By Emmanuel Edukugho
The Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG, has endowed a N48 million Pastor E. A. Adeboye Professorial chair in Mathematics in University of Ibadan, UI, intended to be in perpetuity.
At a brief ceremony of the official signing of the trust deed in Lagos, Thursday, leaders of RCCG and an academic team from UI expressed delight that the occasion has come at the most appropriate time in the light of the development of higher education in the country.
The UI team comprised Professor Ezekiel Olusola Ayoola, Head, Department of Mathematics; Professor Kayode Adebowale, Dean, Faculty of Science; and Mr. Ajayi, Legal Adviser.
Leaders of RCCG at the signing were: Pastor Idowu Iluyomade, Pastor Tokunbo Adesanya, Pastor Sola Balogun and Pastor Remi Morgan.
Prof. Adebowale, leader of the UI team, said it was a privilege and that the Vice-Chancellor would have attended the event but had to remain behind because the university was holding its Foundation Day Celebration with higher degrees being conferred on deserving students.
Pastor Idowu Iluyomade, who spoke on behalf of RCCG, said what the church is doing is not only for today, but for the future.
He said: “The chair is in perpetuity which will impact on the lecturers, students and also the future leaders. For Pastor Adeboye, a mathematician, this professorial chair is an investment for education.”
He added: “As a man thinketh, so shall it be. The chair will have a positive impact on the nation. This signing will be the beginning of good things to come.”
It was acknowledged that most students have negative phobia for mathematics and that the UI chair in mathematics will help in finding a way to deliver mathematics in a simple, friendly form which won’t scare students.
After the two parties signed the trust deed, witnessed by Mr. Frank Aigbogun, publisher of BusinessDay who anchored the ceremony, there was formal handover exchanges of the documents. He noted that the occasion is coming at a very important time in the history of Nigeria because the search light of government is being centred on higher education.
He said: “There are 104 universities in Nigeria. The federal government has just announced the establishment of six new ones, making a total of 110. Federal Universities which were 27, are now 33.”
According to him, the best suited for endowment of Professorial chair is the University of Ibadan because of its mission to transform to a post-graduate university, pointing out that its admission is 60% postgraduate and 40% undergraduate.
“Our search light is on providing high level manpower – a vision at the right time. UI supplies high level academic staff to all other universities in the country.”