A Citation


Honourable Chancellor, Sir, it is my exceptional privilege and pleasant duty to present to you Chief Jim Ifeanyichukwu Nwobodo, on the event of the Seventh Convocation Ceremony in the twelfth year of the Anambra State University of Technology, for the conferment on him of the Degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.

Chief Jim Ifeanyichukwu Nwobodo, an illustrious son of Nigeria, an astute businessman, publisher and industrial developer equipped to operate within the international economic arena, ascended the high office of first Executive Governor of Anambra State at the young age of 39. The Anambra State University of Technology salutes you in recognition of your manifold contributions as a philanthropist, as an energetic supporter of sporting and various social activities and above all as an administrator, leader and statesman.
His Excellency Chief Jim Ifeanyichukwu Nwobodo was born on 9th May, 1940; started his primary school education at St. James School in Lafia but completed this stage of his education at Government School, Awka. In 1956, he entered St. Peter's College, Zaria, and completed his studies in 1959 by which time the College, still bearing the same name, had moved to Kaduna. After one year a the Nigerian College of Arts, Science and technology (1960-61), once again first at Enugu and next at Ibadan, he obtained his "A" Levels and moved up to the University College, Ibadan in September, 1961, to read English. In 1964, he graduated with an honours degree in English. As an undergraduate, Chief Nwobodo served as Secretary of the Students' Union; and during his tenure of office the Students Bursary Scheme was introduced to the benefit of many. Furthermore, the young undergraduate Nwobodo participated in many International Conferences and also represented Nigeria for 4 years as the only student nay the only African executive member of the World University Service at the Organization's Conventions. - We may catch a glimpse of the first signs of the brilliant future career as go-getter, politician and statesman.

Soon after his graduation, Chief Nwobodo was employed as tutor in King's College, Lagos -a post he held from 1964 to 1966. In 19661 Chief Nwobodo took up an appointment with the Shell Company of Nigeria as Development Manager, Lagos. Later that year, he was seconded to Shell BP, Port Harcourt, still in the capacity of Development Manager, a post which he occupied throughout the Nigeria-Biafra War.

After the war in 1970, with his twenty pounds in his pocket (like ever other defeated Biafran), Chief Nwobodo embarked on a business career which flourished into a, multi-million corporation of many Divisions. The flag-ship of the Nwobodo Corporation is Link-Group International, Limited. Since its incorporation in 1972, Link-Group International, Limited, in association with Fisher Scientific Company of U.S.A. (its Principals) has played a major role in the stimulation of awareness in the teaching and learning of sciences in Nigeria. The company is specialized in the supply and servicing of laboratory equipment and as a leading name in this field boasts of the following achievements:

1. Supply of various laboratory equipment for the re-equipment of the post- war University of Nigeria at a cost of N3.5 Million.
2. Supply of 156 new Teacher's Training Colleges in Nigeria to the tune of $16 million in 1974 and 1975. .
3. Supply of 52 Federal Government Colleges with General Science and Domestic Science equipment to the tune of $6.7 million in 1976 alone.
4. Furnishing of Agricultural Science Laboratory and Workshop of Ahmadu Bello University at a cost of $2.15 million in 1978.
5. Supply and furnishing of a complete quality control laboratory at the Moscow Road Office of NNPC in Port, Harcourt at a cost of $1.1 million.
6. Supply of Science Equipment for Physics, Chemistry and Biology to 45 Secondary Schools in Anambra State at a cost of $0.66 million.
7. Supply of drugs and dressing to the Anambra State Ministry of Health at a cost of $0.6 million.

The list goes on and on. Suffice it to add that Link-Group International, Limited, in order to ensure that it keeps pace with the accelerating rate of developments in science and technology, provides 15% of its yearly profits for the training of its staff and other manpower development schemes.

Another Division 15 Link Pharmaceuticals which represents the UPJOHN WORLDW1DE, one of the 5 major drug manufacturing companies in the world and based in Kalamazoo, Michigan, U.S.A. Link Pharmaceuticals intends to publish Health News and Parma Review; and the public launching of one or both of ; these journals is expected later this year. The Chairman -Publisher, Chief Nwobodo, started Jupiter Publishers Limited as a subsidiary of Link-Group in 1981. But the Jupiter of old has been transformed into a vibrant and thoroughly modern Satellite Press Limited which publishes Satellite Daily and Sunday Satellite. Its book publishing sub-division is to move boldly into textbook publications later in the year. Those of us in Academia and our countrymen everywhere who watch with increasing alarm as the cost of textbooks soar beyond the reach of student and staff alike must fervently pray for a rich harvest of text books of lasting value and affordable prices.

As a philanthropist and long before becoming Governor, the young Jim Nwobodo took the first step of donating N50, 000.00 for the construction of a Church building. This initial sum was subsequently enlarged by several installments and to the glory and praise of God, that church building was consecrated on Sunday, 25th April, 1982, as St. Matthew's Anglican Church in Amechi-Awkunanaw by the Most Reverend and Right Honourable Robert Alexander Kennedy Runcie, Archbishop of Canterbury. An acclaimed masterpiece of Art Deco design, the Church stands proud, beautiful, spiritually enriching and a joy forever.

