In recognition of the outstanding contributions of the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike to the rapid development of PAMO University of Medical Sciences (PUMS), the institution, yesterday, commissioned the Nyesom Wike Academic Building.
The commissioning, which was performed by the Sokoto State Governor, Hon Aminu Tambuwal, was witnessed by the former Head of State, Gen Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd), Adamawa State Governor, Umaru Fintiri, Bauchi State Governor, Senator Bala Mohammed, Founder of PUMS and former Rivers State Governor, Dr Peter Odili, the First Lady of Niger State, Hajia Amina Bello, officials of National Universities Commission (NUC) and Minister of Labour, Dr Chris Ngige.
Commissioning the building, Sokoto State Governor, Hon Aminu Tambuwal, commended the Rivers State governor for his commitment to the infrastructural development of the state.
He lauded the Rivers State governor for his investment and support to the PAMO University of Medical Sciences, which will help in the grooming of quality medical professionals.
Tambuwal said: “We thank the Rivers State governor for his support to this very important university founded by Dr Peter Odili. This support is clear and we are happy with it.
The Sokoto State governor prayed God to grant Wike the wisdom to continue to administer a complex state like Rivers.
In his remarks, the former Rivers State governor and Founder of PUMS, Dr Peter Odili, described the occasion as historic, adding that the event marks the opening of PUMS’s Administrative Block.
Odili urged all stakeholders to thank the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike for his determined and consistent contributions to the growth of the school.
The former governor said: “Due to the support of the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, the school has been able to surmount the challenges of development, leading to the Nyesom Wike Academic Building”.
Odili explained that the Nyesom Wike Academic Building has four lecture halls, 36 offices for relevant staff and four ultra-modern laboratories for courses for the third year students of the institution and clinical courses.
He said with his interaction with other key stakeholders of the university education, the contributions of the governor remains unprecedented.
The founder of PUMS, thereafter, led other stakeholders on a tour of the Nyesom Wike Academic Building.
Similarly, the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has declared that his administration will continue to support private initiatives to create access to university education in the state.
Speaking during the first Founders’ Day ceremony of PAMO University of Medical Sciences, yesterday, at Elelenwo, Wike noted that investments in university education by private individuals will always enjoy the support of the Rivers State Government.
Wike also pledged the sum of N500million for the construction of two hostels in the pioneer institution.
He said: “The university requires the support of every person. I have challenged every Rivers man and woman who has the capacity to establish a university to do so, Rivers State Government, will support such a person.
“This is the first private university in Rivers State. If government does not support it, who will support? I owe no apologies to those who criticise our support for this private university.”
He lauded PAMO University of Medical Sciences for creating opportunities for Rivers children and other Nigerians to have access to medical education.
“We have given our children scholarships for every academic session. Not less than 100 of them. They are Rivers children. Giving support means that you want the good of the people of Rivers State.
“If this university was not established, those of them who are lucky to study medicine and other related courses would have found it difficult. It is good that this University has been able to create access for our children to study medicine.
“For us as a government, we will not look back. We will continue to support this university,” he said.
He announced that the Rivers State Government will support the construction of two hostels in the institution.
Also speaking, the former Head of State, Gen Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd) called on Nigerians to collaborate with the security agencies to fight the rising trend of insecurity in the country.
Abubakar, who is also the chairman, Governing Board and Chancellor of PAMO University of Medical Sciences, Port Harcourt, said that Nigerians must give useful information to the security agencies in their current effort to fight insecurity in the country.
The chancellor said the university has, within a few years of its establishment, maintained its promise of becoming a foremost medical university in the country through the provision of excellent state-of-the-art facilities.
The former Head of State said that with the much expected second round of accreditation by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN), the institution would become one of the foremost in the world.
He commended Governor Nyesom Wike for his numerous support to the university, especially the approval for the use of the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital by undergraduates of PAMO pending the establishment of the university’s teaching hospital.
The Bauchi State Governor, Senator Bala Mohammed lauded Governor Wike for his commitment to the overall infrastructural development of Rivers State.
Mohammed, who spoke on behalf of his counterparts in Adamawa, Oyo, and Sokoto, praised former Rivers State Governor, Dr Peter Odili for his investment in education, especially setting up a university that will groom qualified medical professionals for the country.
The Minister of Labour and Productivity, Dr. Chris Ngige, instituted “The Chris Ngige Prize in Anatomy, Biochemistry and Physiology” for the best graduating students of the university, and described the founder, Dr. Peter Odili, as a man with passion for humanity.
Adding that Odili does not believe in failures, Ngige urged the students to follow in the footstep of their founder.
He said the best student in the mentioned area will be rewarded handsomely, and urged students of the university to emulate, Dr Peter Odili, who has been hardworking and committed to serving humanity.
The Pro-Chancellor of Pamo University of Medical Sciences and Former Rivers State Governor, Dr Peter Odili thanked Governor Wike for the pomp and ceremony he adds to all events of the institution.
He informed that all the students sponsored by the Rivers State Government at the university, are up to date in their payment of fees.
