Abuja - The Federal Government on Friday announced a donation of N50 million to support the late Prof. Celestine Onwuliri Laboratory in Gregory University Uturu, Abia.
Onwuliri died in the ill-fated Dana plane crash which killed 157 people on June 3, 2012.
President Goodluck Jonathan made the donation through the Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqayyatu Rufa’i, at the inauguration of the laboratory in memory of the late don.
A statement by her Special Assistant, Media, Aliyu Othman, said Jonathan urged the Nigerian university system to emulate Gregory University and give due recognition to deserving academicians.
The statement said the donation would be used to equip the building housing the biology and chemistry laboratories established by the late don.
It said the minister extolled the virtues of Onwuliri as a distinguished academician and urged those who worked closely with him to promote his ideals.
In a ceremonial lecture, former Minister of Health, Prof. ABC Nwosu, called on the university's authority to sustain the purpose of the laboratory.
Nwosu, who said he had been Onwuliri’s associate since 1975, urged the students to use the laboratory to address the challenge of eradicating the Guinea Worm disease and to improve the study of science.
Also at the event, the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Julius Okojie, said the event was a solemn occasion for the commission.
He said the death of the don was a great loss not only to them, but to the entire academic community and the nation at large.
Okojie charged the private sector to establish more universities as government had done its part by citing universities in all the 36 states.
The Chancellor of the university, Gregory Ibe, expressed the institution’s gratitude for the government’s gesture.
He said the institution would sustain Onwuliri's legacy and name.
The professor’s widow, Minister of State Foreign Affairs, Prof. Viola Onwuliri, thanked the university for the honour and gave the assurance of the family’s commitment to sustain her husband’s legacies.