As a champion of post-war sports in Anambra State, the young businessman Nwobodo took the ancient Latin adage to heart: "mens sane in corpore sano". Anxious to put his money where his eloquent mouth was, he assumed the position of Chairman of Rangers International Club in 1975, and held that position until 1979. Within one year as Club Chairman he had with the right mixture of fatherly support and steely drive for success, propelled Rangers forward to the capture of the Africa Cup Winners' Cup (now renamed the Nelson Mandella Cup). Alas, it was to take another 14 years before another Nigerian clubside could follow in the footsteps of IICC football club and Rangers! Having attained success in business, Chief Jim Nwobodo was persuaded in 1979 to run for Governor of Anambra State. He became the State gubernatorial candidate of the now 'banned Nigerian People's Party, was endorsed by the Rt. Hon. Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Owelle of Onitsha, and he won by a landslide. Within two years of assuming office, the energetic and irrepressible Jim, as he was popularly called, had rebuilt his war tom State and had used his proven- business acumen to make the State of Anambra solvent. Therefore, he was able to secure -and Without Federal Government guarantee -from a coalition of international bankers (hard-headed and with zinc-lined stomachs as well) who represented a consortium of 44 American banks a package loan worth $150 million for the development of infrastructural facilities of post-war Anambra State.

The package financed the following:
1. The Greater Enugu Water Project.
2. The Abakaliki Water Scheme..
3. The Nike Lake Resort.
4. The Ikenga Hotels at Awka and Nsukka.
5. The flour Mill at Emene.
6. The Aluminium Products Factory at Ogbede in Igbo-Etiti Local Government Area.
7. The Building Materials Factory at Ezillo in Ishielu Local Government Area. Other externally funded $chemes include:
8. The $16 million First Phase of the Rural Electrification Scheme financed under the first contractor-finance arrangement with Turnkey.
9. The Greater Onitsha Water Scheme financed by the World Bank. Futhermore, there were Federal Government guaranteed loan arrangements which financed the following projects:
10. The Metallurgical. Factory at Ozubulu.
11. The Specialist Hospital at Abakaliki was started as the first of three. A second would have been sited at Nkpor and the Park Lane General Hospital here at Enugu would have been up-graded to complete a triad of Specialist Hospitals.
Locally generated finance was not spared; and the following projects were financed locally:
12. The construction of the Nnamdl Azikiwe Stadium was initiated in the period
13. The Anambra State Television Channel 5-0 was built and ranks among. The best of its kind in all Africa.

What would these projects have cost now? The mind boggles! In response to, this massive life-blood transfusion, the Anambra State Gross National Product (GNP) increased by 50%, job opportunities shot up; the old Enugu-Onitsha road was rehabilitated and other road systems were developed; school attendance tripled. And, as one says in French: "quanele le vin est tire, il faut Ie boire.” In spontaneous response and to the sound of the popping champagne bottles of sheer satisfaction, and, in full praise, the people of Anambra State rejoiced and the Rangers Football club, in full bloom, kicked harder, ran faster and jumped right back to the top of League and Cup competitions in response and to the greater joy of the masses.
Between 1979 Excellency amassed a total of nearly 50 Chieftaincy titles from Anambra State. Let me recite but a few:
Your Excellency, Sir, You are
1. Ezekwesili 1 of Nsukka
2. Agbawodike-izu 1 of Umunnachi
3. Ezeanaekwu 1 of Oraifite
4. Igiligi nadaluora of 1 Akwu- Ukwu
5. Ezejiofor 1 of Amawbia
6. Ezeora 1 of Enugu-Agidi
7. Eze Okwelume 1 of Abacha
8. Agunechemba 1 of Ukpo
9. Ezeudo 1 of Abatete
10.Anyanwuna-etiroah 1 of Nkanu

The List speaks for itself. And it is an eloquent testimony to the high esteem and touching adoration the great people of Anambra State have for their Governor. The Anambra State Administration of Chief Jim Nwobodo has an impressive list of achievements in the field of the establishment of institutions of learning.
This list includes Colleges of Agriculture and Education spread out over Anambra State. But perhaps the greatest achievement of Chief Jim Ifeanyichukwu Nwobodo as Governor of Anambra Sate, and an achievement which will forever stand, was his decision, following in the footsteps of his mentor and political Godfather, the Rt. Hon. Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, to build the first University of Technology in Nigeria within his first year in office. To achieve his vision of a Nigerian Institute of Technology, in the mould of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he relied on the international stature and proven innovative and experienced administration of the late Kenneth Onwuka Dike, Professor Emeritus of Harvard University and the scientific know-how of Dr. Heskia Heskia of the New York Institute of Technology. Anambra State University of Technology was founded along the lines of the ~ original blue-print on a multi-campus basis so as to broaden the base of its impact on and stimulation of the native industry and technology of Anambra State in particular and those of Nigeria in general.
In consideration, therefore, of the achievements of our founder, as the philanthropist who built a Church of God of stunning beauty, as the businessman who equipped and re-equipped scientific laboratories in universities, other academic institutions and hospitals throughout the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as the entrepreneur publisher of newspaper journals of crucial social and political relevance, and especially in consideration of his outstanding achievements as the custodian of the Laws of Anambra State, Senate unanimously decided to award to him the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.

Hon. Chancellor, Sit, we all in the continent of Black Africa may be restless in the quagmire of under-development; but a few of us, like Chief Jim Ifeanyichukwu Nwobodo, have their eyes fixed firmly to the skies, burning with an unquenched and unquenchable passion for excellence. Even fewer, Sir, reach those rarefied stars of achievement par excellence. Chief Jim Ifeanyichukwu Nwobodo is a brilliant achiever, an internationally successful entrepreneur who made his people proud of themselves, an acclaimed philanthropist and statesman, the founder of the first University of Technology in Nigeria, and on him I request that you, by the authority of Council and Senate, confer the Degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.
11th May, 1991.

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