He said that establishing a private university is a service to the society, because profits start after more than 10 years.
Odili said that the university would churn out its first graduates next year, and also credited the founding of the institution to the Almighty God.
He commended the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, for appreciating the enormity of the challenge in the running the institution, stressing that through the efforts of the governor, no less than 300 Rivers families have students in the university, and expressed the need for more contributions towards the university’s endowment fund.
In his remarks, Executive Secretary of National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof Abubakar Rasheed said that the NUC was proud to be associated with PAMO University of Medical Sciences for their achievements within the short period the school existed.
He urged the university authority to ensure that they continue to comply with relevant regulatory requirements, in order for the school to grow.
The Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof M.F.E. Diejomaoh praised the foresight of Odili for ensuring that PAMO University of Medical Sciences became a reality.
He said that the vision of the university is to be one of the best medical training institutions in the country.
The event attracted Sokoto State Governor, Hon Aminu Tambuwal, Bauchi State Governor, Senator Bala Mohammed, Oyo State Governor, Engr Seyi Makinde, Adamawa State Governor, Umaru Fintiri, National and State Assembly members.
Shell Donates Subsea Training Facilities To UNIPORT
The Nigeria deep-water arm of global energy giant, Shell, has donated multimillion naira laboratory equipment and software packages to the Offshore Technology Institute of the University of Port Harcourt as part of the company’s Nigerian content human capital development programme delivered in collaboration with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
Speaking at a ceremony to hand over the facilities to the university, last Thursday, Managing Director, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited (SNEPCo), Mrs. Elohor Aiboni, said, “The donations are aimed at strengthening advanced practical teaching and research in subsea engineering to give the students the required skills and competences for entry level jobs in the oil and gas industry”.
The facilities, valued at over $700,000, are in alignment with the Human Capacity Development Guideline of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB).
Aiboni, represented by SNEPCo’s Social Investment Manager, Dr. Gloria Udoh, expressed optimism that with the level of investment by NNPC and SNEPCo in deep-water training via the establishment centres of excellence and donation of cutting-edge information and communication technology centres, among others, Nigerian oil and gas industry would surpass its local content aspiration earlier than projected.
“This investment anchored on the maintenance of subsea infrastructure on Nigeria’s pioneer deep offshore field, Bonga, is expected to develop and upskill the cognitive and technical abilities of students who pass through the Offshore Technology Institute for the ultimate benefit of our industry and of our country,” Aiboni added.
With the new laboratory and software packages, according to Aiboni, the Offshore Technology Institute is positioned to deliver effective training in engineering design; construction and installation of offshore and subsea structures; computer simulations; civil and construction tests; 3D printing/engravement capability; Measurement/Metering Technology and Robotics; Alternative Energy Technologies; and Data Acquisition Learning System.
In his remarks, Vice Chancellor, University of Port Harcourt, Prof. Onwunari Georgewill, commended NNPC and SNEPCo with its co-venture partners for their goodwill to the university and particularly to OTI, and canvassed more areas of collaboration between the university and its industry partners.
Georgewell said, “This project’s completion is timely because it latches on to the university’s leadership philosophy, which focuses on advancing education through an integrated learning environment to produce industry-ready university graduates and workforce.
“The current administration of the university places a lot of emphasis on university and industry collaboration and partnership. This donation will therefore enhance the achievement of the postgraduate degree-awarding Offshore Technological Institute in the practical context.”
Also speaking, Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Mr. Simbi Wabote, described the human capital initiatives of SNEPCo as commendable.
Wabote added, “I commend your remarkable and consistent collaboration and partnership with the NCDMB towards the development of in-country capacities and capabilities.”
Represented by NCDMB General Manager, Corporate Service and Logistics, Mr Halilu Abdulmalik, Wabote said, “Your Nigerian content initiatives are consistent with the objectives and aspirations of NCDMB’s 10-year strategic roadmap, and we hope that necessary adjustments will be made to the curriculum to ensure optimal utilization by students in the university community.”
Obasanjo, Osinbajo, Wike, Others Bag CAN Awards
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Senator Rochas Okorocha, Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, Emeritus Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, Cardinal John Onaiyekan, and Mummy Esther Ajayi, were among prominent Nigerians who received awards at the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Sapphire awards in Abuja, last weekend.
Others, including Pastor Enoch Adeboye, Cardinal Olubunmi Okogie, and Chief Arthur Eze, also received awards at the event; while the kidnapped Dapchi school, Leah Sharibu, won in the Young Christian Achiever award category.
Former Head of State, Yakubu Gowon, and Goodluck Jonathan, Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustafa, and some Christian governors, serving and past National Assembly members bagged awards.
The awards were part of activities for CAN’s 45th Anniversary Sapphire Celebration Dinner and Award Night.
Earlier in his welcome address, CAN National President, Rev. Samson Ayokunle, had said that the gathering was to celebrate 45 years of the church in Nigeria.
He said that Governance Category awards were for Christians in politics who had shown excellent and remarkable services.
“These include past presidents, serving governors and senators in our assessment that deserve such award.
