By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Chairman of Jaiz Bank Plc, Dr Umaru Mutallab, has been inaugurated as the new Chancellor of the Fountain University, Osogbo, Osun State. This was done on Tuesday at the institution’s 9th convocation ceremony held at the school’s auditorium.
The ceremony followed the approval of Mr Mutallab as Chancellor by the board of trustees and management and announced during a courtesy visit by the NASFAT executive members to his office in Abuja last November.
Mr Mutallab, while speaking during the ceremony, said that he felt honoured to be appointed chancellor of the university, adding that he would deploy his wealth of corporate experience and resources to foster growth and development of the institution.
“Let me thank the proprietors of this university, the Nasrul Lahi al-Fatihi Society (NASFAT) for considering me worthy of appointment as the Chancellor of this university. This is indeed the right moment for me to publicly acknowledge the honour accorded me.
“I consider this honour a privilege to serve my dear community and humanity. It comes to me after a modest five-decade career in the corporate world, and at a time that a retiree of my age is willing to commit more of his energies to charity and every possible way of pleasing the Almighty.
“I consider this a call to serve the young generation of youths to whom we all owe a duty of facilitating a brighter, prosperous and rewarding future,” the renowned banker said.
“I intend to deploy my vast experience in the corporate world to make Fountain University the pride of the Nigerian university system. The vision is to transform the university into a centre of excellence whose curricular will be skill-driven and employment generating in content and delivery, well beyond the statutory period of their validity,” he further said.
Vice-Chancellor of Fountain University, Prof. Amidu Sanni, said he is optimistic that the appointment of the new Chancellor will fast track several other developments to the university, which would enhance learning, research and community service.
In his remarks, the president of NASFAT worldwide, Mr Niyi Yusuff, expressed appreciation to the Chancellor for accepting the offer, stressing the institution is lucky to have such a prominent personality with wisdom, networks, and resources on the school’s board.
Dignitaries at the event included Osun State Governor, Mr Isiaka Oyetola; his wife, Mrs Kafayat Oyetola; Chairman Board of Trustees of Fountain University, Mr Abdulwaheed Adeola; former Vice Chancellor Fountain University, Prof Deji Oloyede; NASFAT President, Mr Abdul-Mumin Yussuf; Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council Fountain University, Vice-Admiral Jubril Ayinla, among others.
Mr Mutallab is a renowned business and banking leader, who is presently the Chairman of Jaiz Bank. He served as Minister of Economic Development in 1975. He was later a member of Nigeria’s Federal Executive Council (1976-1978). He was also a former Chairman of First Bank Nigeria (1999-2009).
Mr Mutallab played a major role in introducing Islamic banking into Nigeria. He has also served on the boards of directors of several companies, including Arewa Textile Limited, NEPA, NACB, NCC, Nigeria Agip Oil, and Cement Company of Nigeria, and in 2009 was Chairman of several companies, including Impresit Bakolori Plc, Incar Nigeria Plc, and Spring Waters Nigeria Limited (SWAN).
Mr Mutallab is chairman of the Business Working Group of the Vision 20:2020 Committee in Nigeria, and president of the Old Boys Association of Barewa College.
He is a Fellow of both the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (FCCA) and the Institute of Chartered Certified Accountants of Nigeria (FCA). Mr Mutallab was awarded the title of Commander of the Order of the Niger, one of Nigeria’s highest honours.
Fountain University was established by the Nasrul-lahi-li Fatih Society in 2007. It is a privately-owned Islamic faith-based university in Osun State.
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