...as Ambali bags 'Icon of Peace' award

A top commercial bank in South  Asia, Nepal Khadhya Bank Limited, is to engage in massive investment in agriculture at the University of Ilorin as part of its efforts to help fight hunger in Nigeria.

The Chairman of the bank, Mr. RamRaja Shrestha, who disclosed this last Monday (July 31, 2017) during a courtesy visit to the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. AbdulGaniyu Ambali (OON), said, “When there is no hunger, there will be no anger, the people will be happy and there will be peace and progress in the nation”.

Mr Shrestha was part of a delegation from the World Institute for Peace (WIP) that visited the University to confer the “Icon of Peace” award on the Vice-Chancellor.    

The Nepalese bank Chairman disclosed that the bank's major objective is to promote agro-tourism and other agricultural investments, adding that the decision to invest in Nigeria stems from the fact that the country is blessed with very fertile land and natural resources that are underutilized.

He said, “We were informed that the University of Ilorin is peaceful and blessed with vast arable land, so we think it is a good idea to partner with the institution in farming.”

Mr. Shrestha added that the agricultural activities would not be limited to planting and harvesting, but would include grain banking, as well as food processing. He noted that although he has made bad investments in the past but “this time, I have no doubt I am in the right place.”

Earlier in his remarks, the Chairman of the World Institute for Peace, Comrade Lamina Kamilu, pointed out that the objective of the Institute is to curb the menace of violence in the world and ensure peace, adding that “Unilorin is one of the universities in the country in which people have great interest when it comes to honesty.”

Comrade Lamina commended the University for its sustained peace and progress, a virtue, which he said fetched the Vice-Chancellor the prestigious “Icon of Peace” award.

In his response, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Ambali, expressed delight at the Nepalese bank's initiative of curbing hunger in the country and seeing the University as a worthy partner, adding that the institution has a land mass of about 15,000 hectares and is always open to investors.

Prof. Ambali, who noted that the University has been partnering with investors in various areas like solar power generation, said, “Unilorin is the best bet you can partner with in Nigeria because your investment here is safe. There is no strike or hooliganism that will put your investment at risk, and we have concentration of resources, both human and material.”

The Vice-Chancellor then appreciated the World Institute for Peace for finding him worthy of the award and for its effort in promoting peace all over the world. He said that “peace is very vital in effectively ruling the world and helping the developing countries and without it, much cannot be achieved”.

Stressing the importance of peace, Prof. Ambali said, “The reason we have problems across the world is because of lack of understanding of human behaviour. We all want everything our way irrespective of others' interest, but once you see everyone as a brother or partner, there will be peace across the world. We all need peace, without it there will be no life.”

The Vice-Chancellor added that as part of the University's ways of ensuring peace on its campus and its environs, the institution has “a very active website, which students and staff can access anytime and anywhere and this accounted for the recent peaceful conduct of the Students' Union election where students voted on the PC tablets given to them by the school instead of queuing up in the sun and being unruly.”

Also speaking at the event, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Prof. N. Y. S. Ijaiya, commended the WIP team for recognising the effort of the University, stating that the institution is doing its best in contributing to world peace and will continue to do its best for humanity and for God.

Highlight of the event was the decoration of the Principal Officers and some top officials of the University with the insignia of Fellow of the World Institute for Peace in recognition of their efforts in sustaining peace and progress in the University Community.

Those decorated were the three Deputy Vice-Chancellors, Prof. Ijaiya (Academic); Prof. Y. A. Abdulkareem (Management Services); and Prof. Gabriel Olatunji (RTI).

Also decorated were the Registrar, Mr. Emmanuel Obafemi; the Director, Centre for Peace and Strategic Studies, Dr. Mahfouz Adedimeji; and the Deputy Director, Corporate Affairs, Mr. Kunle Akogun.