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JPDS: Experts present financial agenda for Nigerian Universities amidst ASUU strike

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In the wake of yet another industrial action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, the focus was on fundraising, capital campaigns and strategic communications when experts gathered at the third edition of the Jacksonites Professional Development Series (JPDS), to examine the principles, strategies, and tactics for planning and executing effective campaigns in raising funds for educational institutions.

The webinar which covered such areas as how to plan and execute a successful fundraiser, how to set up and run an advisory board for fundraising campaigns, why fundraising campaigns fail and how to avoid the pitfalls and what to do at the end of the fundraiser witness a huge turnout of participants for the free event including communication scholars and professionals, administrators in the education sector, alumni groups, fundraising volunteers and coordinators, marketing communication professionals and other public personalities from across the world.

Speaking in his address, Chief Host and President of the Jacksonites Alumni Association Worldwide, Prof. Pat Utomi who welcomed guests and presenters to the session expressed excitement on the new modification to the JPDS by the Chinedu Mba-led Steering Committee as well as the topic of discourse and the rich lineup of speakers ready to do justice to the subject of fundraising.

Setting the tone for the presentations, he said, “The JPDS has very helped our understanding of so many strategic issues in communication and performance. In this particular edition, we are getting into an area of great importance.”

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Referencing Angus Deaton’s ‘The Great Escape: Health, Wealth and the Origins of Inequality,’ Utomi opined that without education and healthcare, performance is challenged. “It is evident that the society that has made a lot of progress are dependent on the investment on healthcare and education. But as a purely commercial venture, it will be limiting to depend on just those who can pay to open the possibilities from education and healthcare. So, we need to find ways of funding education other than reliance on what people can afford to pay.

“We live in a country where we are now in a prolong crisis for higher education. ASUU is on strike again, which has become a pattern. In 1959, the report by Sir Eric Ashby who chaired the Higher Education Commission set up in Nigeria by Prime Minister Tafawa Balewa, revealed that the quality of higher education was as good as the very best in the world. We now see a significant decline, driven majorly by the fact that from a strategic point of view, when government opened up higher education in the late 70s, early 80s, it could not fund accordingly. So, we need to build models for funding universities.

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“How can we do fundraise in a way that will open access, yet ensure that we raise enough revenue to make the universities of high quality? This is what Chinedu and co have brought experts to discuss. These experts are people of practice and people who have lived as researchers in this area. It is so fundamental and critical to what has been referred to as the tripartite approach to development-where the public and private sectors as well as the private development agencies collaborate to drive development,’ he concluded.

Speaking on the topic, “Fundraising and Capital Campaigns as Strategic Communication,” Charles Okigbo, Professor Emeritus of Strategic Communication at North Dakota State University and former Executive Coordinator of the African Council for Communication Education (ACCE) explained that Strategic communication is vital for fundraising campaigns from initiation to completion. Noting that there is no bad time for fundraising and capital campaigns, Okigbo revealed that the historical rules and principles of Pareto and Gift Range Chart where 20 percent of people and institutions approached will donate 80 percent of the target still hold sway in sourcing for funding.

In yet another paper he presented titled “Inviting, Training and Developing Board Members For Fundraising Engagement,” Okigbo emphasised that fundraising is essentially about people. In the paper he co-authored with Dr. Elizabeth Birmingham of Lakehead University, Canada and Prof. Kelly Sassi of the North Dakota University in the United States, Okigbo further revealed that the constitution of Board Members for fundraising is very strategic to achieving set fundraising target, hence, the need to get the right people of honour and integrity and train them accordingly to be successful.

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Presenting his paper on “Fundraising Not Asking for Money,” John Klocke, CFRE, Advancement Director/Planned and Major Gifts at St. John Paul II Catholic Schools, revealed that there is so much more to fundraising than asking for money. He explained that from conceptualisation till after donation is made, the entire process of fundraising is basically about relationship building and maintenance, among other things.
One key takeaway he left participants with is, “Do not ask for a gift until you have thanked the donor at least two times and you have communicated the impact of their gift, so that they are satisfied with that gift.”

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“Fundraising for higher institutions is not random or left to chance. There is an art and science to it.” Prof. Bartholomew Okolo revealed as much in his presentation, “The Art and Science of Resource Mobilization for Higher Education.” Drawing from his years as a Vice-Chancellor of the prestigious University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), Okolo gave practical lessons on resource mobilization strategy development, relationship building, and reward mechanism, philanthropic culture in Nigeria as well as challenges and set back in fundraising.

It is worthy of note that during his tenure as the VC, UNN executed over 400 projects drawing from Tertiary Education Trust Fund and Federal Government capital allocations as well as internally generated revenue. He attracted 2.6bn from Tetfund and 1.7bn from federal Government capital allocations. UNN was also a net recipient of invaluable capital projects by major private sector organisations including the Shell Petroleum Development Company, Fidelity Bank, First Bank, Capital Oil, and Ibeto Group, among others.

