The Chairman, Zenith Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Jim Ovia, former Governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Kalu, and Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammadu Abubakar, have been conferred with honorary awards by the prestigious University of Nigeria, Nzukka at the 47th convocation ceremony.
The award was given in recognition of their remarkable and indelible contributions to the social – economic development of this nation.
In his acceptance speech at the ceremony, Jim Ovia said ”I am truly honored and humbled to accept this honorary doctoral degree from the great Den of the Lions – the University of Nigeria, Nsukka – on this auspicious occasion of your 47th convocation ceremony. In this regard, I sincerely thank the Vice Chancellor, the Council and the Senate of this great and noble institution for bestowing on me this Honorary Doctoral Degree of Business Administration.”
”The University of Nigeria as a center of excellence, is an institution that has produced industrious individuals in the private as well as public sectors of this country.
”In my role at the helm of one of the leading financial institutions in the country, I have had the privilege of meeting several alumni of this great university. The “Lion” appears as a symbol of strength on the university banner.
”In reality and particularly in the corporate steeple chase, the lions have always devoured their prey and beaten their competitors to the game. I’m always lucky to be on their side.
”I can attest that this university is indeed a training ground for capable, committed, and compassionate change agents, having witnessed firsthand, the quality of a product of this institution, in the person of Dr. Godwin Emefiele, who was the Chief Executive Officer and Group Managing Director of Zenith Bank Plc., between July, 2010 and May, 2014. During which time the bank witnessed exponential growth and phenomenal profitability.
”As the present Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele’s performance and current results arguably puts him as the best Central Bank Governor in the history of Nigeria. This performance is no doubt due to the excellent training he received at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
”To the graduates, I say a very big congratulation to you all. The sacrifices and the sleepless nights finally paid off. However, you should know that it is not over yet.
”The long hours you spent studying in and outside the classrooms; the early mornings and the late nights you endured; and all the hard work that culminated into today’s success story are all a preparation for the life you are about to embark on.
”Be good ambassadors of this great institution wherever you find yourself and continue to display those positive attributes that saw you through.
”I commend your parents and guardians for the sacrifices undertaken to support your education. I also extend my commendation to the University Administration; both teaching and non-teaching staff, for the effort put towards realizing today’s achievement. Without your contributions we wouldn’t be here today.
”As we move on after the ceremony, I will like for us to reflect on the fact that we are now saddled with the responsibility of holding up the reputation of this great institution, which we are all so proud to be associated with. A responsibility that will be guided by the mindset to seek truth, teach truth, and preserve truth, while endeavoring to restore the Dignity of Man.
”It is my great honor to be part of this event and to share this experience with you today as Super Lions and Super Lionesses of the University of Nigeria! This honorary degree of Doctor of Business Administration, (Honoris Causa) is an award I will cherish. I am very grateful to the University of Nigeria for this recognition.”