Sixteen-year-old Benita James has been inspired to reach the zenith by serving as Vice Chancellor of Ritman University, Ikot Ekpene for one day.
Chief Executive of Ritman University, Prof Celestine Ntuen, appointed Benita – an SS3 student – to act as VC on Wednesday, 7th February, 2018 for boldly stating at a public event that her future ambition is to become a university Vice Chancellor. She won the honour when students of her school and others visited Ritman University for an Open House day to view facilities and capabilities of the institution.
Benita also had the privilege of interacting with the Founder and Visitor of Ritman University – Senator Emmanuel Ibok Essien – who was a former Deputy Chief Whip of the Nigerian Senate and is Chairman, Ritman Group of Companies. While receiving the Acting Vice Chancellor in his office, Senator Essien encouraged her to dream big, work hard and excel in academics to achieve her ambition.
Prof Ntuen conducted the Acting VC round some parts of the university campus, such as Admissions Office, ICT Hub, Registry and the Bursary. She sat on the official seat of a Principal Officer, and signed a document. Her mother, Mrs. Deborah Aniefiok James, who accompanied her, praised the institution for this kind gesture and said she would want her daughter to attend this same university for her tertiary education.
Benita, who is a student of Heritage College, Uyo, has English Language and Literature as her favourite subjects. She enjoys baking, cooking, bead-making as well as acting. Until her visit to Ritman University, she had aspired to become a theatre artiste, but says she was moved by the quality of facilities and intellectual activity she saw at Ritman, as well as the aura surrounding Prof Ntuen, the Vice Chancellor, to decide on an Ivory Tower career.
Ritman University continuously engages young people and secondary school students in challenging exposures to inspire them for higher heights and acquaint them with opportunities available at the institution. Saturday 27th January, 2018 was an Open House event when SS3 students from selected schools were hosted and taken on a tour of the campus. Schools present included Nigeria Christian Institute (NCI), Uyo; Heritage College, Uyo; Lutheran High School, Ikot Obong Edong; State College and Greenfield College in Ikot Ekpene. Prof Ntuen motivated the visiting students by doing a lucky dip in which some students won free JAMB UTME forms. Those who won the N7,500 form included Akanimo Moses, Ime Peters, Ekemini Akpan, Amaowo Lawrence and Ruth Effiong, of NCI, Lutheran, Greenfield, State and Heritage Colleges respectively.
After a seminar and facility tour, the Vice President of NCI in an appreciation speech, described Ritman University as “world class” and said interactions the VC and other senior officers of the university had with the secondary school students was both motivating and a show of humility in service delivery.
Edidiong Esara, 07/02/18