of State to receive the prestigious ABE Fellowship.

Addressing participants at the ceremony, the Chief Executive Officer of ABE, Mr. Gareth Robinson, said Okojie’s Fellowship was approved by the ABE Board of Governors because he had invested his career in developing education in Nigeria.

Gareth, who noted that Okojie was a visionary thinker, said as a Fellow of ABE, the NUC boss would be recognised around the world as an ambassador of a non-profit organisation.

He said ABE would sponsor a programme in Nigeria in 2016 to provide tablets to students in the villages, absolutely free. 

Speaking further, he lauded federal government’s plan to engage 5,000 unemployed graduate teachers and post them to rural areas to provide further education.

According to him, it was unacceptable “for a country of 173 million people with bountiful resources, the 7th largest population and the 12th largest producer of oil to have 20 million people unemployed and 2 million students chasing, 400,000 graduate spaces.”

He said what Nigeria needed was not to provide more degrees but more work-based qualifications through the revival of vocational education, while emphasizing that Nigeria needed more entrepreneurs and more people that could help design and develop a middle-class.

In his acceptance speech, Okojie thanked the ABE group for the confidence reposed on him, pledging that NUC would ensure the development of a good quality assurance concept for all ABE qualifications in Nigeria and tackle the issue of funding.

He said NUC was looking forward to the development of real Entrepreneurship Centres properly equipped and fully funded even as he frowned at the makeshift entrepreneurship centres existing in some Nigerian universities.

Earlier, the Chairman House Committee on Tertiary Education and Services, Comrade Aminu Suleiman, said the honour done Okojie was an honour to Nigeria, adding that the NUC boss was already a prophet honoured at home.

Suleiman noted that he would encourage the Nigerian Parliament to explore more avenues to widen cooperation between Nigeria and the Association.

ABE is a non-profit organisation that provides entrepreneurial qualifications to underdeveloped countries over the world, through its five key principles of accessibility, affordability and quality assurance, flexibility and global recognition.

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