The Vice – Chancellor, Professor A. Babatunde Idowu, in company of the University bursar, Mr Simeon F. Akinpelu and Professor Jeremiah U. Idialu, Dean, School of Postgraduate Studies on Friday, 7th May, 2021, paid a courtesy visit on the MD/CEO, Ray Royal Construction Company, Uromi, Edo State, Rt. Rev. (Dr) Matthew Okpebholo. Rev. Okpebholo, who received the Vice – Chancellor’s entourage on the site of his Multi-Billion naira school project, under construction was glad to welcome the Vice – Chancellor and his entourage.
The Vice – Chancellor, Professor Idowu said he would have come earlier, but for the COVID – 19 Pandemic. After the usual pleasantries, the host told the Vice -Chancellor, breath-taking stories of his early life, family and business. He said his life is a typical example of the grace of God. And rhetorically asked, otherwise, ‘’how can you explain the life of a poor iron bender boy who never visited the four walls of University taking these breath-taking strides’’. Rev Okpebholo who turned 71 June, 2021, said God has used him to tremendously impact on the lives of so many people. He affirmed that in 2020, while the whole world economy was crumbling, he started the multi-billion naira school project.
Conducting the Vice –Chancellor round the project, when completed in March, 2022, Rev Okpebholo said, would be one of the best model secondary schools in Africa competing favourably with any school in Europe and America. He informed that the school will be furnished with the state – of- the – art equipment. The school which he concluded would be a one stop learning facility, having understudied the best 25 secondary schools in Nigeria, would have 24 hours power supply, full internet connectivity, non-stop water supply, bakery, poultry and all known sporting facilities that would make it the best in this part of the world, he affirmed.
Asked how he came about this school idea and other of his business ventures and the unlimited successes, Rev. Okpebholo informed that many people have failed in businesses and other ventures because they pray long prayers without listening or waiting to hear from God. He said when you hear from God, obey his word and follow instructions, God will answer. He affirmed that God is still speaking, just that many people refuse to listen. He said listening to God, obeying his word and following instructions have made him the largest land owner in Uromi today. ‘’listening to God has kept me these 71 glorious years, successful in business for the past 51 years, successful as a pastor in one ministry for 41 years and happily married for 49 years to one wife’’ he concluded.
The vice – Chancellor, amazed with his massive successes asked what propelled him to go into business, without thinking for a second, answered calmly, poverty. Dr Okpebholo affirmed that he is a man who has seen poverty in its raw state. He said this is one of the reasons he is very compassionate about the poor and indigent in the society. He affirmed that when a man says he is hungry, others hear with their ears, but he hears with his stomach.
Having gone round the school project, his business site in uromi, his exquisite home, the VC thanked Rev. Okpebholo for his warmth reception and magnanimity and for being a very dear friend of SAU. Like the famous Oliver Twist, he is still expecting more of his gesture in SAU.