Daily Trust

‘Prof Ibe does for oth­ers what only peo­ple of God do’

Pro­fes­sor Gre­gory Ikechukwu Ibe is one Nige­rian who can be de­scribed as suc­cess­ful in life. At 57, he has at­tained the en­vi­able po­si­tion of a pro­fes­sor and equally a suc­cess­ful en­tre­pre­neur.

- By Ti­tus Eweleke Nigeria News · Society · Goddard Institute for Space Studies · Nigeria · Niger · National Library of the Netherlands · Kaduna State · Pretoria Boys High School · Imo State · Enugu · Universiti Sains Malaysia · Science and Technology Corporation (Norway) · California · Santa Ana · Gregory University · Uturu · Isuikwuato · Imo State · Aba · California Coast University · Santa Ana

But one thing that keeps him nag­ging and push­ing him to give back to the so­ci­ety is the in­abil­ity of his fa­ther to ex­cel in for­mal school. This was due to his in­abil­ity to af­ford the cost.

“I chose to in­vest in ed­u­ca­tion in mem­ory of my fa­ther’s un­for­tu­nate fate of not be­ing able to fur­ther his ed­u­ca­tion be­yond pri­mary school due to non-avail­abil­ity of funds,’’ he said

Hence to com­pen­sate for this, Pro­fes­sor Ibe strives to en­sure that ed­u­ca­tion is made avail­able to each and ev­ery mem­ber of his com­mu­nity. This he is do­ing through his Gre­gory Uni­ver­sity at Uturu in Isuik­wu­ato Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Area of Abia State.

With a staff strength of 500, the uni­ver­sity was tai­lored to ex­cel in tech­nol­ogy to pro­vide so­lu­tions to the myr­i­ads of prob­lems fac­ing hu­man­ity.

But the pro­fes­sor did not stop there. Keep­ing the ex­pe­ri­ence of his fa­ther in mind, he set up a foun­da­tion to pro­vide schol­ar­ships to in­di­gent stu­dents to en­able them to pur­sue their ed­u­ca­tion.

Through the Gre­gory Ibe Schol­ar­ship Scheme (GISS), in­di­gent youths who have proven them­selves as in­tel­li­gent were spon­sored to pur­sue their stud­ies. The schol­ar­ship takes care of tu­ition, board­ing and other nec­es­sary ac­cou­trements re­quired to have fo­cused study.

So far, the Gre­gory Ibe Schol­ar­ship has been awarded to over 250 stu­dents from dif­fer­ent lo­cal gov­ern­ment ar­eas of Abia State and other parts of Nige­ria.

One of the ben­e­fi­cia­ries of the schol­ar­ship is Mr Prayer Emenike, who is from the Niger Delta.

Emenike cinched the schol­ar­ship fol­low­ing his bril­liant per­for­mance in an NTA pro­gramme for gifted stu­dents in se­condary schools. He was iden­ti­fied as a po­ten­tial in­no­va­tor and in­ven­tor and was of­fered a schol­ar­ship to study Elec­tri­cal/ Elec­tronic En­gi­neer­ing at Gre­gory Uni­ver­sity Uturu.

He is cur­rently a third-year stu­dent in the uni­ver­sity where his gift has led to the in­ven­tion of many im­ple­ments in­clud­ing a fuel-less power gen­er­at­ing set.

Mr. Emenike, said it would not have been pos­si­ble for him to study en­gi­neer­ing if not that God used Prof to dis­cover him. ``I am study­ing here with­out any chal­lenge in terms of feed­ing, fi­nan­cially and oth­er­wise, I am very com­fort­able in my stud­ies.

``Af­ter God, Prof Ibe is the next in my life and he has done much to my hu­man de­vel­op­ment and I am grate­ful to him.’’

Another ben­e­fi­ciary, Mr Christo­pher Uche, who also en­joyed Prof Ibe’s schol­ar­ship and is now work­ing said Prof had given him the best that only peo­ple of God can do for oth­ers.

``He is a man that I will al­ways pray to

God to keep him long to see the seed he sowed in this world.

“If not for Prof. Ibe, I will not be a grad­u­ate to­day. I am hap­pily mar­ried and liv­ing with my fam­ily be­cause of Pro­fes­sor’s mag­na­nim­ity. May God bless him,” he said

The out­break of COVID-19 also pro­vided another av­enue for Pro­fes­sor Ibe to con­tinue with his pas­sion of help­ing out. Apart from pro­vid­ing food items to the less priv­i­leged in all the 17 lo­cal coun­cils, he also do­nated two am­bu­lances and med­i­cal con­sum­ables to the Abia state gov­ern­ment.

He equally di­rected the dis­patch­ing of a team of safety work­ers from Gre­gory Uni­ver­sity, Uturu to join of­fi­cials of the state gov­ern­ment to fu­mi­gate and de­con­tam­i­nate pub­lic places and of­fices.

Pro­fes­sor Ibe said he was full of joy touch­ing the lives of his peo­ple es­pe­cially the less priv­i­leged.

“I al­ways re­ceive im­mense joy from char­ity acts that put smiles on the faces of the poor and it makes me happy to see those dried faces around me re­placed with smiles. I am also do­ing what I am do­ing to show ap­pre­ci­a­tion to God for tak­ing me to the level I am to­day and I am grate­ful to Him,” he said.

He said he de­cided to build the uni­ver­sity in his com­mu­nity to cre­ate jobs for both skills and un­skilled per­sons as a way of em­pow­er­ing more rural dwellers.

“I built the uni­ver­sity with more em­pha­sis on en­trepreneur­ship and skills de­vel­op­ment to en­cour­age rural dwellers to be­come en­trepreneur­s rather than be­ing em­ploy­ees,” he said.

“To­day, over 500 peo­ple are hap­pily work­ing and earn­ing a liv­ing from our uni­ver­sity and I re­main grate­ful to God for that tes­ti­mony. Our Gre­gory Iyke Foun­da­tion has also been able to em­power many peo­ple across the state and be­yond and I feel happy see­ing those who were hope­less be­com­ing rel­e­vant and hope­ful in the so­ci­ety.

“Be­cause of my be­lief in hu­man cap­i­tal de­vel­op­ment, I am highly bent on pro­vid­ing so­cial ser­vices and em­pow­er­ment to the teem­ing youths of the coun­try through var­i­ous in­ter­ven­tions. I thank God that I am pro­vid­ing suc­cor to peo­ple in my own lit­tle cor­ner of the world, within my ca­pac­ity,” he said

Pro­fes­sor Gre­gory Ikechukwu Ibe was born on December 10, 1963, in Kaduna. He at­tended Boys High School, Ihube, Imo State, School of Ac­coun­tancy and Man­age­ment Stud­ies, Aba, Abia State; Enugu State Uni­ver­sity of Sci­ence & Tech­nol­ogy, Enugu and Cal­i­for­nia Coast Uni­ver­sity, Santa Ana, Cal­i­for­nia where he bagged his Master’s de­gree in 2003 and Doc­tor­ate de­gree in Man­age­ment in the year 2006. He is mar­ried with chil­dren and grand­chil­dren.

 ??  ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Nigeria