TEXT OF A PRESS BRIEFING BY PRINCE EZEALA FERDINAND AKANO, PRESIDENT, IMO STATE UNIVERSITY ALUMNI ASSOCIATION ON TUESDAY 15TH OCTOBER, 2019 IN OWERRI, IMO STATE.
Gentlemen of the Press. Good morning.
I am speaking to you on behalf of the members of Imo State University Alumni Association. The Association comprises of everyone, who has acquired a diploma, Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree, Doctorate degree and/or an Honorary degree of the Imo State University Owerri; and who is duly registered in and financially committed with a Chapter of the Association. There are currently ten Chapters of the Association namely: Abia, Bayelsa, Ebonyi, Enugu, Europe, FCT, IMO, Lagos, Rivers and North America. It is heart warming to state that new chapters in Anambra, Edo, Benue and a few other states within Nigeria are at the verge of springing forth. The spread was achieved in less than a decade of our journey as a registered Association.
Having given this all important background, permit me to let you into what the Alumni stands for and the goals it holds dear
IMSU ALUMNI AS A CRITICAL DEVELOPMENT PARTNER:
The Association is development oriented. It partners with individuals, development organizations and institutions towards moving the society forward. We are pro-Imo State University and supports all Government efforts aimed at lifting our Alma mater to an enviable height. This means that the Association supports all development initiatives, plans and programs going on in the Imo State university and the state towards advancing the cause of learning and research and the creating of conducive environment for academic excellence among students and staff of the university. We have raised the bar of conversation about the critical role of Imo State University to the development of Imo State. We have, through the last Global Convention we held in Owerri in August this year, brought the Imo State Government, the university management and community and the Alumni together to brainstorm on the ways through which the university can help the development of the State while exploring positive partnership that help the University tower high among the committee of ivory towers.
IMSU ALUMNI AS A GLOBAL BRAND
I have already stated that the Imo State University Alumni Association has Chapters in Europe and North America, the two most sophisticated hubs of modern civilization. By that token, the Association has assumed a global dimension and has become an international brand. Just recently, in September this year, the North America Chapter held its Convention in Houston, Texas, USA. The import of this is that we are Headquartered in Owerri, Nigeria, but our tentacles have spread through membership and chapterisation, across the world. We can boast of members, who have cut their teeth in different career paths and who are blazing the trail in business, sports, economics, entrepreneurship, legal profession, Engineering, banking, oil and gas, shipping and logistics, tailoring, crafts, teaching, government, administration, etc. These resources are what we bring to bear on the development of our Alma mater and our State. This administration is seriously harnessing these resources in the interest of the Association and for the development of our Alma mater anchored on the administration's mantra #AlumniSpirit
ALUMNI PROJECTS IN THE UNIVERSITY:
1. SPORTS COMPLEX
One of the key resolutions of the Alumni at its last Annual General Meeting is to build a befitting sports complex in order to enhance the infrastructure in the institution. By the mandate of the Convention, the National Executive Council has approached the university management, which has graciously allocated an expanse of land to the Alumni Association for the development. We have a Technical Committee which shall soon take off to get us the design, cost analysis, phase by phase development plan, ways and means of funding the project, etc. This administration considers this a flagship project and the Governor of Imo State is favourably disposed to the project and has requested that the university partners with the Alumni Association towards making it a reality. As we progress on this project, good spirited Imolites, friends and lovers of Imo State University are encouraged to partner the Alumni on individual and corporate basis. This the annals of history shall record in good fate
2. SCHOLARSHIP AWARDS
The last administration of the Alumni through its students support program mobilized members of the Alumni to award scholarship and tuition support to the best graduating students in each of the departments. This is geared towards encouraging studiousness and meritocracy. This shall be awarded at the next convocation of the institution
3. ENGAGEMENT OF THE GOVERNMENT ON INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT IN THE UNIVERSITY
We understand that most of the structures springing up in the university right now are TETFUND intervention, attracted by the Vice Chancellor and Management. Imo State University is fully Imo State Government owned and funded. It is the premier ivory tower of Imo State and the duty of every government in Imo State is to ensure the development of infrastructure and other facilities that will aid learning and research. It should also ensure that both academic and non academic staff receive their remuneration and incentives to motivate them for optimum productivity. The Alumni Association serves as a development partner and critical stakeholder in that direction. We have constantly raised the consciousness of government to that duty. Furthermore, we call on Imo citizens not to leave that duty for the government alone. We can boast of well meaning Imo sons and daughters who have resources and who can plough those resources into funding Professorial seats, Doctoral Research Grants, Post Graduate and undergadute scholarships. We have Imo people who can build hostels, establish sports facilities, sink boreholes, set up ICT centres to aid the development of the university. We call on these citizens to partner with the Alumni Association and the Government to help the university development
4. LEADERSHIP TRAINING AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM
The annual leadership Training and entrepreneurship development mounted by the Alumni in Imo State University will be pursued with renewed vigour and improved reward package to provide a start-up kit for our willing undergraduates. The beneficiaries of this laudable program shall be attached to selected mentors in their chosen industry for guide to ensure they successfully emerge as well groomed entrepreneurs at the point of graduation. This will add value to our graduates and make them fit for competition in the labour market
5. ALUMNI DIGITAL ARENA
Plans are at advanced stage to attract one of the biggest IT firms in Nigeria as technical partners with the Alumni Association in the pursuit of IMSU Alumni Digital Arena (ADA). The details of this project which promises to be the first of its kind in our Alma mater shall be unveiled soonest. The value that will accrue to both the students and staff of the university from this will be unprecedented.
