New Council Ends Inaugural Session With Campus Tour, Town Hall Meeting

It was a loaded itinerary for the newly constituted Governing Council of the University during its Inaugural Meeting which commenced with a Bus Tour last Wednesday. The Members held their full Meeting on Thursday at the Governing Council Chambers and ended the session with a well-attended Town Hall Meeting at the Ebitimi Banigo Auditorium last Friday, before the External Members departed the University.

The new eleven-member Council, comprising five distinguished Nigerians appointed by the Federal Government and six Internal Members elected from Senate and Congregation held a brief introductory session at the Council Chambers last Wednesday at the Council Chambers. Shortly after exchanging pleasantries and taking photographs at the Senate building quadrangle, the Council members commenced the inspection exercise at the expansive Senate Chambers, following which they embarked on an extensive Bus Tour of the three Parks within the University.

Having completed the facility inspection at the University, Delta and Choba Parks, the Bus Tour whistled through the busy East/West Road arriving at the premises of the College of Continuing Education at Nkpolu-Oroworukwo, where the Acting Director, Dr, Kiikpoye Aaron, took the Council Members through the workings of the College. The entourage, thereafter, departed for the University of Port Harcourt Business School at Chinua Worlu Street, off Sani Abacha Road, Rumueme. There, the outgoing Director, Professor Clifford Ofurum, was on hand to explain the workings of the School to the delegation that included Principal Officers of the University. The tour afforded the new Council members an opportunity to see the state of facilities on ground at various locations in the University.

In a brief familiarisation meeting before the tour, the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the new Governing Council, Professor Mvedega Jibo, had congratulated his colleagues for their appointment and election into the highest policy-making body of the University. The Chairman expressed hope that the members would justify the confidence reposed in them by both the Federal Government and the University community.

“This is my first contact with the University of Port Harcourt and I must say that this is one of the most beautiful campuses I have been to in this country and believe that other members of Council would agree with this verdict. Judging from what I have seen so far, the physical environment is of high standard, while the staff are friendly and committed to their duty schedules. I wish to commend all those who have contributed and continue to make valuable contributions in making the University of Port Harcourt what it is today. The task before us now as a Council is to contribute our own individual and collective quota to sustain the good work that is ongoing here and I am confident that members do appreciate the enormity of the task before all of us,” the Pro-Chancellor said.

Earlier in his brief to the Pro-Chancellor and other members, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ndowa Lale, expressed satisfaction with the composition of the new Council, disclosing that a statutory body known as Convocation would soon meet to elect a representative before the next sitting of Council.

“Let me welcome you all on behalf of the Staff and Students of this University and to assure you of our total cooperation as we join you to move the University to a higher pedestal of unparalleled infrastructural and academic development. The University has come a long way and I am very confident that the quality of men and women on this Council would make a huge difference as we work in concert to achieve the vision of the founding fathers. I also wish to say that a few of the problems we had in the immediate past were because of the refusal of some elements in the dissolved Council to support Management in the implementation of approved policies and enforcement of discipline among students,” the Vice-Chancellor said.

Also speaking, other External Members, Alhaji Bello Duku representing the North-East, Chief Johnson Okafor (South-East), Hajiya Lubabatu Ammani (North-West) and Mr. Joseph Fafi (South-South), while the Deputy Director in charge of Management of Regulatory Agencies, Mr. Ulu Awa Arua represents the Federal Ministry of Education in Council as an Ex-Officio Member. Professor Lale pledged total commitment to the attainment of the lofty ideals for which the University was established in 1975.

Speaking on behalf of the Internal Members, Professor Henry Alapiki, restated their willingness to collaborate with their External colleagues to advance the cause of the University. “From all indications, members of this Council possess the shared passion to drive the vision and mission of the University and you can count on the Internal Members elected on the platforms of Senate and Congregation to support the right policy-thrust that would bring accelerated development to our beloved University.

“I have no doubt that UniPort would be taken to a new level under this Council and we will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our External Colleagues as we collectively strive to place this University on the global map. We are ready to bond and work with you and you can be sure that the distinction between External and Internal Members of Council will not count for anything as we labour collectively to ensure that this body moves the University forward,” Professor Alapiki pledged.

The extensive Bus Tour finally terminated at the Institute of Petroleum Studies Park, where the Director, Professor Dulu Appah, took time to explain the operational structure of the Institute, which awards a joint Master of Science degree in Petroleum Engineering and Project Management with the IFP School in Paris, France. The Institute also treated the delegation to a well-appointed lunch.

The Pro-Chancellor and his entourage had earlier made a brief stop-over at the Gladys Cookey Resource Centre where they were received by the President of the University of Port Harcourt Women Association (UPWA), Mrs. Joy Lale and her Executive. There was also another stop-over at the University Demonstration Secondary School (UDSS) along Aluu Road, where the entourage was received by the Board Chairman, Professor Samuel Nwideeduh, the Parent-Teacher Association led by Dr. Gospel Kpee, Principal, Mr. Anele Ogechi, Staff and Students of the school.

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