(By Alex Uzoigwe)

The Vice-Chancellor, University of the Niger, (UNINIGER) Umunya, Anambra State, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, has assured that the UniNiger was capable of becoming the best tertiary institution in Nigeria counting on certain basic criteria.
He explained that his conclusion, rather than a mere armchair projection was one founded on impeccable empirical facts and figures.
In the 20-minute clarification speech on the university which he made, Sunday, at the All Saints’ Cathedral, Onitsha, during the Diocese on the Niger annual Homage, Prof. Nebo outlined a few of what he said constituted the advantages which UniNiger had over others.

According to him, “University on the Niger is established as a unique university. And this is the very reason we are employing and deploying what we can call best practices in university education. We are not taking anything by chance.
“Already we are beginning Artificial Intelligence (AI) Education. Many people do not realise that the world is going AI. And we want our students to go beyond that by being original in their thinking.
“We are blessed with some of the best minds you can think about — whether it is in medicine, in law, in pharmacy, in the sciences and management.
“God has given us the best mind, the best intellect, the best acumen and the best talent to be the best in anything we do. Here, the UniNiger, in my opinion, is going to be about the best private and general university anywhere you can think of in Nigeria.
“We want to change things. And we believe the UniNiger can be the place where this transformation will begin.
“UniNiger is the only university that has made Chinese Language compulsory in Nigeria. This is about the only university in Nigeria that is making Critical Thinking compulsory; no other university has done that so far.
“Critical Thinking is to enable our children to think critically, talk, debate, argue and interact intelligibly wherever they are. We want to produce stars and not doormats.

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These are the things we are aspiring to achieve,” the professor emphasized.
Earlier in the sermon, he said during the solemn church service, the most senior minister in the Diocese on the Niger, Ven Dr Okechukwu Upkeke, encouraged Nigerians to cultivate the spirit of resilience and never to run away from challenging situations.
Expounding the theme of the sermon, “Working in Rehoboth” Gen 26:22, the venerable explained that Rehoboth meant enlargement, “So to work in Rehoboth is to work in enlargement or enlarged environment”, he said and outlined what he called the paths to Rehoboth.
Among the paths, he underscored what he described as “absolute, total and comprehensive obedience” in addition to what he called, “staying put, not running away, that is, not running away from challenges of faith or challenges of life”, he said.

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The church service, marking the diocesan homage, was a prelude to the diocesan synod which the diocese has elected to be observed on the Rogation Sunday.
Over 18,000 worshippers of the diocese participated in the annual carnival flouting their various gifts to the Cathedral altar.
In a brief vote of thanks, the Diocesan, the Rt Rev Dr Owen Nwokolo, commended the parishioners and their priests for successfully mobilizing themselves to make the event result-driven.
The bishop had much earlier prayed for the various means of livelihood of the congregation, a vital aspect of the Rogation Sunday tradition.

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