Professor of Broadcasting at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Ladi Adamu, Nigeria also delivered a paper on “Strategic Fundraising and Capital Campaigns in Higher Institutions in Nigeria,” where she examined five case studies in fundraising and capital campaign. They are Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria (straight forward request of 2 billion naira to build hostels-Dangote/BUA); University of Nigeria, Nsukka (Old Student Inspired fundraiser of 5 billion naira); Yobe state government (25 billion naira) and transformation of the Government College, Umahia by the College’s Old Boys’ association with 2.5 billion naira.

Noting that these are some exceptional cases, she explained that fundraising in Nigeria comes with a lot of challenges including weak alumni networks, lack of alumni database, lack of complete funding, poor community participation, lack of or weak after-fundraiser relationship management and personality-identity ego.

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Prof. George Owunari, Vice-Chancellor, University of PortHarcout who was also a participant at the series commended the organisers of the JPDS for the session, revealing that he was invited by a former Vice-Chancellor. He asked about the cost of fundraising, a pertinent question as agreed by Okigbo. In his response, Okigbo explained that the cost of fundraising depends on the scale of amount to be raised.

He added that everything should begin with a strategic plan beyond just gathering people together and asking them for support.

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The highly interactive session was moderated by David Bakare, a consummate Marketing Communications practitioner and MD/CEO of DD-IMC Ltd, a 360-degree Marcomms.

The Jacksonites Professional Development Series Steering Committee Chairman, Prof. Chinedu Mba of Algonquin College, Ottawa, Canada, who gave the Vote of thanks thanked all participants and paper presenters for the insightful session. She revealed that there will be a follow up workshop on a date that will be communicated across and facilitated by Prof. Charles Okigbo, Dr. Elizabeth Birmingham, Prof. Kelly Sassi, John Locke and Prof. Ladi Adamu.

About the JPDS
The Jacksonites Professional Development Series (JPDS) is a professional and personal development initiative of the alumni of the Department of Mass Communication, University of Nigeria Nsukka. It was formally launched in July 2021.

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Its vision is to consistently promote the holistic development of Jacksonites, professionals and students in communications and allied fields through periodic interdisciplinary research-based seminars that foster academic research and development which contribute to the advancement of all its stakeholders. These stakeholders include Jacksonites, the Nigerian government, the Nigerian public, allied professionals, practitioners, students, academics and media-related professionals.

The scope of the seminar themes includes all disciplines of Mass Communication (Journalism & Media Studies, Public Relations, Advertising, Broadcasting, Film, Multimedia Studies, Development Communication Studies, as well as Information & Media Studies). These quarterly interdisciplinary sessions will engender the intersection of town and gown/theory & praxis.

JPDS has organized two well-received seminars since its inception. Its inaugural seminar held in July 2021 and was delivered by Dr. Nduka Otiono, an Associate Professor at the Institute of African Studies, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada. The title was “A Captured Media in an Insecure Nation: Democracy and Free Speech on Trial?”. Mr. Obi Emekekwue, a former Director and Global Head of Communications and Events Management at Afreximbank, delivered the second seminar in November 2021. The title was “Crisis Survival in Today’s Viral World: The Communications Conundrum.”

All activities of JPDS are made possible through the efforts of a team of volunteers: the Steering Committee chaired by Chinedu Mba of Algonquin College, ON, Canada as well as committed and passionate professionals who make up the working groups (Logistics, Publicity & Mobilization, and Sponsorship & Partnership).

For more information on the JPDS, kindly visit: https://jacksonitespds.com/

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Oba Mayungbe, Otunba Daniel, other Illustrious Ogun sons to attend Prof. Soyinka @ 90

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Celebrating the illustrious son of Isara Remo, Prof. Wole Soyinka, the Akogun of Isara and the first black man to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, as he celebrates 90 years on earth.

This grand event will take place on Monday, July 15, 2024, at Afotamodi Town Hall, Isara-Remo, Ogun State, starting at 11 am prompt.

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The event will feature the presentation of educational materials to students by Prof. Soyinka’s children, titled Isara: A Voyage Around Essay. This gesture underscores the importance of education and honours his lifelong dedication to learning and literature.

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The chairman of the occasion is the senator representing Ogun East District, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, while the Royal Father of the day is the Odemo of Isara, Alaiyeluwa, Oba Albert Mayungbe, adding a regal touch to the proceedings.

Other distinguished guests include the Ogun State Commissioner for Education, Prof. Abayomi Arigbabu, former Executive Director of TELL Communications, Chief Dare Babarinsa, and Prof. Omofolabo Ajayi-Soyinka from the Department of Theatre Arts, Women and Gender Studies, University of Kansas, USA.

The event will also see the attendance of notable figures such as Kunle Ajibade, the Executive Director of TheNEWS and PM News, Prof. Peyibomi Soyinka-Airewele, Dr. Olaokun Soyinka, Barr. Moremi Soyinka-Onijala, Benson Lawal, Engr. Dele Amoda, and Basiru Soyemi.

