Rivers State Government , last week, flagged off three new campuses of the state-owned university, amongst other critical projects in the state.
The are ; the Emohua Campus, the Etche Campus and the Ahoada Campus. At the official flag – off of the Emohua Campus, last Monday, Governor Wike disclosed the intention of his administration to also develop the Ogoni Campus of the university.
The Governor who noted that establishing more new universities was not the best approach to solve the problems associated with higher education said more concern should be on how more funds should be committed to the existing universities to enable them to effectively train the manpower needed in the country.
“ Why I cannot build more universities is not because I don’t have where to build them. But it is to have the money to fund the universities. The ones we have, we have not been able to fund them”, Governor Wike said.
Former Vice Chancellor of the University of Port Harcourt, Prof Ndowa Lale flagged – off the Emohua Campus, former Vice Chancellor of the University of Port Harcourt, Prof. Don Baridam officially flagged -off the Etche Campus last Tuesday, while former Vice Chancellor of the University of Port Harcourt, Prof Joseph Ajienka Flagged off the Ahoada Campus of the state university.
Performing the flag-off of the Etche Campus, Prof. Don Baridam said Governor Wike was spreading development using siting of campuses of the state university in other local government areas.
The move , he said , would solve the usual complaint of over-crowding of classrooms, increase the carrying capacity of the institution as well as check the challenge of inadequate hostel accommodation amongst others.
The Vice Chancellor of the Rivers State University, Prof. Nlerum Okugbule, said the Senate and Council of the University approved that Faculty of Agriculture be located in the Etche Campus in cognition of the acknowledged agrarian economy of Etche as the famous Food Basket of the state.
Last Saturday, the state government also inaugurated the Senate Building of the University and also performed foundation stone laying for the construction of the College of Medical Sciences comprising Faculties of Basic Clinical Sciences, Clinical Science, and Pathology.
The Governor further announced the award of full scholarship for all the 55 students already admitted into the institution. According to him, the scholarship covers the entire period of the programme .
The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) President, Prof. Innocent Ujah, who laid the foundation for the construction of the buildings, said under Governor Wike’s administration, the health sector had received unprecedented attention geared toward the sustainable development goal.
Also within the week under review, the state Chief Executive flagged off two hostel blocks (450 bed spaces each ) and a 1500 capacity auditorium being constructed by the Rivers State Government at the Yenegoa Campus of the Nigerian Law School .
The Rivers State Governor who further requested for the approval of the Federal Government for the establishment of a campus of the Nigerian Law School in Port Harcourt said the existing six campuses of the school across the country can only admit 6,000 out of the 10,000 applicants that seek legal education every year.
He stated that the state government was willing to provide the basic infrastructure required in establishing another law school within six months in order to accommodate more students desiring legal education in the country.
Also last week in Brick House, Governor Wike bagged the Blueprint Newspaper’s Governor of the year Award.
At the event which took place at the Congress Hall , Trsnscorps Hilton Hotel, Abuja, former President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan was named Icon of Democracy in Africa while eleven other governors also received different awards.
The Chairman/CEO of Blueprint Newspapers Limited… described Gov Wike as a development strategist who has used Infrastructural revolution, healthcare, education, agriculture and sports to honoure his social contract with Rivers people.
The state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Paulinus Nsirim, commended the management of Blueprint Newspapers for recognising the giant strides of the Rivers State Governor, noting that Gov Wike has within the last six years demonstrated that he is a visionary leader and prudent manager of resources.
“ When his contemporaries are complaining of economic downturn, Gov Wike is commissioning projects and flagging off new ones”, Nsirim said.
Also last week, the state government inaugurated and handed over National Industrial Court Judges in Port Harcourt.
By: Chris Oluoh
Sanwo-Olu Signs Anti-Open Grazing Bill Into Law
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Monday, signed the bill to prohibit open cattle grazing and trespass of cattle on land in the state into laws.
With the law, Lagos has joined some states in southern Nigeria that have anti-open grazing laws in place.
The law is coming more than two weeks after the September 1 deadline set by the Southern Governors Forum for states.
The governor also signed the Lagos State Domestic And Sexual Violence Agency Bill, into Law.
Meanwhile, the state government has said it is committed to tackling the menace of drug abuse frontally to reduce the ravage among youths in the state.
