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Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ndowa Lale, has renewed his call for the various professional regulatory bodies to synergise with the National Universities Commission to carry out joint accreditation exercises in Nigerian universities.
Professor Lale made the call while receiving the Accreditation team from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) to the Department of Accounting in the Faculty of Management Sciences in his office, last Tuesday.
He said that, if fully implemented, the move would make life a lot easier for university authorities as so much resources were currently being channelled towards addressing multiple accreditation exercises by various professional bodies that focus on the same issues without dissipating energies that could be channelled to other productive uses. 
“As I address you, the cost of running higher institutions in the country has continued to rise by the day. We are looking forward to a day when there would be joint accreditation teams from the NUC and professional bodies so that verification exercises can be carried out at the same time without compromising standards,” he stated, adding that the essence of the exercise was to fit out graduates for purpose so that at the end of the day, they would compete favourably with their peers elsewhere. Professor Lale commended the Faculty of Management Sciences and Department of Accounting for faring well over the years, urging the staff and students to keep the flag flying.
Earlier in his address, leader of the team, Dr. Uche Uwaleke told the Vice-Chancellor that the exercise was not targeted at finding faults in the programme, but to ensure that graduates of Accounting measured up to approved guidelines that would prepare them  to compete on the global stage.
“What ICAN accreditation does is to help shape the students and fast-track their professional growth. Such an advantage enables them to skip seven, out of the 16 subjects offered in our professional examinations,” Dr. Uwaleke told the Vice-Chancellor.
At the Exit Meeting which held last Thursday, Dr. Uwaleke commended the University for preparing the Department of Accounting to secure full accreditation status. “I wish to state that we were impressed by what we saw in terms of staffing, programme, infrastructure and library resources. The Department needs to stock ICAN Study Pack, in addition to other minor amendments that would position it to train students that can compete on a global scale.” He disclosed that the team would look at the curricula, examination system, staffing, infrastructure, academic environment, library resources, as well as interact with staff and students.

 

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The authorities of the University of Port Harcourt and General Electric have commenced negotiations that would hopefully culminate in the establishment of a graduate programme in Transport Studies in the University. To prepare for the new partnership, plans have been concluded to transform the Centre for Logistics and Transport Studies (CELTRAS) in the Faculty of Social Sciences into a full-fledged Institute.
This cheering development was the outcome of exploratory talks between a delegation from the Institute led by Mr. Rori Balogun and Management of the University at the Vice-Chancellor’s Committee Room, last Thursday. 

Explaining the proposed partnership at the meeting, Mr. Balogun who is Regional Learning Leader in sub-Saharan Africa of General Electrical (GE), disclosed that the company which is a global market leader in infrastructure development, will help build capacity in transport and logistics, including local and globally benchmarked skills. He expressed the willingness of his organisation to partner the University in training programmes that would support the industry which he said would be patterned along the Institute of Petroleum Studies model. 
“We understand that IPS is structured in such a way that its model has worked and that is how we hope to grow the proposed partnership with CELTRAS. We also wish to understand the objectives of the Centre for Logistics and Transport Studies and its flexibilities to enable us determine where we fit into the whole thing,” Mr. Balogun told his host.
Responding, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration) Professor Anthony Ibe, who represented the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ndowa Lale at the occasion, commended the organisation for showing interest in partnering the University. “I wish to assure you that the administration would be willing to enter into such a collaborative venture aimed at strengthening transport studies in a country that currently lacks a functional mass transit system. Let me also inform you that the IPS model you referred to is a very capital intensive venture that is heavily funded by the TOTAL/NNPC joint venture and we are hopeful that GE would give the necessary support that would make the partnership succeed,” Professor Ibe said.
Earlier in his remarks, Director of CELTRAS, Professor Osi Akpogomeh, explained that the Centre was established in 2012 to provide skills and knowledge in transport and logistics studies. Professor Akpogomeh also disclosed that the Centre currently had collaborations with organisations such as the Federal Road Safety Commission, Nigeria Shippers’ Council, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), as well as a private organisation, Delta Marine Company, amongst other like-minded organisations aimed at broadening its activities.  

 

 

As the Federal Government continues to evolve policies and actions aimed at fighting the menace of corruption in the country, Professor of Political Philosophy, Emenike Ndu, has argued that the battle against corruption will not be won by arresting and sentencing a few people to prison terms. On the contrary, it is only when the mindset of the average Nigerian changes that the country can effectively tackle the cankerworm that has been militating against national development.
He dropped the hint while delivering the 134th Inaugural Lecture of the University to a packed audience at the Ebitimi Banigo Auditorium, last Thursday.

