Visitation Panel, UniPort Stakeholders Interact On Way Forward

By Humphrey Ogu


The seven-member Visitation Panel set up by the Visitor to the University of Port Harcourt, President Muhammadu Buhari, rounded off its meetings with stakeholders of the University on Friday, May 21, 2021. 
Welcoming the Panel to the University on behalf of the Governing Council, Senate, staff and students on Monday, May 17, 2021, Acting Vice Chancellor, Professor Stephen Okodudu, noted that the Visitation Panel was in UniPort to see how the University has fared in the last 10 years. 
Speaking as the Chairman of the Panel, Engineer Anietie Ekpenyong, said: “The purpose of this Visitation Exercise is to review the performance of the University of Port Harcourt in the areas of governance, academic standards, quality assurance, management of finances, relationship between Management, staff and students and the condition of physical infrastructure as well as instructional facilities and thereafter advise accordingly.”    
Okodudu promised to give the Panel all the support needed for a successful exercise. “Before your arrival we had called for Memoranda from stakeholders through a newspaper advertorial. I encourage everyone as individuals and groups to cooperate with the Panel as its report will enable the University secure more intervention funds from the Federal Government in addition to tackling some of the pressing challenges being faced in UniPort,” he said.
At separate interactive sessions, the stakeholders comprising University Management, Senate, campusbased labour unions, and the Student Union, made brief presentations, expressing their opinions on matters affecting their units, with a view to tackling the challenges currently being faced by their members. Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) featured prominently in the complaints of staff, while students complained about their welfare, including issues bordering on an enabling environment for efficient teaching and learning activities. For the host communities from Choba to Alakahia to Omuoko and Omuokiri in Aluu Clan, it was the same story of loss of farmlands to building projects in the University. The various host communities also demanded concession in employment, awarding of contracts and admission of qualified sons and daughters of the communities. Meanwhile, each of the stakeholders also submitted 10 hard copies, and a soft copy of their well-articulated memoranda. The Visitation Panel also paid a Courtesy Call on the Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Eboka Friday, who pledged the support of the Police Command in tackling security challenges in and around the University. In the absence of Professor Auwalu Yadudu, a member, Engr Aniete Ekpenyong served as the Chairman of the Visitation Panel. Other members of the Panel were: Professor Timothy Namo, Honourable Ibrahim Zailani, Mrs Edith Ugwoke and Mrs Adedoyin Rhodes-Vivour, who was absent. Barrister Paschal Eruaga of National Universities Commission (NUC), served as Secretary. The University was represented at the meetings by the Coordinator, Academic Affairs, Professor Abdulrazaq Kilani and Faculty Officer, Faculty of Engineering, Mr Kingsley Wogwu, who served as Liaison Officer between University Management and the Visitation Panel.

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