New Governing Council To Meet Feb 9

All is now set for the maiden meeting of the new Governing Council of the University of Port Harcourt that was inaugurated by the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu in Abuja on Wednesday, January 18, 2017. Also, the Congregation of the University rose from the 63rd Meeting last Monday with a resolution that summarily recalled its two representatives from the Governing Council. Those recalled were: Professor Owunari Georgewill of the Department of Human Physiology and Mrs. Flora Iyagba of the Registry Department.

On a motion moved by Professor Prince Mmom of the Department of Geography and Environmental Management, Congregation also reduced the number of years its representatives can serve in Council from four to two years to enable other members have a shot at the two positions.

Inaugurating the new Governing Council members of the Universities of Port Harcourt and Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, the Minister reminded them of their policy making and regulatory roles aimed at ensuring efficiency and prudence in the running of the two institutions. “You are expected to provide good governance and the type of leadership that will stimulate rapid growth of the universities and make them more competitive and attractive,” the Minister said before inaugurating them.

Professor Mvendaga Jibo is the new Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the new UniPort Governing Council. Other members are: Mr. Joseph Fafi, Chief Johnson Chinyelugo Okafor, Hajia Lubabatu Lawal and Mr. Bello Dukku Salihu. “You are appointed into these positions to replace the recently dissolved Councils of the two universities. I urge you to maintain appropriate and harmonious relationship with the Managements, Senates and other statutory organs of the universities, as well as establish the leadership and accountability responsibilities of your Vice-Chancellors and other Principal Officers,” he told the incoming Council members.

The Minister reminded them that governance and management were distinct responsibilities in the university system, insisting that such distinction must be clear to all concerned to avoid friction in the system. “I urge you to work hard to support the Management and Senate of your universities to entrench an excellent academic culture based on research, innovation and quality scholarship. You are expected to govern by example—be disciplined and promote discipline, be transparent and accountable and promote transparency and accountability, work to promote and reward hard work,” the Minister charged them.

At the Congregation Meeting, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ndowa Lale, reassured staff and students of his administration’s resolve to protect their welfare in line with the manifesto he unfolded at his inauguration on July 13, 2015 that promised a ‘wholesome and prosperous university’.

Professor Lale who presented a powerful documentary on the just-completed renovation, recalled that his administration had been concerned with the parlous condition of the hostels which had not been renovated in the last 40 years. “We decided to embark on complete renovation of the hostels in the three Parks to give the students a new lease of life that would motivate them to strive towards academic excellence and self-esteem.

“Given the dilapidated state of the hostels prior to the renovation exercise, there was no way we could have expected civilized conduct from any student who was compelled to inhabit such hovels,” the Vice-Chancellor told Congregation. He regretted that it was not possible to extend the renovation work to all the hostels due to paucity of funds, assuring the students that the next phase of the renovation work would cover the remaining hostels.”

Professor Lale, who formally informed Congregation of the constitution of a new Governing Council by the Federal Government, assured all staff that he would fulfil his promise of tabling the issue of End-of-Year package to the Council, as well as seeking a subsisting approval from the Governing Council to implement subsequent Christmas packages.

He also informed Congregation that Management had received part of the outstanding shortfall of salaries due staff, promising that they would be paid their due entitlements from the allocation. Professor Lale also assured staff that nobody would be short-changed in the process of disbursing the fund.

The Vice-Chancellor also briefed Congregation on the 32 staff housing units being constructed by his administration, disclosing that a temporary shopping mall at Choba Park was nearing completion by supermarket giant, the Everyday Group as a Public Private Partnership initiative aimed at giving the University community and its environs a memorable shopping experience. He also advised staff to make useful suggestions through the Suggestion Boxes provided by the Quality Assurance and Quality Control Unit at various strategic locations across the Campus to guide Management.

Earlier, the Vice-Chancellor had informed Congregation of the loss of some members of staff since the body last met during its 62nd Meeting. He named the deceased members of staff as: Mr. Orlu Moses of the College of Continuing Education, (CCE), Yenagoa Centre, Dr. Edem David of the Department of Maths/Statistics, Dr. Augustus Elenwo of the Department of Animal Science, Dr. Julian Asodike of the Department of Educational Management and Planning, as well as Mr. Chizi Agbaraosimini of the Department of Physical Planning and Development (DPPD), following which a Minute’s Silence was observed in their honour.

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