The University of Uyo (UniUyo) and Nnamdi Azikiwe University, UniZik, Awka, in southeast Nigeria, have emerged two most outstanding universities at the Association of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities (AVCNU) awards night in Abuja.
The awards night was part of the three-day 2016 Nigerian Higher Education Summit organised by AVCNU, Committee of Vice-Chancellors (CVC) and Trust Africa, Dakar, Senegal.
UniUyo and UniZik emerged first and second overall winners, respectively, in the Research Excellence Award category, while Federal University of Technology, Minna, came third.
UniUyo also bagged the Science and Technology award while UniZik won the Arts and Humanities award.
Covenant University, Otta, took the Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine award as Redeemers’ University, Ede, Osun State, won the Life Science and Medicine award.
University of Ilorin and Kogi State University also received Innovation Excellence awards.
TY Danjuma Foundation won the Lifetime Contribution award for its impactful contribution to education.
Speaking to journalists shortly after the ceremony, Prof. Michael Faborode, the Secretary-General, CVC, said that Nigeria had a de-motivating national reward system.
He said those who worked hard deserved award in order to motivate children and upcoming researchers.
“These are people who are committed to the cause of education in the country; they have committed their resources to make enduring impact in education; and that is how we came up with TY Danjuma Foundation for the award.
“Since 2005 we have been having the Nigerian Universities Research and Development Fair (NURESDEF); and every year, we bring in industries to come and see the innovations in the Nigerian University System.
“The efforts of these researchers are not properly appreciated; now we are recognising those that have been very impactful.
These are things we need to motivate our children to commit to research.
These awards will continue annually and we hope industrialists will take up these innovations; we also hope that the government will recognise them,’’ he said.
A representative of UniZik, Chris Iwueze, said that the institution was determined to excel in technology.
The don said that host town, Awka, was known for its crafts and technology which the institution was adding value to.
“The university is doing everything to promote technology and based on this, we are very serious with research,” he said.
The awards were in recognition of universities that excelled in the sixth NURESDEF held at UniZik in March.