The Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti (ABUAD), was in celebratory mood at the weekend, when the founder, Aare Afe Babalola, management, staff members and students of the institution celebrated a fresh graduate of ABUAD, Mr Olamide Popoola, who led a team to win an international entrepreneurial competition in London.
Popoola, a fresh graduate of Petroleum Engineering, had led a team of other students from other Nigerian private universities namely: Babcock University, Ilisan-Remo and Ajayi Crowther University, Oyo town, to the “Unilever future leaders league” competition and came first in one of the categories and second in another.
According to Olamide, students from 30 countries across the world participated in the grand finale of the Unilever contest in London, England, with his team winning the number one category award for “authentically on brand, relevant to target audience and talk-ability and share-ability.”
Popoola said he had earlier led his team to win the Unilever national contest in Lagos in October 2015 and later went on to win the continental edition in South Africa, before winning the global edition staged in London.
Aare Afe Babalola, who expressed joy at the feat of the young ABUAD, noted that such feats, which were now common in ABUAD, had made him not to regret investing over N787.2 billion in the university, saying if there’s any regret, “it is that I didn’t start the university earlier.”
He explained that the figure was released to him recently by the audit and accounting units of the university, adding that “the spending still continues as a good number of projects aimed at ensuring unique learning environment as well as deployment of quality tutors and equipment is a permanent feature in ABUAD.”
Aare Babalola said that his university was the only tertiary institution in the country that currently had what is known as “Talent discovery directorate”, where students are made to discover their gift areas early enough and get mentored through provision of the right type of equipment until they are nurtured to stardom.
He said the institution had also instituted a “Hall of fame” for geniuses and other gifted students, who are either honoured or rewarded with cash or gifts at the end of every academic exploit.
The ABUAD founder said he was proud of the latest award-winning student of the university and those before him, saying “their outstanding academic accomplishment was a proof that my investment in the education sector is not a misplaced priority.”
Students of ABUAD, a university which started on its campus in Ado Ekiti about six years ago, recently earned global recognition when they came among the best in a Microsoft competition in the United States of America while they have also been excelling in various local and sundry competitions.