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New Life to RSUST

 

By Simeon Nwakaudu

 

From the  very day he was sworn in as Governor of Rivers State  on May 29, 2015, Governor Wike ensured that the Rivers State University of Science and Technology, RSUST,  received  a breadth of new life. Governor  Wike  in his inauguration address took proactive  steps to right the wrong done to some academic  staff of the institution  by the immediate past administration.

 

In his inauguration address on May 29, 2015, Governor  Wike said: “As a government we shall not violate or tolerate the violation of the democratic and constitutional rights of Rivers State workers by any authority, be it public or private. In consequence therefore and in exercise of the powers vested in me as Visitor, I hereby direct the management of the Rivers State University of Science and Technology to immediately recall and reinstate to their duty posts with all their rights and privileges restored, all the academic staff of the University, who were purportedly disengaged from service on account of their membership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and participating in a  legitimate strike action called by the union”.

 

 

True to  his pledge,  all the RSUST Lecturers who were illegally  sacked by the immediate  past  administration  were reinstated with full benefits.  The administration  expended N713.3m to settle their outstanding  allowances and  salaries. The governor’s  action  restored academic  harmony  in the Institution.

 

One of the first projects that Governor  Wike  embarked upon was the completion of  the abandoned  RSUST  Faculty of Law Complex.  That facility  was left to rot for several  years.

 

The state-of-the-art facility considered the best in the country has a standard  auditorium, moot courts, digital library, traditional library, standard classrooms and offices.

 

 

Despite existing for over three decades, RSUST has no College of Medical Sciences. Successive administrations in the state toyed with the idea of establishing a College of Medical Sciences for RSUST, but none succeeded.

 

However,  on 9th April, 2016,  Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike  took concrete steps to actualize  the  vision of  training medical  doctors  at the  RSUST.  He laid the foundation stone for the RSUST College of Medical Sciences.

 

The governor  backed up  the foundation  laying  ceremony  with the release  of  funds for the take-off of the  required  infrastructural  facilities  of the College.  He also released funds for the admission  of students into the college , beginning  next academic  session.

 

 

The proposed College of Medical Sciences edifice at RSUST  will contain administrative block, lecture  rooms, bio-Chemistry, Physiology, Anatomy and Haematology Laboratories  and an auditorium.

 

 

To lift the academic  standards  of  the University, Governor  Wike  released funds for the accreditation exercises by the National Universities Commission, NUC,  for 17 programmes in the Institution. He has directed  the university  to ensure  full accreditation  of  courses with interim accreditation.

 

 

Speaking  during the  28th  Convocation Ceremony of the School,  he said: “Although I am pleased with the steady progress of the University, It is unacceptable for any of its programmes to be denied accreditation. Accordingly, I hereby direct the Acting  Vice Chancellor to correct the deficiencies outlined by the Nigerian Universities Commission and ensure that the Law programme and, indeed, all other programmes, move from interim to full accreditation status without any delay.”

 

 

The building  projects  of the Faculty of Management Sciences and that of Environmental Sciences abandoned  by previous administrations  will now be completed  by  the Wike administration. The governor  announced  the  release of N1bn for the completion of  these projects  which will provide lecture rooms,  offices and academic  facilities  to staff and students  of  the  school.

 

In an address during  the  28th Convocation Ceremony of RSUST, Justice Iche Ndu, rtd, Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the 12th Governing Council of the University stressed: “The council, management, and entire staff and students of University declare unequivocally that: ‘Here is an Education Friendly Governor ‘. Here is  a governor that has passion for academic  advancement and has a sense of purpose, and  is prepared  to  take the university  to greater  heights in the pursuit of ‘Excellence and Creativity ‘.

 

 

The Acting Vice Chancellor of RSUST,  Prof Blessing Didia expressed gratitude  to  the  governor for the  improved funding  of academic  activities  in  the  Institution, prompt payment  of  salaries and other entitlements of staff and the priority  given to tertiary  education  by his administration.

 

 

For the governor,  RSUST  will continue  to  enjoy  the  priority attention  of  his administration  despite the prevailing  economic  downturn.

 

He said: ” I want assure you that we shall not fail in our commitment to support the University to maintain and grow its facilities, attract and retain quality faculty, and provide a world-class educational experience for our students. ”

 

 

Most importantly,  Governor  Nyesom Ezenwo Wike  appointed  a seasoned  academic, Prof  Blessing Didia as Acting Vice Chancellor  to bring his managerial experience  to bear on the needs of the institution.  Closely related  is the appointment  of  a  properly  selected 12th Governing Council under the chairmanship  of a Retired Chief Judge of the State, Justice Iche Ndu to guide the  school  to the  next level.

 

 

Like every other sector in Rivers State,  RSUST  is enjoying  a new lease of life.  The  infrastructure and academic programmes  of the school have been revived in the overall  interest of the state.

 

The rousing welcome Governor Wike  received  all through  the  28th Convocation Ceremony of RSUST was indicative of the fact that the students  appreciate  his positive  investments  in the  school.

 

As an alumnus  of  this great institution,  an honour he shares with his wife, Justice Suzzette Nyesom-Wike,  Governor  Wike  has proved to be a worthy Ambassador  of his alma

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