By Dayo Johnson
THE Group Chief Executive of InterContinental Bank Plc, Dr Eratus Akingbola yesterday said the bank has in the last five years invested over N1billion in the education sector in the country. Over 2,000 students across the country have benefited in the banks scholarship scheme within the same period.
Dr Akingbola spoke in Akure at the launching of the bankâ€™s Ondo State Scholarship Scheme in which 100 students of the state origin in various tertiary institutions across the country benefitted. Each of the student received N50,000 while the bank promised that 100 new students would be added annually.
The Bank Executive said at the ceremony which attracted prominent personalities, including the governor Dr Olusegun Mimiko and members of his Executive Council that the target of the bank is â€œa total package of N50 million for the funding of the scholarship scheme when it is in full course.
He pointed out that the involvement of the bank in the education sector â€œis deeper than giving Scholarship. We are strongly committed into helping in the building of a world class educational system in the country.
According to him, â€œthe bank is concerned with the progressive decline in the quality of graduates from our tertiary educational institutions.
â€œWe are disturbed by the absence of world class facilities required for qualitative academic endeavour in our Universities.
â€œThe pitiable state of facilities has not only resulted in the upsurge of social vices, but also in the appalling quality of research and innovation in the Universities.
The state governor Dr Olusegun Mimiko lauded the bank for giving a helping hand to the less privilege in the society in the area of education and for its investment in human capital development, especially education. Dr Mimiko appealed to other institutions to borrow a leaf from Inter Continental Bank.
Also at the ceremony, the governor inaugurated the Governing Council of the Adekunle Ajasin University in which Dr Akingbola was made the Chairman.
Dr Mimiko said the new council is enjoined to â€œfocus on the sustainable expansion of the University and develop it to an enviable standard.
He added that they should entrenched good governance and strengthens good relationship with the host communities so as to promote the welfare of workers and students of the institution in such a manner that would engender cordial relationship and bring about industrial peace in the University.
Responding Akingbola promised to raise the educational profile of the University to an enviable standard. He said the council would leave a legacy that would be unbeatable in the history of the University.
Dr Akingbola, however, appealed to the striking University lecturers to call off their strike in the interest of their students. Other members of the governing board include the National President of the Labour Party, Barrister Dan Nwayanwu and Alhaji Mohammed Modibo.
Others members include Prof. Amos Eniola Akingbohungbe, Col. R. O. Omowa (Rtd.), Mrs. A. O. Adebayo, Prof. Ropo Sekoni, Dr. Gboyega Ajayi, Mrs. Adenike Fatogun, Mr. Wale Akinterinwa, Dr Ige Bolodeoku and Mrs Florence Seriki