The new campus of the Rivers State University of Science Technology(RSUST) is to be ready by 2014, Governor Chibuike Amaechi has assured.
The Governor gave the hint during the 19th-23rd convocation ceremony of the state- owned university last Saturday in Port Harcourt.
Amaechi declared, “from our calculations, we will be able to move the first batch of students by 2014″.
Rt Hon. Amaechi maintained that the plan to relocate the institution to a more spacious site was still in progress as his administration was poised to restore the school’s glory as the premier university of technology in the country.
He recalled that prior to the inception of his administration, the university was comatose and in serious decay, hence, the resolve to appoint a new governing council and Vice Chancellor, saying, “today, I am very proud of that decision and I have seen the changes with my eyes”.
Apart from pulling the institution out of the rots, Governor Amaechi argued that the convocation ceremony also underscored the drastic changes the school had undergone under the new leadership, “I am delightful today because the university has broken the seven years jinx of non-conferment of degrees and diplomas to deserving students,” he said
He, therefore, pledged government’s support to develop the school, as he assured that the health centre would be refurbished and equipped before the end of next year.
Congratulating the new graduands, Amaechi enjoined them to be good ambassadors of the institution bearing in mind the values they had imbibed, “excellence and creativity must be found in everything you do. Remember always that this is your alma-mater and so make sure you contribute to make it great”, he pleaded.
The Rivers State Governor also commended the Senate President, Senator David Mark who alongside High Chief O. B. Lulu-Briggs were conferred with honorary doctorate degrees at the event.
In the words of Amaechi,”our dear David Bonaventure Mark…is very distinguished and legendary and is renowned, is a friend of Rivers State and a frontline statesman”.
He said both Senator Mark and Chief Lulu-Briggs deserved the awards and wished them well in their endeavours.
Speaking earlier, Chairman of the Governing Council of RSUST, and former Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Adolpus Karibi-Whyte stated that the new changes seen in the university were as a result of support given to it by the Governor.
Despite the daunting challenges, he said the council had been able to reform the institution and make it an ICT centre.
The same view was expressed by the Vice Chancellor, Prof Barineme Fakae who described the convocation as a milestone with a record figure of 25,917 graduands.
So far, Prof Fakae disclosed that the university had made tremendous improvements in its infrastructure and manpower development, and called on the state government to assist in the completion of some ongoing projects to sustain its accreditation.
Meanwhile, the Senate President David Mark has commended the authorities of the RSUST for its giant strides in technological improvements in the country.
He emphasised that the Federal Government would ensure that high premium was placed on technology innovation.
The Senate President who lauded the university for the award given to him pledged to entrench democracy and touch the lives of the common man.
In a related development, Senate President, Senator David Mark, has underscored the Federal government’s desire to give priority attention to technological development and research in the country.
Senator Mark gave the indication at the 19th-23rd convocation ceremony of the Rivers State University of Science and Technology(RSUST) last Saturday in Port Harcourt.
Senator Mark who received an honorary doctorate degree with High Chief O. B. Lulu-Briggs from the university, noted that the Federal Government was giving serious attention to science and technology development in order to stimulate the country’s vision in being a strong economy by 2020.
So far, he pointed out that the university had made huge marks in technology development while urging it to sustain the tempo.
According to Senator Mark,”you should not join the bandwagon, break from the ranks and join the few that chart a fresh path”.
He decried the low attention given to technology education by the authorities, and therefore, urged the state government to ensure that educational institutions were managed to provide maximum results.
Senator Mark described universities as powerful agents of change, stressing that all measures must be put in place to promote excellence and hard work in the institution, and commended the university for” growing to be one of the best in Africa”.
The Senate President however, called on the Academic Staff Union of Universities(ASUU),including other unions in the university to cooperate with the university authorities to ensure that the vision of the institution was realised.
In his speech earlier, Governor Chibuike Amaechi and Visitor to the school pledged to restore the university to its status as the country’s premier university in science and technology..
