The Acting Vice-Chancellor of Ignatius Ajuru University of Education (IAUE), Professor Okechuku Onuchuku, has reiterated his commitment to building a robust university dedicated to quality teaching, research, and improved welfare of staff and students.
Onuchuku, who disclosed this in his New Year message to the university community in Port Harcourt as the school resumed academic activities after the Christmas and New Year breaks, said plans are on top gear to take the University to its academic peak as part of his avowed objectives.
The Acting Vice-Chancellor commended the Governor of Rivers State, Barrister Nyesom Wike, for his support to the institution.
He also appreciated the university community, Alumni, the host communities, security agencies, and other stakeholders for their support towards building a robust university.
He reaffirmed that as the Acting Vice-Chancellor, he would offer inspirational and transformational leadership to take the institution to its expected position.
“My role as the Acting Vice-Chancellor is to serve this community of scholars and administrators through inspirational and transformational leadership that would take this University to where we all want it to be”, he said.
Professor Onuchuku urged the staff to adhere strictly to all the extant laws that govern the operational structure of the institution without cutting corners and making cheap compromises.
He advised against engaging in actions that would make the public lose faith in the capacity of the university to produce a competent workforce for the nation and promised to give more attention to research and development.
“We shall empower the existing research and development unit to engage in high-impact research that can be utilised by the industry.
“We must engage in quality teaching and research that solve problems and equip our students with the right skills and moral values to transmit to the rest of society”, he said.
The Economics expert further reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to promoting entrepreneurship education that would equip the students with basic relevant skills to make them industry-ready graduates.
He also urged the lecturers to properly guide the students on contemporary ways of conducting quality research to ignite broad-minded learning, as he emphasised the role of well-articulated research in national development.
Professor Onuchuku noted that ethics and self-restraint are core values that define the worth of every organisation and warned that any staff who engages in any form of unethical practice would be sanctioned.
He noted that as a pioneer in the comity of specialised tertiary institutions in Nigeria, the expansion of the scope of academic activities in recent times has placed the university in a unique position and tasked the staff to use the opportunity to make more contributions to national development.
The Vice-Chancellor, while admitting that the remarkable achievements made in the institution would not have been possible without the commitment of staff, applauded them for keeping the wheels of academic and administrative activities rolling at the institution.
Onuchuku further enjoined the students to make optimal use of their time at the university to achieve their goals and disclosed that expansion of academic programmes would offer more opportunities for university education in Rivers State.
He assured that his administration would build more infrastructure and other facilities to create a conducive learning environment for the students to realise their potential, as he wished the academic community a prosperous 2023.
By: King Onunwor
‘Police Didn’t Authorise Vigilantes To Carry Arms In Rivers’
Worried by the alarming concern by members of the public over the manner vigilante groups are bearing arms across the state, the Rivers State Police Command has restated its earlier stand that vigilante groups are not mandated to bear arms in the state .
Spokesperson of the Command, SP Grace Iringe-Koko, made this clarification while speaking to journalists in Port Harcourt, recently.
She said the state Commissioner of Police (CP) had not approved arms bearing by the vigilante groups across the state .
According to her, “ they are not licensed to bear arms. The CP has directed the Divisional Police Officers (DPOs) within every jurisdiction to arrest anyone seen with arms. They do not have such powers to detain”.
She stated that anyone found bearing arms in the name of vigilante would be arrested and prosecuted .
“This clarification is coming as a result of public concern and worries. Of late, it’s been observed that some vigilante group members in Port Harcourt, particularly in Diobu axis, are bearing arms.
“For instance, some are seen at Oando Filing station, at Mile 3, Ikwerre Road, parading with pump action riffles. Some also bear the arms while on patrol in full glare of public. It was also reported that they detain suspects”, she said.
By; Akujobi Amadi
Indigenous Oil Company Reaffirms Commitment To Host Community’s Development
All Grace Energy Limited (AGEL), an indigenous oil company operating (OML17) in Rivers State, has reaffirmed commitment to the development of its host community in compliance with the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).
