World Renowned Economists, Industrialists Commend CU for ICADI Initiative
Reputable economists, industrialists and academics from around the world who gathered at the just concluded Covenant University 1st International Conference on African Development Issues (CU-ICADI) have commended the University for taking a bold stand towards helping Africa come out of the woods.
One of those who lauded Covenant University was the 2007 Nobel Prize winner in Economic Sciences, Professor Eric Maskin. According to him, the University’s commitment towards understanding the importance of international issues and the creation of a platform for the conference on African development shows how serious and committed the University is to the major problems of our time.
Professor Maskin said he was very impressed with the quality of panelists and the thoughts brought to bear on issues. This he said was remarkable and speaks of standard and quality in the group the University wants to associate with.
Professor Thomas Sargent, the 2011 Nobel Prize Winner in Economic Sciences and proponent of ‘rational expectations model and freshwater economics movement’ said he was impressed with Covenant University, as most of what his professional colleagues told him back in the United States actually turned out to be true and even better.
Professor Sargent said with what he saw in Covenant University there was no doubt that the University has a definite focus to execute its plan to actually be involved in shaping world issue as it pertains to the African continent.
The Acting Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Dr. Sarah Alade, said she was impressed by the level of involvement of the students and quality of human resources available in the University, which could be identified by how organized the staff and students are. According to her, “From what I have heard, one will easily agree that we can be proud of the quality of the products of this institution anytime.”
Dr. Alade appreciated the picturesque of the landscape, neatness of the environment and the nice structures that have been put in place to engender learning.
An industrialist, Mr. Oladipo Bankole said Covenant University has invited the right kind of people considering the topic discussed and they have done justice to the issues. “If we are able to pick the main issues that are discussed here and work on them, we shall obtain very positive results and for this reason, I am proud of what the University has done.”
On his impression of the institution, Mr. Bankole said, “I went to the University of Ibadan and later proceeded to University of London. This is completely a new experience for me in Nigeria’s education system and when you are told it is just 12 years old, it is completely out of this world. To know that our people have done this, that it is an initiative of a Nigerian, it makes it even more outstanding. I am extremely proud of what has been achieved here.”
Professor Ade Oyejide of the University of Ibadan said this was his first visit to the University and he was impressed and has challenged the Chancellor, Dr. David Oyedepo to help tell the audience how a private institution like Covenant University manages to do things that Nigeria as a country does not seem to be able to do.
In addition, the Professor Emeritus of Economics said “The whole purpose of what Covenant University has done is finding examples of things that have worked in the process of developing a country and finding ways to scale it up to the national level and if possible to the continental level, so that things that are learnt at the micro level can become instruments of macro initiatives. That is the only way the continent can make it and the Chancellor and the University Management should be commended for this drive.”
On his part, the President, Nigerian Economic Society, Professor Olu Ajakaiye, stated that Covenant University is a good example of how private initiatives can actually lead to development. According to him, “This is a University that is privately owned, but with the view of a world standard and I believe it would get there by God’s grace.”
The Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission, Professor Julius Okojie, represented by the Director Inspection and Monitoring, Dr. Noel Saliu, said the Commission was bold enough to affirm the quality and standards of academic work in the University.
According to him, “The excellent performance of the University’s first class graduates among their peers from other institutions at the 2013 and 2014 editions of the Presidential Special Scholarship Scheme for Innovation and Development (PRESSID) is an indication of the dedicated crop of staff employed by the University. We at NUC do hope that the success of Covenant University will be a motivation to other Nigerian universities to improve on their teaching quality because education is a very important tool for achieving economic development,” he added.
Similarly, the erstwhile Executive Secretary of the Commission and the Pro-Chancellor of Crawford University, Professor Peter Okebukola, said he sees a future where the economic policies of Africa and the world would be shaped on the platform of CU-ICADI.
Professor Okebukola while delivering his goodwill message at the conference said he has been divinely inspired to express his belief that what Covenant University has started through the conference would evolve to a status better than what is currently happening at Davos.
The conference attracted participants from all walks of life, including scholars and policy administrators. Some of the panelists at the 2-day conference include Professor Jonathan Leape of the London School of Economics, Professor Olu Ajakaiye of Nigerian Economic Society, Dr. Sarah Alade, Acting Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, Professor Ade Oyejide, University of Ibadan, Professor John Ifediora of the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, USA, Dr. Jonathan Aremu of the ECOWAS Common Investment Market.
Others are the former Group Managing Director/CEO of Access Bank, Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, former Minister of Finance, Dr. Kalu Idika Kalu, Deputy Dean, School of Business, Covenant University, Ota, Professor Kenneth Adeyemi, Director General, Budget Office, Dr. Bright Okogu and the Group Managing Director/CEO designate of Skye Bank, Mr. Timothy Oguntayo, represented by Mr. Tajudeen Ahmed among others.