Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike of says the fast-changing World demands a corresponding change in Education standards and Rivers State University (RSU) must be ready to benchmark its academic programs to meet Global demands.
Governor Wike gave the charge at the 34th Convocation ceremony of the Rivers State University (RSU) on Saturday in Port Harcourt at which he was conferred with the Honourary Doctor of Laws Degree LL.D (Honoris Causa).
The Governor stated that it is for the attainment of that global standard that his administration delightfully invested funds generously to improve infrastructure, and established faculties, particularly the College of Medical Sciences.
Governor Wike said at the inception of his administration, he constituted the Governing Council of the Institution and charged them to develop the blueprint that will engender sustainable transformation in the University.
Governor Wike explained that his administration also resolved the lingering strike of the Academic Staff and recalled the Staff was unjustly dismissed for Union activities by the previous administration.
That action, he noted, restored industrial harmony to the Institution achieved within his first two weeks in office.
“Third, we immediately started tackling the University’s infrastructural challenges one after the other.
“We completed, furnished, and commissioned the long-abandoned Faculty of Law Complex within our first 100 days in office.”
Governor Wike also stated that his administration completed the Faculty of Management Sciences, Faculty of Science and Technical Education, and Faculty of Environment Sciences within the second year of his administration.
Also started and completed, he said, was the Senate Building in his third year in office, and the College of Medical Sciences buildings in his fourth year in office
“We also built the Basic Clinical Science and the department of Clinical Sciences buildings, which were commissioned last week as components of the Medical College.
“We then transformed the former Braithwaite Memorial Hospital into the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital with state-of-the-art equipment.”
He remarked that today, the relatively new College of Medical Sciences of the University is reckoned to be on its way to becoming one of the Country’s best Medical Schools as declared by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria.
The Governor recalled the review of the enabling law of the Institution so that it will reflect the multi-disciplinary structure and implement an enhanced salary structure for the University Staff.
Governor Wike said his administration also restored the multi-campus structure of the University that was created by the Military.
The Campuses, he said are now located in Ahoada, (East) Emohua, Etche, Sapkenwa; (Tai) Local Government Areas, fully equipped with faculty and administrative buildings, and Staff Quarters and will commence academic activities soon.
“A few weeks ago, we authorized the Management to engage 1355 new academic and non-academic Staff to resolve the Staff shortfalls occasioned by retirements, resignations, and the establishment of new academic departments and centers.”
Governor Wike said as the Visitor to the institution, he is satisfied with what has been accomplished with his administration’s investments over the last seven and half years.
“No doubt, the billions we have invested have significantly advanced this University in infrastructure, growth, and prestige and empowered it with the capacity to produce the kind of graduates that we need to serve our State and Country with character, commitment, and responsibility.”
With all these investments, Governor Wike insisted that the University Management must move the Institution away from the existing academic model of processing graduates in their numbers after every four or five years, unmindful of the quality of knowledge and skills