6. ALUMNI FACULTY GAMES
Encouraging our young members in worthy ventures is one of our strategic thrust. On the strength of the above, the Alumni under my leadership will soon begin arrangements to introduce a well organized inter-faculty games where talents can be identified, groomed and supported to blossom in different sporting events.
ONGOING REVIEW OF THE IMSU ALUMNI CONSTITUTION:
This is one of the areas that the Convention mandated the National Executive Council to work on by a resolution of the last Annual General meeting. We have identified certain grey areas in the Constitution of the Alumni Association and we have secured the concurrence of the Board of Trustees. The National Executive Council has set up and inaugurated a Constitution Review Committee headed by the National Legal Adviser. In the next couple of weeks, the Committee will be presenting a draft of a reviewed document, after they have got inputs from across the various chapters through call for Memoranda. It is expected that the review will go through scrutiny by the various Chapters before we now adopt a final draft. We have confidence in the composition of the Review Committee and we are hopeful that they will give us a more comprehensive body of rules that will stand the test of time and guide the operational conduct of the Alumni Association.
IMPLEMENTATION STATUS OF KEY RESOLUTIONS BY THE AGM:
There are Seventeen (17) Key resolutions from our last Global Convention. These were the mandates handed down to the National Executive Council by the members of the Alumni Association present at the last AGM. We hold these resolutions sacrosanct because they are made by the generality of the Alumni across board. These resolutions ranges from NEC ensuring that the present Constitution of the Alumni Association is made available to all members; ensuring that the Alumni Office is resuscitated; ensuring that the Alumni Association is allocated an expanse of land for Sports Complex Development; ensuring the recovery and rehabilitation of the Old Alumni buses; ensuring the reintroduction of Alumni levy; ensuring the nomination of an Alumni representative to the University Council; ensuring the opening of an Alumni Convocation register; ensuring the setting up of a Constitution Review Committee, to ensuring that the Alumni Life Insurance Scheme proposal is brought back to light, etc. I want to inform you that most of the resolutions of the Convention have received adequate attention by the National Executive Council. The results of the actions being taken will start manifesting in no distant time. We urge our members to support all the efforts of the present Alumni administration to refocus and reposition our great Association.
ALUMNI SPIRIT AND RELATIONSHIP MANTRA OF THE PRESENT LEADERSHIP OF THE ASSOCIATION:
This is the key policy thrust of the present Alumni administration. The mantra of #AlumniSpirit #Relationship can be explained from two angles. One is the spirit that binds all Alumni of Imo State University to our Alma mater. That bond that makes us want to give back to the institution and environment that moulded us into the full blown members of the society that we have become today. That spirit of nostalgia that grips any Imo Star, whenever they approach the lake Nwaebere axis from the back gate of the university! The second aspect of the mantra is the cordial relationship that exists among the graduates of the university irrespective of year of graduation, class, department, faculty: that spirit that encourages us to stand in the gap for one another. We as an Association have expressed the willingness to assist one another to grow. We have rallied round each other in times of despair, sickness, even at death! We have shown extra ordinary care for one another as Imo Stars and with our Alma Mater: both the Management and Staff of the university have imbibed and assimilated the #AlumniSpirit #Relationship. We have inducted some of our members into the AlumniSpirit Hall of Fame as Relationship Ambassadors. These are people who have continued to live their lives propagating cordial relationship among Alumni of Imo State University. We can identify more people in this category as we move forward; both from within the Alumni Association and outside.
UPCOMING GLOBAL CONVENTION TAGGED ABUJA 2020
The National Executive Council has awarded the hosting rights for the next Global Convention of the Imo State University Alumni Association to the city of Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory. The Convention is expected to come up in the first week of August 2020. It is usually a three day fiesta that highlights the talents, beauty and pageantry of the members of the Alumni Association from across the world. It affords members the opportunity to reunite, network, brainstorm, exchange ideas on ways to improve their wellbeing and that of the university. It also affords an opportunity to take stock and project for the future. The Association also holds her Annual General Meeting during the Convention. We call on the media, corporate organisations and development institutions to partner with the Alumni Association in terms of sponsorship and strategic engagement for the Convention. It promises to be filled with quality content and value addition.
The Imo State University Alumni Association is a non partisan development Organisation, whose interest is to articulate ways of assisting members reach their potentials in various areas of endeavour. Members harness their capacities and pool resources together to assist the university through technical support and scholarship. The Association is engaged in interventions in areas of holding the government to account and raising the consciousness of officials in governance areas through program advocacy, especially those that have to do with the development of learning and research in Imo State University. The Association also contributes resources within its limits to assist in the growth and development of the University faculties. We understand that most of the infrastructures being erected in the university today are through the efforts of the present Management team led by the Vice Chancellor. We wish to applaud the efforts of management and call on the Imo State Government to step up and intervene. The Law Faculty Building in the university right now is almost in a state of collapse. There is need for urgent intervention in that regard.
Special tribute I must pay to His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, CON, KSC, Governor of Imo State, for granting us audience whenever we call on him and much more for offering us the partnership of Imo State Government in every good work. I must also commend the management of Imo State University led by Prof. Mrs. Adaobi Obasi for their encouragement so far. It's been great working with the management team and other staff of the university.
Ladies and gentle men of the press, permit me at this point to specially salute members of our Alumni Association across the globe for their unflinching support through sacrificial givings and unquantifiable goodwill, which they bring to bear in all our activities.
I thank you immensely members of the press for your attendance and patience. I also implore you to partner Imo State University Alumni Association in her bid to effectively contribute to the provision of functional University education in Imo State University through infrastructure funding support and other meaningful projects
Thank you and God bless.