Nigeria’s former president, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan has described Professor Gregory Ibe, the Chancellor and founder of the Gregory University, Uturu Abia State as a selfless agent of transformation.
He made the commendation on March 3 during a visit to the university. Speaking while laying the foundation stone of the institution’s 1000 bed teaching hospital complex at Ezinnachi, Imo State, Dr Jonathan lauded Prof Ibe for his firm commitment to healthcare.
Jonathan said: “I have confidence in the Chancellor of Gregory University Uturu, Prof Gregory Ibe, when it comes to the provision of quality healthcare to the people. This 1000 bed teaching hospital is a very ambitious project that will change the face of healthcare not just in Nigeria but in Africa.”
While appreciating Prof Ibe’s commitment to societal transformation, the former Nigeria number one citizen however advocated for increased government support for private sector driven projects and called on state governors to attract more private sector investments to their states by creating enabling environment and evolving mutually beneficial partnerships.
During the visit, President Jonathan also commissioned a 5MVA 33KVA electric transformer, that was procured by the university management to supply electricity to Uturu and environs.
The former president also performed the re-dedication of the university auditorium, which incidentally is named after him, and was conferred with an honorary doctorate degree in public administration during an extraordinary convocation ceremony that formed part of the itinerary of his one day visit.
Speaking while commissioning the electric transformer, Jonathan again lauded the magnanimity of Prof Ibe, saying, “Ibe has shown that with the little God blessed us with, we can change the society positively. The provision of electricity to an entire community is not a joke. Indeed Prof Ibe has shown that he has a large heart”.
He therefore encouraged Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) to partner GUU in ensuring achievement of the purpose for procuring the transformer.
Addressing the extraordinary convocation ceremony, Ibe spoke so well of Jonathan for providing the enabling policy framework as President that encouraged the establishment of many institutions of higher learning, including the GUU. According to him, “when I caught the vision of establishing a world class university that would deliver ethically and morally sound professionally trained entrepreneurs to the global world of work, i was partly inspired by the policy direction of the then Yaradua/Jonathan presidency, which through their ‘Seven Point Agenda’ built on the good legacies of President Olusegun Obasanjo in the education sector. It is therefore not surprising that on assuming office as President Jonathan’s ‘Transformation Agenda’ became a major boost to education, since he implemented a gradual increase of budgetary allocation to the sector from 8.43% in 2011 to an all time high of 10.68% in 2015. Till date that record remains unbroken. It was under this enabling environment that I started the process of securing government approval for this university. I was therefore not surprised when on 28 February 2012, under the watch of His Excellency Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, we were granted provisional license to commence the university”.