At the Pan-Atlantic University (PAU), one of Nigeria’s leading private tertiary institutions, eminent personalities including scholars and boardroom gurus gathered on Friday, November 19, to honour a former managing director of the Nigerian Breweries Plc, Felix Ohiwerei, as the tertiary institution named a school structure after him.
The dignitaries had included the university’s pro-chancellor, Odein Ajumogobia, a senior advocate of Nigeria; university’s former vice-chancellor, Albert Alos; the incumbent and the successor, Juan Elegido and Enase Okonedo respectively, as well as friends and family of the honoree including a former Chairman of MTN, Pascal Dozie.
They took turns to shower encomium on Mr Ohiwerei, who retired from the multinational company in 2007. He was hailed for his love and passion for quality education and his investment in the sector in Nigeria.
The university said it named its School of Science and Technology building after Mr Ohiwerei as a reward for his passionate love and support for education, saying there could be no other better way to immortalise him than such a gesture.
Mr Ohiwerei’s former employer, NB Plc, also has an education trust fund- the Nigerian Breweries Felix Ohiwerei Education Trust Fund, named after him, which is regarded as the intervention with the best reward for teachers in Nigeria through the Maltina Teacher of the Year Award.
Speaking at the unveiling of the building, the university’s vice-chancellor, Juan Elegido, noted that the newly built state-of-the-art edifice was named after Mr Ohiwerei in recognition of his contribution to the development of education in Nigeria and service to humanity.
Mr Elegido further explained that the School of Science and Technology (SST) would contribute greatly to nurturing the requisite manpower needed to boost industrialisation that would consequently impact Nigerian economy in line with the goal of the university.
The Chairman, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Kolawole Jamodu, described the gesture as an honour well-deserved, even as he commended the honoree’s passion and contribution towards the advancement of education in Nigeria.
“Apart from being an accomplished businessman, Director and one of the finest boardroom leaders in Nigeria, Felix Ohiwerei is also a solid Christian who is as passionate about his faith, as he is as passionate about education. And he has embraced both vocations with the same dedication and hardwork that made him stand out amongst his peers,” he said.
Also speaking at the event, the Chairman of the Nigerian Breweries Felix Ohiwerei Education Trust Fund, who doubles as the company’s managing director, Hans Essaadi, appreciated the institution’s management and staff for the honour.
Mr Essaadi said the company through the education foundation is honoured to partner the university in its mission to raise today’s students into future world-class leaders.
The managing director said: “On behalf of the management and staff of Nigerian Breweries, let me say how grateful we are to Elder Ohiwerei, for your leadership and your immense contributions to our great company. We are very proud of you and we wish you the very best in life, every day. It is our hope that the school will continue to provide the best quality education, comparable with international standards, to produce the next generation of future leaders.”
Delivering his acceptance speech, the honoree attributed his life’s achievements to divine blessings, as he thanked the university while paying glowing tribute to his late wife for the support and encouragement.
He described the wife as a very supportive and prayerful woman whom he said was his pillar of support.
Mr Ohiwerei expressed optimism that the products of the institution (particularly the school of science) would not only excel in character but also become blessings to mankind.
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