He lauded the governing council of the university for the drastic transformation the institution had undergone especially in infrastructure and ICT, adding that,” the focus of this administration is to improve technology and agriculture as new revenue earners”.
He promised that the government would ensure that the moot court building in the university’s Law Faculty was completed in 2012.
Amaechi identified the Law programme being run by the school as one of the best in the country as he promised that the state government would make sure that the status was maintained.
However, he enjoined both private and corporate bodies to come to the aid of the university, “we must learn to encourage greater support aside grants and government’s investment”, he said.
This, he said could be achieved with synergy between the alumni and the outside world,” everywhere in the world, universities survive first from endowments, no government or one institution can do it alone”, he reiterated.
Earlier, the chairman of the Governing Council of the university, Justice Adolphus Karibi-Whyte thanked the Governor for his support to the university, and observed that the school still needed more funding to boost its research and scholarships.
In his remarks, Vice Chancellor of the institution, Prof Barineme Fakae stated that in the course of executing its mandate, the university was faced with myriads of problems which included shortage of teaching and non-teaching staff.
He also pleaded for improved welfare for staffers as the university underwrites payment of some of its staff in partime studies.
Highlights of the ceremony were the commissioning of the Rotimi Amaechi Centre for Technology and the unveiling of the RANCAM Link Road and the new Soil and Biology Laboratory by the Senate President.
Wike, Pride Of Nigeria’s Democracy, NUJ Affirms
The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has described Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, as an exhibit of pride to democracy in Nigeria.
The NUJ also noted that Wike has redefined governance through demonstration of democracy in action with his service to Rivers people.
The National leadership, the 36 State Executives, and the FCT, including members of the NUJ across the country made the assertion in Port Harcourt during the inspection tour led by the Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim of both completed and ongoing projects being undertaken by the governor in the state.
The National President of the NUJ, Chief Chris Isiguzo, said the 1999 Constitution bestows on the media the responsibility to hold governments accountable to the people.
Isiguzo posited that having placed the projects side-by-side with the expectations of the populace, it was obvious that the governor’s investment in critical infrastructure would remain lifelong empowerment tools for the people.
”We were at the Mother and Child Hospital. We took time to look at the facilities there. That can easily be said to be first of its kind in the country.
”At the much-talked about Real Madrid Football Academy, where they are going to train the young ones, we saw that they have good facilities. At the moment, they have also offered admission to 140 pupils.
”That’s also to catch-them-young, and I want to believe that by the time this kind of resources is continuously invested in sports development in Nigeria, it’s just a matter of time, it will gain its pride of place in sporting world.”
On her part, the National President of Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), Mrs Ladi Bala said that the projects she had seen were entirely unique, unprecedented and very uncommon in the country.
According to Bala, the Emmanuel Chinwenwo Aguma Judges’ Quarters stand out as first of its kind in Nigeria, with its serene ambiance that would translate into enhancing the productivity of judges of Rivers origin.
”I believe that democracy is at work in Rivers State, and, for Rivers people, I want to congratulate them, and to say, this is the true reflection of what democracy should be across board.
”I want to call on other governors across the country to borrow a leaf from what the governor of Rivers State is doing. Wike is working, and we are very proud of what we have seen here”, she added.
In his reaction, the National Internal Auditor of NUJ, Muhammad Tukur, stated that Wike was a committed leader with the vision of uplifting the standard of life of his people.
Tukur, who expressed gratitude to Wike for his support to the NUJ National Conference in Port Harcourt, said that his show of love for journalists confirms his commitment to the welfare of the people.
On his part, Chairman of Oyo State Council of the NUJ, Comrade Ismail Ademola Babalola, asserted that the Mother and Child Hospital, and the Real Madrid Football Academy were part of projects Governor Wike was using to secure a productive future for the youths of the state because they meet global standard.
Also speaking, the Vice President of NUJ North Central Zone, Chief Wilson Bako, commended the quality of the various roads and flyover bridges constructed in the Port Harcourt metropolis to make the city tourists’ destination of choice.