“An award ceremony is applause of vision, personal discipline and determination; it is an event like this that makes people feel that their works are valued.
“The award is a catalyst that is expected to reinforce the awardees to serve humanity more and more,’’ he said.
The CAN president said it was heart breaking that majority of those in Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps were Christians who were displaced by religious fanatics, bandits and gunmen in their territories.
He solicited the awardees’ financial support in fulfilling some of CAN’s obligations to fellow Christians and bringing to fruition the association’s projects.
Obasanjo, who was represented by the Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha, was the special guest of honour at the awards.
Obasanjo said that the award was significant in that it would encourage other citizens to serve humanity, adding “I will continue to do the best I can to uphold the principles of justice, love, equity, mutual respect, industry and the fear of God which epitomise the church of Christ until there’s no breath left in me.”
While showing appreciation to CAN on behalf of all the award recipients, VP Osinbajo said Nigerians needed to be more tolerant of other people’s views.
The vice president dedicated the award to those who, daily in different locations, distant and near, propagated the message of the love and reconciliation of the gospel of Jesus Christ, sometimes in difficult and life-threatening situations.
He said that the awardees were not necessarily the most deserving of Christians to be given any recognition but by the special grace of God which placed them in the high capacity they served.
He said, “As we have seen in the past few years, there’s a growing ethnic and religious chauvinism, and almost intemperate, vehement and violent dismissal of the views of people of other persuasions and faith without adequate consideration.
“At the same time, there is also the rise of cultural and identity politics. The answer to hate and intolerance and conflicts is the gospel of Jesus Christ. We must believe enough in it, to live it out as our article of faith.
“The gospel commands consideration of the views of others, treating them we would wish to be treated. Our words must be of grace, seasoned with salt.
“We must remain constant and relentless advocates of freedom of worship, respect for human rights, fairness, justice, rule of law because they are fundamental to peace and security. We cannot talk of peace and security without fairness and justice, and compliance with the rule of law.
“We are in the advantageous position that our contribution will be more easily noticed.
“So, this award is dedicated to the men who, daily in different locations, distant and near propagate this message of the love and reconciliation of the gospel of Jesus Christ in sometimes even difficult and life-threatening situations.
“And to many who have suffered deprivations, the families of those who have lost their lives by reason of their belief.
“And we are deeply grateful to the Almighty God for the opportunity and enablement to serve in the positions to which we have been referred.
“I bring, also, the very warm felicitations of the President Muhammadu Buhari and the Federal Government of Nigeria on the 45th anniversary of the birth of this foremost association of Nigerian Christians.
“CAN was formed to, among other objectives, nurture the unity of the church in Nigeria and to work with the leaders of other faith and persuasions to build bridges and forge understanding, peace and unity among the various people and faith in our nation.
“CAN has not only been continually faithful to its founding vision, it has become a veritable force for peace, for unity and for social justice.
“Pursuant to the gospel, CAN has consistently spoken up on behalf of the least of those in our society,’’ he said.
He said that the current and past leaderships of CAN had acted in full realiasation and recognition of their roles as pivotal stakeholders alongside the government and private sector in nation building.
Earlier, Senator Rochas Okorocha, who noted the dire financial condition of the umbrella Christian organisation in the country, advised clerics to tone down their criticism of those in authority.
He said, “I just want to caution some Christian pastors concerning the way we use our pulpit and the kind of fire of insults and abuses that comes from there. When you abuse those who will give you money where will you get the money.
“The Bible says to pray for those in authority. You need to draw your leaders close. When you draw us closer and tell us what your problems are, it will energise us to help. Money will flow more than you need.”
Also, Imam Abubakar Abdullahi, who sheltered no fewer than 200 Christians in Barkin Ladi, Plateau, during an attack, was presented with the Special Recognition award.
The late Obadiah Mailafia, former CBN Deputy Governor, was given a post-humous award of Spokesperson for Oppressed alongside Matthew Kukah, Bishop of Catholic Diocese of Sokoto and Human Rights Lawyer, Femi Falana.
Awards were also given to best candidates in the 2020 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination and Senior School Certificate Examination.
Highlight of the event was the cutting of the anniversary cake.
Bandits Free 10 More Kaduna Baptist Students, Keep 11
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), yesterday, confirmed that 10 more students of Bethel Baptist School in Kaduna State have been released.
The Vice President of CAN (19 Northern States and Abuja) and its Chairman in Kaduna State, Rev. Joseph John Hayab, said this in a short WhatsApp message to newsmen.
He said, “Ten more students of Baptist High School were released this afternoon. We have 11 now with bandits.
“We are thanking all Nigerians for their prayers and support.
“We are trusting God that the rest will be released very soon. All have been reunited with their parents.”
Earlier, 10 students of Bethel Baptist School in Kaduna were released on Saturday, September 18, after spending 74 days captivity of terrorists, with 22 others still being held.
Hayab had said, “10 students were released this (Saturday) evening and have reunited with their parents. We are now hoping for the remaining 21 who are still with the bandits.”
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