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In recognition of the critical role the Admissions Office plays as the first point of contact with prospective candidates who seek admission into the University, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ndowa Lale, has charged staff of the Unit to make integrity, accountability, probity and honesty their watchwords in the discharge of their duties at all times.
Professor Lale handed down the charge when he led some Principal and Senior Officers on a familiarisation visit to the Admissions Office at Delta Park, last Monday, describing integrity as the right character trait required of every staff, especially those in the Admissions Office. He warned them against engaging in acts that would tarnish their reputation and put them into trouble, and subsequently drag the good name of the University to the mud.
“For you to be adjudged suitable to work in the sensitive Admissions Office, you must possess a high level of integrity that should earn you the trust of the Registrar and Management of the University. In the past, a few dubiously motivated staff may have compromised their job schedules by engaging in such acts such as selling admission slots to candidates seeking admission into the University. You work in an Office where there is so much temptation, but I want to advise you never to compromise your integrity if you wish to rise to the pinnacle of your career. If you engage in unwholesome practices and get caught, you will suffer the dire consequences alone. You will not see the devil that people usually blame for their shortcomings,” Professor Lale further warned the staff.
“Integrity is the quality of being honest and exhibiting strong moral principles that keep you in good standing professionally and in the larger society. We are talking about staff that are stable, upright, decent, truthful, trustworthy and of high moral probity in their daily engagements. No matter how brilliant they may be, people without character and a high dose of moral rectitude do not go far in their public or private lives,” he admonished them.   
“As Vice-Chancellor, my success depends on the efficient performance of your individual duty schedules. If you assist the system to grow, we will all grow together. Don’t be mistaken, Management is aware of the contributions of each staff of the University and so we cannot post staff with questionable characters to very sensitive Units of the University. How would you feel that once your name is mentioned, there is strong objection about you being posted to a particular Unit? Be rest assured that once that happens, you are on your way out of the University because of the moral question mark on your integrity quotient,” the Vice-Chancellor added, promising to give the Admissions Office a facelift by making provision for a befitting complex for the staff.
He charged the old staff to cooperate with the new Admissions Officer and other staff that were recently redeployed to the Unit for it to continue to discharge its duties in an efficient manner.
In her introductory remarks, the Registrar, Mrs. Dorcas Otto, described the Admissions Office as a critical Unit of the Registry Department that related directly to students and their parents on admission matters. She told the Vice-Chancellor that the Unit had recorded much improvement away from when a few bad eggs engaged in unwholesome activities that tended to undermine its functions.
“Time there was when we had problems with our admission documentation processes. I can confirm to the Vice-Chancellor and other stakeholders in the affairs of the University that we have come a long way from that era with the new online processing of admissions which started about four years ago. This is a clearing house for all admission processes. We need to properly accommodate the Admissions Office to provide it with an enabling environment to give of its best to students. We also want to introduce admission booking for students to ensure efficiency and reduce overcrowding in the Unit during admission exercises. The booking system has worked so well at the Health Centre when students undergo their medical examinations. We want to replicate it in the Admissions Office to reduce the pressure staff face in the registration of students,” the Registrar said.
She explained that the Unit also served as the Secretariat of the Committee of Provost and Deans, directing the new Admissions Officer to immediately brace up to the challenge of ensuring that previous Minutes of CPD meetings were updated and presented at the next gathering of the body.
Mrs. Otto, who thanked the Vice-Chancellor for taking time out to visit the Admissions Office, further tasked the staff to be meticulous in discharging their assignments.
 “In dealing with the public, you must be polite and courteous, calm, clean and always be on the right path. Students who secure admission through this Office are here primarily to study, graduate and become useful members of society and proud alumni of the University; so we need to assist them to actualise their vision without subjecting them to undue stress,” she said.
Earlier in his brief, the newly redeployed Admissions Officer, Mr. Goodnews Ijah, said he was still studying the files left behind by his predecessor and would brief the Registrar and Vice-Chancellor of his findings in due course.
“I am aware that the Merit List has been published and that what is left is the Supplementary Admission List. I will come to the office to brief you on what I met on ground and how we intend to move forward in the discharge of our duties,” Mr. Ijah said.
Also on the entourage of the Vice-Chancellor were the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Professor Hakeem Fawehinmi, Deputy Registrar (Information), Williams Wodi and Special Assistant to the Vice-Chancellor, Mr. Kingsley Wogwu.


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.  



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