In the same vein, the Vice Chairman of NUJ in Jigawa State, Comrade Larai Musa, said she has confirmed all that the news media had carried about Wike and his projects’ mantra, and asserted that it was leaders like him that were needed at the national level.
Also, Comrade Ikechukwu Ordu of Enugu State Council of the NUJ noted the need for other political leaders to emulate Wike in providing dividends of democracy to Rivers people and changing the fortunes of his state.
Also from the Enugu State Council of the NUJ, Comrade Ugochukwu Chukwudieke, said she was completely overwhelmed by what Wike has done in constructing the Okoro-Nu-Odo Flyover Bridge, Rumuogba Flyover Bridge, and Rebisi Flyover Bridge delivered within one year.
Chukwudieke also praised the quality of work on the Rumuola Flyover Bridge, Ogbun-nu-Abali Flyover Bridge, GRA Junction Flyover Bridge, and the Orochiri-Wurukwo flyover project at Waterlines Junction by Aba Road.
Stop Constitution Review, CNG Tasks NASS
The Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG), yesterday, called on the National Assembly to suspend the review of the 1999 Constitution, describing it as ill-timed and uncalled for, particularly in the face of the growing agitation for Nigeria’s break-up.
It also urged the National Assembly to invoke the doctrine of necessity to organize a Biafra referendum as the final step towards the separation of the Igbo from the rest of Nigeria.
This was part of the presentation which CNG made before the leadership of the National Assembly against the backdrop of the disturbances created by certain interest groups in the South-East, in the form of the agitation for a separate state of Biafra.
Briefing journalists in Abuja after the presentation, CNG Spokesman, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, noted that the Biafra agitation in the South-East had turned violent, alleging that the aim of the unrest in the region was to instigate reprisals by northerners against people from other parts of the country.
He said, “We demanded the immediate suspension of the ongoing exercise for the review of the 1999 Constitution and to concentrate on the first priority of determining who and what actually constitutes Nigeria as a nation in the present circumstance in which the Igbo, by taking up arms against the Nigerian state for the third time, have foreclosed every hope for the rest of us to continue coexisting with them as one nation.
“In order to achieve the final separation of the Igbo from the rest of Nigeria, we also demanded the NASS to organize a referendum by seeking the cover of the same Doctrine of Necessity invoked by Nigeria’s federal parliament that paved way for former President Goodluck Jonathan’s takeover by declaring the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua unfit.
“We further demanded NASS to prevail on the Federal Government of Nigeria to invite the United Nations as well as the African Union and ECOWAS, to initiate the process of self-determination to mandate the Biafrans out of the Nigerian union by leveraging on the several relevant international treaties and conventions to which Nigeria is a signatory.
“Today, everyone can see that the diabolical scheme planned and exhibited in the actions and clamours of IPOB, supported morally and politically by the vast majority of the pliant and affrighted Igbo elites, politicians, traditional rulers, business persons, and the larger population of this ethnic group has pushed Nigeria to the precipice.
“We are convinced that this renewed violent determination of the Igbo to see through the secession of the South-East from Nigeria is now real and cannot be avoided or deferred any longer without terrible consequences.
“In order to avoid such mishaps and unnecessary devastation on all sides, particularly the South-East whose leaders and agitators are now bent on driving it over the brink into a catastrophe, CNG is of the view that resort to available means of actualising the separation of the South-East from the rest of Nigeria is today a vital task that must be undertaken by all.”
Suleiman also argued that in order to prevent a descent into another civil war, and to forestall mass killings and untold sufferings, CNG has committed to the call for a referendum that will finally separate the South-East from Nigeria.
He added, “In this connection, we are hoping the NASS will come up with a framework to be agreed upon in the course of the referendum and its final implementation in the South-East or any enclave that wishes to secede from Nigeria.
