The Rivers State Government says the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) cannot dictate to Governor Chibuike Amaechi, on who to appoint as vice chancellor, Rivers State University of Science and Technology.
The Commissioner for Information and Communications, Mrs Ibim Semenitari, made this known at a press briefing in Port Harcourt on Monday.
It will be recalled that the re-appointment of Prof. Barineme Fakae, had generated controversy in the university with ASUU calling on President Goodluck Jonathan to prevail on Amaechi to rescind his decision
Semenitari said the law that established the university provided for the re-appointment of a vice chancellor after the first tenure.
She said the re-appointment of Fakae became imperative because two members of the selection committee had “suddenly’’ joined the vice chancellorship race.
The commissioner said three candidates had lined up for the race, adding that the university had recorded several achievements during Fakae’s first tenure.
She added that the National Universities Commission (NUC) had rated the university 19th best university in the country.
Semenitari noted that the state university had earlier been rated as the 76th, saying that the information is contained in NUC letter to the university.
She added that the State Government planned to engage the services of some notable professors from world class universities to lecture in the state university.
Meanwhile, the management of the Rivers State University of Science and Technology (RSUST), Port Harcourt last Monday kick-started the second semester examinations of the 2011/2012 academic session.
The Deputy Registrar (Public Relations), Mr Desmond Wosu, who made this known in an interview with The Tide in Port Harcourt said the examinations started with (GS) courses on Monday, through yesterday, noting that the courses cut across the seven faculties of the university.
The PRO explained that the university has its timetable and calendar for the year, which was drawn up by the Senate.
He said that the university followed strictly the timetable as planned because, according to him, “ we don’t want to drag our students backward. We don’t want them to suffer. Others will soon be going to law school, and National Youth Services (NYSC) and we have to follow the trend”.
The image maker of the university insisted that the university cannot shift the academic calendar because, as a university, it must move with other universities.
He explained that the university was already registering the new intakes, adding that soon lectures would start and appealed to some members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), who are not at work to come back to class.
Some of the students who spoke with The Tide expressed delight that the university’s management kept faith with their plan to allow them write the examinations as scheduled.
It would be recalled that a statement signed by the Registrar of the institution, Mrs Daba C. Odimabo had stated that following the resolution by the Senate of the school at its 189th regular meeting held on Thursday, 30th August 2012, there will be no amendment in the calendar of academic activities for the 2011/2012 academic session.
The statement had indicated that the second semester examinations would commence on Monday, 17th September, 2012 as scheduled, and advised all students to avail themselves of the opportunity or have themselves to blame.
In aother development, Governor Chibuike Amaechi has disclosed plans by the Rivers State Government to reconstruct the ailing Airforce flyover bridge that caved-in on Sunday in Port Harcourt.
Making the plans public after inspecting the bridge yesterday alongside Commissioners of Works, Chief Victor Giadom, Transport, Hon.George Tolofari, and Commissioner for Information and Communications, Mrs. Ibim Semenitari, Governor Amaechi said it was not true that the whole bridge had collapsed.
He said,’’ I walked past the bridge now and it is only the retaining wall that fell. Government is negotiatiing and going through due process to ensure that we got the correct price for the reconstruction of the flyover, since the last contractor did not do a very good work. And there is need to reconstruct the entire abortment to the bridge and redirect the traffic as an emergency now.’’
To ensure long term remedy, the governor hinted that a total reconstruction of the bridge is necessary,’’ the long term measure’’, he said, ‘’ is total reconstruction of the approach to the bridge…that will redirect traffic on Aba Road.’’
Amaechi further hinted that the state government had begun talks with Reynolds Construction Company(RCC) to handle the job once the cost and other specifications are approved.
Meanwhile, Governor Amaechi has debunked claims that most projects executed by the administration were poorly done.
He argued that such claims were untrue as most projects done by his administration are long lasting, as some are to be fully completed.
The Governor listed about six projects executed and completed by the government. The roads include, Ikwerre Road, Old Aba Road, Rumuokwuta-Choba Road, Staduim Road, Chief G U Ake Road, Elekahi-Rumuomasi Road among others.
‘’Nobody is talking about these roads just because you are talking about Choba Road which has not been completed, ‘’ he remarked.
Assuring of the completion of the Rumuokwuta-Choba Road soon, Amaechi said the road needed more coating and appropriate chanelling of drains to check flooding in the future.
Meanwhile, the Rivers State Government says poor quality job was responsible for the collapse of the retaining wall of the approach of the Airforce junction flyover, even as it says that the project was not done under the present administration.
The commissioner for Works, Hon Victor Giadom, who stated this at a joint media briefing in Port Harcourt, also denied rumour that the bridge was neglected by the present administration.
Hon Giadom said that the government had taken proactive steps months ago to effect repair work on the bridge by contracting it to Reynolds Construction Company (RCC), stressing that the company had already concluded the deep soil test in respect of the bridge.
The Commissioner, however, said that the bridge was in order except its approach which was faulty, but added that no structural repair was done on it.
Also speaking, the Commissioner for Transport, Hon George Tolofari, said that the bridge will be temporarily closed to traffic, stressing that vehicular movement have been directed to other routes.
John Bibor & Eunice Kayode