Emeka Offor donates books to Nigerian, other African varsities
By Soni Daniel, Abuja
Oil and gas magnate and philanthropist, Sir Emeka Offor, has donated books and supplies worth N 9 billion to selected tertiary institutions across Nigeria and some African countries.The education materials which were presented to 40 benefitting institutions at a colourful ceremony at the head office of Emeka Offor Foundation in Oraifite, Anambra State, was done in collaboration with Books For Africa and cover many areas of learning . Apart from books , the benefitting schools went away with computers and accessories to assist them in automating their libraries and making reading materials readily available to researchers in their institutions.
According to a statement released to Vanguard in Abuja on Tuesday by the Foundation’s Spokesperson ,Alex Aghome, Sir Emeka Offor aims to inculcate better reading culture in schools, provide better research materials for students and reduce the financial burden on parents.Speaking at the ceremony, Sir Offor, who was represented by Dr. Steve Dike, said he was worried by the declining academic standard in the country arising from inadequate research and reading materials for students and that he decided to take a bold step to address the inadequacy by making the books available to schools.
Offor said it was embarrassing for Nigeria to rely on foreign nations for its manpower needs, pointing out that the economic development of a country can best be sustained when there is solid human capital to support it. “It is in a bid to earnestly develop the human capital of Nigeria that I and my foundation have come out today to make these very essential books and other vital resource materials available to the schools,” Offor explained.The Chairman, Committee of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities and Vice-Chancellor of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, Professor Joseph Ahaneku, said there was need for students to pay more attention to reading not just to pass examinations but also to acquire requisite knowledge to help in developing the country.Ahaneku said that the books distributed by the foundation would be useful to those who are development-oriented and facilitate the accreditation of courses in the benefitting institutions. Among the beneficiaries are Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu, Ebonyi State; University of Ibadan;University of Abuja; Federal University, Lokoja and its Taraba counterpart. Recall that Sir Emeka Offor, in collaboration with Books for Africa, in 2013, started the project with a view to giving Africans an academic advantage.