Gov. Wike Commends VC's Prudence, Directs Immediate Release of N500 Million to Varsity

Gov. Wike Commends VC's Prudence, Directs Immediate Release of N500 Million to Varsity

By Tunde Uchegbuo

Rivers State governor, His Excellency, Chief Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, has commended the Vice Chancellor of Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, Port Harcourt, Professor Ozo-mekuri Ndimele, for prudent management of funds given to the institution by the state government.

The governor gave the commendation in his address at the 37th Convocation ceremony of the institution, on Saturday December 7, at the university auditorium.

Represented by his deputy, Her Excellency, Dr. Ipalibo Harry-Banigo, the governor said he was impressed with the level of infrastructural development in the university.

He also said that he was happy that the university has increased its carrying capacity, mounted new academic programmes, and attracted partnership from foreign universities.

He described the university as a leading institution in the training of educators in Nigeria, while assuring that the government of Rivers State would continue to invest in it in order to enhance human capacity development in the state, and directed the immediate release of the sum of N500 million to the institution.

He described graduation as a mark of dedication, perseverance, and a moment of joy to the university management, parents and the graduands.

While admitting that times are hard, the governor urged the graduands not to allow challenges to weigh them down, but to use their learning to discover potential opportunities because they own future.

The governor further directed the university management to investigate and weed out lecturers and other members of staff who engage in untoward acts, emphasizing that universities must be safe in order to stimulate academic activities.

He applauded the presiding pastor of Salvation Ministries, Pastor David Ibiyeomie for his contribution toward infrastructural development in the university, as he urged others to join in giving back to the society.

Earlier, the Pro-chancellor and Chairman of the governing council of the school, His Majesty, King Aaron Miller Ikuru, had reassured the governor that the superintending mandate granted the council over the affairs of the institution would be pursued with uncompromising zeal for excellence and integrity.

He lauded the governor for the numerous developmental projects in the state, including the payment of harmonized staff salary to workers in the university.

He also thanked Pastor David Ibiyeomie for giving the university N320 million to build a block of female hostel.

Meanwhile, the Vice Chancellor, Professor Ozo-mekuri Ndimele, has again appealed for modification of the name of the university, explaining that the name is limiting the introduction of new courses because the institution has reached the maximum faculties it is allowed to operate as a University of Education.

According to him, such is denying Rivers people opportunities for higher education, adding that the institution has spent over N250 million on resource verification by the National Universities Commission (NUC), a situation he attributed to the name of the university.

The VC also disclosed that the university has forwarded nine new programmes to the NUC for approval, hinting that the proposed new courses are designed in collaboration with the industry and is targeted at producing multi-talented graduates for the future labour market.

Some of the achievements his administration has recorded include securing approval for commencement of postgraduate programme, introduction of four new bachelors degree programmes, while application by prospective students has increased from 1,800 to over 16,000.

There is also the creation of professorial chairs, aggressive infrastructural development, partnership with reputable foreign universities, and the establishment of open and distance learning institute.

Others include establishment of A level programme that allows candidates direct entry admission into 200 level, enhanced security architecture and zero tolerance for cultism and related activities, expansion on sports and extra-curricular activities, and improvement on power generation with the purchase of a 1,500 KVA power generator.

While acknowledging the contributions of the alumni to their alma-mater, the VC appealed for their contribution to the growth of the university.

A total of 3, 169 graduands passed at the event. A breakdown shows that 45 had the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), 1,070 for the Masters degrees, 391 obtained the Postgraduate diploma, 1,654 bagged the Bachelors, while 9 obtained Certificates.

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