Professor Ndu, whose Lecture was entitled, Live Body, Dead Soul: The Anatomy of Discipline, Corruption and Leadership, stated: “Given the lack of discipline and endemic corruption, the prognosis for Nigeria is dim and its future bleak.When the cataclysmic occurrences which have already begun will intensify and come to a head, the Almighty God in His mercy and for the sake of the remnants will lead those who hold the reins of power away from the paths of false statesmanship and politics onto the paths of philosophy and truth.” 
He berated the trending view that the problem with Nigeria was that of leadership, pointing out that “the leadership of any country does not grow on a tree from which it can be plucked, nor can it be imported into the country from outside, unless the country is under colonialism.”
The Inaugural Lecturer who established a direct relationship between the law and the state, described the law as the substance of the state. According to him, if the society is undisciplined and corrupt, it will correspondingly produce undisciplined and corrupt leaders as has been the case with Nigeria. “If the society is disciplined and upright, it will produce leaders of the same colour,” Ndu said, pointing out that Nigeria was not different from any other country in the world where citizens subject themselves to law and order. 
Professor Ndu, who was a one-time Acting Head of the Department of Political and Administrative Studies in the Faculty of Sciences, defined discipline as the “attribute of individuals, of the society, and of the state which creates and makes order possible in the society and the state,” warning that individuals must embrace internal and external disciplines if they hoped to become better citizens and dependable nation-builders.
The Inaugural Lecturer stated that “corruption is not only a matter of stealing money from the coffers of the State, or collecting bribes which lead a great many to think of corruption only in relation to politicians and the police,” pointing out that every act of indiscipline which has money as an end also represented an act of corruption that must be challenged. 

Professor Ndu also highlighted the upsurge of ethnic nationalities in the past four or five decades, the chaotic traffic situation in most cities, the reckless use of sirens and bullhorns as abnormalities that should be curbed to restore the country to orderly conduct. 
“We are faced with a situation in which high profile murders go unresolved, a situation where the Executive routinely disobeys judicial orders, carrying on as if the judiciary does not exist and where we find men of letters who make every attempt to rationalize the irrational even when the constitution has been violated, a situation where the judiciary flip-flops on issues with scant regard for judicial precedents; a situation where sensitive and strategic positions in government, business, commerce, industry and even in institutions of education are made on the basis of ethnic affiliations, a situation where a lecturer accepts to teach a course, appears in class twice or thrice in a whole semester and then sets an examination paper which cannot be answered from the lecture notes, a situation where importers commission producers in foreign countries to produce inferior goods which they the importers present and sell to their unsuspecting countrymen as the real McCoy at the price of the real thing,”  amongst others, as empirical facts that every facet of Nigeria's social life is in accord with the definition of corruption.
On his contribution to knowledge as a political theorist, the Inaugural Lecturer posited that he developed the concept of discipline as a social and political category. “My point has been that discipline is a sine qua non for the success of any social enterprise. As a political category, I have divided discipline into internal and external disciplines. When discipline is internal, it is the property of the individual citizen, and it is that quality of character which leads us to define a person as self-governed, self-regulated, self-restrained, cooperative, self-disciplined and other such adjectives which describe a well-adjusted and law-abiding citizen,” he said, arguing that discipline is external when it is the property of the community which is organised in political terms as the State. 
The Inaugural Lecturer averred that both internal and external disciplines which work together to ensure social control are needed to strengthen cordiality, rulership and the art of governance, reminding his audience that Plato conceived society and other social organisations on the principles of reciprocal satisfaction of social and economic needs.
“One point that needs to be stressed is Plato's teaching with regard to the Ideal and Reality. Many, especially the uninitiated, and there are lots and lots of them, including many who claim to specialize in political theory, fail to understand Plato's profound teaching. Plato produced three forms of the State. The first and the absolute best was in theRepublic. The second and second best form of the State occurs in the Statesman. The third and third best which is in fact closest to the contemporary state systems in Europe he produced in the Laws,” Professor Ndu submitted. 
In his remarks, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ndowa Lale, commended the Inaugural Lecturer for his incisive presentation, describing him as a man who combined several qualities in his professional life. “Professor Ndu did not just address us as a consummate political philosopher, he also spoke as clergyman with such an impressive oratory to hold the attention of his audience. In a society where many things have gone wrong, it is heartening to know that there are still voices that point to the right way of doing things in this country. The Inaugural Lecturer intrepidly combined political theory with ecclesiastical examples with finesse,” Professor Lale told the ecstatic audience that included the Inaugural Lecturer's younger brother and former Chief Judge of Rivers State, Justice Iche Ndu, amongst other heavyweights that graced the occasion.

 

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