Augustine University receives a completely constructed engineering facility from billionaire philanthropist Otedola.
Mr. Femi Otedola, a billionaire businessman and philanthropist from Nigeria, has realized his aim of giving Augustine University in Ilara, Epe, Lagos State a lasting benefit by donating block A of a multibillion-naira faculty of engineering complex.
At the inauguration and handover ceremony held yesterday, in the presence of his mother and the project’s inspiration, Lady Doja Otedola; the institution’s proprietor and Archbishop of the Metropolitan Sea of Lagos, Archbishop Adewale Martins; and other dignitaries, the billionaire businessman who serves as the Chancellor of Augustine University handed over the complex to the school.
Otedola also lay the cornerstone for phase 2 of the faculty complex, which he vowed would be finished in no more than two years, at the event held on February 22. The engineering faculty building was given Lady Doja Otedola’s name by the institution’s administration in honor of her dedication to the advancement of the university and its students.
Otedola said he agreed to donate one of the engineering faculty’s buildings to the school in March 2018 but afterwards increased his commitment to the engineering complex to N2 billion at the celebration of his mother’s 90th birthday.
“I convey my great joy for today’s ceremony marking the commissioning of the first block of Augustine University’s engineering complex with praise to God. I praise God for making my goal come true by allowing me to donate the first block of the faculty of engineering building.
I agreed to offer one building from the engineering faculty to the university on March 11 during the fundraising luncheon hosted by my sister, Dame Sena Anthony. During the celebration of my mother’s 90th birthday last year, I increased my commitment to the engineering complex to the amount of N2 billion after understanding that the first building is part of a four-building complex.
I’m overjoyed to be turning the ground today for the opening of building No. 2 of the engineering faculty complex in fulfillment of this vow.
In light of the anticipated significant expansion in the number of university students following the admission of engineering students, I hope the construction time for this building won’t last longer than two years.
The chairman of Geregu Power Plc, Otedola, stated that his goal was to help Augustine University become the top institution in Africa for the study of several engineering subjects. Given his mother’s unwavering dedication to the university, he thanked the university’s owner for dedicating the engineering department building after her. He added, “I’m delighted that she is living to see this historic occasion.”
He thanked the university’s owner for appointing him as chancellor and pledged to support the vision of the revered Cardinal Anthony Okogie, who, according to him, went to meet the late Oba of Ilara with his late father, Sir Michael Otedola, in order to secure the current location for Augustine University to start.
In addition to expressing his gratitude to Okogie and Martins for their unceasing support, Otedola also thanked Sir Steve Omojiafor, Board Chairman of Augustine University, Prof. Christopher Ojetunde, former Chairman of Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB), Sir Egbert Imomoh, Chief Gilbert Grant, Pro-Chancellor of Augustine University, and his sister Sena for serving as his project steering committee throughout. He also expressed his gratitude to everyone who contributed to the project’s construction and made the day possible.
Otedola was praising the university when he said,
“Augustine University continues the beautiful Catholic legacy of the kind of higher education that not only achieves moral and cultural brilliance but also intellectual excellence in preparing the students for significant leadership roles in our society. We should all be in favor of this university’s mission and goals.
In two years, when they would cut the ribbon to officially open block 2 of the engineering complex, he said he looked forward to welcoming all of the people who were physically present at the moment to a similar ceremony.
In her prayer, Otedola’s mother prayed that God would bless the structure, give the university’s students wisdom, and for all of their labors to thrive.
“We ask the Lord to bless this structure. All of the pupils that attend this school will be knowledgeable and aware. Each and every item they touch will prosper. We ask the Lord to continue blessing the Archbishop, everyone, and the locals, so that they may live in a way that pleases Him.
In his remarks, Archbishop Martins thanked the Otedola family, in especially the donor, for helping to improve the school’s long-term worth by donating the building. He said that the Otedola family has a history of promoting educational advancement and youth education, noting that the late patriarch of the Otedola family was instrumental in securing the site for the current Augustine University.
‘’ So, as we assemble today, it is by the grace of God that our mother, Mama Otedola, was moved to push the family—or to persuade her son, Mr. Olufemi Otedola in particular—to contribute this facility, which we are dedicating today. It goes without saying that the entire effort to support the construction of this university and this specific project did not start just because Mama encouraged her son; rather, it began many years ago when the family patriarch, as we have already heard, initially pushed for the acquisition of the land. What we do now is merely a continuation of a family heritage that places a high value on education and the future well-being of individuals.
We give thanks to the Lord that my mother’s inspiration found favor in her son, as a result of which the project has started with the turning of sod over the past four years.
All of the various roadblocks were surmounted. The determination of the donor and the university officials, including the fund-raising committee and those members of the Governing Council and Board of Trustees, allowed them to overcome all the difficulties associated with inflation, COVID, and a variety of other issues.
Thus, we sincerely thank God Almighty for allowing us to persevere in our efforts to overcome all the challenges and get us to this point. We congratulate the Otedola family on behalf of the Archdiocese of Lagos for this addition to everything else they have already done to ensure that we have the university of our dreams, he said.
In addition to the building’s physical infrastructure, he emphasized that the institution was grateful to the Otedola family for their commitment to the nation’s growth and development and for promoting young people’s education.
Archbishop Martins made a commitment on behalf of the Archdiocese that the administration of the school would make sure that the mission that guided its founding would continue to be realized in all choices and deeds.