‘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.
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.