(By Alex Uzoigwe)
The reality, the objective truth of the birth, the uniqueness, the neo-inviolable scholasticism, the solid foundation, the global acceptance, and the authenticated functionality of the University on the Niger (UNINIGER), Ụmụnya, Anambra State, were Saturday, November 18, 2023, in one swoop, confirmed when the institution unveiled her Anthem in an unprecedented ceremony.
The two-hour event, a prime feature of the Choristers' Convention/Choral Festival of the Diocese on the Niger, is held at the All Saints' Cathedral, Onitsha.
The anthem which was generally described as a sonorous rendition was presented by the celebrant choristers who performed under the auspices of the Diocese on the Niger Mass Choir.
The one-stanza free-verse poem of 70 words was co-composed by the Proprietor of the university, the Bishop on the Niger, the Rt Rev. Dr Owen Nwokolo, and the Vice Chancellor of the institution, the Very Rev Prof. Chinedu Nebo. The anthem was vocalized by Sir Prof. Sam Ojukwu.
In his response shortly after the unveiling of the anthem, Bishop Nwokolo commended the diocesan mass choir and all individuals and groups who he said contributed towards the conceptualization and the actualization of the anthem and its consequent launch.
He explained that the ceremony was not only a landmark event in the history of the university but also constituted a veritable platform on which the institution, in part, underscored her philosophical underpinnings.
Although he conceded the said ongoing rush among applicants for admission into the university, he assured that the admission screening would continue till the end of December 2023, adding that full lectures in the school would commence in earnest in January 2024.
The bishop disclosed that the tuition for the university was reasonably affordable, saying that it would be in the class of those of the private universities, but, promising that there could be scholarship facilities sponsored by individuals, groups, and organizations.
According to the bishop, the university is known for her uniqueness which he said was anchored on the extraordinary quality choice of the institution's academic workforce, semi-multi-campus arrangement, and the rare offer of compulsory study of Analytic Artificial Intelligence (AI), Chinese Language, the Igbo Language and Entrepreneurial Studies.
He remarked that the enlisted fringe of courses was consciously elected to help add more value to the products of the institution, emphasizing the edge that the subjects would give the students over their counterparts from other universities in the labor market.
Bishop Nwokolo, therefore, advised prospective university students whose dream was the UNINIGER and who had a minimum score of 150 in the JAMB examination to quickly go to the appropriate website for a change of institution to the University on the Niger.
He explained that initially, the university got the approval of the National Universities Commission (NUC) to run 17 courses but later increased the number to the present 20 degree programmes in various faculties with effect from the 2023/2024 academic session.
Bishop Nwokolo mentioned the approved faculties and their accompanying courses as; Medicine and Dentistry, Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Faculty of Law, Faculty of Arts/Management/Social Sciences, and Faculty of Science and Computing.
The degree programmes of the faculties include; Medicine and Surgery, Dentistry, Dental Therapy, Medical Laboratory Sciences, Nursing, Physiotherapy, Radiography, Public Health, and Health Information Sciences.
Others are Pharmacy, Law, Accounting, Psychology, Economics and Development Studies, and Christian Theology.
Also enlisted are: Forensic Science, Microbiology, Computer Science, and Cyber Security.
In a short vote of thanks, the Diocesan Music Director, Sir Ifeanyi Ezeugo, commended the bishop for what he called his laudable foresight in the visualization and accomplishment of the University on the Niger, praying the university to rank among the best in Africa.
He explained that one of the aims of the Diocese on the Niger Choristers' Convention/Choral Festival was to keep alive the choral heritage of the diocese.
He made a personal donation of ₦500,000 to five schools that participated in the festival and other similar outings.
The unveiled university anthem reads:
“University on the Niger,
A citadel of learning!
Founded for the mastery of truth and knowledge;
To show the way of wisdom,
Experience and excellence in character, Leadership and service.
University on the Niger!
March on with zeal in the Lord’s grace.
Shatter the yoke of darkness and ignorance ln godly boldness and rectitude.
SHOW the LIGHT!
Show the light through knowledge and truth.
LUX FIAT VIA SAPIENTIA.”