The Executive Director, Corporate Affairs and Development, AGEL, Prof.Adeola Adenikinju, gave the assurance recently during the inauguration of the Board of Host Community Development Trust (HCDT) in Port Harcourt.
Adenikinju noted that the inauguration of the seven-member board would provide a unique opportunity to begin a new era in the development of the community.
According to him, since the signing of the PIA in 2021, the company has ensured commitment to advancing understanding of the act, with regard to establishment of the HCDT.
Adenikinju said that compliance with the PIA would deepen the existing mutual relationship and trust-building between the company and the host community.
He said: “The PIA contains relevant provisions which form the basis of strong governance and management structure for the host communities’ development trust.
“Consequently, we have ensured that our sustainable development initiative is geared towards direct social investment programmes to address development deficits through providing empowerment of women and youths.”
He said this would be done through skill acquisition, scholarships, health outreach, direct community contracts, infrastructure, and a lot of other sustainable development initiatives.
Adenikinju commended the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), and Rivers State Government for their continued support to foster positive development outcomes in the host community.
The Commissioner for Chieftaincy and Community Affairs in Rivers, Engr. Charles Amadi, said that implementation of the act, would enable All Grace Energy Limited and the host community to operate in a mutually beneficial way.
He urged the host community to work together with the company to ensure peaceful coexistence.
Similarly, the Chairman of the Board of Trustee(BOT), Mr Dandyson Onigah, said that implementation of the PIA marked a new dawn where there would be no bickerings between oil companies and host communities,
Onigah said with the operation of the PIA, the community could make plans toward sustainable development, knowing that there would be funds for that purpose.
He said that the newly inaugurated board would work in synergy with the company to ensure peace and achieve success in their operations.
The BoT chairman gave the assurance that every misunderstanding or complaint would be properly addressed to ensure free flow of business in the area.
Also, the Chairman of Ogbakor-Ubima, Mr Emmanuel Azubuike, lauded the company for steps taken to implement the act, saying that the community would continue to sustain the existing mutual relationship with the company.
Engineers Blame Building Collapses On Quackery
The National Chairman of the Nigerian Institution of Civil Engineers (NICE), Engr. Chukwudi Ezugu, has blamed the incessant building collapses in the country on quacks.
Ezugu, who said this during his investiture in Port Harcourt, recently, advised members of the public to stop patronising quacks and employ the services of professional engineers in their building projects.
Ezugu assured that his administration would improve on the practice of engineering in the country, saying continuous professional development and welfare of members will be given top priority.
“Improving the skills and competence of our members is a priority to this administration. Good professional practice demands that civil engineers will continually be updated with latest technologies which enhance our practice through seminars, workshops and trainings.
“We shall, therefore, collaborate with competent training firms which will update our engineers with latest operating softwares, techniques, materials, processes and procedures,” he said.
Engr. Ezugu said the society would also collaborate with relevant organisations to improve the competence of its members.
“It is our plan to organise a conference in the next few weeks to bring together our universities, research institutions and industry practitioners to start creating an enduring relationship that is key to solving our infrastructural needs.
“It is common knowledge that civil infrastructures in Nigeria are grossly inadequate from urban and rural roads to rail lines transportation systems, housing to potable water supply,” he said.
The NICE chairman said his administration would engage policy makers and government to prioritise development in the country with a view to tackling the ones with higher socio-economic values.
According to him, the present situation where many trunk A roads are in disrepair is counterproductive with the resultant collossal loses to the country GDP and economy at large.
Chairman of the occasion and former Acting Director, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Engr. Emmanuel Audu-Ohwavborua, urged Nigerian engineers to up their game to enable them compete with their foreign counterparts.
He called on the government to patronise local engineers, stressing that continuous patronage of multinational construction companies at the detriment of their Nigerian counterparts is not in the interest of the country.
By: John Bibor
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