Bldr. Kunle Awobodu will facilitate the event, ensuring it is well-organised and memorable.

This gathering of influential figures not only honours Prof. Soyinka’s 90 years of life but also celebrates his unparalleled contributions to literature, education, and culture.

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As the first black Nobel Laureate in Literature, Prof. Soyinka has left an indelible mark on the world.

His works and legacy continue to inspire generations, making the event a fitting tribute to his remarkable journey and his contributions to humanity.

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Olota of Otta advocates cultural preservation during European tour, visit Nigerian Embassy in Rome, Italy

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Olota of Otta advocates cultural preservation during European tour, visit Nigerian Embassy in Rome, Italy

In continuation of the ongoing Europe Tour, His Majesty, Olota of the Paramount and Ancient Ottaland, Awori Kingdom, Professor Adeyemi Obalanlege Ph.D, MCIPR, MPRII, FHEA (Lanlege Ekun II, Arole Iganmode) was warmly received at the Nigerian Embassy in Rome by a dedicated team led by Her Excellency, Amb. Gwendy OMIJEH, the Charge d’Affairs, along with key officials including M.M. LAWAL, H. KWACHE-ADAMS, G. W. GABKWET, A.O. AHANONU, M.N. TONY-BISONG, and N.J. RIBI.

Welcoming His Majesty, Mrs Gwendy OMIJEH commended Kabiyesi Olota for the diplomatic visit, and for the efforts in promoting culture and traditions. She described the tour “thoughtful”, as it will further integrate subjects living in Rome with their homeland.

 

Also read: Oba (Prof) Obalanlege, Prominent Awori monarch, embarks on European cultural outreach tour

 

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During the diplomatic visit to Rome, Italy, His Majesty highlighted the importance of preserving the rich cultural heritage of the Awori people. Kabiyesi emphasized the significance of remembering one’s roots and encouraged his subjects to maintain strong ties with their homeland.

He urged them to embrace their cultural identity, visit their ancestral land frequently, and actively promote and preserve the rich Awori Cultural Heritage.

Kabiyesi’s message resonates deeply in an era marked by rapid globalization and cultural homogenization. As traditional values and customs face the pressures of modernization, the Olota’s call for cultural preservation serves as a poignant reminder of the importance of heritage and identity.

As the Olota’s message reverberates beyond the confines of the embassy walls, it serves as a beacon of cultural resilience and a call to action for all to cherish, celebrate, and preserve the diverse cultural tapestry that enriches our world.

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In his Majesty’s delegation; Alayeluwa Oba Adewunmi Adeniji Odutala (Onibudo of Ayetoro Itele Otta, Awori Kingdom), Chief Olusegun Johnson (Otunba of Otta, Awori Kingdom), Chief Okikiolu Fadayiro (Baamolu of Otta, Awori Kingdom), Prince Adewale Adeyanju (Culture and Tourism Consultant to His Majesty), Prince Adeyemi Sulaimon Olusesi (Principal Secretary to His Majesty & Omotobase of Otta, Awori Kingdom), and many others.

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Oba (Prof) Obalanlege, Prominent Awori monarch, embarks on European cultural outreach tour

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Oba (Prof) Obalanlege, Prominent Awori monarch, embarks on European cultural outreach tour

His Majesty, Professor Adeyemi Obalanlege, Ph.D., MCIPR, MPRII, FHEA (Lanlege Ekun II, Arole Iganmode), the Olofin Apesin Olode, Olota of the Paramount and Ancient Ottaland in the Awori Kingdom, is set to begin his official cultural tour of Europe.

The purpose of this tour is to connect with his subjects and the descendants of the venerable Otta Awori Kingdom who reside outside Africa.

Also read: Kitigbe o: Honouring six years of Oba Adeyemi Obalanlege’s reign as Olota of Otta-Awori Kingdom

 

The itinerary for His Majesty’s tour is as follows:

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23rd June: Departure from Lagos to Rome.

24th June: Arrival in Rome.

24th to 27th June: Stay in Rome

25th June: Event at the Nigerian Embassy in Rome, where the Olota will be hosted

27th June: Departure from Rome to Vienna, Austria.

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Arrival in Vienna on the same day.

27th June: Visit to the Susan Wenger Foundation.

27th to 30th June: Stay in Vienna

Events in Vienna include participation in the Nigerian Cultural Carnival and a carnival party.

30th June: Departure from Vienna back to Lagos.

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This historic tour is a significant cultural outreach effort by the Awori monarch, aimed at strengthening the bonds between the Awori Kingdom and its diaspora in Europe.

The Olota’s visits to key cultural and diplomatic institutions highlight the importance of maintaining and celebrating Nigerian heritage abroad.

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Professor Adeyemi Obalanlege’s tour will not only facilitate cultural exchange but also foster unity among the Awori people worldwide.

The planned events in Rome and Vienna will showcase the rich traditions and vibrant culture of the Awori Kingdom, reaffirming its significance on the global stage.

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