Mr. Edet Chinedu Udo was the best graduating student in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science from the University of Port Harcourt in the year 1998. He was a very active member of NIFES Uniport who served in different capacities while in school. Some of which are Hall Pastor, General Secretary, Election Committee Chairman, to mention a few.
He is an expert in the banking sector with over sixteen years of experience and currently works in the manufacturing industry.
Jennifer Chioma Amadi: Travelling a bit down memory lane, how did school go for you?
Mr. Edet Chinedu Udo: I would gladly say that I was among the few Christians in my era that had a proper interaction with the school, that is, I went through the school and the school went through me. I served in NIFES as a hall pastor (Nelson Mandela Hall B) in my second year, Gen Sec in my 3rd year, active member of Sanctuary Praise all through my NIFES days, joined the JCCF Choir in my final year, became election committee chairman for my department in my final year, and finally departmental rep in the Student Union Government (SUG) in my final year. In the end, God crowned all my efforts with academic excellence as I was the best graduating student in the Mathematics and Computer Science department.
Jennifer Chioma Amadi: Did you encounter any major challenge or was it a smooth ride for you?
Mr. Edet Chinedu Udo: There are always challenges in every stage in life. One of my major challenges in my first year was to create a balance between my academics and God’s work on campus. I always remembered the words of my now late dad which was so similar to Proverbs 4:20. I had to realize that I was a Christian student. So daily I prayed for grace to manage my time well not to miss lectures as well as doing God’s work on campus.
Jennifer Chioma Amadi: Are there things you wish you had known back in school that would have helped you done better?
Mr. Edet Chinedu Udo: Yes! One of them was to realise that Jesus actually died for all, ‘Jews’ and ‘Gentiles’. Christianity on campus then was very effective for Christians but created an obvious demarcation between the ‘saved’ and ‘unsaved’. If I was a Christian student again, I would show more love to the unsaved. God is love!
Jennifer Chioma Amadi: Now let’s move a bit further, how would you describe your ‘after school experience’?
Mr. Edet Chinedu Udo: It started on a sad note as I lost my dad a week after my project defense; Christmas Eve in 1998 to be precise. But then Hebrews 6:10 tells us how God will never forget our works in His vineyard and our labour of love done in His name. Right from the day I picked up my NYSC call up letter till date, God has made my life so beautiful and keeps satisfying me with the good things of life and heaven!
Jennifer Chioma Amadi: Was it a challenge getting a job or generally knowing which way to go next and how were you able to deal with that?
Mr. Edet Chinedu Udo: After my NYSC programme, I was so tempted to continue in the IT line. But in early 2000, I got a revelation from God that my purpose for going to the University was not necessarily to guide me in a career path but to expose my mind to possibilities in the labour market. To cut the long story short, I ended up spending almost 16 years in the banking sector as a business manager which was also training for me to understand financial transactions and apply common sense to follow up business transactions. Each time I needed to take a major business or career decision, I run it with God and now my wife.
Jennifer Chioma Amadi: From your previous answer, it’s obvious you didn’t practise what you read in school.
Mr. Edet Chinedu Udo: Yes, I didn’t. One needs to know the direction where God is leading him/she else’s you will be stuck in the wrong boat like Prophet Jonah. You will end up wasting time in the wrong place and trust God, He will send a fish to you!
Jennifer Chioma Amadi: How would you describe your typical work life?
Mr. Edet Chinedu Udo: I am no longer in the banking field but now in manufacturing. I have good control of my time now. I really appreciate the years I spent in Banking as it taught me discipline, how to be organised and well structured.
Jennifer Chioma Amadi: In terms of family, how do you strike a balance between work and family?
Mr. Edet Chinedu Udo: Family always comes first. One day the work will cease but family always remains. I have 3 sons, and I am their hero and model, they look up to me always. My wife is the only person that will share my home with me till God calls me Home since the boys would grow up and leave the house. She deserves more attention from me than any living soul. I try to complete all my office work during working hours. As a matter of personal principle, I don’t take my work home!
Jennifer Chioma Amadi: What role did NIFES play in your life that has informed the kind of person that you are now?
Mr. Edet Chinedu Udo: NIFES gave me the foundation for my adult life. University life is usually our formative years. Personal decisions we make there help build who we are in our later years. I was blessed to be part of NIFES. As a young hall pastor, I got to understand people. As a Gen Sec, I got to understand some level of structure and ‘politics’ (not the negative type).
Jennifer Chioma Amadi: Since you left school, what ways have you tried to give back to NIFES?
Mr. Edet Chinedu Udo: There is quite a huge disconnect between the alumni in Port Harcourt and the rest scattered around the country. However, I actually got involved with a couple of friends to preach, mentor and coach students in tertiary institutions around the western region of Nigeria. The name of the ministry is Campus Evangelism and Outreach, CEO.
Jennifer Chioma Amadi: Finally, what advice would you give young people out there both those who are still in school and young graduates?
Mr. Edet Chinedu Udo: Strike a balance between your spiritual and academic life. Some people believe in you and have chosen to invest in your education, “Study to show thyself approved unto God”. God bless our Christian students, the future of this country!
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