The brand, Caverton Offshore Support Group, rings a bell in the Nigerian oil and gas sector. The company is renewed for provision of quality marine and aviation logistics services to operators within the industry. The brain behind the concept, and chairman of the group, Mr. Aderemi Makanjuola was recently installed as the First Chancellor of Edo University Iyamoh. FESTUS OKOROMADU writes on the applauded that greeted the appointment.
In what can best be described as the recognition of his philanthropic contributions to the educational sector in Nigeria, the chairman board of directors, Caverton Offshore Support Group Plc, Mr. Aderemi Makanjuola was recently installed as the First Chancellor of Edo University Iyamoh in Etsako West local government area of Edo State.
The choice of Makanjuola by the governing board of the institution may not have come as a surprise to close associate of the business icon.
Remi as he is called by his friends has demonstrated his commitment to the wellbeing of the educational sector through intervention in various institutions across the country.
Available records shows that the Septuagenarian has over the years contributed immensely to the nation’s critical sectors including education, health and well-being of the less privileged.
As a man of means, he chooses to impact society positively thus making his generation proud. Though wealthy, he remains quiet, humble, unassuming and above all generous.
His installation as the First Chancellor of Edo University Iyamoh as well as bagging an honourary doctorate degree of business administration is an indication that his contribution to the uplifting of the sector has not gone unnoticed.
The unprecedented crowd that thronged the hitherto quite town of Iyamho on Saturday November 2nd, 2019, left no one in doubt that the appointment of Caverton Boss as first Chancellor of the University, was more than a mere academic ritual.
Speaking during the conferment ceremony, which interestingly was also the first convocation of the university established in 2016 by the administration of Comrade Adams Oshiomole, the institution’s helmsman acknowledged that Makanjuola’s association with the school is a good omen.
The Vice Chancellor, Professor Emmanuel Aluyor, who thanked the newly installed Chancellor for accepting the challenge, stated that his association with the institution was a big boost in the efforts to make the state owned university world class.
Speaking in a similar vein, acting Pro-Chancellor of the institution, Professor Emeritus Kimbe Audu, hailed the vision of the founding fathers of the institution in establishing a university that would be a model for the 21th century.
Audu said the vision of a center of excellence was already yielding results in terms of quality education of world standard, which has prompted many parents to enroll their wards in the school. He expressed confidence in the management of the institution to keep the flame of excellence burning.
In his address, Makanjuola thanked the Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki for his appointment as Chancellor of the institution. “I deeply appreciate this honour done to me,” he said.
Expressing his gratitude, he said, “You have introduced me into a new hall of fame for which I am most grateful. I learnt about this university and its uniqueness through friends and associates who told me that Edo University, Iyamho, is the Harvard, Cambridge and IMT of our time. I was not in doubt of this claim because I know that great things are usually found in the heart, as Heart Beat of the Nation.
“I see Edo State redefining education in Nigeria. It is with this sense that I accept the offer from His Excellency, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, to be the First Chancellor of this great institution of higher learning.
“Nigeria has been yearning for this kind of education since independence, but no one was ready to face the challenge and come up with a world class university of this status. I must commend the founding fathers of the university for their foresight in establishing a university that competes favourably with Ivy League universities like Cambridge and Harvard. I must say that EUI’s facilities are among the best in the world.”
Makanjuola commended the management and pioneer graduates, saying, “I am also confident that with the kind of management team in place, facilities, environment and staff, the students and, indeed, the pioneer graduands of the university, are set to take over the world with the acquired and knowledge.”
He also congratulated their parents for taking the decision to send their children and wards to EUI.
“I am aware that all the programmes in the university have passed through the National Universities Commission assessment and accreditation with a minimum of 82 per cent, far above the NUC benchmark of 70 percent required for full accreditation status. This is indicative of the fact that the university is blessed with a team of dedicated lectures and administrative staff that are first among equals,” he said.
Makanjuola identified industry-based academic programme as one of the qualities that stood the institution out, saying it would prepare that students and give them an edge in the employment market.
He described Edo University, Iyamoh, as a center of entrepreneurship that would equip students with vocational skills.
According to him, “The idea behind the entrepreneurship training in Edo University, Iyamoh, is that the citadel of learning is not only preparing the students for the labour market, but they will become employers of labour.”
Commenting on his father’s installation as the first Chancellor of Edo University Iyamoh, the chief operating officer (COO), Caverton Offshore Support Group Plc,
Mr. Rotimi Makanjuola, said he feels very proud of the honoured bestowed on his father.
His words, “I feel very proud and excited because it an honour well deserved.” He added that his father is a wonderful personality, a caring and generous man.
On his part, business guru, Oba Otudeko, a friend of Makanjuola, said of him, “He is a person of good character, a man of uprightness, transparency, accountability, and a dependable friend. He is positive and constructive and someone who is particular about humanity and society at large.”
On his appointment as Chancellor, Otudeko said, “It is a double honour, the university has chosen well because he will bring his wealth of experience which he has used successfully in his career to the helm of affairs of this great institution.
“This is a called to duty, a call to serve and I have no doubt that he will excel in this role. I wish him God’s blessing, longevity, good health to be of service to God, humanity and society at large.”
Also commenting, Sir Alex Onabanjo said, “I am so happy that the university has decided to choose an astute chancellor. I am also grateful to God Almighty for the double honour of first chancellor and the conferment of honourary doctorate degree. The honourary degree happens to be the first to be bestowed.
“Makanjuola is a man of humility, thorough, meticulous. He is an honest man. He is a man of the people. We have trust in him that he will do his best to soar the university high. I wish him all the best in this new assignment.”
Another associate of Makanjuola, Adebayo Sarumi, has this to say, “He truly deserves this and much more because of the service he is rendering to humanity. This is a man who believes he doesn’t exist for himself but for humanity. I have known him for over 15 years and he has been the same man. He loves to reach out and he loves to serve people. He serves God and he is committed to humanity, which is our purpose here on earth.
“This is in recognition of the best he has given to the society. I don’t need to reel out his numerous achievements. My wish for him is that he will live long to eat the fruit of his labour, not only in terms of blessing which God has given him, but also in terms of happiness and everything that matters to him: good health and longevity.”
Indeed as the Edo University Iyamoh has introduced the Caverton Boss into another hall of fame, it is believed that the gesture will further encourage him to continue in his humanitarian work of impacting the society positively. Even as other wealthy Nigerians can emulate such to create a better society for all.
The Man Makanjuola
Born in Lagos over 70 years ago, Makanjuola started showing traits of leadership early in life. He shone brilliantly among his peers, which earned him the position of Senior Prefect to provide leadership for his classmates and juniors in secondary school. This provided the springboard for future leadership roles.
A man who sees the future beyond the confines of his environment, Makanjuola proceeded abroad for further studies after his secondary education. Between 1973 and 1976, he was at the University of Leicester, England, where he obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics with 2nd Class Upper Division. He went ahead to obtained a M.Sc. in Management Science.
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