Sanwo-Olu stated this on Monday at the Lagos House, Ikeja, during a courtesy visit by the delegates of Anglican Communion Church of Nigeria, led by the Archbishop Metropolitan and Primate, Most Reverend Henry Ndukuba.
Sanwo-Olu said his government was building a massive rehabilitation hospital at Ketu-Ejirin to tackle drug abuse, adding that his administration would partner with the Church to ensure that the people lived a better life.
He said governance started from the leadership of spiritual homes, noting that government and church can jointly build a community that would outlive all, while restating the commitment to improve the movement of people on road, water as well as building rail infrastructure to make Lagos a livable city.
Speaking earlier, Ndukuba thanked the governor for partnering with the church in the welfare of the people and commended him for his outstanding performance in tackling Covid-19.
Also present at the courtesy visit were the Deputy Governor, Obafemi Hamzat, Chief of Staff to the Governor, Tayo Ayinde, Secretary to the State Government, Folashade Jaji, Commissioner for Information, Gbenga Omotoso, among other dignitaries.
Okowa Tasks NASS On True Federalism
Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, has called on the National Assembly to embody in the 1999 Constitution being amended, true federalism and independence of Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC).
The governor made the call on Monday at a nationwide sensitisation on the review of the existing revenue allocation formula held at Unity Hall, Government House, Asaba.
He explained that an independent RMAFC would carry out its functions independently, including laying its proposals directly before the National Assembly for approval.
According to the governor, the current practice where recommendations of the commission are presented to the President has led to the non-review of the revenue allocation formula since 1992 as no President demonstrated the political will to forward the amendments to the parliament.
He commended RMAFC for ongoing sensitisation of the states before a zonal exercise where recommendations from the states would be received.
“For quite some time a lot of talks have gone on in the revenue allocation and it’s very unfortunate that in this country we are still operating a revenue allocation formula that was actually reviewed in 1992.
“As we look forward to a new revenue allocation formula, we hope that you come out with something that is fair, justifiable and equitable.
“But, the challenge is that when you have done all this work, you are going to eventually, by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, lay this before the President and the President ought to lay it before the National Assembly.
“There is a challenge there and there has always been a challenge there, because what is there in our laws that will ensure that the President lays the recommendations of RMAFC before the National Assembly?
“We hope that the National Assembly takes a look at this amendment because RMAFC is supposed to be an independent commission, a commission on behalf of all federating units and component parts of the federation.
“They cannot tie your hands; the constitution ought to be amended to enable chairman of RMAFC to directly lay before the national assembly whatever review it has come up with so that nobody stands it down,’’ he said.
Okowa stated that the National Assembly must do what was right because “a nation is a nation.
Reps Query Presidential Committee Over Assets Seized From Past Leaders
The House of Representatives on Monday ordered the Presidential Implementation Committee (PIC) on Landed Property to produce reports of all assets seized from former Nigerian leaders.
Members were more particular about the late Head of State, Sani Abacha, whose property and money were recovered by the Federal Government.
The chairman, ad-hoc Committee on Abandoned Property, Ademora Kuye, said the House wanted a report on all assets seized from Nigerian leaders in and out of Nigeria, particularly Abacha.
He said this when the Executive Secretary of PIC appeared before the committee in Abuja.
“We need to know the state of those property and to also know if the property have titles of deed,’’ Mr Kuye said.
The committee also queried the sale of federal government’s assets held in trust by the PIC.
Mr Kuye said the committee discovered that some of the property the PIC claimed to have sold were either not sold or were not paid for, contrary to claims made by the PIC.
He added that some of the seized houses which the PIC claimed were vacant were still being occupied.
He directed the PIC to furnish the House of Representatives committee with up-to-date reports of federal government’s assets sold, amount realised from the sales, those yet to be sold and those under litigation.
Mr Kuye also asked that the PIC must state the amount of money remitted to the federal government from the sales with evidence of remittance, adding that all assets pointed out to the committee but not included in its first report should be forwarded to the House of Representatives committee.
Responding to Mr Kuye’s submissions, the Executive Secretary, PIC, Bala Samid, stated that some of the people occupying government quarters had refused to vacate them.
He added that as soon as the occupants were approached for payment or to vacate the houses they went to court to obtain injunctions restraining the PIC.
“We approached the federal government to report them and the federal government said that we should give them time”.
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