All identified indigenes (Igbos) of the enclave or entity that called for secession (South-East) must leave the territory of Nigeria and assemble in their designated enclave for the purpose of the exercise.
“The outcome of the referendum shall be final, irreversible and shall not be reviewed or reconsidered for any other reasons. Citizens of the breakaway enclave shall be deprived of any automatic rights to return to the territory of the rump Nigeria, or to be admitted to live in any of its parts.
“We are aware that all this while, the North continued to bear the brunt of the violent agitations for secession with equanimity, stoical calm and resignation.
“Therefore, as the CNG recommits to the pursuit of a final constitutional separation with Biafra, we urge the North to remain the bulwark of respect, integrity, dignity, decorum, tradition, decency, morality, civilization, etiquette, good behaviour, politeness, accommodation, and all other positive traits with the assurance that the good will ultimately prevail over evil.”
PDP’s Performance Has Diminished APC In Rivers, Wike
The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike says with what his administration has achieved, and is still doing, in terms of delivery of critical infrastructure, nobody in the state needs to talk about the All Progressives Congress (APC) anymore.
The governor made the assertion at the flag-off of construction work of the Ogbum-nu-Abali/Eastern-Bypass Road project, yesterday, in Port Harcourt.
Wike explained that the previous administration politicised the reconstruction of the Ogbum-nu-Abali/Eastern-Bypass road and actually failed to accomplish it.
The governor said he has defied those political intrigues, and has genuinely interfaced with the people to understand the economic benefits a dualised road in the city centre could attract.
According to Wike, with the level of infrastructural development around Ogbum-nu-Abali, there would be a spike in the value of property and enhanced economic activities.
“I know that the people of Ogbum-nu-Abali resisted the dualisation of this road because of lack of information. When I met with the community leaders, they said look, they have houses bequeathed to them by their grandparents.
“I told them that whether they like it or not, if I don’t dualise it today, tomorrow somebody else will do it. And you don’t know who is coming.
“So, it’s better done now that I am a governor than when you don’t know who is coming. And the economic benefit of this road is too much, which you may not understand now.”
Speaking further, Wike stated that the entire Old Government Residential Area (GRA) has been given a facelift with quality road projects.
“This is the only place remaining. Old GRA cannot be like that and then we will leave this place. We have done the Rebisi flyover, the Oru-Abali flyover. There is no way this place will not be dualised at all. It’s not possible.”
Performing the flag-off, the member representing Port Harcourt Federal Constituency 1, Hon Kenneth Anayo Chikere, said the formal flag-off ceremony has ended several speculations about the possibility of executing the project.
“This day witnesses the eventual actualisation of the Ogbum-nu-Abali/Eastern Bypass Road project. Thank you governor for the Ogbum-nu-Abali/Eastern Bypass Road project!
“Thank you governor, for the Ogbum-nu-Abali internal roads, completed, commissioned and profitably in use. Thank you for being a worthy son and governor! Thank you for the exemplary leadership, the infrastructural and human development in all sectors.”
The Rivers State Commissioner for Works, Elloka Tasie-Amadi, while giving the project description said the dualisation of the Ogbum-nu-Abali Road will extend all the way to the ongoing Eastern Bypass dualisation.
“Today, Ogbum-nu-Abali Road is a 7.3m wide single carriage way, with a cross section of approximately 8.5m width inclusive of the drains on either side of the road. After reconstruction and project completion, we will have a cross section of 18.1m width on the axis extending to Eastern Bypass and 17.35m width along Ogbum-nu-Abali Road.
“This cross section is made up of 2 carriageways, each measuring 7.3m wide, both of which will be separated by a median of 1.5m width along the extension to Eastern Bypass and a median of 750cm width along Ogbum-nu-Abali Road.
It includes 1m wide drains on either side of the road, and of course, street lighting to ease movement at night as well as enhance security.
The commissioner said, the project like many others commissioned or ongoing will be built to design specifications aimed at guaranteeing minimum life-span requirement of 30 years.
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