The Vice Chancellor of University of Port Harcourt, Prof. Ndowa Lale has blamed the controversy and protest over fees and tuition by students on the poor orientation and understanding of how universities are run.
Lale, who spoke to reporters on the sidelines of the graduation ceremony at the Claude Ake School of Governance in Port Harcourt, recently, said the university does not charge school fees for undergraduates but tuition.
Lale suggested that non-governmental and faith-based organizations should fill the void where government cannot meet in funding students as a way of promoting education.
He insisted that whatever fees and tuition being charged currently by the university were fully approved and prescribed by the Federal Government which owns the institution.
The Vice Chancellor argued that it was wrong for students and parents to believe that the school was charging fees over what was prescribed by the government, as he explained that the current legal tussle between some students and the institution was not necessary.
In his words, “The numbers of students who are law-abiding far outweigh those that foment trouble”.
He also emphasised: “There is nowhere and no time that people went to school and did not pay school fees. There is nowhere in the world that school is free”.
Asked of his view on the ongoing strike by Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) in the country, Lale said that the association has the right to what it was demanding but quickly noted that, “we can only wait for the outcome”.
Lale praised the management and staff of the school for resilience and vision to make the school a world class facility despite the funding challenges.
He said, “I am impressed with the quality… it is not the size or sophistication of the graduation that counts but the commitment”.
Lale averred that soon the school and all its programmes will be the flagship in policy and business education in the country.
The University of Port Harcourt Vice Chancellor enjoined the students to exemplify what they have learnt, “All you need is matching character with knowledge and make sure you contribute to nation building”.
He also enjoined the graduands to also support their alma mater, as that is on way to improve the learning environment and reciprocate the training gotten.
On her part, Dean of Graduate Studies, Prof. Anthonia Okerengwo
Monarch Hails Wike Over Landing Jetty Project Award
The Amanyanabo and Traditional Ruler of ancient Ele Kingdom in Ogu/Bolo Local Government Area of Rivers State, King Felix Tamunoseipiriala Okuru Apina VII, has stated the gratefulness of his people to the State Governor, Nyesom Wike.
He said the people of Ele community will continue to be grateful to the governor for graciously supporting their “illustrious” son, Barr Vincent Nemieboka, to become the chairman of the local government area, and approving the construction of a landing jetty in the area.
King Apina vii in a statement from the palace said the people of Ele kingdom have been given a sense of belonging by these gestures, because “it is first of its kind from any governor of the state”.
The monarch noted that for the governor to remember the community in his development plans, “the people are most grateful”, assuring him that they are fully mobilised and ready to exercise their franchise in the forthcoming elections for candidates that will have the interest of the community at heart.
On behalf of the Ele Divisional Council of Chiefs and the people of Ele Kingdom, he pledged their loyalty and support, stressing that construction of the landing jetty will in no small measure alleviate the untold suffering experienced during low tide.
He also noted that the jetty will encourage business boom in the area and further assured that all necessary co-operation will be given to the contractor when the project commences.
The first citizen of the community also lauded the Chairman of the Local Government Council, Barr Vincent Nemieboka, for the construction of a Health Centre and provision of a portable drinking water for the people.
This, he said, has given the people a sense of belonging, noting that Ele Community as one of the ancient nine clans of Okrika ethnic nationality, is in dire need of other developmental projects.
Tai LGA Flags Off Construction Of Corpers’ Lodge
The Tai local Government Area has flagged off the construction of an eighth bedroom corpers lodge at Botem Community in Tai local Government Area.
The lodge, according to the council Engineer, is made up of four rooms for male and four for female.
Flagging off the project on behalf of the council, Rivers State Commissioner for Transport, Dr.Jacobson Nbina, said the project, which was in line with the desires of the people, will help to improve education in the area.
Nbina, who is Chairman of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) Campaign Council, said the project has further increased the chances of the party’s victory in the forthcoming election in the area.
He urged the people to reciprocate the gesture by maintaining the facility when it is completed.
Meanwhile, the Senator representimg Rivers South East in the National Assembly, Senator Barinada Mpigi, has rated the Tai Local Government Council high in the execution of projects.
Speaking during a ward-to-ward and unit-to-unit campaign at Ward 8, Sime Tai, Mpigi said the Mbakpone administration has embarked on people-oriented projects across the LGAs.
He said the projects, which range from markets, water, roads, security, and others, have improved the living conditions of the people.
The Senator particularly commended the Chairman for the corpers’ lodge, stressing that it will help to boost education, not only in Botem, but that communities around the area will also benefit from the gesture.
Also speaking, Chairman of Tai Local Government Council, Hon.Mbakpone Okpe, said the project was in fulfilment of his electioneering promises to the community.
He said he told them to nominate a project and they nominated a corpers lodge.
Okpe said the project will be completed and commissioned within the next three months.
On the ward-to-ward and unit-to-unit campaigns, the council boss said so far four Wards have been visited in the area.
He said the campaign was to explain to the people the importance of voting for candidates of the PDP during the forthcoming elections.
The Tai Council boss also thanked the people for their massive turned out for the campaign.
Also speaking, the Member representing Tai in the Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon Matthew Dike, said the people of Tai are happy with the administration of Governor Ezenwo Nyesom Wike.
He said the people will reciprocate it by voting massively for candidates of the PDP during the election.
The campaign train visited wards one and eight.
By: John Bibor
‘Naira Redesign, Ill-Timed’
The Rivers State Chapter of the Nigerian Computer Society (NCS) has described as ill-timed the Naira redesign policy of the Federal Government.
The society also called for the establishment of a Ministry of Science And Technology in Rivers State.
Chairman of the Society, Dr. Legborsi Emmanuel, said this at the quarterly general meeting of the branch in Port Harcourt.
Emmanuel said the Naira redesign program is coming at a time when Nigerians are batlling with the fuel price hike.
“NCS supports cashless policy, but increasing the sufferings of the Nigerian masses at a time we are battling with fuel price hike by taking out the old notes when we do not have enough of the new notes in the commercial banks have ended up putting pressure on the good people of Nigeria”, he said.
According to him, the programm has further contributed towards the destruction of the falling economy that needed to be well protected by the Federal Government.
He said the situation will provide opportunity for all Ministries, Departments, and Agencies to integrate all their data and operate seamlessly in the state.
He described the theme of the meeting, which is, “The use of ICT As A tool For Social Re-Engineering And Economic Transformation of Nigeria”, and the lecture, as a call to duty.
Speaking on the topic, “The use of ICT As A tool for social Re-Engineering and Economic Transformation of Nigeria”, from Canada, through zoom, Mr. Oraye Franklin said the present administration in Rivers State should be commended for it’s information communications and Technology (ICT) policy.
He expressed the hope that incoming administrations will built upon it to further improve the sector.
Franklin said the deployment of ICT can be used to solve the multifaceted problems of Nigerians.
According to him, ICT can be used to address socio-economic problems of Nigerians, ranging from the health sector to a general improvement in the conditions of lives of the people.
He specifically said ICT has helped to check the spread of dieseas, thereby enhancing access to quality health care services.
He said the situation has allowed for greater transperancy In governance , improved productivity in public sector, and help farmers boost productivity.
He also stressed the need for both State and Federal Governments to support and encourage the development of the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) with the view to expanding the economy.
The event also featured the presentation of the society’s 2023 budget.
By; John Bibor
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